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Pinning Your Way down the Aisle

Your Virtual Wedding Planner

By Kelsey Hendrix  |  Photography Courtesy of Brighten Photography

There has never been a more beautiful bride. As she starts down the aisle, which is covered in ivory rose petals, branches wrapped in clear lights shimmer overhead. Her bouquet is exquisite––handcrafted and one of a kind. The attention, however, is undoubtedly upon her. Her windswept hair is pulled back in an elegant braided bun, her makeup is flawless and effortlessly chic, and her dress is made just for her, covered in delicate lace.

And in the planning process, she never even had to leave the house. No bridal boutiques or afternoons gallivanting around the newest convention center bridal show were necessary––just a computer and a Pinterest.com account. In the age of Pinterest, the qualms and seemingly life-altering decisions that go along with planning a wedding magically disappear. With just a click here and there, one can find solutions to wedding-day dilemmas and DIY projects to save money on decorations and favors that are even more meaningful when handmade, anyway. A photo-sharing website that enables users to organize archives of photos, or “pins,” onto theme-based collections, Pinterest has gained worldwide attention for its creative ability to connect people through visual ideas.

As a Dallas-based wedding planner and coordinator of Borrowed and Blue Occasions, Britni Ramsey knows the perks of planning online firsthand. With her Pinterest boards given such titles as “Here Comes the Bride,” “Bling,” and “The Ladies,” Ramsey has formulated a system of categorizing ideas to use in every aspect of planning a wedding. From invitations and save-the-dates to bachelorette parties, every piece of the marital bliss puzzle can be found in the confines of these virtual corkboards. To modernize the business of wedding planning, she uses her boards, full of hundreds of pins, to inspire brides to think about the small details amid the big picture of their monumental day.

View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel

With just a click here and there, one can find solutions to wedding-day dilemmas and DIY projects to save money on decorations and favors that are even more meaningful when handmade, anyway.
View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel  

With weddings comes the undoubted need for surprise, so Ramsey uses the new Pinterest feature of “secret” and “shared” boards as a way to work remotely with brides. “Whenever a bride finds anything she likes, such as decor, flowers, and especially the dress, she pins it on our shared board so that I can also see it and use it to plan ahead,” Ramsey says. “The pins and boards help me see a bride’s overall vision for her wedding. If I’m looking at a board, there’s always a recurring theme. Otherwise, if you were coming up to me, showing me things randomly, I might not catch that theme. It helps me help the bride; it puts me in her world.”

Ramsey errs on the side of caution when using Pinterest and DIY ideas in their entirety, though, explaining that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with little projects and that it is more important to look at images and ideas as a whole. “Pinterest so often leads people to think DIY is the way to go, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Sometimes it’s better to spend two dollars more to have someone else do a project for you. There’s a false sense of hope that comes with DIY and Pinterest in terms of what you think your wedding should look like and how a project will actually turn out.”

The process seems effortless in the beginning and allows women (and a few daring and brave gentlemen) to get ahead on planning their special day as they search Pinterest or gather ideas from friends to store for later.

View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel

But is there a problem with creating boards too early? Say, before there’s a ring involved … or even a man? Future bride Tara Bullock of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, began her planning process on Pinterest a few months before getting engaged to now-fiancé Kent Burton. The title “In a galaxy far, far away…” sits at the top of what was once a hidden board where Bullock collected over a hundred images of everything from exquisite centerpiece fillers to ring cleaning tricks and elaborate nail embellishments. Because of a common social taboo against pinning prior to planning, she began her process when the secret board feature was introduced—a few months before she got engaged. “I used to judge girls who created wedding boards before they were engaged or even in a relationship,” Bullock says. “I guess I did that because of the possibility of a wedding not happening. Even though I’ve been dating the same guy for four years and I love him very much, nothing is set in stone, and you never know what could happen.”

Since her engagement in February, Bullock has revealed her board to the world. The board is now a collaborative tool where everyone from her future hubby to her maid of honor can make suggestions or comment on ideas that will inevitably influence her journey to matrimony. The bride-to-be is using her board as a way to get her creative juices spinning and to narrow down options for color palettes and themes. Even so, Bullock has quickly found that there are caveats to using Pinterest as the ultimate wedding tool. “I would never want my wedding to look like it came straight out of Pinterest,” she says. “It’s become incredibly difficult to be original [with a wedding] because someone has probably already done it and pinned, blogged, or tweeted about it.”

View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel

For those in the final stages of planning a wedding, Pinterest might not be the best place to seek new ideas. The myriad possibilities on the site could cause them to second-guess choices they have already made. “When I got engaged, Pinterest was on the edge of blowing up,” says Brittani Ward, a Houston resident who married her husband in October 2011. “I found Pinterest to be more of a hindrance for me as the wedding got closer. Everyone was on Pinterest (by that point) and referred to it for ideas. It was a great tool, but we were so close to the wedding, and I kept questioning my ideas and wanting to add more detail. It became quite overwhelming for me.”

Whether as part of the planning stages months before the big day or simply as inspiration from beautiful photographs, Pinterest offers users a way to combine the simplest of ideas to create a day full of beautiful things. Simplicity and a firm knowledge of a set theme are still essential components for brides to maintain, but the possibilities are limitless within this modern-day hope chest.


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