When you work in an environment such as the one here at Trademark Productions, it’s an unspoken rule of thumb that you never tell anyone about any major plans you have. Why? Because no matter how well thought-out you think these plans are, you’ll suddenly have seven-and-a-half additional minds informing you of everything you didn’t take into consideration and how what you did can be improved upon. Or, in my case, they’ll offer to take something very simple and create an entire larger than life event out of it. I swear, sometimes it’s like working with Team Banzai (for all of you Buckaroo Banzai fans out there) … just without the wit. Well, Eric and Ryan are witty, but the rest of em? Kinda dodgy.

Perhaps Gmail will offer a special service after reading this blog post!

So, here’s the 411. My partner and I were going on 17 years together and decided after a rather protracted discussion as to whether or not we found each other too annoying to stay with for another 17 years or whether we might be right enough for each other to finally tie the knot. Our first choice was to get married in a lovely, relaxing, warm climate while sipping ice tea, walking along the ocean and dipping our feet into the water. We therefore chose New York … in the middle of February. Hey, it was within our budget. And because attending the event would require travel for friends and family, we limited the wedding party to 6, which included us. Incidentally, to further help cut costs, his mother stayed in the second bed in our hotel room, which, in hindsight, really isn’t as smart a move as I’d first thought.

Anyway, while his mother joined us, my parents were unfortunately unable to. My father is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s, can no longer fly and no longer has the patience for a road trip of that length. This came as a bit of a blow to my mother since I’m the only child and she really did want to be involved in some way. That was the dilemma; how do I include her?

My partner is someone who loves his technology, buys a new laptop every 6 months, a new phone every year and travels the world over in search of new gadgets and other bits of technology to make his life easier. I’m seriously amazed he hasn’t found a replacement for me yet … and I won’t be sending this to him to read since I don’t wish to tempt fate. On a recent trip overseas, though, he picked up a new Samsung Galaxy phone, the version they haven’t started selling in the US yet and, when they do, will be inferior because we don’t believe in giving consumers what the folks overseas have been enjoying far longer. This particular phone has a phenomenal camera on it and, when hooked up to someone’s wireless network, streams video as well as any PC using Skype or Gmail video chat.

Our ceremony was to take place in the office of the officiate and he just happened to have a wireless network set up there. So, I set mom up with a Gmail account, installed video chat and showed her the basics of how to send and receive a video chat request. Then, when my partner and I arrived with the rest of the wedding party and got everything set up, mum called in. She sat in the comfort of her own chair and watched the ceremony take place. The best part is the officiate made sure to include her in the event as if she was standing right there and that made all the difference in the world.

I gotta say it; thank you, Gmail video chat! The ceremony went off without a hitch—minus the giggling my guy did every time the word ‘respect’ came up—and the only lingering feeling he’s left with is terror knowing I’m now entitled to half of everything he owns. It makes me giggle.

Has anybody else ever come across a dilemma like this? How did you solve it and did the technology work to your advantage? I figure it’s a good time to ask since the honeymoon is coming up later on in the year. Only this time, my mother-in-law isn’t coming with us!

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