Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation

Today marks a very exciting day for Fucci’s Photos.  Our blog now has over a half million pins on Pinterest.  To commemorate this momentous marker, I thought I should take the time to address how best to use Pinterest for wedding inspiration, or rather, PINspiration.

Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation -- Something Blue Blog has over a half million pins on pinterest by Vail Fucci

The advent of Pinterest has been huge for the bridal industry.  It has brought forth a surge of creativity.  Now planning a wedding without a Pinterest board is practically unthinkable.  Pinterest is where so many couples get inspiration for their wedding’s details.  Unfortunately, Pinterest has become a double edged sword for both those in the industry and for those planning nuptials.  The amazing collections of bridal related pins open the eyes of many to what fantastic possibilities are out there.  At the same time though, it often doesn’t show how the stunning photograph was made, note that the flowers in the bouquet are only available during certain seasons, or mention that making 100 of these DIY favors yourself will take over 100 hours. When it is just a Pin on your wedding board, it seems so easy. So the first rule of thumb for using Pinterest for planning your wedding is to remember that everything you see on Pinterest isn’t necessarily easy to replicate.  The rest of this post has some key points to keep in mind when using Pinterest for planning your wedding so that you can find it to be a useful tool instead of a source of torment.

  • It’s important to keep in mind is that you don’t have to do EVERYTHING that you see on Pinterest.  There will be more incredible ideas that you see on Pinterest than can ever be executed in a single wedding.  Worrying yourself with 99 DIY Pinterest projects does not make for a happy bride.  Not to mention, doing everything you see on Pinterest can get REALLY expensive!  So my advice to you is to make a board for ideas, and then another board that will made up of Pins that you’ve curated from that bigger board.  That way you can see if the ideas flow well together.  Then look at the pins on that board, and figure out which are the ones you really LOVE…ones that you just can’t even begin to picture your wedding without.  It’s those Pins that you should actually incorporate into your special day.  The rest can go by the way side.
  • Pinterest’s 70 million user base is 80% women as of 2013, and I’m sure the percentage of female users is even higher for bridal boards.  Many of the ideas are ADORABLE, but most guys would probably rather get their chests waxed than have many of the popular Pins reenacted at their own wedding.  Try to remember that your wedding day is about you TWO, not just the bride, when suggesting super cutesy ideas for the big day.  Also, that 80% stat tells you that Pinterest mainly appeals to women.  So don’t be too dissapointed when your fiancee has little to no interest in your board devoted to different fonts for wedding invitations.  It just plain isn’t his thing.
  • Pinterest is a great place to find ideas for wedding photography.  If you have no clue about what styles of wedding photography you like, just peruse the zillions of Pins out there.  This will help you get an idea for what you like.  After you do that, look at your local photographers’ portfolios to see which ones match the style you like best.  This is a much better approach than booking a photographer and then sending them, a week before your wedding, your Pinterest board filled with images you’d like to have carbon copies made of that are nothing like your photographer’s style.  If you do have a bunch of ideas of shots you’d like to get that are Pinterest inspired, be sure to share them with your photographer WELL in advance.
  • Most people don’t realize the amount of set up necessary to get many of the shots you see on Pinterest.  For example, to get this shot of the Bride being given away by her parents from this angle, I needed to speak with the officiant in advance to get his permission to stand there.

Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation -- Bride being given away by her parents.  Shot from behind the officiant.  by Vail Fucci

  • For these big reveals, I had to make sure in advance that there was a proper place where the groom wouldn’t see the bride, that there was enough room for us to shoot it, and that the light would be even on both of their faces.  Without those key variables, these shots could not have happened.

Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation -- You need to have a long enough hallways to make this shot work so that the photographer has room to back up. sharing notes between doors Image by Vail Fucci

Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation -- You need a spot where the light is the same on both subjects for this shot to work. Lauren and Erikk's wedding at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School

  • Many shots are very situation dependent. To get this cool dress shot, I had to have access to a wooded area and a pole to hang the dress from.  So if you wanted this exact shot but were getting ready in an urban setting, it wouldn’t be possible.

Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation - Lauren and Erikk's wedding at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School, image by Vail Fucci

  • To get this back lit shot of a wine glass, you would have to have uplighting at your reception, and your photographer would have to know how to do some tricky things with your rings to get them to stay in that position (dental wax is what I used to keep the rings together in that position and then photoshopped out the excess wax in post production).

Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation - To get a shot like this you need back lighting and dental wax to make the rings stick together Wine Glass Wedding Rings Silhouette by Vail Fucci

  • So many of the shots that are pinned are emotional shots like this with your family.  To get these shots though, you have to have emotional times with your family.  They can’t be manufactured just because you like the shot.  The moment has to be real, and happen spontaneously for the photographer to be able to capture it.

Proper use of Pinterest for Weddings: PINspiration not Imitation - Emotional shot of father daughter dance at her wedding. Image by Vail Fucci

  • Many of the shots you see on Pinterest were not even actually taken on a real wedding day.  They may be from editorial shoots with models, or during “trash the dress” sessions afterwards when the photographer had much more time to get the perfect shot.
  • So show your Pinterest finds to your photographer FAR in advance. Don’t send them a board with 100+ pins on it.  Make a curated board of the ones you REALLY love.   And then ask them IF they think they might be able to VARIATION of it with their own personal spin on it.  Then if it is possible to do, ask how much time it will take. If you approach your photographer with your photo ideas this way, you are much more likely to get a positive response and to get the images you want.  If you wait until the week before your wedding to show them a board that is chock full of photos that are nothing like their style photography and nothing like the venue you are having your wedding at, you are likely to get a very testy photographer.
  • The same rules apply for your florist when picking out bouquets and other floral arrangements.  The earlier you give them your ideas, the better the chance that you’ll get what you want, or at least something close to it.  Flowers are seasonal, Pins of flowers are not.  So every flower you see on Pinterest may not be available when you are having your wedding.  So when you show them an idea of what you want, let them know if it is just the color scheme you like or the actual specific flowers.  This can make a HUGE impact on how much you spend on flowers.  Picking flowers that are locally available and in season will always be much less expensive than picking those that must be shipped in from half way across the world.  If you are expecting the florist to weave in some special elements, like your grandmother’s rosary beads, or a locket with photos of loved ones who have passed on, bring them the pieces in advance to look at so that they can get a good idea of how to properly attach them to your bouquet.  That way you are less likely to lose those precious items on the day of your wedding.
  • Wedding dresses and hair styles are big draws on Pinterest as well.  The thing to remember is what is fashionable may not be functional on the day of your wedding.  Use Pinterest to establish what types of styles you like.  The styles you love on Pinterest, may not end up being the most flattering to your body type, or practical, like backless dresses.  Unless you are an A-cup, you probably won’t be comfortable wearing a backless dress that doesn’t allow you to have a bra on or any type of support. Bring your selections along with you to the dress store and show them to the girls who work there.  Having an idea of what you like before you go will help you narrow down the selection.  They will likely bring you some dresses like the ones you picked out, and some that are totally different.  Be willing to try on the different shapes of dresses, and think about how comfortable you will be in this dress (remember you’ll be in for at least 6 hours that day and that you will be dancing in it).   Same goes for hairstyles.  You may love Pins with images of giant voluminous hair with tons of curls, but if you have thin hair that doesn’t ever hold a curl, the hair stylist can only work so many miracles (that is unless you get extensions).
  • Many Pins that you find on Pinterest have little to no description or the description field doesn’t pertain at all to why YOU want to Repin it.  Make sure when you pin something that you write something in the description field that will jog your memory as to why YOU added it to one of your boards in the first place.
  • Last, but certainly not least, are the DIY projects on Pinterest.  Many of these are A-MAZING!!! And they often can save you a ton of money.  But what they don’t save you is time.  Generally, the cuter it is, the more time consuming it will be.  For every project you take on, look up the amount of time it is expected to take you, and then double that.  Then multiply that times the number of final items you need to make.  That is a more realistic estimate of the time it will take you to get the DIY project done.  Then also consider, are these goods perishable?  If yes, then you only have so many days before the wedding that you can make them.  You probably don’t want to be baking non-stop or creating intricate live flower centerpieces for the days (and nights) before your wedding.  If you are the type of person who regularly does lots of craft projects, then DIY probably is perfect for you.  But if you don’t know the difference between a Cricut and a Cricket, you might want to rethink the 80 tea light holders wrapped in tree bark with your initials hand stenciled on.

In the end, Pinterest is one of the best resources out there for couples that are planning their wedding.  The key to Pinterest working for you, instead of it working you into a tizzy, is to remember that Pinterest is there for inspiration, not imitation.  Trying to make your wedding day a clone of all the Pins on your boards will only result in tons of stress instead of wedding day success.  Take what you find there, and find a way to make it work for you, instead of trying to model YOUR special day after other peoples’ weddings.  Because in the end, it is YOUR unique day, and how closely you got your programs and paper goods to look like what you saw on Pinterest will not matter. All the wonderful memories of how you felt that day, that is what will really matter.

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