I’m not ready to come right out and say that I hate Pinterest, because it just feels a bit extreme. It feels harsh to turn on a friend that I spent so long admiring, who has given me years of inspiration, ideas and pretty things to look at. However, now that I’m engaged and deep in the throws of planning a wedding, I’m starting to realize that this old, inspiring friend might not be as faithful as I once thought.
When I got engaged, I had two goals for the wedding planning process:
- I wanted the wedding to reflect who we are as a couple.
- I wanted to get through the wedding planning process with smiles on our faces—refusing to believe the perpetuated idea that being engaged is about as fun as getting a cavity filled.
I wanted our wedding to be our wedding, and I wasn’t going to let a beautiful, sacred season in our lives be tainted by stress about flowers and seating charts. Yet, as my fiance and I began to dream about our big day, I realized that I had no clue what I wanted. I didn’t have a secret wedding board on Pinterest (seriously!) and I hadn’t spent much time picturing the day in detail. So, with the excitement of a kiddo on Christmas morning, I started that wedding Pinterest board and got to work.
At first, it was fun. I was pinning and pinning, researching, scouring, and finding beautiful photos that in some small way reflected the day as I wanted it to be. It was even more fun as we worked on our budget and I realized that we actually might be able to have the things I was pinning! When does that ever happen?
I reached out to photographers of my favorite pinned photos and other vendors behind the magic. I couldn’t wait to hear back, but when I did that’s when the fun ended. As they sent me their price sheets, I realized that hiring just one of them would stretch our budget to the breaking point. The simple centerpiece that I had pinned would cost 100 dollars each — which were pennies compared to the rest of my newly concocted dream. I started to fight for the things that I saw in photos, prepared to give up a whole litany of things that were really important for the sake of perfection, because that’s what I thought I wanted: perfection.
I started to fight for the things that I saw in photos, prepared to give up a whole litany of things that were really important for the sake of perfection, because that’s what I thought I wanted…
All the while, my insides wound tighter and tighter until just looking at our budget made me want to cry. This dream wedding that I had begun to craft in my mind sagged like a week old balloon. I hadn’t imagined that a Pinterest-picked wedding would be so hard to plan, so expensive or so impossible.
Oh but it was, and I was mad. I was disappointed.
So, one night I went home, took a few deep breaths, and began to make a list. What’s actually important to me? What actually reflects us as a couple? That was the first time in a long time I’d asked those questions. In the process of perusing and pinning perfection, I’d forgotten what my definition of perfect actually was.
- Does it reflect who we are?
- Are we still smiling?
The answer to both of those questions was no.
Yes, the wedding on my wedding board may have been perfect, but we never said we were looking for perfect. A perfect wedding wouldn’t reflect us. We wanted a day that looked like us. One that was filled with warmth and celebration and family. We wanted our dear ones to feel special and a part of things—surrounding us with their love as we took our first steps into the future. We wanted to enjoy our time of being engaged, using it as a time to grow closer and to dream about our future. We didn’t want to spend the next six months being stressed out party planners, bickering our way through a web of decisions.
I’d lost sight of all of that. I’d lost sight of the “I do,” and the things that were actually important to us in the collage of perfection pinned up on a board in my mind.
So, in one swift, decisive moment—with our list of priorities in hand—I called all of the expensive vendors. I told them “thank you, but no thank you,” breathing a sigh of relief with each call. Only then did we began to dream again—not of the perfect wedding, but of our wedding.
With that, I began to smile again.
Are you engaged or recently married? Was Pinterest a friend or foe during the planning process?
Image via Morgan Ashley Photography