In the old days, brides-to-be might have cut out pictures of dresses, flowers or cakes to stash in a box or on a bulletin board. But this is the digital age, and social-media sites have put these stashes of ideas in our phones and these boards on our laptops.
Pinterest is a social media site that lets users “pin” things they like to digital, sharable bulletin boards. Kimberly Moore used Pinterest to gather “if it happens” ideas for a wedding, but when she got engaged last summer, she turned to the site to gather ideas for her retro navy-and-fuscia wedding.
She isn’t the only one: The site has become well-known as a digital wedding planner, even popular among single women planning for their dream day. Moore has six friends who are engaged and says all of them use the site. Pinterest allows several people to create a board together, which was perfect for Moore and her bridesmaids, who live far apart from each other.
“We made a joint board so everyone could contribute and talk and throw out ideas,” says Moore. “We actually went through bridesmaids dresses that way, pinning them back and forth.”
She found ideas for her bachelorette party, and, for her Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed bridal shower, she found custom-made Tiffany’s-esque cardboard boxes for party favors.
The boxes were made on Etsy, a website that helps independent jewelry makers, designers and crafters to easily share and sell their goods. Pinterest is full of links to Etsy, where “pinners” can then get goods and crafts custom-made.
The best things to find on Pinterest are creative special touches. “We found RSVP postcards, flower arrangements,” says Moore, “kinds of details that you know what you like, but don’t know exactly what you want.”
Perhaps the danger with a site that allows unique ideas to be so easily shared is that they will be shared. Moore says she’s noticed people creating boards from hers with the same colors. “Joe’s favorite color is blue, mine is pink, so we played with shades until we found two that we like, and now it seems like everyone has the same idea.”
Even more, a seemingly endless sea of creative ideas and items can get overwhelming, and some ideas and DIY crafts might not be all they appear. “There are so many options and you can’t have everything,” says Moore. “Some of the things that you see, when you try to actually plan it or put it together, it doesn’t come out that way. You might have high expectations because someone else did it, even though you might not necessarily have their skill set, or money.”
Like any website, Pinterest has been infiltrated by advertisers, who post their own items, but might not offer anything creative or interesting. At the same time, the advertising might show you a helpful product you never knew existed.
Magazines, designers and celebrities all utilize the site, and Moore cites Martha Stewart’s feed as one of the best for weddings. With a board for every wedding theme and color scheme you could think of, Martha Stewart has planned and pinned wedding details down, from the flower girls outfit, to the flowers, to the frosting on the cake.
Other new websites have echoed Pinterest, focusing specifically on weddings and using the same social media tools. Hitch’d (hitchdbydesign.com), Loverly (lover.ly), and the Knot (theknot.com) all offer inspiration and links to vendors. The Knot is also one of many wedding apps, like iWedding Deluxe, Wedding Budget and Wedding Scan.
As a meme pinned into the wedding section of Pinterest says, “Everyone who got married before Pinterest should get another shot at it.”