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People Using Pinterest To Plan Their Wedding Are Making This Mistake

Photo: @brianweitzelphotography

I want to talk about using Pinterest as a tool to help plan your wedding. We're going to get into the good, the bad, and the not so ugly, because it is Pinterest after all and everything over there is gorgeous. Before we get into it. I want to say that I ultimately do love Pinterest as a platform. I highly recommend that my couples use it if they haven't already started working on a Pinterest board for their wedding. However, there are some things that I want to make sure are clarified with couples as they're planning their wedding, because it can be a bit overwhelming to use Pinterest for wedding plans.

One of the biggest things to note is that many of the photo pins that you're going to see on Pinterest are from styled shoots. This means that they're a collaboration of vendors working together to create a mock setup, not an actual wedding. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I love a good styled shoot. But there are some things that can come into play that would make a big difference if you knew it wasn't an actual event, but rather a styled shoot.

Before we get into that, let me tell you how you can spot a styled shoot on Pinterest versus an actual wedding.

If there's maybe just one reception table that's set out away from everything else, maybe in an open field or an empty ballroom. You don't see a dance floor or tray stands where the staff use them to collect the plates. You don't see any of those real life things that you're going to need to create an event. Or maybe there's just one setting for a couple, but no other guests tables. A ceremony site, but no actual desk chairs.

Those are indicators that it's a styled shoot. Again, there's nothing wrong with styled shoots and using them for inspiration. There's some beautiful images out there that can come from them, but I just want to make sure you're aware of the differences. The first thing to consider when looking at a pin, if it is a styled shoot, is to remember that the vendors are often using their upgraded or top of the line items, services, or products for these styled shoots. This means that those products that you're seeing are probably not what their starting at rental rates are. You're going to want to keep that in mind because the price for those products or services are probably going to be higher than what you're seeing as an average price for those items.

Or if you're looking at base pricing on their websites, it might be an increased cost. For example, a Chiavari chair is pretty standard, and it's going to run you between $7 to $10 depending on your venue and your rental company. However, a lot of styled shoots are going to use either a ghost chair, maybe a chameleon chair, a whole bunch of other fun terms you can look up, and those are going to be closer to $20, $30, maybe even $40 per chair. That's a significant increase and you're going to want to keep that in mind, as you're looking at some of these inspiration photos.

The other thing to consider is that because we're typically doing one table setting or a small grouping for a styled shoot, one table might be worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Once we put everything together, that's not a big deal when we're doing one table. But if you were to replicate that for a full reception, it's going to get pretty pricey. A work around for that is if you see a setup that you absolutely love, but replicating it for every one of your guest tables is just going to push you outside of your budget, you can replicate that, look for your head table, or maybe a sweetheart table.

Maybe you do something similar for dressing up the ceremony area or cocktail area, one spot versus the whole space. And that way you still get the same feel of that photo shoot, but you're not tripling your budget because you have to do it throughout the entire space. You can also take that photo to your florist, your rental company, or whoever you're working with from a décor perspective and see if they have similar products that might come in at a lower price point. Or a way that they can still capture the feel of that photo without necessarily replicating it identically.

Another huge difference when it comes to setting up for a styled shoot is that we don't need to consider the actual flow of the guests. Where's the dance floor going? How is wait staff going to get in between tables? The lighting could be different in one area. So we're going to move a table somewhere that we would never put it for an actual event. You don't need to think about the function of the space when we're talking about a styled shoot, but rather how pretty can we make this image look?

So if you are looking at a photo or something that's taken place at your venue and you think it's a style shoot, just make sure to talk to your event manager or your wedding planner about the logistics. One of the biggest things that you're going to see is whether or not there are dinner plates. For an actual wedding or an event, most of the time the guests dinner plates are not on the table because when they arrive into the reception, they're going to get those either at the buffet, the food station, or the waitstaff is going to bring them with their dinner service.

If you see that there is a fully set dinner plate, bread plate, salad, all of that, it's most likely a styled shoot because that is not going to follow the logistics of what a traditional wedding or event would be like. Again, nothing wrong with that, but just something to keep in mind. Your table is most likely not going to look as finished as a fully set table in a styled shoot is going to look. You can certainly purchase rentals for chargers or other sets to make that look happen. But of course, again, it all goes back to the budget and those priorities.

Next, I want to give you a word of warning about very popular Pinterest images.

Please, please, please do not put glass containers or real candles down the aisle for your ceremony!

Now I am absolutely candle obsessed. I love the look. I have so many photos of these pinned myself. So for me to say, don't do candles anywhere, means I am serious about this one.

The problem is I can almost guarantee that somebody is going to knock over either a glass container or a candle with wax. And this is going to happen within 10 to 15 minutes of your ceremony, because that's when the guests are starting to arrive in. I would say at least 80% of the weddings where we've attempted to have candles or something down the aisle,

it gets knocked over. And again, it's always just before the actual ceremony - it can be a mess. So just make sure that if you are lining the aisle with something, it is not breakable, spillable, or something that can catch fire. Trust me, you don't want to do it.

Okay. So now that I've spent all this time warning you about Pinterest, why do I still love the platform and encourage my clients to use it? One of the biggest reasons I love it is that it helps me stay on the same page with all of my clients. When I have somebody describe to me their wedding, the colors, the inspiration, or things that they're thinking of, I might be picturing something completely different with the words that they're telling me.

But if they show me a picture, we're all on the same page. I know exactly what shade they're talking about. I know what the details are that they are picturing, and it really helps everyone to have the same idea and concept in our heads. As we're trying to pull things together, it's also an amazing resource for those couples that don't have a great idea of where to start.

When it comes to design, you can start by grabbing a few photos of things that you really like, and it can help you get the ball rolling. If you show your vendors, your design team, your florist, whoever it might be, a few of these photos and have that initial conversation, they can generally start piecing things together and pull together a vision for you.

So Pinterest is a great starting point for those that don't know where to begin. And if you're really lost, just start putting in some wedding words: indoor wedding, ballroom wedding, outdoor barn wedding...whatever some of the things are that you'd want to use to describe your wedding. And you're going to start to see some visual inspiration come up again.

Don't be too worried about using those styled shoots as inspiration, just be cautious about wanting to fully replicate something, knowing that it might be too much from a budget perspective, or just not feasible when we're talking about the logistics. If you are sharing your board with your vendors, make sure that you have a conversation about some of your favorite images.

When I sit down with my couples, the first thing I see in an image might be the beautiful pink flowers. But then I realized that they pinned that image because they loved that specific table or chair, and they hate those pink flowers. So if you are pinning things, you can jot little notes down in the captions or descriptions that let people know what it is about that picture you like.

More importantly, what it is about that picture you don't like so that we're not getting confused within what you pinned that for. This will also help you in the future when you're looking back at your Pinterest board and can't remember what it was about that image that you liked. If you just want to clear it off that board altogether, one final tip for you is to make sure that you're following your vendors on social media. And most importantly on Pinterest, this is going to help them to feel a little bit more connected with you, of course, but then you also will have access to be able to view their boards.

You can see more examples of their work, what you like, and maybe what you don't like. So you can have those conversations with them as the wedding date gets closer. Now, when I say share with them what you don't like, I obviously recommend you use this sparingly.

For example, let's say your photographer is posting a lot of photos at a location that you just really don't like. That lets you know that this is kind of a go-to place of theirs. And you can have the conversation by saying, "hey, you know, we're not really a huge fan of this location. Can we go here instead?"

So to wrap things up, I really do love Pinterest and I hope you will consider using it as a tool for planning your wedding. But do keep these little warnings in mind as you move on with the wedding plans and inspiration.

I would love for you to follow me over at Pinterest, at And when you're in the FB group, Wedding Planning Collective the Facebook group, share your wedding boards over there so we can all take a look at each other's inspiration. Thank you so much for joining me here, and I will see you in the next post.

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