Saturday, June 13, 2015

The real reason why

I could tell you all about the day of the wedding and explain every last detail, but I'll let the photos all over social media do the talking. Just look up #JayLynnWedding on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and you'll see for yourself.

Of course there are parts that need to be mentioned.

  1. The weather more than cooperated and it was a sunny day.
  2. Everything was perfectly on time
  3. The priest has known my family for over 2 decades and gave a wonderful, personalized ceremony.
  4. The DJ crew made last minute changes to accommodate some requests and had the party jumping all night long
  5. The food was amazing from start to finish and unique - who really has a coney island hot dog and slider bar at a cocktail hour? We did.
  6. I surprised Linda with a special first dance, in addition to what we had planned. 
  7. My brother delivered a viral YouTube worthy best man speech.
  8. Friends and family from all over the country came in to party and celebrate with us.
That list could go on for days. But there was a moment that stands out. It wasn't part of the agenda. It was a comment that was made to me, on the side, by a friend. Her and her husband are both friends of ours, as is another couple - all of of whom were at the wedding. She mentioned how each of the men in that circle certainly love their wives. They are good husbands, and loving men. 

Then she said that watching my bride and I that night - sitting together, dancing together, walking around the room, etc, she has never seen two people so in love in her entire life as she had that day.

And that was the point of all of it. The party was fun, everyone likes getting gifts, and making it official is an evolution in the relationship. However, professing that love to the world is just necessary. We can't keep it in. It's too much. It's too big. There's not enough room. And so we shared it with our world.

Of all the compliments on the place, food, DJ, photographer, music, etc, I don't know that anything could top those words. If there was ever a moment of doubt about the purpose of a grandiose event, it is no more. Those words will stay with me forever.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Your e-invite

Last week I made a post that said

Linda and I would have everyone we've ever met at the wedding if we could. We all know that's just not possible, unfortunately.
Hint: I am working on a way to give everyone a glimpse into the day, even if you're not present. All I'll say is that I'm pulling from 20 years of technology experience to do it. More soon...
Tonight I'm here to tell you what that means. It is true that we just cannot invite everyone. Everyone understands this. Everyone married truly understands this. As someone in tech and social media for so many years, I have been thinking about how to gather all the photos taken that day to keep forever. I've also been wondering how to share that awesome day with people all over the world that I've met throughout my life.

We found an app called WedPics. Our friends have used it and it seemed like a great "collector." So we downloaded it onto our phones and set it up. There were some barriers that I didn't like.

  1. Everyone has to download the app
  2. Everyone has to make an account
  3. The app is dreadfully slow (and while we want pics, we don't want people wasting time waiting for an app when they could be enjoying the wedding)
  4.  Every picture has to go into an album
  5. There's no good way to get the pics back out later
  6. Anyone not at the wedding can go to wedpics.com and type in JayLynnWedding, but then they have to make an account
  7. Most importantly, people share to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook constantly and we would have to make people avoid what is most comfortable for them.
So down with WedPics I say! But what do we do instead? Hmmm... well I know HTML and CSS. I have space on a web server. I know how to route traffic around the web and I know how to customize names. So I can make a webpage around this. Oh wait... how will I collect the images? Don't I work for a visual marketing company now that does exactly that? Why on Earth would I use a prepackaged solution like WedPics? Great question!

So here's how it works. We will ask our guests to take photos and post to Instagram or Twitter (Facebook says collecting like this is a no-no, but I have about 72 hours to find a workaround). When they post them, all they have to do is tag them with #JayLynnWedding. That's it!

I have a nifty little javascript that will look at that hashtag 24/7 and collect all the images tagged with it. Then it will display them in a gallery. That gallery is publicly accessible from a link. Now it's not exactly in real-time. Instagram and Twitter get mad if you ask them for photos too often. So every 30 minutes or less (could be as low as every 10), the gallery will populate and build itself.

So if you can't be at the wedding, you can watch it all unfold in as close to real-time as I could get. The link to watch is: http://live.jaylynnwedding.com. There is one photo there waiting for you right now.

If you'll be in physical attendance and you're reading this, I hope you'll participate and make this day special because it'll be saved for posterity. What makes it fun is that we get to see it through your eyes. And you get to help others view it.

So consider this your e-invite to our wedding. We hope you'll digitally join us.