helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

My sister-in-law was married several years ago and when I started planning our wedding, I remember her telling me how badly she wished that Pinterest existed when she was planning their wedding. (It may have existed, but it wasn’t something people really used much or talked about just yet.)

Pinterest. It’s a Budget Savvy Bride’s crutch. It’s a fantastic way to get great crafty ideas, find articles, look at photos and get great ideas that stand out to you.

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It’s also addictive.

I think most of us nod our heads in agreement when it comes to thinking about our Pinterest-surfing and the increased frequency once the ring went on our finger. I know mine certainly did. And I think we can all agree there are pros and cons of using Pinterest while planning your wedding.

Inspiration and idea after idea in the palm of your hand on your smartphone. One DIY project after another to replicate a piece from a high-end vendor or pricey wedding planner or rental location to cut costs and add that special touch to your wedding day.

The world of Pinterest, however, doesn’t come without it’s cons. It’s addictiveness, of course, but the concept that my hubby coined as Pinterest-Kill”. A concept I felt warranted a warning for all of my fellow budget savvy brides with a bag of crafting materials and motivation to do-it-all-yourself.

Yes … we are status post wedding (our final wedding post hasn’t been published as we are awaiting our professional photos to come back) and looking back at the setup, the work, the materials …. The complete chaos that took over my entire living room as materials for at least 10 projects engulfed everything. I think I made it my personal goal to make EVERYTHING on my Pinterest board. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I came close to doing exactly that. So many awesome ideas, I got a tiny-bit carried away. While we still came in under budget, spending under $6k, I spent a lot of time on DIY and all because I was determined to get that Pinterest idea I fell in love with incorporated into our wedding day.

Source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/pinterest-drives-more-traffic-to-sites-than-100-million-google-users/
Source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/pinterest-drives-more-traffic-to-sites-than-100-million-google-users/

This can back-fire, ladies. It’s stressful to have your “to do” list rely solely on your own fingers to make the magic happen with a glue gun, paint, saw, wooden frames … whatever crazy awesome concoction you’ve discovered and are determined to incorporate into your big day.

Pick your Pinterest Battles wisely. If you’re anything like me, you see it, you love it, you rationalize that it’s quick and fairly easy and you take it on with no fear. Until you’re sitting in a room with tulle draping from the ceiling and you can’t find the phone that’s ringing let alone your cat who has come up missing for the past two days … (true story.)

Change anything? Not necessarily. Looking back on our wedding day, I love everything about our day. Could I have scaled back on some of the details that weren’t necessary? Yea …. Probably. As a wedding photographer I have been to my fair share of weddings – and I have seen tons of gorgeous weddings where less was certainly more. A few DIYs from a Pinterest board I recognized that stood out, subtle touches here and there, but overall, absolutely beautiful.

I didn’t need the 50+ mason jars to hang from trees – they were a cool ambiance but 12 of them or more never even made it into the trees so I certainly could have scaled back on that. I probably didn’t need the 30 purple-pom-poms in the trees either – the lanterns would have been enough and it was a lot of extra work and to be honest … I don’t remember much about what was in the trees myself. And the LED lights we put into the lanterns? Weren’t even bright enough to be that noticeable by the end of the night. That’s probably about $200 or more that I could have shaved out of our budget right there.

I didn’t need as many candy dishes or as much of a candy spread. I didn’t need to make two more wreaths that ended up taking me an entire day to make 50 burlap flowers by hand for – it’s now torn apart and the flowers I gave to a friend’s daughter for her wedding. I didn’t need as many chalkboards for signs as I ended up making and I didn’t need to make MORE balls of burlap/crepe paper flowers …. Which is a good thing I didn’t do those because they were never used. Instead, those 15 foam balls are going to become a fun Christmas decoration project. Another $200 easily I could have shaved off our budget. That’s $400 in DIY projects that I could have done without … but I got Pinterest-Happy … and ended up with a Pinterest-Kill.

Pinterest can suck you in and take you down the rabbit hole of ideas and leave you spinning in circles with ideas and can even leave you feeling overwhelmed. You type in one idea that you’re looking for (i.e. wedding chalkboards) and you are instantly flooded with ideas.

And so many of these ideas, as awesome as they are, continually are replicated and becoming the new generic at a wedding. So when you find that pinned piece on a board that you just love, think two things: 1) Is this really something I need and want to put all that work into putting into my wedding (and how much work will it actually take), and 2) How can I make this my OWN?

Yes, Pinterest is the virtual land of ideas that gives at an unconditional pace, but remember to  pin with caution. The best advice I can offer is this: Pin all the things that catch your eye into one board. Make a second board for things that you know you really want. Make a third board of things that are cool, but only possibilities and as you go through the planning process, go into that board and delete things when you see them and feel it in your gut that you know it’s not something that you can take on or isn’t feasible. Eliminate the disappointment and the stress. Trust me on this one – when the week of your big day arrives and you have four car loads of projects/decorations and over 100 things to hang up in trees and over 400 yards of tulle, all needing to be “installed” and decorated before you walk down the aisle, it’s going to be really hard to relax.

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Start now, wherever you are in your planning process, on “de-cluttering” your planning list and focus on the important pieces of your day and the aspects that will mean the most to you. If the ambiance of lights in trees is what your heart desires, then do it. But evaluate each idea you pin to determine your wants verses your needs for your wedding day.

Your beautiful wedding will be just that – your beautiful wedding, no matter what DIY project you choose or how much or how little you spend.

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About Jennifer

Jennifer is a 30-year old Professional Photographer & Federal Employee living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Aside from planning a wedding, she spends time with her fiance racing autocross and running her own business and traveling. Jennifer is engaged to John, the "boy from church youth group" who, after 13 years apart, found one another again and are now planning their intimate and budget savvy wedding for 8/31/13 at her mother's log home in the woods.

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  • Sara

    amen on Pinterest being addictive!!

  • Christie O {Mountainside Bride}

    Amazing advice, especially how you could have saved more if you hadn’t taken on so many projects and how other projects (like the lanterns and LED lights) didn’t even pan out. Thanks for sharing such valuable Hindsight Advice!

  • brooke

    My husband put his foot down last year and told me I could only make five of the Pinterest DIYs I saw. I think we ended up with three. The stress of my original 12 projects was too much plus expensive. I have to remind myself all the time of how perfect our day was when I see another “perfect” detail on Pinterest post-wedding. It’s like the goal of the site is discontentment!I totally agree about certain crafts becoming generic. Thanks for the article.

  • Erika Watson

    Jennifer,

    Thanks so much for posting this! As the owner of an Event Production company, I myself have also coined a phrase – “Pinterest Perfect.” I had had enough several weeks ago and wrote about the frustrations of the site – from the other perspective: http://whitehotevents.com/whitehotideas/pinterest-perfect-isnt/ Read it when you have time – you will probably agree with our feelings as well!

    All my best,
    Erika

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