For ages, brides have been using Pinterest even before they get engaged to plan and pin ideas for their dream wedding celebration. What many wedding planners won’t tell you is that falling into the Pinterest rabbit hole while engaged can sometimes be a double-edged sword and a wedding planner’s worst nightmare. We have some quick tips for how to use this invaluable tool in a way that will most effectively help you articulate your ideas and curate an intentional plan for your big day.
1) Start with a list of descriptive words that will drive your pinning strategy.
We recommend taking ten minutes to put pen to paper and write down a list of emotional and descriptive words that would describe your event goals and overall vision. Not necessarily color words (red, blush, ivory) but a focus on a vocabulary that evokes the feeling you wish to inform the overall event design (intimate, authentic, formal). Target a list of 20-30 of these words so that you can return to them time and again as you develop your board and create a cohesive visual inspiration board to buttress your word list. Sharing this list with your planner and event designer along with your Pinterest link will assist your creative team with a direction sure to result in a stunning design proposal.
2) You only need to pin to a single wedding planning board, not one for each element of your day.
Keeping all your inspiration in one place is key to making sure the overall vision stays on track. While separate boards for your bridal bouquet, wedding dress, cake ideas, and signature drink recipes are fine in the early stages before you get the ring, when you get serious about the planning process you should aim to keep everything in one board to evaluate all of the component parts together. This will help you evaluate all of the component parts together and determine where you may have outliers to the vision that you should edit out. Also, it is far less complicated for your planner to keep up with a single Pinterest board of your ideas than a dozen separate pages.
3) Avoid the trap of “aspirational pinning” and manage your expectations as you pin.
We are constantly looking toward some of the most spectacular and out-of-this-world work to inspire us and push our designs further. However, it is important while pinning your inspiration that you keep an open mind (and even seek to educate yourself) about the costs behind certain ideas. Sticking to your budget is critical to minimizing stress through planning, and it is prudent to stick to pinning realistic ideas that are within reach of your overall target budget. It is heartbreaking as a planner to inform a client that the magnificent 15 foot chuppah of densely blooming cherry blossoms is a huge investment beyond the reach of their floral budget (and only available during a short window of the calendar year). If you find an image that truly speaks to you, by all means pin away. Just keep an open mind and be flexible in your expectations so that your overall design falls in line with your budgetary needs.
4) Edit, edit, edit.
As Coco Chanel famously stated about accessorizing, before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off. The same could be said for your Pinterest board. Start pinning as early in the planning process as you’d like, but don’t forget to revisit your earliest pins and delete ideas that are no longer inspiring you or do not fit the aesthetic whatsoever. Make a point to scroll to the bottom of your board periodically and review your pins with a critical eye. Wield your cursor over the “delete pin” button with reckless abandon! Return to your vocabulary list and make sure everything you are pinning falls within the parameters of your written design intentions.
5) Your non-wedding-related pins are just as important as your wedding-related ones.
It’s super important to seek inspiration outside the thousands of wedding boards out there. Part of our design process involves seeking inspiration in art history, interiors, and especially fashion. We look to photos that express movement and detail in an interesting way that might evoke a mood or emotion to inform some element of the event design. The best reason we do this is also to ensure an original design unique to our client's personality and overall vision. By looking outside wedding specific boards, we are able to avoid pinning other work that has been created for someone else’s event. We ultimately want to design a tried-and-true aesthetic that is one-of-kind and special for our clients’ big day.
6) Strive to make it your own, not copy an image exactly.
Part in parcel to our tip number three above, keeping a level head about what you are pinning will help you manage your wedding day expectations at a realistic level. We can’t say it enough: pin everything you love with a grain of salt. Use an image you find that is out-of-this-world as inspiration, but be open-minded about the realities involved in what makes such an image come to life. Maybe an idea you have found woudl only work in a rustic barn venue, but you are getting married in a ballroom. Take parts of something bigger that you love, and communicate with your event planner and designer about why you like an image and develop ways you can customize your own design elements using features of inspiration you have found. In other words: strive to make it your own and not simply replicate another artist’s work. You have hired your creative team for a reason - you trust in their abilities and want them to maximize their artistic license. Let your vendors do their very best work by providing a visual example of something that resonates with you, and allow them to interpret the inspiration in a way that is sure to turn out better than you ever imagined.
7) Set a date to step away from the pins until after the wedding day is over.
At some point, you have to step away from the “pin it” button! At Sapphire Events, we have completed our design process with our clients around four months out from the event date. By that point, our big design decisions have been made and our creative team of vendors have begun securing inventory and building anything we have dreamed up as a custom installation. It is wise to stop pinning inspiration ideas (and even stop searching for broad inspiration altogether) about four months out from your date. You are not likely to find anything new or must-have at that point anyway. Unless you are looking for inspiration for writing your vows or gift ideas for your bridal party and parents, keep the design-inspired pinning to a minimum the closer you get to your date!
As planners we rely on our client’s Pinterest boards to get a well-rounded idea of what ideas our clients envision for their big day. It is an important tool for our design process to reflect on choices our clients have made about the overall event goals and aesthetic they desire. From there we utilize the information on Pinterest to further curate and design meaningful and unique inspiration boards for each event we design. When our clients take the time to carefully curate their own boards, it makes it much easier for us as planners and designers to have confidence that the design presentation we make is on target with the initial vision our clients bring to the table. It is a springboard to facilitate the design process overall, and one we are grateful to have at our fingertips when our brides and grooms take the time to edit their inspiration to the most important elements we will use as inspiration for our overall design.