Only hours after my engagement, I feverishly created a wedding-planning board on Pinterest. Maybe this sounds obsessive, but I refused (unlike a wild population of women on the internet) to start publicly planning my wedding until I could convince a man that proposing to me would be worth the obsessive public planning of our wedding. Which took a large amount of restraint, and I think Jonathan half expected me to start the pinboard using 3G on the drive home from our engagement dinner.
Don’t get me wrong—I would never criticize women who want to save wedding ideas in an organized, cohesive place, regardless of their current relationship status; that would be really hypocritical of my OCD-like tendency to over-plan and to write EVERYTHING down so I don’t forget it. (For example, I saved a note on my iPhone almost a year ago that just says “6330.” I stared at it for weeks recently, until I realized it’s the street address for the Michael’s craft store closest to my apartment. You really never know when you’re going to need that.)
As it was, however, I had a boyfriend who occasionally checked my Pinterest profile for gift ideas, and who already thought I was sort of crazy. Which was partially due, in fact, to my obsession with Pinterest. So I had to expertly restrain my look-at-all-the-pretty-wedding-things-on-the-internet-sparkly-shiny OCD until he popped the question. At which point it actually appears that I physically exploded. Or digitally exploded, at least.
That is a small sampling, 47 weeks into wedding planning. 655 pins. Roughly 90% of which are now completely irrelevant, but still very pretty so I’m not deleting them.
Of course, 11 months after my engagement, Pinterest launched its secret boards. Because apparently they don’t want other crazy people to suffer the way I suffered pre-engagement. Social media is always improving our lives. And our craziness.
One substantial reason I’m glad I waited until my real-time wedding planning to create the pinboard is that fantasy wedding planning rarely involves a budget. If you’d asked me several years ago, I would have told you that my wedding would include an open top-shelf liquor bar, fondue pots on every guest table with 12 different kinds of cheese, bottomless champagne, and a venue ceiling enchanted to look like the night sky (I read about it in Hogwarts: A History.)
In real life, however, cheese is much more expensive than you’d think. Especially when you’re feeding it to 150 people, none of whom are lactose intolerant. It would have been heartbreaking to have saved an entire webpage full of fondue recipes and Harry Potter-inspired Maker’s Mark or Grey Goose cocktails that would spend the rest of my wedding-planning time reminding me how sad and sober it is to be poor.
But within my budget, Pinterest has been a great tool to help me visualize how my ideas fit together, and to collect them in a cohesive place where my sister/maid of honor can tell me how stupid she thinks they are. For instance:
Obviously, despite the fact that we are twins, my sister and I have a lot of different opinions about the color pink and incorporating our hobbies into our weddings. In my defense, Pretty Pretty Princess is still my all-time favorite board game, AND CROCHETING IS A VERY USEFUL HOBBY. I could probably make that yarn bouquet for free out of the stock piles of scrap yarn currently occupying one of my dresser drawers and half of a bureau.
But then occasionally she’ll agree with me.
And then sometimes she tries to get me to make jam.
As seen above, another feature that makes Pinterest great for wedding planning is that it allows you to add admin pinners to any given board. So Joanna and my other Pinterest-account-holding bridesmaids can pin ideas they come across for my wedding. Except I think they’ve all learned their lesson about jam.
Now that the initial-idea explosion is beginning to die down (I have, after all, secured a dress, a venue, and the loose ideas for my catering menu, among other things), the massive pinboard is somewhat impractical. A lot of soon-to-be or would-be brides create multiple wedding pinboards: one for hair ideas, one for cake ideas, one for invitation design ideas, etc. But I figured I’m already obnoxious enough as it is, so instead I created a Google Doc to compile my favorite and/or most practical ideas into categories, to then create…
Although my wedding Pinterest board has actually been an integral part of my planning process, the physical binder is a much better place to keep things like contracts and vendor information, deposit records, a working guest list (complete with plus ones and kids’ names), and an extremely detailed Excel budget spreadsheet that simultaneously makes you want to vomit and to update your resume to make sure it accurately represents just how fucking awesome your Microsoft Office skills are.
Tell me, internet people; if you’ve had a wedding, what was your best planning tool, and what are you kicking yourself for not taking advantage of? If you’re planning a wedding, what’s been most helpful to you so far? If you’re currently unbetrothed but have a wedding board on Pinterest, how do you think it may affect your future wedding?