Pinterest - How to Use Wisely and Avoid Inspiration Overload
Let me start by saying that I love Pinterest. It is a brilliant source of inspiration, full of amazing ideas, beautiful aesthetics and clever tips that I'd never have thought of. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and a Pinterest board can say so much that words would struggle to convey.
I also hate Pinterest. It gives me and my clients unrealistic expectations of what is achievable. It is overwhelming; there's so much content it makes it hard to narrow down a selection. It's a prime tool for procrastination and going off at a tangent until your board is full of pictures of sunglasses but you're meant to be looking at flowers!
So what is my advice to couples considering using Pinterest to aid and assist their wedding planning? How do you remain in love with Pinterest and avoid the pitfalls that make so many feel overwhelmed? The most important thing to remember about Pinterest is that it is a great source of inspiration. Use it that way; to provide ideas, generate thoughts, provoke feelings and discussions, guide you to what you’re looking for. Do not presume that you can replicate perfectly something you have seen on Pinterest. You will likely be disappointed if you try to do this.
Why is this the case? Take flowers as an example. You’ve seen a photograph of a bouquet on Pinterest and that’s what you want, it’s perfect. Flowers are seasonal, they can vary wildly in size and colour, even an experienced florist won’t arrange the same flowers in exactly the same way each time. They may not be able to obtain the exact flowers in your dream bouquet, and even if they can, they may not be able to arrange them in precisely the same way. In all probability your bouquet will look similar, but not exactly the same, and if you were expecting a perfect copy you may be disappointed.
This is why you have to be so careful with Pinterest. It sets unrealistic expectations. People forget that Pinterest content is global; what is easy to procure in one country can be significantly more difficult (and costly) in another. It’s much better to say ‘I want something like this’ rather than ‘I want this exactly’ when using Pinterest, particularly when sharing pictures or boards with suppliers. One other way to avoid this is to click through to the website linked to a Pin. This can tell you a bit more about the supplier who shared the image, and potentially provide you with further inspiration! This is particularly useful for discovering if an image is from a local or international supplier, with any luck they’ll be local and you can contact them to produce something along the same lines for you! If they are an international supplier it means you can set your expectations and request something similar from somebody local to you in the knowledge that they may not be able to reproduce it exactly.
Boards, and sections within boards, are extremely helpful for both the couple and their suppliers, when used correctly. A Pinterest board is a great way to discover your theme or vibe, allowing you to hone your style and share this with the people involved. To do this you need to be relaxed and have an open mind as sometimes you’ll discover ideas you didn’t realise you liked! Use search terms that have some detail, for example searching for ‘wedding decor’ will throw up a wide variety of images but being more specific and searching for ‘rustic barn wedding decor’ will show you results more aligned to what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for being vague is a good starting place, but don’t forget to get more specific as you get a better understanding of what you like.
Pinterest can be used to scope out anything and everything, I’ve seen couples who have a Pinterest board for every aspect of their wedding. The crucial thing is to use Pinterest so it works for you. If you only want to use it to get ideas for one aspect of your celebration then do so! It helps to break it down, I’d suggest having a single board for your wedding or event and using sections to focus on specifics such as flowers and food. That way you can Pin one section at a time, and hopefully avoid overwhelm.
Lastly, if you start to feel overloaded then STOP! There’s no point persisting if what you’re doing isn’t helping. Take a break, either from Pinterest or planning altogether, and come back to it with a clear head. There are so many ideas on Pinterest it can be easy to become overwhelmed, my earlier suggestion of using specific search terms can help with this. Limiting the time you spend on Pinterest can also help, I suggest a maximum of 10 minutes a time. This helps to focus the mind and prevent you going off at tangents and pinning things that are completely unrelated! If you find that Pinterest just makes you stressed then stop using it! There are plenty of other ways to get inspiration, such as Instagram, blogs or magazines. It may not seem like it, but Pinterest is not the only way!
Whether you love Pinterest, or loathe it, or are stuck in a superposition of the two like me, I hope this helps. As I’ve said previously, Pinterest is a brilliant tool when used wisely, providing inspiration for pretty much everything! With my advice you’ll be pinning successfully and avoiding the unrealistic expectations and information overload so many seem to experience. Happy Pinning!
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