Three-ring binders full of pictures clipped from magazines are out. Pinboards are in. When you hear the engaged say “Pin it!” chances are they’re not talking to a tailor, but instead saving images to their Pinterest accounts.
Pinterest is a social sharing site that allows users to “pin” images that they find on the web to virtual “boards,” which they can then share with others. Users can also upload their own images. This ease of saving and sharing has made Pinterest the new go-to tool for both the soon-to-be married and professional planners.
“Every single bride now has a Pinterest page,” says Shelly Kane of Moxie Events. “With my brides, it’s at 100 percent right now.” Kane has been in the wedding planning business for eight years, so she’s seen the value that Pinterest offers first-hand. A bride that she recently worked with was “dead set” on the colors black, white, wool gray and kelly green, but whenever they looked at tables set up with those colors, the bride wasn’t pleased. One look at the bride’s Pinterest page revealed why. “Everything on her Pinterest page had lush browns and foresty greens,” Kane says. “After that she realized what she really liked, and we completely changed her color scheme.”
Kane also noticed that this bride’s Pinterest account had many pictures of quilts that her grandmother had made. This led to the wedding guests writing messages on quilt squares for Grandma to turn into a quilt. That’s a meaningful personal touch that, without the Pinterest pictures, might not even have come up in the planning conversation. “Now I can understand right from the get-go what people like,” Kane says. “Used to be, I would have to ask a lot of questions to get the feel for the wedding and now people just pop up their Pinterest page and say, ‘This is what I like.’ And I look for the patterns in what they’re selecting to really get to the heart of it.”
Eugene bride-to-be Debra Grosella is using Pinterest to share her ideas with her family who live in Philadelphia. “My sister is my wedding planner but she lives 3,000 miles away,” Grosella says, “so we’ll look at things online while we’re planning and she’ll pin it in my folder. Maybe that’s not how it’s intended to be used but it’s worked for us.” Grosella is still picking up the odd wedding magazine or two, but that’s not her focus. “If I only had magazines to look at my wedding would be completely different than it is going to be. With Pinterest along with so many different blogs and wedding sites online … those are endless idea libraries rather than just 100 pages that would be in a magazine. And Pinterest has more actual ideas than advertisements.”
But there’s a dark side to Pinterest as well. “It gets to be overwhelming because there are so many ideas,” Kane says. “What you have to do is categorize it all correctly. Have a section for your guest book table, and a section for your dessert table, gift table, bar, reception tent, guest tables, dance floors and everything, not just one whole wedding page. Break it down.”
But as much as Pinterest has to offer, it can also give you unattainable ideas. “You might find the dress that you’re absolutely in love with,” Grosella says, “but then you run into the challenge of actually finding that dress. It’s a pro and a con depending on how you look at it.”
The first thing Kane does when she’s meeting with clients for the first time is pull out her iPad and bring up their Pinterest pages. “Pinterest lets you put all of your ideas into one platform, one location, and it’s free,” she says. “It’s an idea magnet that everyone is able to access now.”