Oh, Pinterest. Never before has there been a tool that allows us to indulge in so many wedding fantasies (even when we don’t have a boyfriend or any prospects).
If you have a man — and a rock on that finger — Pinterest is likely the first place you’re going to go for wedding ideas. It’s an infinite trove of inspiration, not to mention an easy way to lose several hours of your day. But planning your wedding there can have its pitfalls.
Today on the New Bride Guide we look at ways Pinterest could hurt your wedding planning. Here are 10 reasons why it’s NOT the best tool for planning your big day (but if you insist upon using it, we’ve also included some ways to stay in touch with reality and “make it work” for you):
1. Too much inspiration: This can lead to jumbled themes, which are sort of like mixed metaphors: alone, they make perfect sense, but when mixed together, the result is confusing and the message just doesn’t come across. The genius of Pinterest is that is categorizes your interests, including weddings. The problem is that every kind of photo pops up at once. That means ballgowns are next to bridesmaids in boots which are next to beach weddings. You may like each photo individually, but in terms of choosing a cohesive theme – it’s a disaster.
While the best idea is to hire a planner or someone who can cater to your individual tastes, if you want to use Pinterest, pick the theme first, and then look to the site for ideas on how to execute it. Create one board, “My Wedding,” where you’ll Pin all images relevant to your theme, location, season, etc, and another board for ideas you like, but that don’t fit your big day.
2. Jealousy: Do you feel bad about yourself and your wedding everytime you log on to the site? That’s normal. The nature of the site is aspirational, which means if you weren’t born with a glue gun in your hand, or a silver spoon in your mouth, you’re going to feel bad about yourself. Why can’t I afford that dress? Why didn’t I think of that favor idea? Why doesn’t my cake look like that? Why is everybody else’s wedding better than mine?
If you had to scrimp in certain areas such as decor or flowers, Pinterest is not going to make you feel better. All those well-lit, professional photos can make your feel as if you’re putting together an uninspired, cookie cutter wedding. That’s one caveat: Pinterest collects images from everyone: blogs, retailers, magazines, etc. No one has your unique budget and circumstances. Maybe your invitations are simple, but you have an awesome dress or a kick-ass location.
We recommend avoiding Pinterest for this reason, but if you insist on stopping by, just focus on the positive – what is special about your day – rather than obsessing about other’s.
3. Outdated posts & links: Found a pair of shoes that you’re obsessed with, but can’t trace the source of the image or the maker of the shoes? This is a common problem. Many blogs like Style Me Pretty post images from their real wedding shoots, but no fashion credits or links to buy. Similarly, many of the dresses and other product images were posted years ago, and are now sold out or discontinued. What’s the point of inspiration if you can’t actually buy the desired item?
Pinterest should be used for inspiration, not necessarily for purchasing, although you can do that on the site. If you see a dress you love or a veil that seems perfect, it may have been posted two years ago and is no longer available. Save the photo and see if you can find it elsewhere.
4. DIY overload. Before Pinterest, it was not normal or expected for the bride to DIY everything from her invites to her programs to her favors. Now that so many designers and freakishly creative people have an outlet like Pinterest for showing off their DIY projects, it feels like you need to make everything from scratch to have your dream wedding. This is not the case. Just because you found a website where a bride and groom raved about how fulfilling it was to have personally hoed the plot of land where they had their wedding doesn’t mean that you and your fiance need to bust out the garden tools. Some people love DIY projects, but that doesn’t mean you should feel guilty if you don’t. If it’s important to you to hand letterpress your invitations and programs, by all means do it, but don’t be swayed if you’re not naturally handy.
5. Models are not real people. Many of the gowns shown on Pinterest are photographed on models: unless you are 5’10 and 120 pounds, that drop waist, bustier-top gown is going to look vastly different on you than on the model. Pinterest is great for getting ideas for dresses, but in the end it has to look good on you. And you also have to be able to afford it. Some of those silk-spun ballgowns cost as much as downpayment on a house, so remember that some pins are just eye candy.
6. Engagement ring envy. Despite the many photos on Pinterest, most women to not receive 3-plus carat diamonds set in platinum. The average engagement ring is about 1.5 carats and it is set is white gold.
7. Spammers: You may see a great photo of a dress and wonder where it came from. When you click the link Pinterest warns you from going further. Since Pinerest has grown in popularity there is a lot more junk on the site — and photos that could lead to phishing sites, etc. Never follow a link if Pinterest tells you not to.
8. Location: If you have access to a seaside cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you have won at the Game of Weddings. The rest of us will have to make do with the local wedding hall. Pinterest is great for finding ideas for locations, but just because a wedding in the middle of a field looks pretty, doesn’t mean you should plan one there. Or that you can, because an open field brings tons more logistical problems than you think. (Bathrooms, anyone?)
When planning your wedding you have to work with what you have, and if you don’t have a yacht club to throw a nautical themed wedding, it’s okay. Check out our guide of 10 things to know before picking your venue. There are also places where you should never get married, even if someone on Pinterest made it work.
9. Lack of originality: The point of a wedding is to create a day that is all about you and your groom. If everyone you know follows the Pinterest model, then we’re all having modern vintage weddings with red and white swizzle stick straws sticking out from our mason-jar lemonade. And then that becomes the new cliche.
10. Pinterest Goggles: That dainty wedding cupcakes looks so delectable because a professional photographer knew exactly the right angle at which to shoot it, and how to adjust the light balances in Photoshop. Same goes for every dress, shoe and decor idea on Pinterest. You’re looking at a version of reality, and one that likely can’t be copied.
No matter what you pin or how many boards you create, your wedding will never look like any of it because real life is much more finicky. Which is actually a good thing.
Now that you’ve gotten all that pinning out of your system, check out 10 things to know before you buy your wedding dress, apps and online tools to stay on budget and 13 wedding trends for 2013.