Pinterest - the wedding planning version of alcoholism
I honestly don’t think this is even a controversial blog. I have mentioned to title to both brides, and vendors recently and everyone just nods sadly. Putting Pinterest into the hands of confused and overwhelmed bride, or groom, is like putting alcohol into the hands of someone who has never had a drink and not warning them about the effects of having too much. I know that seems dramatic, and yes it is, BUT it’s not far from the truth. There are three main feelings Pinterest can evoke, each of which can tip a bride over the edge so I am hoping that this will serve as ‘the talk’ and help you navigate what can be an amazing aide to a great night, or the biggest hangover.
So, this is how the normal bride comes to the first feeling associated with pintrest; the ‘overwhelming panic’ as you discover the rabbit hole of weddings on Pinterest for the first time. They enter a search query in Google, say ‘wedding décor ideas’ and almost the first thing that appears is a link to pintrest, you click, and up comes a variety of amazing pictures. You have been engaged two minutes and already you are thinking about seating arrangements, photo booths, and cute little animal cut outs personalized with each guest’s name. Ouch, you haven’t even found a venue yet. You at this point have two choices, you log off quickly or you go down the rabbit hole clicking one thing, pinning another. Before long your innocuously name board ‘Wedding ideas’ quickly has four thousand pins and you feel like you will never be able to figure out YOUR vision – because every vision you have seen is perfect and you are just not that girl, you could never be one of those perfect brides.
Which brings me to the second, and most devastating feeling for a bride, inferiority. This feeling will surface twice in the pinterest world. The first time is fairly early on, you put together your budget and meet with vendors. Each person is lovely, wants to help, and will do anything to make your vision come true BUT they explain as nicely as possible (I hope) that unless your budget is the size of the Kardashian clan, those tables filled with designer roses that you pinned so hopefully, or the ceremony space with two hundred mismatched antique chairs is just not doable. And the second time is closer to the wedding when, having diverted the budget dilemma by opting into DYI mode you decide to make… something, anything yourself, and no matter how careful you are, or how hard you try you are lucky is anything comes out how it did in the pin, let alone identically perfect a hundred times over for placecards.
Lastly, there is second guessing yourself. This is something I warn my brides about all the time, once you have made a decision on a wedding element STOP looking – you can make yourself crazy, waste a ton of money, and drive friends, vendors and fiancées crazy if you change your mind every few days. This advice, to be fair is not Pinterest, or solely wedding based, but a pretty good lesson in life.
So what is an overwhelmed, confused and inferior feeling bride to do? First – before you fall down the rabbit hole take the option to log off, and with a traditional pen and paper answer these questions – How do you want to wedding to feel? Do you have an element (a necklace, flower) that is vital to you to include – write down the first two things to describe it? What do you want to say about you as a couple? Do you have any colors that you love? Say for instance the answers to these questions are; fun, gold and feminine, fun again, and blue – suddenly you have some key words to start with – take a selection of them, and add elements like tablescape and you are still falling down a hole, but at least now you have a few things to cling to.
Next – bin the ‘wedding idea board’ and instead be specific, set up boards for each element, ‘wedding flowers’, ‘wedding table plans’ ect. Yes, each of these boards may end up with only a dozen or so pins but it has two big bonuses. One, when you pick a vendor you can add them to the board, that way they know exactly what you are inspired by (and not confused by inspiration over load), and two you can also help with the second guessing issue. Once you have picked a wedding dress as opposed to having to scroll through hundreds of wedding dresses you didn’t choose you just don’t open the ‘wedding dress’ board.
Now for the most heartbreaking feeling, inferiority. There is no quick fix to budget inferiority but there are some key thing to remember. Many of the images you have pinned of weddings are not REAL weddings – they are staged by vendors to show what, given no budget, no time limits, and creative freedom they could create – they are also styled by a wedding stylish. This is a job, you can hire them, and they will make your wedding pinnable, and probably help you get close to your vision on a tight budget but they do this day in, day out. Asking the normal bride to make ‘pinable’ weddings is a little like asking the same bride to do open heart surgery.
DIY inferiority is also mainly solved by a reality check, or by a helpful handy relative. It is very easy get lost in the fact that something wasn’t entirely square, or that two sheets of paper are slightly different shares but even literal machines make mistakes, and no one ever posted mistakes on pintrest. Once these small elements are added into the big picture, what once seemed like such a huge problem is not noticeable. I promise.
All of this boils down to something that I tell everyone of our brides – no one knows what is in your head, so no one can know if it’s not exactly as you envisioned – once you put on that dress, or that suit and walk down the aisle it is a wedding. You don’t have to try. It just is. All the pictures in the world can’t scratch the emotion of that moment, or ruin it.
Photo by Sarah Houston