The perils of Pinterest for wedding inspiration
My love affair with Pinterest has been tempestuous. At the outset it was a passion that devoured my time and energy, I immersed myself in beautiful imagery, great ideas, inspiration and general gorgeousness. Then as the first flush wained, along crept the nagging doubts about this relationship. I now use it primarily for secret boards, plotting with co-conspirators the details and themes of our photoshoots, though I know I'll be drawn back.
As all the current breed of wedding marketing gurus will tell you, I’m failing here. I should be pinning and sharing daily to "build a relationship with my potential clients", and I do get that. I know they are right and I do plan to improve and revamp my boards, in fact I have started https://www.pinterest.co.uk/byharriet/.
My problem/excuse is that there are only so many hours in a day and frankly I need to spend them making the orders that have already been placed, and I prefer the more “honest” two way communication I engage in directly with clients on Instagram and Facebook. I also worry about getting dragged back down the time guzzling rabbit hole that is Pinterest.
WHAT DO I MEAN BY “HONEST”?
Pinterest isn’t "real" (and to be fair Facebook and Instagram aren’t perfect either). It’s a land of beautifully curated make believe, to be approached with caution. It has come to represent the dream rather than the practically attainable. It sets wholly unrealistic expectations.
It should be recognised that a large number of wedding pins are from styled shoots where great care and time can be taken to ensure ultimate appeal and perfection!
A huge photographers gripe is the dreaded client who wants to recreate that “Pinterest” shot. Photographers will take hundreds if not thousands of great, beautiful shots, and in and amongst those if they are lucky will be one or two truly seductive “Pinterest” shots. Images where the location, the couple, the light, the mood, the dress, the styling and the emotion all combine in perfect alignment for that magical shot. A shot taken against a Californian, Pacific Ocean sunset can’t with all the best will in the world be recreated in Hartlepool in March, even though there are some cracking photographers working there.
DIY project s, often produced by experts, and photographed and styled by professionals, are highly seductive, particularly for brides wanting to keep costs down. Many people aren’t generally natural crafters, and all too often the time and cost involved is hugely underestimated, and the results disappointing.
Such is the scale of these misadventures that there are websites such as http://pinterestfail.com/ set up specifically to dwell on these mishaps. If you aren’t a proficient crafter, it is best to keep DIY pins to a minimum. You don’t need the pressure.
I'm not advocating ditching DIY, I'm just urging approaching with a healthy dose of realism and expectation.
EDIT EDIT EDIT!
If you are going to pin, then ask yourself why first. If it’s just because it’s pretty, move on and keep looking. Be selective and don’t become addicted to the pretty rather than what is actually you and your style. Don’t forget to use the comments box so you remember why you chose to pin in the first place.
Follow only boards and pins that are your “style”, be selective and don’t get side tracked. It is too easy to drown in unsuitable inspirational pins and to loose sight of what you actually really wanted
Use separate boards so you can see things concisely, though make sure your boards aren’t all heading off in different directions, keep a central mood board.
If you’ve gone off an idea delete the pin.
STEP AWAY FROM PINTEREST AND INTO THE REAL WORLD
Once you’ve established your plans, step away from the pin it button, stop browsing and start creating your own wedding your way. Don’t get tempted to look for even more ideas which will undermine your plans. Visit suppliers, boutiques, wedding fairs, and chat to people about recommendations for suppliers who can help create your vision.
It is a great source of inspiration and ideas that seduce, but can also ultimately misdirect and overwhelm. Rather than simplify the whole wedding planning process, if not handled with care it can make it far harder and trigger anxiety that you just don’t need.
DON'T ASK DESIGNERS AND SUPPLIERS TO COPY PINTEREST FINDS
It's great for us to get an idea of what you like, in a mood board sort of way but if you find something you love, order it from that designer. Any designer with integrity won't copy another creatives work though we can use it to understand your preferences. I will always do a reverse image search and try and trace back to the original designer and refer enquiries that way if the potential client is set on an exact copy.
WEDDINGS EXISTED PRE PINTEREST
We got married years before “Pinterest” was invented and had a perfect day. There was a lot less pressure to obsess over details and choose themes.
The greater the importance paid to relatively inconsequential details the more pressure and potential scope for disappointment. I’ve never yet gone to a wedding where I’ve thought that I needed to take note of whether the seating plan matched the invites, if there are the right number of candles or flowers in jam jars wrapped in lace. I’ll probably notice things are generally pretty but what I’m really looking at is the love between the newly wed couple, the smiles and the emotions that take place on the day. The hugs, the conversations, the late night dance floor antics, those are the memories I treasure and take away.
I HATE WEDDING THEMES
“Themes” are a pet hate of mine where weddings are concerned, the day should be purely and simply about you and your loved one committing yourselves to each other for the rest of your lives, anything over above that is a bonus and should be a reflection or your personal “style” (both of you), it should be instantly recognisable to your loved ones attending that this is your day, not a day disguised with a strangers clichéd theme. Hate might be too strong a word but I do feel they are starting to detract from what matters.
My husband doesn't mind me snuggling up, watching the Disney classics with my daughter but if "Elsa" or "Belle" had waltzed down the aisle to greet him, he'd have mounted his loyal trusty steed and galloped out of the castle into the sunset! Each to their own of course, but I do believe a wedding should represent both partners.
I'm not for a second suggesting that you shouldn't use Pinterest, or that you shouldn't have beautiful details on your special day, just that they should be relevant to you, they shouldn't blow your budget to have them and that they are there because you want them, not because a social media platform is making you feel you have to.
Who am I kidding, I do still love it! I'm just not blind to it's faults.
Handle with care and happy pinning but most importantly, embrace being you!
This post by Emma at Miss Bush is hilarious and a perfectly pitched piece that discusses the influence of Pinterest on wedding dress expectations vs the reality. I can’t recommend it enough.
This tongue in cheek article in the Guardian made me smile too, it sums up the current popular “themes” amusingly and accurately.