There’s no question Pinterest is the modern-day hub for online inspiration. I’ve used it to organize ideas for everything from apartment décor to hairstyles (I’ll never actually be able to do to myself), but I chose not to use it while planning my wedding. And now I am sure it was one of the best decisions I made (that, and drinking as much champagne as possible over my eight-month engagement) because I wanted my wedding to be… mine. Forgoing Pinterest as a planning tool is not for everyone—I’ve seen some pretty amazing wedding ideas stem from the popular forum for inspiration—but I’m happy I stayed off the site before heading down the aisle. Here’s why.
It seems to be standard procedure for brides to come up with a list of photo ops for wedding photographers in advance. Pinterest provides endless inspiration for “picture-perfect” photos, but forcing a duplicate shot doesn’t always translate due to obvious differences (namely, the venue), not to mention the pressure it puts on brides to capture a moment that has been determined “meaningful” but may not hold the same significance personally.
Instead of picturing my whole wedding album ahead of time, my now-husband and I informed our photographer that we wanted to go candid for our post-ceremony shoot. This allowed the photographer to put his expertise to work in finding the best location and ideal lighting to capture honest moments of laughter and love—nothing posed about it. Opting against pre-planned photos turned out to be one of the best decisions we made as our album truly captures us as a couple (idiosyncrasies and all) and serves as a genuine reflection of our wedding day.
As I planned my wedding for the summer of 2014, I contemplated donning a few of-the-moment trends as accessories. Without a virtual board to convince me to take the trendy route, I opted to borrow a set of pearl and diamond cluster earrings from my grandmother.
I could’ve scoured the internet for years without finding a unique and, most importantly, special accessory to accompany my somewhat simple silk dress. Had I made an impulsive purchase after scrolling through the thousands of options Pinterest presents at your fingertips, I may have missed out on one of the most meaningful moments of my bridal experience: perusing my grandma’s jewelry box with her by my side to weigh in on options from her selection of envy-inducing vintage treasures.
Sticking with tradition, something I vowed to do—but is not for every bride—I also chose to wear a grouping of 100-plus-year-old wax orange blossoms as a hairpiece. The white blossoms were from the crown of my grandmother’s veil and her grandmother, who also wore them on her wedding day, passed them on to her. This accessory decision saved me a lot of time scouring for a much less meaningful piece to hold back my hair after the veil came off. I can honestly say I won’t regret a thing as far as accessories go.
Entering a bridal salon busting at the seams with wedding dresses can be overwhelming—at least it was for me—and I can’t imagine the feeling of frustration I would've encountered had the dress I deemed “the one” (or even a remotely similar version of it) from an online board was nowhere to be found among the sea of silk, tulle, and taffeta packed into any given bridal boutique. Personally, wedding dress shopping was a fun experience for me as I saved myself a lot of stress by going into it with an open mind and without an unobtainable idea of what should be the perfect dress for me. (Many dresses found on Pinterest are no longer in production or are impossible to track down.)
Without referring to a “Dream Dress” board on Pinterest, I was also able to be more realistic about my expectations: I had an outdoor wedding in the middle of July, so I knew I wouldn’t want to drag a mile-long train (disclaimer: Under different circumstances, I would have probably chosen one) through the grass all afternoon or tote a heavy bustle around the dance floor all night. I am in no way implying that the venue should define the dress, but to me, it made sense to keep a few key elements, like the overall look and feel of the wedding, in mind when dress shopping for the big day.
Another reason Pinterest can be a buzzkill for a bride? Falling in love with an idea you’ve had “pinned” for the entirety of the wedding planning process only to find that it’s way out of the B-word (budget, of course). Beautiful weddings happen at every budget, and Pinterest photos rarely reveal a price tag, so keeping realistic expectations about what you can do and can do without (from custom beverages to fireworks) will help you make the whole picture—not just a vignette—happen.
As a bride, you know what you like—trust yourself and your instincts. Don’t let an idealized version of events online drive you away from your own ideas. It’s no easy feat to turn a professional photo into a reality. Your wedding is about you and your partner, in that it can and should reflect your personalities in some way. For instance, serving cornbread with dinner even though it doesn't fit with rest of the menu because it’s your husband’s favorite form of bread. (Side note: It was the hit of the whole meal.) I can guarantee—from my aforementioned cornbread experience—that your wedding guests, who know and love you, appreciate a personal touch much more than a “perfect” place setting.
Did you use Pinterest to plan your wedding or have any great planning tips to share? Tell us in the comments below.