I planned my own wedding 10 years ago, but that might as well be the Stone Age as far wedding planning technology is concerned. It has flat-out, blown up in every direction, from online planning apps, to a zillion design and décor idea-sharing venues, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Lover-ly, OneWed, Wedding Wire and many, many more. Not to mention Facebook and Twitter. It's just massive, colossal, gargantuan information overload for many brides, and if they spend too much time online "planning," they start to go a little nuts.
Seriously, I had a cool planning guide somebody gave me as a gift that I never used (who writes these calendars of when to book what anyway? It's different everywhere) and several bridal magazines. I mostly used the internet to order stuff (I had no planner to tell me how stupid some of what I was buying was -- we're still giving away matches and hand towels). But, other than the Wedding Channel and the very beginnings of The Knot, there was nothing like what brides have today to suck me into the computer for hours and hours.
Last week, I got a survey request from an event planning student writing her thesis, on whether planners find Pinterest helpful in wedding planning, and I stopped what I was doing immediately to respond. Pinterest -- I love it and hate it. I mean, I really hate it sometimes. But it's one of our bigger marketing tools -- every morning, I come into a bunch of notifications about brides and grooms who are pinning our pictures during the wee hours of the mornings. Hence, my concern about Pinterest-addiction. I think it may be a real disease within the very near future. I've got a few candidates for a study in my clientele.
Okay, I love Pinterest because it does allow brides and grooms a very organized way to control all the crazy ideas they come across as they're surfing the Net. And believe me, a lot of girls start out with one theme or color-scheme in mind, and change it up completely once they've gone bridesmaid dress shopping or found a cake picture they love that gives them a whole other set of ideas. But, I think there's an effective way to use Pinterest, and a dangerous way to abuse it.
Pinterest can help in the following ways:
1. You can pin everything you like, and then look at all of it together and start eliminating what doesn't work.
2. You can create a favorites board that only has one or two pics of each thing -- cakes, flowers and décor -- that you will send to your wedding planner to use as a theme board when working on the planning.
The problems (or Pinterest abuses) occur when brides plan their weddings quickly and efficiently using all these online apps, but then continue to Pinterest and stalk Lover-ly and Instagram for months, and keep coming back with new and fresh ideas and changes for their wedding. Here's the rule -- once the wedding is planned, you've gotta stop with the Pinterest-ing.
Face it, everyday somebody out there is going to post something cool and new that you haven't thought of yet. You can blow your budget so fast if you don't watch yourself. Remember, there was a reason you did your planning ahead. Don't undo all your good work by letting Pinterest convince you that you cannot live without something you'd never even thought of until you turned on your iPad during a brief bout of insomnia the other night.
I got thinking about this the other night, and I then I got a little silly and revised the Adam Mansbach famous bedtime story "Go the F*ck to Sleep" for brides and posted it for my clients. I'll share it with you here and hope that you'll share with a bride who needs to hear it. It's time to turn off the technology and just enjoy the fact you're about to get married.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!