Everyone loves Pinterest. Unlike other fleeting social media trends (anyone remember ‘ello?) Pinterest seems to be here to stay.  But do you know how to use Pinterest to plan the perfect wedding?  As a seasoned Toronto wedding photographers, we’ve seem the good side and the bad side of Pinterest over the years and we want to shed some light on how you can use Pinterest to plan a great wedding.

merchant of green coffee wedding photos 45 1024x683 - How to Use Pinterest to Plan the Perfect Wedding

Know what’s actually REAL.

There is a difference between a styled shoot versus a real wedding.  Styled sessions take place on calm days with only vendors present.  They have all the time in the world to make things picture perfect.  They often only decorate one or two tables – never an entire banquet hall.  They spare no expense.  They are creating something that the average bride or groom may not be able to reproduce for a variety of reasons; the big one being budget.  Styled shoots are meant to show you the most exquisite decor, fashion and trends under the most calm and controlled circumstances.  Real weddings, on the other hand, are dynamic.  You’re working on a tight schedule, possibly under non-ideal lighting situations and you’re constantly dealing with distractions.  Real weddings also have real budgets associated with them which means the decor, fashion and trends are often modest.

Drooling over styled shoots will only lead to disappointment if you can’t swing the budget to achieve such a thing on a real wedding day.

Be aware of what’s ACHIEVEABLE.

So you understand what a styled shoot is but you still want to do everything you can to mimic it on the day of your wedding.  That’s great… if you have an unlimited budget, if your location is similar to the location in which the styled shoot takes place and if your timeline is designed around vendor needs.  Even if you have a large budget, you can’t make a banquet hall look like a mansion and you can’t make your local park look like Iceland.  It’s just not going to happen.

There may be many barriers in place that simply do not allow you to recreate certain things you see on Pinterest.  We once had a couple who showed us a photo of a bride and groom posed on a grand staircase and asked us to recreate that; the only issue was that there was no staircase anywhere that we were going to be that day.  It simply wasn’t achievable.

Avoid anything too TRENDY.

The thing with Pinterest is that images that are the most popular are likely to be seen more often; and the ones that are the most popular are typically the most trendy.  Trends; however, are fleeting.  They come and go.  If you start your pinboard more than 6 months from the date of your wedding, there’s a good chance that what’s “in style” on your actual wedding day is nowhere near what you’ve been pinning all this time.  Use Pinterest to get ideas but don’t let it take control of your judgement.  You can still decide what you like, whether it’s trendy or not.  There’s something to be said about decor that is a wee bit on the timeless side; you’ll love it forever.

Understand inspiration vs. DUPLICATION.

They say that mimicry is a form of flattery; but is it really?  Printing off pictures from Pinterest and saying to your decorator “I want it exactly like this” may not always be achievable (as we already discussed).  Doing the same thing to your photographer is also a big no-no.  When you hire your photographer, you’re hiring them because you love their style and trust in their judgement.  Giving them a list of Pinterest poses and saying “make this happen” isn’t always possible for a few reasons (lighting conditions, architecture, etc.) not to mention, it’s a huge time waster.  Having a photographer duplicate images takes a lot longer than if you just let them be inspired by some of your ideas and then use their own judgement.

At the end of the day, you want this to your your wedding, right?  So then why duplicate everything you’ve seen online?  Make your wedding about you.

Don’t fall down the RABBIT HOLE.

We’ve all been there at one point or another; we get sucked into the dark hole of the internet.  We click on a link, then another, then another.  Four-hundred or so clicks later and we realize it’s 3 in the morning and that we’ve not only created five new pinboards but we’ve deviated so far from our original theme that we’re left with a mangled mess of inspiration photos that really have nothing in common.

Avoid this by limiting your Pinteresting.  Try using wedding photography blogs instead; especially those that showcase real weddings in your geographic location.  Once you’ve gotten your inspiration and communicated your vision with your vendor team… STOP LOOKING.  Just…. stop.  Cold turkey.

Using Pinterest for wedding planning is a very popular thing to do; but it’s also crucial that you don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the unlimited variety of themes and variations or decor out there.  Decide on what you like and stick with your plan; don’t let new trends influence you or make you feel like your decisions are no longer valid.  Plan your wedding to reflect not only your style but also youselves.  The day is about you and your partner; not about recreating your Pinboard.