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Taking my Wedding Back from Pinterest


I’m not ready to come right out and say that I hate Pinterest, because it just feels a bit extreme. It feels harsh to turn on a friend that I spent so long admiring, who has given me years of inspiration, ideas and pretty things to look at. However, now that I’m engaged and deep in the throws of planning a wedding, I’m starting to realize that this old, inspiring friend might not be as faithful as I once thought.

When I got engaged, I had two goals for the wedding planning process:

  1. I wanted the wedding to reflect who we are as a couple.
  2. I wanted to get through the wedding planning process with smiles on our faces—refusing to believe the perpetuated idea that being engaged is about as fun as getting a cavity filled.

I wanted our wedding to be our wedding, and I wasn’t going to let a beautiful, sacred season in our lives be tainted by stress about flowers and seating charts. Yet, as my fiance and I began to dream about our big day, I realized that I had no clue what I wanted. I didn’t have a secret wedding board on Pinterest (seriously!) and I hadn’t spent much time picturing the day in detail. So, with the excitement of a kiddo on Christmas morning, I started that wedding Pinterest board and got to work.

At first, it was fun. I was pinning and pinning, researching, scouring, and finding beautiful photos that in some small way reflected the day as I wanted it to be. It was even more fun as we worked on our budget and I realized that we actually might be able to have the things I was pinning! When does that ever happen?

I reached out to photographers of my favorite pinned photos and other vendors behind the magic. I couldn’t wait to hear back, but when I did that’s when the fun ended. As they sent me their price sheets, I realized that hiring just one of them would stretch our budget to the breaking point. The simple centerpiece that I had pinned would cost 100 dollars each — which were pennies compared to the rest of my newly concocted dream. I started to fight for the things that I saw in photos, prepared to give up a whole litany of things that were really important for the sake of perfection, because that’s what I thought I wanted: perfection.

All the while, my insides wound tighter and tighter until just looking at our budget made me want to cry. This dream wedding that I had begun to craft in my mind sagged like a week old balloon.

I hadn’t imagined that a Pinterest-picked wedding would be so hard to plan, so expensive or so impossible.

Oh but it was, and I was mad. I was disappointed.

So, one night I went home, took a few deep breaths, and began to make a list. What’s actually important to me? What actually reflects us as a couple? That was the first time in a long time I’d asked those questions. In the process of perusing and pinning perfection, I’d forgotten what my definition of perfect actually was.

  1. Does it reflect who we are?  
  2. Are we still smiling?

The answer to both of those questions was no.

Yes, the wedding on my wedding board may have been perfect, but we never said we were looking for perfect.

A perfect wedding wouldn’t reflect us. We wanted a day that looked like us. One that was filled with warmth and celebration and family. We wanted our dear ones to feel special and a part of things—surrounding us with their love as we took our first steps into the future. We wanted to enjoy our time of being engaged, using it as a time to grow closer and to dream about our future. We didn’t want to spend the next six months being stressed out party planners, bickering our way through a web of decisions.

I’d lost sight of all of that. I’d lost sight of the “I do,” and the things that were actually important to us in the collage of perfection pinned up on a board in my mind.

So, in one swift, decisive moment—with our list of priorities in hand—I called all of the expensive vendors. I told them “thank you, but no thank you,” breathing a sigh of relief with each call.  Only then did we began to dream again—not of the perfect wedding, but of our wedding.

With that, I began to smile again.

Are you engaged or recently married? Was Pinterest a friend or foe during the planning process? 

Originally posted on Darling Magazine. 

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Add a Comment
  1. sunny says:

    Glad you took your wedding back! You deserve to smile and not stress during this time of planning!

    I’m impressed you were going with all the expensive vendors. Were you going to contract with the very ones whose images were on pinterest? or were you using pinterest to gain ideas to show vendors in your area what you’re interested in?

    I’m out of the loop. Haven’t planned a wedding yet 🙂

    I’ve used Pinterest to plan changes to my apartment, and have taken the photos as inspiration, then gotten similar items from thrift stores, rummage sales and regular ol’ stores like Target and Hobby Lobby. I treat Pinterest as an idea board and then it’s up to me to track down the items I like in my area (which is not a major city).

  2. Catherine says:

    I’m not too surprised by this – Pinterest is so beautiful, and I find myself imagining far grander things with it than without it. Maybe I’ll use it as a starting point only, as a brewer of ideas that I’ll then concoct on my own… 🙂

  3. Emma says:

    Hi Steph!

    I got married in July and did use Pinterest – but only for inspiration on the tone of the day, not to become fixated on things I had to have. Above all, I found a pin that says “I want my marriage to be more beautiful than my wedding” and held on to that when I felt myself getting pulled into the perfection trap. Your day will be beautiful no matter what! And more importantly, it is just the beginning of a wonderful marriage to come. It won’t be perfect – I forgot my lipstick and lip gloss that I had made sure to buy after my trial make up session at the hotel (still in their boxes) and had nothing to reapply before going down the aisle! But it didn’t matter – I borrowed some from my bridesmaid and off I went! In the end, it goes by so fast, I can hardly remember what the flowers looked like without looking at the pictures. All you remember is the love you feel being surrounded by all of your family and friends and the excitement in marrying the person you love. Congratulations! Have so much fun!

  4. Charlotte says:

    Great article! I appreciated reading this as my wedding is in T-minus 10 weeks, and we are in the throws of planning 🙂 Those two questions you mentioned are so important, and serve as a great tool in keeping the wedding focused.

    A couple years ago I was chatting with a wedding planner and she told me how pinterest was a wedding planner’s worst nightmare because brides were coming to her with ideas that would cost $100,000+! With this in mind, pinterest was more friend than foe for me because I used it for inspiration (colours, flowers, theme, etc.) I also loved it because I share a board with my mum so we can trade ideas back and forth (my family lives in Western Canada, and I’m on the East).

    Thank you for writing this! It spurred on a great conversation between me and my fiance to make sure we were still smiling, and that our wedding was still “us”. It’s so easy to lose sight during this busy time, but it’s important to spend time planning/working on your marriage-to-be as well as the wedding. Happy planning!

  5. Lauren says:

    This is one of the reasons why I became a wedding planner … I want to help people have a day that reflects who they are and I want them to be able to prepare for their marriage, not just their wedding day. So glad you had this realization early on the process!

  6. Leah Roderick says:

    Hey Stephanie! I enjoyed your blog! my advice to you would be to have fun planning your special day but do not get caught up in the details. I am so happy you were able to make it to our wedding in Missouri. If you remember, it did not go as planned… I got married in a church that I had never set foot in (with an American and Christian flag in the background haha). It was freezing cold and wet outside. And it was absolutely PERFECT. Everyone that we loved and cared about was there supporting us. I was obsessed with my groom (still obsessed with him) and Jesus showed up. I think simplicity is so beautiful in a wedding. It helps the true magic of the day not be overshadowed. Happy planning and we are so happy for you!

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