Putting Pinterest into the hands of a confused and overwhelmed bride or groom is like putting alcohol into the hands of someone who's never had a drink and not warning them about 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 you over the edge. I'm hoping that this will serve as “The Talk” and help you navigate what can be an amazing aid to a great night or the biggest hangover.
1. The overwhelming panic as you discover the rabbit hole of weddings on Pinterest for the first time
You enter a search query in Google, say “wedding décor ideas,” and almost the first thing that appears is a link to Pinterest. You click, and up comes a variety of amazing pictures. You've been engaged two minutes, and already you're 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.
At this point, you have two choices: Log off quickly or go down the rabbit hole clicking one thing, pinning another. Before long, your innocuously named “Wedding Ideas” board has accumulated four thousand pins, and you feel like you'll never be able to figure out YOUR vision, because every vision you've seen is perfect, and you are just not that person, you could never be one of those perfect people.
Which brings us to…
2. The inferiority complex
This feeling will surface twice in the Pinterest world.
The first time is fairly early on, when 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 a Kardashian's, 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.
The second time is closer to the wedding when, having diverted the budget dilemma by opting to DIY, you decide to make… something, anything yourself. And no matter how careful you are or how hard you try, you are lucky if anything comes out how it did on the pin — let alone identically perfect a hundred times over for place cards.
3. The second-guessing
This is something I warn everyone about all the time. Once you've 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-based, or even solely wedding-based, but a pretty good life lesson overall.
So what is an overwhelmed, confused, and inferior-feeling person to do?
Before you fall down the rabbit hole, answer these questions with a traditional pen and paper:
- How do you want the wedding to feel?
- Do you have an element (a necklace, flower, etc.) that is vital for you to include? Then write down the first two things you would say to describe it.
- What do you want to say about you as a couple?
- Do you have any colors that you love?
Suddenly you have some key words to start with! Take a selection of them and start your search. You're still falling down a hole, but at least now you have a few things to cling to.
Next, delete the “Wedding Idea” board and instead be specific
Set up boards for each element: “Wedding Flowers,” “Wedding Table Plans,” etc. Yes, each of these boards may end up with only a dozen or so pins, but this method has two big bonuses:
- When you pick a vendor, you can add them to the board. They'll know exactly what inspires you (and not be confused by inspiration overload).
- You can also help with the second-guessing issue. Once you've picked a wedding dress, don't open the “Wedding Dress” board again. That way, you won't have to scroll through hundreds of wedding dresses you didn’t choose as you continue to plan the rest of your wedding.
Now for the most heartbreaking feeling: inferiority
There's no quick fix for feeling budget inferiority, but there are some key thing to remember. Many of the images you've pinned of weddings are not REAL weddings — they're staged by vendors to show what they could create, given no budget, no time limits, and total creative freedom. They're also styled by a professional wedding stylist. This is a job, you can hire them, and they will make your wedding pin-able. They do this day in and day out. Asking the average bride to create a “pinable” wedding is a little like asking the same bride to do open heart surgery.
DIY inferiority can be solved by a reality check, or by a helpful handy relative
It's very easy get lost in the fact that something wasn’t entirely square or that two sheets of paper are slightly different shapes. But even machines make mistakes, and no one ever posts mistakes on Pinterest. Once these small elements are added into the big picture, what once seemed like such a huge problem isn't noticeable. I promise.
All of this advice boils down to something that I tell everyone: No one knows what's 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's 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.
Dang girl, did you get sucked into a Pinterest black hole too? If so, how did you claw your way out?