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Idea-sharing site makes for picture-perfect weddings

Planning your ideal wedding is about pursuing your dreams. You start with a castle in the air, a fantasy of the perfect nuptials you likely began constructing long before you met your soul mate. As in every flight of imagination, some of the details may be a bit hazy.

Once you are engaged and a date is set, however, things start getting real. Concrete. You have to make countless decisions, from dress to décor, from menu to venue and from flowers to favors. Time is limited and, most likely, so is your budget.

How do choose? How do you create an event that reflects who you are as a couple?

According to writer Richard Bach, fulfilling your fantasies is about visualization: “To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.”

Board of education

With this in mind, brides-to-be have long found inspiration in idea books and vision boards bursting with pictures ripped from the pages of magazines and catalogues.

Here is a photograph of a Vera Wang bridal gown with a corset bodice and a skirt that’s an explosion of tulle. Even if you don’t have thousands to spend on your dress, the silhouette can serve as a jumping-off point.

It’s really quite educational.

Look at an image of wildflowers wrapped in hemp twine, and another featuring cabbage roses and hydrangeas enveloped in lace. If you stare at the respective bouquets long enough, you’ll eventually determine whether your style is boho-chic or unabashedly romantic. 

With the advent of the social media site Pinterest, many women have gone digital with their vision boards.

In case you have been living under a rock, Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board where people share ideas via photographs. The four-year-old site is packed with do-it-yourself tutorials, from cooking to crafting to gardening. If you want to learn how to knit a sweater and create a box in which to put it, look no further.

It’s easy. Sign up for a free membership at Pinterest.com. Then, create a bulletin board devoted to your wedding. It’s simple to upload your own photos or web links. You can also browse for pins of interest and follow the wedding boards of friends and like-minded strangers.

Create as many boards on any given theme, so you may want to make some devoted to your bridal shower, dream honeymoon and, of course, irresistible pictures of kittens.

A quick warning: Pinterest, which combines the pleasures of window-shopping and self-expression, can be addictive. You can find yourself whisked down a virtual rabbit hole, moving from pin to pin while ignoring those pesky real-world duties.

Nicole Nguyen is one of the many women who have found Pinterest invaluable while planning their weddings.

When she wasn’t working, she spent the months leading up to her September 2012 nuptials getting into physical shape via spin classes and hiking the Claremont Wilderness Trail. In order to mentally wrap her mind around her upcoming wedding, she spent time on Pinterest, posting ideas on a board named “My Dream Wedding.”

The board, which still lingers in cyberspace, includes hairstyles, tips on applying eye shadow and whitening your teeth, novel photography concepts and crafts. Some of the latter, such as homemade lanterns covered with tissue-paper flowers, made it to Ms. Nguyen’s ceremony and reception.

“Pinterest put everything into perspective,” Ms. Nguyen shared. “You get to choose from so many different things you like. You can put them all together and compare them right there.”

Also helping to add perspective is the abundance of wedding humor pinned on the site.

COURIER classifieds manager Jessica Gustin, who is getting married this July, has a board called “Wedding Dreams” where she has affixed some 256 ideas, from centerpieces to silverware to libations. Some of these are decidedly “outside the box,” such as wedding bouquets dripping with vintage rhinestone brooches rather than flowers. Her board also includes several sentiments that would help the most stressed-out “bridezilla” take a minute to laugh and breathe.

“We’re having an open bar and also a wedding,” one meme proclaims.

For Ms. Nugyen, using Pinterest to plan her wedding was foremost a practical affair. It helped her cement her color palette: different shades of purple with a pop of fuchsia, which she says represents her wild streak. It also gave her crafty ideas that provided wedding-day magic at an affordable price.

“For our wedding favors, we made cake pops that were shaped like a little bride and groom. That came off Pinterest,” she said. “My aisle runners were these mason jars filled with baby’s breath and stock flowers, and I got that idea from Pinterest, too. It was so bomb. It was so pretty.”

Ms. Nguyen always wanted to feel like a princess on her wedding day. With the help of a ballgown-style dress with a frill-bedecked train from David’s Bridal and loose curls veiled in a cloud of netting, she looked like one.

“It was my fairytale wedding.”

Making it personal

And now it’s time to come clean. This reporter hasn’t set a date. I am, however, casually planning a wedding to the father of my two children, a 5-year-old boy and a 3-month-old girl. Sorry traditionalists. I have a tendency to work backwards.

With this in mind, I have my own Pinterest board, called “It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding” in a nod to ‘80s rocker Billy Idol. I have begun visualizing a backyard wedding, kid-friendly and perhaps a touch hippy-ish. My budget is small, so I foresee a number of DIY projects in my future.

Let me be the first to admit that I have an eccentric streak. My significant other has nixed the idea of an Elven-tinged evening affair, in which the wedding party carries lanterns.

Perhaps this board can serve to not only provide new ideas, but to vet a few of my more questionable brainstorms—using Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” for our wedding dance and dressing our kids in T-shirts that say “Finally!” among others.

Picking and choosing is all part of the process. Want to be a part of it? If you are planning to get married, this year or someday, what are you waiting for? Visit pinterest.com and start pinning down your dreams.

—Sarah Torribio


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