Last week Washingtonian Bridal Party Blog published a story about using Pinterest as a wedding planning tool. It’s a fascinating article, and includes some good ideas and tidbits, both from real brides and from DC-area wedding professionals (including Ampersand Photography bride Vanessa Collins, and myself, as a matter of fact). You can read the article here.
In light of that article (and a few recent conversations about wedding planning, Pinterest, and blogging), I thought it might be helpful to write my own blog post on the subject.
Defining Pinterest // what is it?
Pinterest is an online, virtual inspiration board community. It allows you to save ideas when you see them (called “pins”), organize them into categories (called “boards”), collect ideas from friends (called “repinning”), and search for new ideas and inspirations (called… “searching”). I consider it a community because it’s built on “followings”— I follow Jen and Becka, so I see all the cool things they pin on their boards. If I want to save their idea, I “repin” it, and file it away for later. Jen & Becka follow me, as well, and when they repin things that I find, all of their followers can see it, and if they like what they see from me, they can follow me, as well. Excellent sharing, excellent networking. (Pinterest has a great “Getting Started” section here, if you want to know more).
As useful as it is, Pinterest can also be rather time-consuming. Actually, let’s be honest. It’s like a black-hole-vortex that can easily suck you into a delirious, pin-crazy state of inspired laziness.
Using Pinterest // what is it for?
It’s for curating (saving, storing, searching for, and finding) good ideas.
I use it to collect house decor ideas, curly-hair inspiration, photography poses for when I need to boost my creativity, branding & packaging ideas for work, crafts & projects that I want to try someday (almost all of last year’s Christmas gifts came from this board), and workout routines to try. Basically, if I see a good idea somewhere, I save it to Pinterest. If I’m bored and need a creative boost, I browse Pinterest. If I need an idea or want to search for how to do something, I search in Pinterest. It’s like the “good ideas” file drawer of the Internet.
One practical application: cooking. I think I am exponentially more creative in the kitchen post-Pinterest than pre-Pinterest. You may think this is an exaggeration, but let me assure you, it is not. I’m a self-proclaimed foodie, and always have been, but when it comes to crafting delicious, healthful, creative meals, I just don’t have the artistic palate that some, like my father, possess. Enter: Pinterest, and I’m suddenly inundated with more awesome meal ideas than I could ever wish for. Cue, “A Whole New World,” and let the taste buds go wild. Fried eggs cooked in bell pepper slices, here. Apple pie baked in an apple, here. Broiled grapefruit, here (you must try this one!!). Cheesecake-stuffed strawberries, here. And I have an entire board dedicated to Paleo-friendly dishes (since my diet is rather restrictive these days). I mean, ohmygoodness. Soooooo many good ideas out there!
Weddings and Pinterest // is it helpful?
Yes!! Pinterest is incredibly helpful for couples planning a wedding! Since Pinterest is where all the good ideas hang out, and essentially bypasses all of the tacky/too-hard/why-am-I-looking-at-this ideas, it’s the ideal tool for wedding planning. Wedding planning is uncharted territory for most people, and unless a bride’s job keeps her marinating in wedding-related pictures every day (hellloooooo, wedding photographers and planners!), she probably has very little idea of where to start looking for good ideas for wedding hair, bridesmaid dresses, reception centerpieces, floral arrangements, and stationary design. Pinterest is still vast enough to overwhelm an excited bride, but it’s also organized enough that searches make more sense than in Google. AND she can save all of her wonderful ideas!
A few examples:
- Vanessa planned her own wedding, using Pinterest as her reference point. She knew she wanted formal, elegant, purple bridemaids dresses, so as she searched for them, she saved them to her “bridesmaids” board. She did the same with hair ideas, flowers, shoes, and even wedding poses, so when it came time to put things into action, she had her idea book all prepped and ready to go.
- Jaime knew that she didn’t have much time to plan her wedding, so decided to hire a wedding planner. She still used Pinterest as her starting place, though— perusing ideas, gather inspiration, deciding on themes and colors— so that when it came time to meet with her planner, she could just say, “here are my Pinterest boards,” and her planner knew exactly how to make that a reality.
- Becky used Pinterest as a starting place and a search tool, and printed out many of her favorite ideas to put into a binder, so she could carry it with her. Pinterest was her master search engine.
Regardless of a couple’s budget, time constraints, or planning preferences, Pinterest can be a very helpful wedding planning tool. Most Pinterest-planning brides that I’ve spoken with agree that it’s helpful to create separate boards for different parts of the wedding (one board for flower ideas, one for bridesmaid ideas, one for wedding cakes, etc), but basically, do whatever makes the most sense, and that works for you. Also, I’ve found it helpful to follow some of the major wedding bloggers out there, because they seem to have the best ideas before the rest of us do (more on that later).
Business and Pinterest // how do I use it?
I’m sure there are many smart ways to use Pinterest to help promote my business and my brand, but I’m not really an expert on it. My primary goal behind Pinterest isn’t to garner followers or to make Ampersand Photography shine like a rockstar. I just like pretty things, I adore weddings, and I like to be helpful. If I can combine these three, it makes me giddy. Pinterest combines these three— pretty pictures of pretty things, mostly wedding related, organized into boards that I think would be helpful for brides who are thinking about their own weddings.
Inspiration boards // I don’t know if anyone pays attention to these or not, but I love putting them together. It’s like planning little mini weddings all of the time. A few of my favorites below:
- Blush & Netural— delicate shades of pinks and peaches and tans, with the ocassional bit of sparkle. Favorite inspiration photo for this board here.
- Purple, Orange, & Light Teal— I think this could be perfect for a late August/early September wedding in the evening. Inspired first by this and this, the bright colors are a bit of a departure from what I’m usually drawn to, but I’m absolutely in love with the bright bolds.
- Charcoal Grey & Peonies— I love the contrast between the strength and coolness of the grey and the delicate warmth of the peonies. Contrast in textures and tones always makes me happy, and this image is a good example of that. Besides, peonies are always a good decision, in my opinion.
- Honey & Wheat—Perfect for September!! Warm tones, lots of texture, and the perfect description of sweet love. Inspired by this, and this, and this.
- Hot Yellow & Powder Blue— This might just be my favorite board… mostly because it’s sooooooooo outside the ordinary for me! I don’t know if I have the guts to actually do this for a wedding, but I’m in love with the idea of it. It’s the perfect July/early August wedding color scheme (or perhaps even April, if it’s warm enough), especially mid-day, especially outdoors. Inspired by this image, and excited by this, and this, and this, and this, and even this. (I said it was my favorite!).
- Winter— This is what I consider my board, which is a little silly, I know, but it’s the one that makes me feel most comfortable, most happy, and has the most sighs of happiness attached to it. Originally inspired by the song, “January Wedding,” by The Avett Brothers, and by this wedding, I’ve now absolutely fallen in love with the warmth and textures of winter. And the light! So soft, so lovely.
Other wedding ideas // In addition to my style inspiration boards, I also have boards for wedding things that I think brides might like to see. Wedding food ideas, wedding cakes, my favorite wedding flowers, wedding receptions, and one board that I affectionately titled “Best Wedding Ideas Ever.” Basically, I want to make it beneficial for people to follow me on Pinterest, so I pin and repin ideas that I find useful.
Ampersand Photography, Real pictures // I also have three boards for my own work. I’m hesitant to pin onto these often (I’d much rather encourage people to pin my work on their own), but it is a kind of running portfolio, I suppose.
Following Others // who to follow?
For the Home:
Just because they have excellent taste:
… and me, of course.