Updated: Nov 7, 2018
Pinterest is one of the first places people go when they begin to plan their wedding. In fact, I know a lot of people who already have a probably secret board they've pinned a hundred and one inspiring wedding photos on. Sometimes I'm sent these Pinterest boards from clients and my head just spins. There's no cohesive theme, intention, or style to any of it. The couple asks me to help them create a wedding decor design from it and most of the time we have to start from the beginning to figure out what their ideal end game is and then create a totally new inspiration board. And we don't do it on Pinterest.
Pinterest has positioned itself as one of the leading websites used for wedding planning. But it also seems to be the most common source of planning confusion and decision fatigue.
Pinterest is an imperfect search engine because it has a limited source of results and the captions which the keywords are pulled from are often misleading about what's on the other side of the link. You can search for a few keywords to find your inspiration and half of the results that you see are advertisements or promoted pins that have little to no relevance to what you typed in the search. You click on one of those and then you've been sucked down a vortex of never ending clicks and articles that are 25 page slideshows of compilations of other blog articles. And you don't often find the answer you're looking for because the blog is vague and doesn't give you real advice.
When you're searching for specific ideas and inspiration to hone in on a decision, the last thing you want is to be distracted and confused by the wide range of topics the pins share. Not to mention there is such a wide variety of possibilities that it is easy to become overwhelmed and not know what's best for you. That's where decision fatigue comes in, and it is so not fun.
There are millions of people getting married, all with their own unique idea of what a wedding is. There is no one right or wrong way to have a wedding. And you don't actually need to host a big wedding that looks like everyone else's to get married. If you want one, that's awesome and I totally recommend going for it in a way that works for you in budget, style and experience. Clearly defining what your wedding is to you and why those elements are important will help you know what information you are seeking and what not to click on so you don't get sucked into the Pinterest trap.
I recommend you get off Pinterest while you're planning your wedding, and instead hop on a Google Image search. You can type in the same exact search onto Pinterest as you can Google Image, and Google is going to give you way more relevant and helpful results. You'll avoid the ads and the pins that have nothing to do with your search, but are designed to influence you to think you need to include that in your wedding, or to influence you to click on their website so they can generate ad revenue. You can still use the Pinterest board tool to create your inspiration board if you choose. Or, you can hop on Publisher, Canva, or similar and create your own vision board with the inspiration images that fit into your vision.
The reality is, much of what you will see on Pinterest and published in magazines is far beyond what is accessible and affordable to the average couple. The AVERAGE couple. Meaning the couple who is spending somewhere around that national average of $32,000.
A lot of the crazy detailed weddings you see on Pinterest are real, and the couple spent quite a lot of more than average on their wedding. But not all of the Pinterest weddings are real. Much of what you see on Pinterest or in bridal magazines are styled wedding photo shoots. Vendors put on a creatively styled photoshoot to showcase their talents or products, and use the photos for marketing. The shoots are typically staged on a much smaller scale than a wedding, making elaborate and expensive décor more attainable. Much of the décor used is offered for free in exchange for picturesque photos of their product.
Professionals do these inspiration styled shoots to inspire you to decide you need to purchase a product or hire a service for your wedding. Their intention is to provide influence to sway your decisions.
Planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming, even without the confusion and uncertainty created by Pinterest and the wedding industry. Create a clear vision of what you are planning and avoid falling into the Pinterest trap by setting an intention when you log on to search for your inspiration. Know what you're going in to find and put on the blinders to everything else. Or, just stay off Pinterest entirely.
I'm not totally anti-Pinterest. Heck, we have a Pinterest and it's totally possible you found this article on Pinterest. What I am is against outside pressure and influences that could cause you to include something that isn't right for you. And I'm anti-decision fatigue. I don't think it should be complicated to decide what you want your wedding experience to be and take the steps to make it happen.
Wedding planning knowledge shouldn't be a secret or something you can only have access to by hiring a full-service wedding planner. I've wrapped up my five years of experience into a course meant to guide you through planning from defining your vision to coordinating your wedding day, just like I would if I was your wedding planner. I'd argue that this platform is even better, because you have access to it 24/7 and forever. And for a fraction of the price so you can be intentional with using your budget to create your ideal wedding. The Planning Gathering course is available now, and you can preview the first lessons free. If you're not quite ready for that, you can keep getting inspiration and insights right here on the blog and the Planning Gathering Podcast.
If you want to use Pinterest to help you plan your wedding, go for it! Armed with this knowledge and a well defined vision of your wedding will make it easier to navigate through the complicated and totally-off-track ads and tips you're going to find in your search results.