Pinterest / Wedding planning

Planning the shit out of my wedding

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:

And:

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:

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…

THE WEDDING BINDER.

The tabs are a little sloppy because this is the planning binder, not the tech week binder. My experience in stage management is basically getting me through wedding planning. That drama degree is REALLY coming in handy.

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?

0 thoughts on “Planning the shit out of my wedding

  1. Well, as someone who is UNABASHEDLY one of those women who totes has a wedding pin board, and it’s public, even though Sean and my one-year anniversary is still a month away but I don’t think he’s ever even clicked onto Pinterest by mistake so hopefully he isn’t already planning on leaving, I love trolling your wedding board and totally skimming off the top of your wonderful ideas. Because I do think there’s something special about a yarn bouquet (though personally, I’m still planning on going vintage brooches for mine) and it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

    I mean, I love weddings, and I am totally one of those girls who has been planning her wedding (over and over and over again) since she found out what a wedding WAS (unlike my own sister, who had to steal my then-wedding concept because she couldn’t come up with one of her own! Tsk, thief. She’s lucky that I probably wouldn’t have wanted to use the wedding I planned when I was 19 anyway. Hmph.)

    Wait, where was I going with this comment? Sorry, thinking about my own someday future wedding again got me distracted.

    • Seeing as it’s impossible to use the now 658 ideas on my pinboard, I sincerely hope that you will steal some of them. And despite having actually said in this entry that I didn’t pin fancy Harry Potter cocktails…I totally did. Just not that many. Like, under a dozen. I promise.

  2. I just got way too excited over the pictures of your organized wedding planning binder. My little stage manager heart wept with glee.

  3. At the risk of sounding like one of the girls you wrote about, seeing your binder of glory makes me feel like I’m behind on planning my planning binder.

    • When Romney made that “binders full of women” comment that people went nuts over, I kept hearing people be like “WTF, Romney? Nobody even uses binders anymore.” And I was like…what? Is it not cool to use binders? AM I NOT COOL? I’M SCARED. I NEED TO GO HIDE. IN A BINDER.”

      • Ha, I know I KNOW. I tend to prefer spiral notebooks, mainly because I believe that those punched out, tiny paper circles literally give me a small stroke, but I have shelves full of both of them. Most of them are full of nuggets about Sheridan Whiteside.

        • Please don’t talk about the nuggets. I have nuggets PTSD. Every time somebody mentions the nuggets I turn into Harpo Marx and refuse to leave the house until my hysterical broken leg has healed.

          • They’re doing Mrs. Warren’s Profession this year. I think I’d prefer Sheridan’s nuggets over Mrs. Warren’s. Is it just me, or is the word ‘nuggets’ causing most of the trauma? And also making me giggle?

  4. Honestly, my best planning tool was having Kelsy as a maid of honor! You’re absolutely right, those stage management skills come in handy.

    I obsessed over making schedules for everyone involved, which was a lot of time and stress, and about five minutes into the day, those schedules went out the window. Letting it all happen without freaking out over what “should” be happening is key. Whatever is happening is what should be happening. Except for those teenage jerks in Halloween costumes attempting to walk through my reception area to get to their party. To them, I assertively claimed my territory as quickly as I could.

    I’m just blabbering, now, but if you ever have questions, just Facebook message me or something.

    • Here’s something you might relate to then! We wedding is on a Sunday, but the venue has another event planned for the Saturday before. Since my contract specifies that I am reserved the entire venue and grounds for the entire day of my event, I assumed this meant I couldn’t have my rehearsal the day before my wedding, since another bride has the grounds booked. But the venue people were like “nah, we can do it, just let us know when you want to rehearse.” And I was like…excuse me? Does that mean that you will allow other people to come walk around the venue during MY wedding as well? I THINK NOT. WE NEED ALL THE PARKING SPACES. DON’T FUCK WITH ME.

  5. I take credit for that Jam pin…and admittedly did not make jam for my wedding. I did however have a food favor that the guests could take home, but it was nothing that I made. (What bride has time to bake?!) I was obsessed with Pinterest, too and found a lot of great ideas there. I didn’t want my wedding album to look like a Pinterest board though. I tried to develop a foundation of ideas from Pinterest but still challenge myself to make the wedding “mine”. Pinterest almost made it too easy…

    • How weird was it to see your jam pin on somebody else’s blog?? I definitely agree with you that, if I had the time, I’d love to give my wedding guests jam as a favor. ADORABLE. And I also agree with you about not wanting to make your wedding look like a Pinterest board–early in the process, I scrapped a lot of my mason-jar and burlap ideas, because I don’t want people to show up at my reception and be like “Oh, she made those pinterest jars I’ve seen a million times. SNORE.”

      I’d love to see what ideas you found on Pinterest that you were able to adapt (or buy!) for your actual wedding.

  6. I had a binder too! It was pink! And had tabs! And was completely awesome for hanging onto contracts and deadlines. Honestly, I am not a girl who had ever really given much thought to planning a wedding, so I was wading into unfamiliar territory when I began. If Pinterest had existed when I was engaged (dear God how old am I???), I think it would have been a really handy tool just to help me get some focus and figure out what I really wanted.

    As it was, my personal planning philosophy for the big day was to keep things as simple and possible so as not to stress myself into oblivion over things that didn’t really matter as much in hindsight. We also wanted to either use personal friends/family or local businesses or DIY for as many aspects of the wedding as we could. This helped cut down on costs and made it feel more personal. Of course, we happen to be really lucky that we happen to be related to a lot of people who do work for weddings. My MIL arranges flowers, my cousin is a photographer, my FIL is a judge, and my friend is a violinist. So, flowers, photos, music, and the ceremony were all taken care of by default. But maybe one of your friends of family members has a talent that you can take advantage of for your day too. It’s special for them to be involved and it’s special for you because it’s so personal. So, if you know someone who sings, plays an instrument, knits, arranges flowers, bakes, sews, does graphic design, or anything like that, enlist their skills and let them shine!

    • My wedding is going to be just like yours, Molly! Dave is officiating and my best friend from high school is providing ceremony music and singing for our first dance, which means there are going to be way more showtunes involved in the wedding than Jonathan realizes.

  7. Pingback: The devil’s in the (wedding) details | Army Pants and Flip Flops

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