The biggest thing to note is that many wedding photos are you’ll see are styled shoots. That means that it’s not an actual event, but rather a collaboration of vendors working together to show off their work. If you see only one reception table in an open field, or just a ceremony set up with only a handful of empty chairs, there is a good chance it was from a styled shoot.
Now, I’m a fan of styled shoots, and have participated in a few myself. The problem is that they are often not realistic for several reasons:
1) Vendors want to promote new/upgraded/top of the line products. This means you’re typically seeing their best products/services, which might not be conducive to a typical wedding budget.
2) If you’re looking at a photoshoot at your venue, the layout or set up might not be realistic. For a styled shoot, you don’t need to worry about the guest flow, size of the event, or if the catering staff can make their way between the tables. Make sure to discuss these details with your planner or the contact at your venue.
3) You’ll often see fully set tables, or things set up that wouldn’t be set out for a typical wedding. For example, most weddings won’t have the dinner plates set out prior to the guests arriving. The guests will get them at the buffet, or the wait staff will bring them with dinner. Because of this, your tables might not look as “finished” as the pictures, or you may want to rent charger plates to complete the look.
4) PLEASE don’t ever put glass containers or candles down your aisle. I absolutely love the look of an aisle lined with candlelight, you’ll see photos of them all over Pinterest. The problem is that I can just about guarantee that a guest is going to bump into one, sending wax and broken glass everywhere. And it’s going to happen just minutes before the ceremony.
An alternative would be to use flameless candles set out on their own, or in lanterns. I’ve seen some gorgeous photos of strand lighting along the aisle. Make sure to consider guest safety, and not creating a trip hazard with where they are plugged in. Keep in mind that most ceremonies occur earlier in the day when the candles or lights won’t be visible. If this is the case, you most likely wouldn’t have the same visual impact as the styled shoot photos anyway.
5) And the final issue with planning your wedding on Pinterest is that you have no concept of budgets. For styled shoot images, you typically see only one or two tables or settings. If you were to replicate that design for all the tables, it could be a very expensive wedding! Even if the photos are not from a styled shoot, often the most popular pins are from higher budget events. It’s easy to fall in love with a look, only to be disappointed to find out what the actual cost would be to make it happen.
Now that I’ve spent all this time warning you about the negatives of Pinterest, why do I still encourage my couples to use it?
- The visual of the images makes sure you and your vendors to be are on the same page. There won’t be any confusion over shades of pink, or the shape you’d like your bouquet to be.
- It’s a great place to get started, especially for those lost or confused about wedding design
Finally, I want to share a few tips with you to make the best of your Pinterest experience!
- Do you love a table design, but it doesn’t fit in your budget? You can use it for your head table, and use a more affordable design for the guest tables.
- If you’re flexible with the type of flowers you use, ask your florist if there is a cheaper alternative available to create a similar look to an inspirational picture.
- Add notes in the comments about what you like and dislike about the pin. You might love the flowers, but not the chairs or linens used. Adding these notes in helps to ensure everyone to be on the same page.
- Follow your venue and vendors for more inspiration for your wedding.