“It’s every ex-girlfriend’s biggest nightmare,” moans a 26-year-old event planner who’s become an obsessive user of WeddingChannel.com. Ostensibly, the site helps couples plan their big day by posting registries and providing information on everything from bridesmaid’s-dress colors (aubergine!) to hotel rates. But it’s quickly turning into prime e-stalking ground.
The planner heard about the site from an engaged friend and quickly found the “Search for a Couple” box a little too tempting. A few clicks later, she came across this sentence about her onetime boyfriend and his newfound love: “After 7 years of living within 1 mile of each other in 3 different cities, the thoughtfulness of a mutual friend finally brought them together for a quick but lasting cup of coffee in Los Angeles.” Grammatically challenged, but emotionally crippling.
“It was nauseating. And it was dripping with cheesiness. I recognize the advantage to having an online registry, but do you really need to go overboard and add how you first met? It makes it too easy to do the research on things you’d rather not know.”
“We are hearing more and more that people are looking up their exes,” admits WeddingChannel.com spokeswoman Rosanna McCollough, adding that the site has 1.8 million registries. (Only 5 percent of users choose password protection.)
The site also allows visitors to blog about nuptials on the “guest book” page—a place for good and, occasionally, bad wishes. “I am sad to see him get married,” writes one “guest.” “I always thought he was a homosexual.”
But most exes simply lurk, suffering in silence. “Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew,” cried one writer who couldn’t pry herself away from her ex-boyfriend’s registry. “What are they getting at Bloomingdale’s? Shag pillows? Ew. I can’t look at their bed linens.”
She did, however, find some solace in the long list of alcohol-related items. “I was so upset when I saw this registry, but then I realized that the fact we broke up was actually a good thing because this is what my life would be like. I had a real problem with his drinking.”