Pinterest Wedding – Avoid These Pitfalls for a Better Experience

I went to a wedding once that had no less than seven different Guest Book alternatives.

They had sign my globe, sign my picture frame, put your thumbprint on a tree, tag your name on a country, write your name on a jenga stick, write a note and put it in a jar, and a polaroid photo washing line.

(My hand gets RSI from just thinking about it).

That wasn’t all.

They had photo booth props, games, quizzes for the tables, favours, candy cart, pimp your prosecco, disposable cameras, personalised hashtag signs, neon signs, personalised illustrations. If you’ve seen it as an wedding idea on Pinterest, it was probably at this wedding.

I’ll be honest – it was detail overload.

Recently a photographer was talking about a detail shot list they’d got from a bride. Lots of ideas for photos, mostly taken from Pinterest wedding inspiration including mood boards.

There are also plenty of tales of photographers cancelling wedding bookings with highly prescriptive lists because they felt the couple would be better to find a more suitable photographer. Sometimes it’s better to let a booking go rather than risk disappointing a client with strong expectations, especially if you’re a documentary style photographer.

wedding table decorations

Benefits of Pinterest Wedding Ideas

Pinterest is a brilliant resource for wedding planning. I loved using Pinterest for ideas my own wedding, it’s a great way of finding things to inspire you. Pinterest can save hours trawling through blogs and magazines by searching for an idea in just a few words.

You can see what other people have done before you and put all your ideas into different categories and organised boards. You can keep it private or share it with your nearest and dearest. It can help form your ideas and reduce the amount of overwhelming options into a curated selection.

But there is a point when Pinterest can end up taking over, and that can lead to problems if you become obsessed with having a Pinterest-worthy wedding – a Pinzilla.

Overloading Detail Inspiration

When you become obsessed with perfect details, you risk missing enjoying the day itself for what it is. Absolutely nobody knows what you’ve got planned, so whatever the day is will be a complete surprise. Only you know about the details. Your guests will be made of your loved ones, so they’re not going to criticise you for having chosen particular details.

I have known people who have allowed imperfect details to really influence their enjoyment of the day. It sours their mood, and they lash out at anyone around – their friends, family, and wedding suppliers as a result.

Sometimes, you can’t control the details. Maybe you’ve requested specific flowers from your florist that are too delicate for a hot summer wedding day. Maybe your hair comes loose as the day goes on because it’s windy or there’s a light drizzle.

What you can control, is your reaction and your mood. I’m a big believer that the wedding isn’t about the stuff, it’s about the people. Whenever I do a consultation with a prospective couple, I tell them my advice: don’t sweat the small stuff. Worrying and getting upset about details and precision will not make your wedding a better day.

Budget Benefits

The other benefit of not going overboard with details of course, is that it saves you money. If you’re working on a limited budget, cutting back on details will make a difference. Focus your budget on what’s really important to you instead of trying to spread it too thinly. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save not buying lots of different things. Matching bridesmaid robes and slippers, signposts, flower wall backdrops, personalised neon signs, photo props, candy buffets, dessert tables, boxes of instant camera film… it all adds up. (I also have a blog post about wedding budgets).

The Risk of Photo Lists from Pinterest

Another risk with Pinterest is sending a prescriptive list to your photographer based on hundreds of other wedding photos.

Each of these weddings might have had one or two of these photos, but no single wedding will contain all these photos together. These photos probably make up 0.5% of the actual day.

The Best Photos You Don’t See On Pinterest

There are plenty of ordinary non-Pinterest-worthy moments in every good wedding too, which are special in a highly personal way. You never see photos on Pinterest of the granny having a laugh with the auntie who has travelled thousands of miles. Nor will you see the photos of the small child dancing at the bottom of the aisle during the ceremony. There are no Pinterest boards of cute photos of the bridesmaid sharing a moment with her other half. There’s no photo of the dad having a dram of whisky with his brother, reminiscing in front of a firepit. Those photos never make the cut on Pinterest, they never make a prescribed photo list. In twenty years’ time, when the kid has grown up, people are older, or have passed away, they’re the photos you’re going to love more than Pinterest inspired pictures.

Sometimes there may be a photo taken spontaneously of someone that you absolutely cling to afterwards. This photo becomes more precious than anything else when you need it most.

There are two dangers to sending highly prescriptive photo lists:

  • The photographer or videographer who’s work you love ends up cancelling your contract;
  • If they agree to a list, you end up spending the entire day staging fake moments and missing the real ones.

For every staged photo, there is a lot of choreography and you will need to add extra time to your day. You may also need to book second photographers for some of them.

Embrace Authenticity and Enjoy Yourself

For every Pinterest moment you love, you can trawl the internet and find very cheesy, really dated wedding photos too. The difference is time – today’s fashion is tomorrow’s cringe. What’s popular today will be thought of as dated and cheesy and you probably don’t want a wedding album that reflects that.

The best photos are authentic. That never goes out of style. Authenticity doesn’t come from copying other people’s authenticity.

Use Pinterest as a source of inspiration, but let your day be the day it’s meant to be. Let go of controlling the details and micro-managing a photo list, and trust your suppliers to do their jobs. A good photographer is one who has just enough information to get through the day, and gets on with it. They’ll check in with you if they need more information. Let them go search out things you might miss. In the meantime, you have a drink, a canape, a laugh with your loved ones and enjoy your wedding day. Afterwards, you’ll get a wonderful surprise in opening your gallery and seeing something you never knew about is so much better than you’ll find in a search of Pinterest.

If you’re planning a wedding and you want to keep it real and authentic, then please get in touch! I love working with couples who just want to have a great time on their wedding day, and won’t worry too much about the details.


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