How to Let Pinterest Inspire (and Not Sabatoge) Wedding Planning

 Make-up inspiration

Make-up inspiration

Before I started planning a wedding I thought I knew the kinds of things I'd want. Flowers everywhere! An ancient castle! An orchestra! All the appetizers! Flowers! But when the day came and suddenly I had a very real budget and a very real timeline, I had to get my head in the game. Castles don't come cheap, after all.

Enter Pinterest, the internet's latest greatest toe-line between time-suck and idea-factory. The visual dynamic is obviously appealing, along with the how-to's, how-to-not's, and endless possibilities for everything from wedding cakes to manicures. Personally, I've always been very determined to use Pinterest as a resource and not just a time-filler, but it can easily have adverse effects if you let it. 

So, in efforts to avoid wasting time, being jealous of brides in castles, and getting completely overwhelmed with flower choices, here's how to get the best out of Pinterest while you're planning a wedding:

 Backdrop inspiration

Backdrop inspiration

 Bouqet inspiration

Bouqet inspiration

 Ring-bearer box inspiration (with a pillow made from my great grandmother's handkerchief)

Ring-bearer box inspiration (with a pillow made from my great grandmother's handkerchief)

Keep your wedding board secret.

Perhaps it's personal preference, but why give away your plans and ideas before it's time? Related: I can't tell you how many engagements and pregnancies I've called because so-and-so started a "Little Ones" board and didn't think I'd notice.

Invite collaborators. 

Keep it to the ones who's creative opinion you really value and trust. 

Self edit often. 

Save the castles for another day and only pin things that you think are within budget, within your abilities to create or accomplish, and valuable to your overall aesthetic. 

Actually use it.

This isn't the time for "Ooo that's so pretty!" or "Cool idea. I wish!" pins. This is time for the "getting down to business, I'm going to make this work for me" kind of pins.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 

Even if you tried to carbon copy a pin, you probably couldn't. Coming from someone who wanted our wedding to be unique and an accurate depiction of us as a couple, I was totally fine letting Pinterest inspire the details because I knew that we'd naturally put our own spin on everything. 

Don't freak out if you didn't get it right. 

Pinterest fails are a real thing. Matty was wild for the backdrop we chose, and I spent hours researching the how-to, watching other brides who made YouTube videos showing their process, finding a mother-of-the-bride selling hers on a discussion board, and finally jumped in to make it myself, hoping it would look remotely like the example. We were thrilled when it started coming together (after hours upon hours of cutting and sewing wax paper), yet no one could have anticipated the crazy wind that day. Not one to freak out, I just figured it made the look more romantic then got on with marrying the love of my life. 

Edit who you follow. 

If you sign on to Pinterest and find a stream of "Teacher tips!" and "How to get rid of pests!" boards in your feed, take the time to unfollow them. Research then follow wedding boards the suit your style so that you're automatically seeing information that is relevant to your needs.

Let it inspire you - not drown you. 

Pinterest is not there to make you feel defeated, lost, untalented, or broke. But it can if you let it. Remember that your wedding will not (and should not) look like anyone else's. It's the love that's the most inspiring of all, and you got that, so let it be the star of the show. 

 Milk glass and succulents - centerpiece inspiration

Milk glass and succulents - centerpiece inspiration

 Boutonniere inspiration (insider's tip - the dusty miller will limp quickly)

Boutonniere inspiration (insider's tip - the dusty miller will limp quickly)

 Hair inspiration (and I love her)

Hair inspiration (and I love her)

 Dresses in the woods inspiration - can you tell?

Dresses in the woods inspiration - can you tell?

 Unity painting inspiration (bring wet ones for the groom...ahem...)

Unity painting inspiration (bring wet ones for the groom...ahem...)

 Story board inspiration

Story board inspiration

 Handmade veil inspiration, by my mother

Handmade veil inspiration, by my mother

PS - See how the whole thing came together here!