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Pinterest is the name of the game when it comes to wedding planning. Or planning anything for that matter, amiright? You use it to find a game plan for organizing your pantry. How you want your next haircut to turn out. It’s an encyclopedia of how tos.
Pinterest shows us all the new trends, the easiest DIYs, the advice from all those who have planned before us. So we trust it implicitly.
And talking weddings, it’s a visual world out there. We see things that we like and we know we want to see it again at our wedding.
As a wedding photographer, one of the first things I ask a couple is if they have a Pinterest board I can look at. It’s the first way to visually understand a vibe and a desired outcome.
So here’s the thing. Here’s why I’m writing this.
Weddings have gone up in price every single year. The average price of a wedding in the Austin area is $27,743, about $198 a guest.
Okay now why is this relevant?? Stay with me. Because when you’re using a visual search for planning, prices are not included. It’s not like you’re actually shopping, you’re creating a huge mood board that essentially has an unlimited budget! So it’s important that while you’re creating that mood board, you keep your expectations in check. Here are a few ways to look at it.
When looking through Pinterest, always remember the bigger, more extravagant things are, they are going to cost more.
This might sound like DUH did you even need to say that, but I often find myself having to slow my role and remember that.
I mean, you see a giant floral wedding arbor, and you fall in love. And you’re like, well Trader Joe’s sells bunches of sunflowers for like three dollars so how expensive could florals really be??
But on Pinterest, you’re not necessarily considering the type of flowers. Or what season they bloom in, and if your wedding date falls within that season. Definitely not travel fees if your florist is out of town. Or the prep time before your wedding and the installation time on your wedding day.
You just want that big beautiful bouquet. And you’re not thinking it could be very much.
This happens to me all the time. I see a giant fluffy, floral garland along a head table, my heart says “YES I need the fluffiest garland in the world for my head table.”
Big fluffy bouquets and garlands, tables full of antique candelabras and hand calligraphied signage; more of something always looks more desirable.
But you know what I mean when I say fluffy right? It means lots and lots of flowers and greenery. Do you know what lots and lots means? $$$.
A good way to keep things in check is just consider the volume and quantity of what’s in a photo. If there’s a lot, you can remember that it’s going to cost a lot.
We can all be thankful that simple and minimal is a trend now, yes? 🙂
Here are two different scenarios.
You go into a meeting with your dream rental company. First, you pull up your Pinterest board, show many examples of wedding days that feature elaborate tablescapes.
You say gold flatware, crushed velvet table linens, and at least one mid-mod couch are must haves for you. The nice people at the rental company try to navigate your expectations against your expected budget. You end up inevitably disappointed.
Or you enter the meeting by starting with your hard cost. Your budget, your top number. The one thing that can’t really budge (get it?!).
Then, as a jumping off point, you share your Pinterst board. The same one with the tablescapes. But you say this is the ~vibe~ I’m wanting to achieve.
Then they show you the pieces that fit that ~vibe~ and are at your budget. They suggest alternatives that will work within your price range, but still look like you! You end up feeling inspired and happy that your budget feels reasonable with the pieces they suggest.
The biggest difference between these scenarios is your mindset. And maybe you do have the budget for at least 2 couch sets and crushed velvet on each table, so this doesn’t really apply. P.S. if you do, can I please get an invite to your wedding because, goals.
But starting with an open mind and allowing your vendors to guide you (they are the experts, after all!) will ensure that you don’t leave feeling disappointed, and you still get to have the wedding of your dreams!
The best things Pinterest is good for, and what I believe you should solely use it for are:
It is the absolute worst place for setting expectations and creating lists of things you must have at your wedding.
Hire a full service planner that will help you navigate your expectations throughout the whole process.
I promise you, you will not have a better experience planning things on your own. Your planner will help you create a budget with zero judgement, and help you stick within that. Managing your budget + your expectations is the name of the game, and you absolutely need to have someone helping you with that.
Obviously, in our personal wedding planning this has rung most true. So like I said, I’ll never ever stop saying it! 🙂
But there is nothing wrong with doing it solo. To figure out the averages of vendors in your area and start creating a budget, I highly recommend checking out Wedding Wire’s cost guide.
To figure out how we’re planning on paying for our dream wedding ourselves, this Let’s Cut the Cake post from a few weeks back goes over our budgeting process!
How have you used Pinterest for wedding planning? I want to hear how you navigate our favorite visual how to encyclopedia! Tell me in the comments below!
We are an Austin, Texas-based wedding photography duo committed to celebrating your Big Day by capturing every joyous, unscripted moment.