A pin-dictable wedding

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

These days, Pinterest is the go-to platform when it comes to planning a wedding. So much so, that when I first started planning our May wedding, I shied away from the popular site. I didn't want my wedding to look like a complete Pinterest rip-off.

With over 25 million users, most of whom are female, Pinterest has become a thriving hot spot for wedding and reception ideas. In fact, the digital pinboard site estimates that there are tens of thousands of user-created wedding boards across the site, most of which are created by women who aren't even engaged or planning a wedding.

It's like the digital version of those frilly wedding binders chocked full of ripped magazine pages and fabric swatches -- except it's much more organized, compact, and easier to share with others. Maybe a little too easy to share with others.

Huffington Post journalist, Rachel Weight, recently wrote that because so many women are sharing wedding ideas on Pinterest most weddings are becoming "pin-dictable". Although the site has some great ideas, it's becoming easier and easier to spot a Pinterest-inspired idea. Drinking out of mason jars? Burlap runners on the tables? Yep, she definitely got that idea off of Pinterest. Weight shared a few dead giveaways that a wedding has been planned on Pinterest, such as candy tables, photo booths complete with mustaches on a stick, and sparklers to wave as the bride & groom are leaving.

Even though I balked at the idea of using Pinterest for my wedding planning, there are some advantages to using the site to plan a wedding. For example, a bride-to-be can easily share her boards with her bridal party, family, and friends in order to get their in-put. You can even let them pin their own ideas and suggestions onto your boards. And, thanks to Pinterest's "Secret Boards" feature, you can choose which people see your boards, so you don't give all your ideas away before the big day.

When I did finally turn to the site for some ideas, it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I chose to make all of my wedding-related boards secret, so only my mother and sisters could see my ideas. This way even if my ideas weren't technically "original" at least they would be a surprise. I didn't want my guests to see the whole wedding online before they even showed up at the event. I eventually published my wedding board after our wedding. Now I use it to collect beautiful wedding images that I come across on Pinterest. Maybe some other bride-to-be will find a pin-dictable idea there.

I also learned that the key to using Pinterest for wedding planning is to know what you're looking for when you log on. There are SO many ideas and they're all so beautiful, but it's simply impossible to do them all. If you don't know what you're looking for it can become overwhelming.

I also had to remind myself that I was planning my wedding -- not Pinterest. Just because a certain idea was popular on Pinterest at the moment didn't mean that I had to have it at my wedding. Browsing through the entire wedding section of Pinterest, you'll quickly see a theme of popular Pinterest ideas to have at your wedding. Those ideas may be beautiful but if they don't represent you and your fiance's personality or hold any special meaning for the two of you, then what's the point? I ended up cutting a few things from our wedding day once I realized they were nothing more than a crafty Pinterest idea.

In the end, we did drink out of mason jars at our wedding and there were burlap runners down the table but, ultimately, we decided on those details because they were a cheaper alternative and readily available. Pinterest just made it more acceptable to use those alternatives.

Seriously, though....being surrounded by family and friends on your big day is the thing you'll remember most, not the number of ideas you pulled off of Pinterest.

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