USA TODAY US Edition
Dream wedding PINNED
Pinterest changes the way they plan their weddings
The obsession with Pinterest as online planning tool,
To get a glimpse at the Pinterest phenomenon, look no further than Trish Smith. Her childhood pal Tiffany Loken was so sure she’d join the ranks of the addicted that she created a 50-pin “my best friend’s wedding” board for Smith — even though the IT education adviser from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., wasn’t engaged.
“Yeah,” says Smith, 29, laughing. Posted to the wildly popular, photo-driven social media platform were “all the ideas we had talked about since I was a little girl” in pretty, pictorial form.
Six months later, in December, with a proposal in hand, Smith seized the wedding planning reins and cemented her Pinterest obsession, creating seven boards over one to three hours every night related to her
Nov. 10 nuptials. One showcases two dozen potential hairstyles; another displays 29 possible bouquets. But the topper on the cake? The 366-pin catch-all “my countrytale wedding” board, with its photo patchwork of gowns, favors, boutonnieres and, yes, a baker’s dozen cake toppers.
Meet the Pinterest bride. For her, planning a fairy-tale wedding without the tool is, well, inconceivable. Indeed, Smith estimates that 90% of her rustic mountain event will be inspired by or pulled directly from Pinterest, as she wishes.
With its heavily female demographic and emphasis on DIY derring-do, Pinterest and brides go together like love and marriage. But it’s not just the women in white who are touchscreen-tapping into the power of the 2-year-old site.
“It’s changing the industry” for vendors, planners and magazines, says Anne Fulenwider, editor in chief of Brides. Since she took over the title in November, Pinterest has “exploded and really changed the conversation.” A majority of her readers are pinners — repinning other users’ favorites, culling the Web for new stock and uploading their own pictures. She estimates that Brides’ 55 boards, supplied with fresh images every day, are gaining about 500 followers a week. A favorite? “Couture-inspired wedding gowns,” with more than 10,000 followers. Right behind Twitter
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Pinterest estimates that tens of thousands of wedding-related boards cram the site. “It is really inspiring to see people using the product in ways we never expected,” the press-quiet company said in a statement. Pinterest has emerged as the third most trafficked social networking site, behind Facebook and Twitter and ahead of Linkedin, according to Experian market research. Visitors shot up 50% between January and February.
So forget the era of brides schlepping binders thick with magazine tear sheets. With Pin- For celebrity style and fashion finds, follow us at pinterest.com/ usatodaystyle. terest, sharing ideas for, say, sunken flower centerpieces is just an iphone or tablet away.
But equally welcome, brides say, is the ability to visually map out the big day in a way that doesn’t require flipping pages of printouts or clicking through a list of bookmarked links. On Pinterest, “when I open up that photo and see it next to earrings and flowers and centerpieces, it just makes more sense to me,” says Katie Smith (no relation to Trish), who overhauled her color scheme thanks to a single image she found on Pinterest four months ago. She’d always dreamed of a fuchsia fantasy for her affair June 22, 2013, in Marco Island, Fla. — until she stumbled upon a shot of a wedding party in coral dresses and mint ties. “I saw that photo and said, ‘Done. That’s exactly what I like,’ ” says Smith, 27, who works in marketing.
Not all brides are so decisive, of course. Some find themselves overwhelmed by Pinterest’s plethora of pink peonies, mimosa bars and lace-trimmed Mason jars. Kristin van Westervelt, 24, a nurse from Northvale, N.J., who has been adding 20 or 30 images a day to her three wedding pinboards, jokes that “I’m going to have to have a second wedding because I’m finding so many ideas.”
There are two types of brides for whom Pinterest isn’t ideal, says Jennifer Rose, an event designer in Wilmington, N.C.: the client who “up to a week before the wedding is still pinning things she wants,” and the kind who insists on a look that’s absolutely original. “It creates this intense pressure to find some- thing no one has seen on Pinterest before.”
Rose’s friend and frequent collaborator Millie Holloman, a photographer, says the swath of “good stuff” means those working behind the veil “have to constantly re-create and challenge” themselves. ‘Inundated with marketers’
But there are those in the industry who say the good stuff is getting gunked up. “Like a lot of these platforms, in the beginning, it’s great because only cool people use it, so all the images are cool,” says Carley Roney, editor in chief of Theknot.com, who estimates that six months ago, 75% of Pinterest’s wedding shots were pinned from her site’s 50,000-image library. “Then they get inundated with marketers.”
The Knot put a playful pin in the Pinterest bridal bubble in January with its “(expletive) brides say” video. In it, a newly engaged “bride” (a guy in drag) is shown in front of screens at home and work chirping “pin, pin, pinning, pinned.” There is still treasure to be trawled, Roney says. “You just have to work a little harder to find it.”
Some brides fear that Pinterest’s ubiquity could translate into cookie-cutter receptions. “Or people are going to show up at your wedding and go, ‘You got all of this from Pinterest, didn’t you?’ ” says Melissa Jones, 28, who works in human resources and is getting married April 27, 2013, in Charlotte.
Kari Levine isn’t worried that her two other engaged friends will steal her Pinterest-procured idea of pinking-sheared napkins cut from vintage fabrics, even though they follow one another on the site and swap finds. Levine, a customer care manager, is getting hitched on a farm in Glen Oaks, N.Y.; her friends are going the more traditional, catering hall route.
Still, every morning before she even gets in the shower, she hops on her iphone app to peek at “what all friends have pinned while I’m sleeping,” says Levine, 27. “It’s a little sad.” She sneaks the stalking in at work and then again at night. “My fiancé does not understand why I’m obsessed with it. I’ll be lying in bed on my phone, and he’ll go, ‘ Are you pinning?’ ‘Maybe . . . ”
Cris Stone, a bride and San Antonio-based budget bride blogger, says that in fact, Pinterest is invaluable for grooms. “Guys, you have to show them,” says Stone, 34. “I don’t know a nice way to say it.”
An early fan of the platform, Stone says her Pinterest boards “absolutely” feed traffic to her blog, Kiss My Tulle, and vice versa. On Pinterest she snags up to a dozen new follows a day, while 50 or 60 people click over to her blog each day via her 17 wedding-related boards.
At first, Trish Smith’s groom, Michael Detjen, “thought I was crazy,” Smith says. But then, scrolling through cake toppers one night, he saw “why I utilize (Pinterest) to the extremes I do.” The couple homed in on their cake crown of choice: a bride and a groom cradling each other’s backsides. “We’re big goofballs,” Smith says.
But even after they say “I do,” there are more plans being hatched on Pinterest: Tucked among Smith’s boards is one titled “makin babies.”