Trolling for brides-to-be

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The day after I changed my status on Facebook to read "engaged to" ... the social network's ad server had found me. Pretty much the only Facebook ads I have seen in that right-hand column since that day two months ago are for wedding photographers, bridesmaid dresses and exotic honeymoon trips.

Of course, I haven't done anything to prevent this. I entered a Nordstrom Weddings Facebook sweepstakes a week ago (C'mon $20K!), and I'm constantly cruising the Web for things that only brides-to-be must search for on a regular basis (what flowers are in-season in Maine in August? What is the right time to send a save-the-date?), so that the search engines at large have now caught on to me.

And thanks to The Knot, a magazine and online destination for modern brides, my mailing and e-mail address are now on file with every possible wedding vendor in the New York City area. Of course, as a wedding amateur I opted in to receive all of these marketing materials, because I want to be invited to my local Macy's and Crate & Barrel's registry "Wedding Registry" parties, as well as receive the editorial tips that accompany much of this, including what types of gifts to get groomsmen.

At the same time, I'm struck by the incredible world of niche direct marketing I've entered. I've become hyper-focused on which marketers are making my year-long planning easy and which are not. One e-commerce dress vendor allowed me to e-mail pictures of potential gowns to friends, but I couldn't share them on Facebook where I would have enjoyed seeing the votes tally up. Another vendor had included their winter wedding insert within their Facebook page, and I was able to easily share it among my bridesmaids. They quickly picked their favorites in a social shopping coup!

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