This is my 260th, and most likely last entry for at least for a little while. As of this writing PlanetGordon has received over 720,000 hits in just over a year. Over 840 comments have been left on the site. Including syndicated articles, over 25 newspapers and magazines have printed stories in which I am either featured or quoted. Forty people bought T-shirts and other PlanetGordon stuff. The site was featured on TV and L and I lived out the dreams of liberals across the northeast by appearing on Public Radio.
When I started the site in September 2003, I figured I would only have a handful of readers. Definitely my mother and mother-in-law (who back then were probably responsible for about half of my monthly hits), other friends and family and, due to the public nature of the Internet, perhaps a few random strangers. At the very least, if I could keep it up, I'd have a fun record of the months leading up to our wedding.
But the site took off and no one was more surprised than I. Thanks to your support, PlanetGordon has been a "phenomenon" (US News & World Report's word, not mine) and, from my perspective, a lot of fun.
Thank you to E from Michigan, Malinda (and Trevor.net), Jamie, Gwen, Steve, Heather, Ellison, Jessica, Jenn, Brendan, Erica, Sulizano, Francis, Rose, Julie, ChgoRed, JT, Jecsyka, Leanne, Tim, John, and any other regular commenters I'm forgetting to list here. I've gotten to know some of you and am happy that none of you expect me to send wedding presents. Thanks also to the many people who read the site but never commented, instead either emailing me directly or simply lurking behind the scenes.
Thank you to David for getting me set up with Movable Type and otherwise schooling this HTML novice in the ways of the Web. David was the unpaid, unofficial tech guy for PlanetGordon and I might have never gotten started with this site had it not been for his technical expertise.
Some people have asked what's next for PlanetGordon.com. The truth is, not much. The site will remain up with an archive of all the past posts. Hopefully some of them will be of use to a few of the eight gazillion guys getting engaged every day. Who knows? One of these days I might get around to turning this whole thing into a general site for grooms.
Others have wondered if I would keep posting about weddings and my own personal experience with some of this craziness. After all, there are photo proofs coming soon, a video coming in a few months, and many more details to be wrapped up over the next little while. (Not to mention the many weddings we'll attend this year.)
One person suggested that I end the site when the last thank-you note has been written, but since people have up to a year to buy a wedding present, according to common practice, it seems like that would lead to a lot of gaps and downtime. That wouldn't be too exciting, so the best thing I can do is to stop here. I'm married, I had a heck of a lot of fun doing it all, and there isn't a whole lot more I can say on the subject.
I'll be doing some offline writing about weddings and I'm in the midst of pitching a book based on some of the stuff from this site. So, writing about weddings is definitely not over for me. (If you'd like to be notified when I do update the site or announce something, please email me and I'll add you to my mailing list. I promise not to sell your address or use it to raise money for clubbed seals or anything like that.)
Writing about weddings while planning my own was quite an experience. I think it helped me - and L - keep a sense of humor about everything. With every decision potential fodder for a post, we - or should I say mwe - stayed on our best behavior and were able to take a few steps back from everything to ask the question more couples should take the time to ask themselves: "Are we being totally ridiculous?" I hope our friends, who travelled from all over the planet and at great expense to attend our wedding, will agree that while we had our moments we never were, in fact, totally ridiculous about anything.
As a result of this site, I found myself immersed in a world I never thought I'd know so much about. I can now tell you the difference between about 100 china patterns, how to avoid paying an arm and a leg for stationery, the questions to ask when talking with a florist, why most wedding magazines have nothing to say to grooms, where to buy jewel cases for CD mixes, the proper appetizer-to-guest ratio, the precise latitude and longitude of the Bloomingdale's registry office, and why no one seems to want to buy bed linens as a wedding present.
But if I really learned anything by writing this blog - cue sappy Family Matters moral lesson music - it is that when it comes to weddings, and I guess a lot of other things in life, traditions performed without knowledge of why they are traditions are in effect meaningless. There isn't one decision L and I made that was made simply because That's What You're Supposed To Do When You Get Married. Knowing that everything we decided would get poked around and dissected under the blog-o-scope was probably challenging for L and our parents, but they all handled it with the utmost grace, aplomb and other superalitives I'm too lazy too look up in my thesaurus right now.
At the end of it all, I must thank L - Leora - whom I love more than anything and who has been my constant inspiration from the day I started writing this and even before. As she frequently reminds me, without her there would have been no PlanetGordon.Posted by Doug at September 10, 2004 09:31 AM