So you’ve reached the stage in your engagement where it’s time to get serious about planning the big day—congrats! This is such an exciting milestone! Depending on how far along you are in your planning, you’re likely starting to feel your excitement shift into stress. You’ve heard that Pinterest is the place to collect wedding inspiration, so you’re all set up and ready to pin those ideas! But suddenly, the endless scroll of ideas starts to feel like the Wild West. You either don’t know where to start or you’ve got way too many pins to make sense of things. What to do? Don’t worry! This article will help you get things in order so your pinboards can work for you rather than being unhelpful and paralyzing.
Let’s discuss how:
Goals & Expectations
The purpose of creating an inspiration board is to communicate your vision to yourself and your collaborative partners (wedding planner, photographer, florist, etc.). Anyone who’s helping you plan or bring your vision to life should be able to look at the inspiration board and quickly understand your vision and style. A well-planned board will help you keep from wandering off course and create clarity for your vendors as they do their jobs.
It can be helpful to brainstorm before you pin so that you have some basic goals in mind to guide you as you search and select inspirational photos. When planning a photo shoot, I like to give myself three to five words to guide my pinning efforts. Things like “glamorous, ballroom, moody, burgundy” or “rustic, fall, organic, whimsical” can help prevent cluttered pinboards before you even start.
If you are still deciding what style you want, or if you’re already knee-deep in some cluttered pinboards, don’t worry; we can still fix this! In a few minutes, we’ll talk about how to edit your boards and get them in order.
Remember, the idea here is to gather inspiration, not to replicate everything you see. A lot of what you see on Pinterest comes from collaborative styled shoots (not real weddings) and is made to be inspirational. That means there may be some limitations to time or budget on your wedding that weren’t the case for the shoot you’re looking at. With a carefully curated pinboard, your creative vendors (florist, photographer, designer) will be able to understand your vision, see patterns in your preferences, and create something tailored specifically to you.
The last thing I’ll say about expectations is that DIY is not always less expensive or easier. If not done well, DIY can actually cheapen your vision. Be very selective when considering DIY wedding projects to avoid overwhelming yourself with added tasks and expenses.
Start With a Single Main Wedding Board
Now that you have those three to five words (glamorous, ballroom, dramatic, burgundy, etc.) picked out, it’s time to start saving inspiration for your board. To start, you’ll create one main wedding board. Later, we’ll discuss more topic-specific boards, but for now, just create the main pinboard. Using your three to five keywords, start searching for related wedding ideas, like “glamorous ballroom wedding” or “dramatic burgundy bouquets.” Being specific with your searches will help you find more relevant pins.
Now that you’re finding things to pin, take a moment for each pin you save to write some comments or notes about why you’re pinning it. I say this for several reasons.
First, you’re going to be looking at a lot of ideas as you plan. Note what you loved about each pin so you’ll remember what drew you to it. That way, you can see if it’s still in line with your vision later.
Second, your collaborative partners, like your wedding planner, may see the same pin but think it’s beautiful for a different reason than why you liked it. Annotating your pins will help your vendors understand your goals better.
Last, taking the time to make a note on each photo you pin forces you to slow down and be intentional with what you save. This will help keep you from going overboard with random pins and keep your vision on track.
If you took the time to be selective with your pins, you’ll be thankful when it comes time for the next step—editing your board!
Curation Is Key!
Once you’ve saved some ideas on your main wedding board, you need to edit down what you’ve saved. This step is crucial and probably the biggest takeaway of this article, so don’t skip it! The main reason Pinterest becomes overwhelming when you’re wedding planning is a lack of curation. You need to clarify your vision for it to be helpful!
Your finalized main wedding board should have no more than 20—yes, I said 20—pins. More than that, and your vision starts to become cloudy and overwhelming. Before you panic, let me assure you we’ll get into some detail-specific boards in the next section. Remember, it is just a vision board, not the actual wedding day. You don’t want it to become so broad that it’s confusing or so detailed that it’s not flexible. Anyone who looks at your main wedding board should be able to instantly understand what direction you’re going and glean a general idea of your theme and style.
To edit your board, review your previous pins and start deleting pins that don’t fully align with what you want your wedding to be. During the initial phase, we tend to get excited and save things that aren’t quite in line with our goal. Something you pinned at first may be irrelevant now that you’ve found alternative ideas. Be a little ruthless with this process. Again, 15–20 pins total is the goal! This board becomes the benchmark for the rest of your planning and decisions.
After you’ve pared down to 20 pins or less, take a step back and look at your overall board. Is this what you want your wedding to look and feel like? Are the pins cohesive? Do they go well together? Hopefully, at this point, your answer will be an excited “Yes!” If not, keep tweaking your selections until it is!
Vendor- or Detail-Specific Boards
Once you have your wedding inspiration board figured out, you can expand into more detail- or vendor-specific boards (photography, fashion, florals, etc.). You’ll follow the same steps you used to create your main board and use the main board as a guide. If your main board is rustic, organic, and whimsical, you can search for things like “rustic bridal bouquets” and look for ideas that align with the overall vision.
Once again, after you’ve spent some time adding pins to each category-specific board, you will want to go back and clean them up to bring them each to 20 pins or less. Just like the main board, your floral designer should be able to look at your floral inspiration board and quickly understand your style and goals. Once you’ve curated one of your sub-boards to 20 pins or less, take some time to compare it with your primary wedding board. Is it on the right track? Does it match your overall vision? If it does, pat yourself on the back and celebrate your progress. If not, go back and refine it until it’s cohesive.
Pro Tip: If you already know what florist, planner, or photographer you’re working with, see if any photos in their blog or portfolio already reflect the style you’re looking for. This is a great way to gauge whether the vendor you have in mind is a good fit.
Collaborate With Your Vendors
Allowing your vendors to contribute to your boards is helpful because they can bring in ideas you didn’t even know were an option. By having the pros guide you and work with you, you can be more confident that your vision is cohesive and executed well. An experienced professional will be able to spot possible challenges that may arise or fill in the gaps to clarify your vision further. Long story short, if you can connect and share ideas with your vendors, brainstorming together, you’re setting yourself up for greater success on the big day!
Planning a wedding takes a lot of work, and creating helpful inspiration boards takes time and effort. Take it one step at a time. First, create your main board and curate it to clarify your vision, then proceed with your more specific boards, editing them down too. Last, involve your wedding vendors in the planning process. They’ll be a huge help when it comes to distilling your vision for the day and bringing it all to life! Be assured that if you take the time to employ these steps from the start, your efforts will pay off in the long run!