Is Pinterest giving you unreal expectations for your wedding?
To be clear, you won’t find an app on my phone open more than Pinterest. I’m a huge fan of the image based virtual-board collection phenomenon. I find Pinterest to be helpful, inspiring and primarily positive – it’s also my favorite way to kill time. Plus, it’s an amazing tool to use for ideas, inspo, and DIY tutorials, so why wouldn’t someone use it avidly while planning their big day? Well, here’s why a lot of wedding planners are starting to hate your collection of pins, and why you might want to reevaluate basing your entire wedding around your boards.
Did you know that a lot of those images you’ve collected are from staged photo shoots? Not real weddings? Do you see how that could be an issue? Let me explain a bit. A lot of the wedding images on Pinterest are pulled from the websites of wedding magazines, designer dress shops, or other wedding vendors. That means that a lot of those images most likely came from a photo shoot, not someone’s actual wedding. Professional photographers came in, and took staged pictures. They aren’t from a real wedding, and they certainly aren’t as candid as they appear.
There’s also a level of inaccuracy in a lot of the pins you’ve compiled. No one is verifying the accuracy of pins, so some of the links you’re reading could be fluff instead of credible information. The timelines you’re rigidly following aren’t necessarily coming from professional sources, and the budgeting tools might not fully encompass all the financials that go into throwing such a large event. Make sure you check the original sources, and do a little extra research. If you find a pin that claims you can have your dream wedding for less than $8,000 don’t take it at face value. The estimates could be dated or they could be missing aspects that aren’t negotiable in your book. If you plan on having (and feeding) more than 100 guests, $8,000 probably isn’t doable. This is when working with a professional wedding coordinator is much more useful than following that wedding timeline and checklist you pinned and printed.
Speaking of wedding coordinators, these are the people who have spent years throwing events, so they’re going to be your best resource for sticking to a budget. Budgeting your wedding is so super important. But do you know what isn’t typically included in that first draft of your budget? All those Pinterest board ideas. The flower wall you pinned and wanted as a backdrop is likely going to be thousands above your initial floral budget, and the custom photo booth signs and props will add up much quicker and much higher than you thought (if you even had them as a line item to begin with). You can do anything for a price, but a lot of the fancy wedding pins are a lot more money than most people would anticipate. You need to be willing to prioritize your wish list, and you need to stay within the realm of real life. Now, if your wedding budget is up over six figures, go ahead and pin all those outrageously extravagant wedding ideas and disregard this past paragraph ( you lucky b*tch). For the rest of the world, rest assured that having a budget doesn’t mean your wedding won’t be beautiful, it will just take a little bit more thought on how best to spend your money.
That leads me to discuss to one of the best parts of Pinterest – all the DIY pins and ways to save some money on your wedding décor. But for as much good information that’s out there, you need to be aware of all the less than ideal options that are floating around your boards too. We’ve all seen Pinterest fails, yes? Do you want a Pinterest fail on your wedding day? Heck no. You need to test drive your DIY projects before you commit to anything. If you find a DIY centerpiece, don’t go ordering everything you need in bulk. Buy enough to make one, and make sure you love it before shelling out your entire centerpiece allotment. Whatever project you find on Pinterest that you’re considering doing for your big day needs to be test run. Your wedding is not the time for an uber Pinterest fail.
I guess this is my plea – yes, Pinterest is great, but you have to keep your feet on the ground. You have to stay in reality and use Pinterest for what it does best – to inspire you! Your wedding shouldn’t be a carbon copy of someone else’s day; it should be unique and reflective of you and your partner. Using your boards as a starting point is great, but work with your vendors and your coordinator to customize your choices around your style, your budget, and your unique vision.