I got married in the days before Pinterest (did I just date myself?) and I must say, I don’t envy brides and grooms of today. I lived in ignorant bliss, not realizing I could entertain our wedding guests with a giant Jenga lawn game or DIY my own fringed photo booth backdrop. All I had was a twinkle in my eye, a few dog-eared wedding magazines, and a wedding binder that was bursting at the seams.
Nowadays, with so much digital wedding inspiration, you can literally hold all your wedding ideas in the palm of your hand (thank you, smart phone!)
You’d think this would have simplified wedding planning, but in reality the limitless options can leave even the most decisive of couples feeling bewildered. How are you supposed to commit to a Gatsby-style wedding when you’re tempted by an effortlessly chic beach ceremony one minute, and tantalized by a down-home barn reception the next?
Let’s hit the pause button on the endless wedding inspiration obsession, and do something that’s more productive—what I like to call “purposeful pinning.” This Pinterest strategy streamlines your focus, reduces idea overload, and helps you zero in on your most authentic couple style.
When you’re first starting to plan, go hog-wild on Pinterest—but keep it fun! No decision is necessary at this point; simply open your mind to the multitude of wedding ideas out there. “Oh, comic book weddings are a ‘thing’? That’s awesome!” At this early stage, you’re free to explore ALL your options in a no-pressure mode. And you’ll be so thorough, that by the time you do make your final style choice, you’ll be more confident it’s the right one for you.
Like choosing your future spouse or your bridal gown, you’re going to have lots of wedding options. Now comes the Pinterest After-party: A few style finalists have emerged naturally (they’re the ones you can’t stop looking at!), so get with your fiancé and decide which wedding motif speaks to you both. Once you’ve come to a mutual agreement, trust your instincts and commit to it. Just say NO to second guesses!
At this point, begin cleaning up your pins to reflect your chosen style. By filtering out pins that don’t fit your vision, you’ll curate a focused collection of images to inform your decision-making process. Keep only those that match your theme and that you also really love. Delete all other pins. Yes, I said it. Delete! This process will help you stick with your decision, and prevent Pinterest A.D.D. (Oooooh, shiny!)
Create a variety of Pinterest boards, with a different one for every subject you’re pinning: “Mermaid Bridal Gowns” “Champagne Bridesmaid Dresses” “Wildflower Wedding Bouquets” “Edible Wedding Favors,” etc. See what I did there? Make sure each board is very clearly titled. This is the best way to keep your pins organized and easy to find.
Pinterest now offers the ability to move multiple pins at once, making it a snap to sort large, generic wedding boards into specific subcategories. You can either alphabetize your boards or place them in chronological order by simply dragging and dropping them on your Pinterest profile page. Need topic suggestions? Hop on over to Here Comes The Guide’s Pinterest page for about 90 different board options.
Wedding pins can be purely for the pretty, but they may also have useful info, such as a link to DIY project instructions or wedding articles. Get the most out of each pin by captioning accordingly and verifying the link if you’re clicking through. A simple caption like, “Photo for my must-have shot list” will clue you in to the pin’s purpose months later. You can also search your own pins by typing the appropriate keywords into Pinterest’s search bar and selecting “Your Pins”—another reason to customize your pin captions.
P.S. Give credit where credit is due! That gorgeous bridal bouquet or photojournalistic wedding image you’re pinning is the result of a talented wedding vendor’s creativity, experience and hard work. If you know the source, give that vendor a shout-out in the caption! They’ll surely thank you for it.
This, my lovely to-be-weds, is probably the most important tip: Manage your Pinterest expectations.
Many of the insanely gorgeous photos you’re pinning weren’t actually taken at a real wedding, but at a styled photo shoot. Those exquisite Juliet roses you’re drooling over? They’re not in season. And that slinky Victor Harper gown is totally out of your price range. You can’t expect your cake designer to replicate a $950 four-tiered fondant cake for $100, amiright?
Most of the fabulous events you see on social media have over-the-top budgets to match, so don’t get sucked into the hype. However, sometimes you can adapt key elements of your dream images to fit your budget, e.g. use fresh peonies on your cake instead of intricate sugar paste flowers.
And then there are those Pinterest DIY projects that aren’t going to turn out as planned, resulting in nothing but wasted time and sad-yet-hilarious Pinterest fails. Be judicious when choosing which pins you want to act upon. And consider the source!
Pinterest is an amazing brainstorming tool, but unless you’re Kim Kardashian, there’s no way you’ll have enough time, energy or money to make ALL your wedding pins come to life. Commit to your absolute must-have favorites, and anything else you get done will be a bonus.
The moral of this story? Pin wisely! And remember that Pinterest is simply a starting point for your own ideas to take shape. By keeping well-organized and curated boards, you’ll find your own wedding style in the process.
Jenna Miller is Director of Vendor Sales, MyGuide Editor and Pinterest Prima Donna for Here Comes The Guide, the original resource for local wedding venues and pre-screened vendors. “I love that Here Comes The Guide marries nitty-gritty information with real wedding inspiration,” she says. “We’re smart and pretty.” With a background in digital marketing and social media strategies, Jenna justifies her Pinterest addiction by referring to it as “work.” You can find Here Comes The Guide on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.