Taking back my wedding from Pinterest

Dear Pinterest,

I’m not ready to end it with you just yet, but I do have some complaints. I love how you make it easy to re-find recipes, or how you store my pictures of children dressed as animals to cheer me on rough days.

But I hate you for what you are doing to my wedding.

First of all, I hate how you are making all of us – a whole generation of brides– have the same wedding. Our pictures are interchangeable, full of blush-toned peonies stuck in mason jars balanced atop old stuff and strung with bunting and burlap. We got sucked in to your promises of originality and instead we all are ending up cookie-cutter DIY rustic-chic with a touch of modern class affairs. And then, to feel like we are breaking the mold, we have to do RIDICULOUS things. What was so wrong with getting married in a pretty dress and eating awesome food before breaking it down to the electric slide?

But most of all, I hate you for what you are taking from me every time you taunt me with your pictures of those perfect weddings: my contentment.  I hate you when you describe how one bride “hand-stamped their guests names on each vintage/antique fork attached to the cupcake favor!”  Do you know Pinterest, that many of us don’t have time to hand stamp antique forks?????  And before, I didn’t mind, but now I am paralyzed with anxiety over a unique do-it-yourself gift from my heart, but even if I find a great idea, it won’t be unique, since you already prostituted it around the internet.

And if it isn’t DIY impossibility (hey Pinterest – WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE WHO CAN DO THESE THINGS THEMSELVES???? Because the average American female CAN NOT turn a t-shirt into a ruffled sundress in 3 easy steps), then I hate you for the unrealistic budget expectations you are setting. I can’t afford to “send guests home with a personalized night cap: A mini bottle of bourbon wrapped in a custom label,” nor can I arrange to fill the sky with lanterns as I leave or purchase those insanely perfect lace dresses.  And Pinterest – don’t even get me started on flowers. You are eternal spring, promising fat peonies year round or ranunculus that come in sizes not found in nature. And I feed on your promises before crashing down to earth.

And it’s hard Pinterest, but I want it back, my contentment with my wedding. I want to remember that I get to marry the man that I love, surrounded by the people we cherish. And it won’t be in a refurbished barn strung with lanterns, or a vineyard whose mosquitoes and scorching heat have been obscured by a talented photographer. And I won’t have a s’mores bar, and a mimosa bar, and place cards painted on old window panes hung by flower garlands.

But if I can tune out all the things that you are showing me I have to have to be happy, maybe I can focus on what I need to be married, and that list is surprisingly short.

So Pinterest, I’m keeping you around, but I’m going to try to remember that you spin webs of impossible weddings, and if I chase after them, I will be forever unhappy. And I’m not going to let you win.

Sincerely,

Hannah (and the multitude of other brides who are exhausted from chasing your promises of ethereal wedding perfection)

ps-  I do still really like mason jars.

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57 Responses to Taking back my wedding from Pinterest

  1. Jillian Richardson says:

    BEST blog post ever!! its so completely true!

  2. first, i love this.
    second, i oddly feel much the same way about baby naming websites, haha!

    • hs87 says:

      Let me just tell you….. all the obscure baby names have now made it to the top 10. People, in an effort to be original, are all being the same. Thank you Internet. But your baby will be perfect and have the most precious name ever, despite if other babies have it!!!

      • tina says:

        I guarantee if you name your child John or Mary, Charles or Susan, they will be the only ones with that name!! Hurray for the simplistic!

  3. Hannah, I felt the same way about Pinterest and my wedding! All of a sudden no achievable decoration was elaborate enough (I needed flower chandeliers above each table now), nor were catering dishes (I needed real china at each place setting), or an open bar with local Portland-brewed beers (I needed a custom cocktail with a sprig of lavender in each real champagne flute). But let me tell you, my mom, sister in law and I did everything ourselves including cakes, and it was the most incredibly fun wedding I’ve been to. And it was my own! Your guests will love your wedding because it will shout “Hannah and James,” and they will be too delighted to be rejoicing with you to notice whether the favors are hand-stamped or not. In fact, they’ll probably forget to grab a favor unless it’s on their plate. So have your amazingly fun, God-glorifying wedding and don’t let Pinterest tell you those evil bride-lies. :)

    • hs87 says:

      Thanks Michal! I tried to remind myself of this when the printer printed the invites purple instead of blue and I was melting down about how they had “compromised the graphic integrity of my wedding.” : )

    • Kim says:

      Hannah, I absolutely love this post – I felt the exact same way about my wedding – not only with Pinterest but also with supposed “real wedding” magazines and social media – especially Instagram, where everybody would hashtag an elaborately DIY wedding as #bestweddingever or #weddingofthecentury, making me and many others feel like a huge amount of pressure that our wedding could never be good enough to impress the world of social media. Thank you for giving voice to this :)

  4. Terpsichore says:

    Mini-bourbon! Oh! That’s beneath the belt, Pinterest.

    (I really wish I could use miniature bottles of St-Germain as favors. But then it occurs to me that a) I am not independently wealthy and b) I’m not even getting married)

    • hs87 says:

      : ) I know…. I have single friends who complain that now they are so deep into wedding planning and dreaming via pinterest that they don’t have any energy left to date!

  5. Michael Burchett says:

    As a future guest at your wedding, I am expecting all of those things…the mini-bourbon, the flowered chandeliers, lanterns released to the wind, a full moon that takes up a good quarter of the sky, lighting-bug powered lanterns on each table, and of course, mason jars hand-molded to look like the profiles of each guest at the party.

  6. Allie White says:

    This is perfect. Your writing is outstanding, Hannah. And I feel much the same way about my crafting ideas and Pinterest… I’m tired of feeling second best for ideas I created! And the strangest commonality – I adore children dressed as animals, in any capacity. So, alas, with Pinterest I must remain to some degree.

  7. Hannah, your wedding will be awesome. I feel as though this post coincides with most of life’s options. We can see what others are doing and feel envious or lacking time and creativity, but ultimately what is truly you? What makes a wedding most honestly spectacular are the people involved and how confident the guests are in the pairing taking place. Also, the music.

    • hs87 says:

      Thanks Jordan! I have been convicted lately of the “sin of discontentment” that is eating away at our generation because we are constantly bombarded with options, so we never pick one and decide to be happy.

      And our DJ is going to be awesome!! : )

  8. Suzy says:

    I joined Pinterest shortly after becoming engaged and had to pull the reins in on it a couple of months into wedding planning because I realized it was driving me crazy! Especially the not being able to afford a perfect lace dress! We are using a few Pinteresty ideas that actually are easy and cheap (I mean, what’s cheaper or easier than a paper lantern to add a pop of color?), but mason jar goblets with perfectly stenciled chalkboard paint labeled with the guests’ names are among the more complicated Pinterest items that will not be making an appearance. I finally came to terms with not worrying if my wedding was cookie-cutter, not worrying that I couldn’t do all of these spectacular things myself, and just doing what I could do and what I liked and left it at that.

    Once I asked on theknot.com what I could do about the poor lighting in my reception venue, and someone said, “Chandeliers.” Oh, of course. Chandeliers. Why didn’t I think of that?

  9. Rebekah says:

    Love this. All you need for a great party is a bride, groom, great space, bar, and good food. Everything else is secondary. Who cares if its blog worthy? Or DIY heavy? (said from a former wedding blogger and five year bride).

  10. Hilarious and so so true! I got married about a year before pinterest launched THANK GOD!

  11. Nikita B. says:

    Thank you, thank you…thank you! I love this blog post. I’ve had many days and nights filled with escalating migraines as I swoon over ideas I can’t afford then get upset with myself for not being able to (weird? Yeah).

  12. bevingaines says:

    I recently had a wedding, and I hear where you’re coming from, but read The Conscious Bride, take a deep breath, and only do what makes sense for you. Pinterest is a great way to find the ideas that YOU like. Leave everything else on the table.

  13. Brittany says:

    Fantastic post! And I completely agree that sometimes, pinterest & bridal magazines in general are catering to an aspirational wedding aesthetic…not attainable!

    But what I DO want to mention (and a bit of a self plug) – is Pinterest has done WONDERS for retailers such as myself. Happily Ever BorroWED (www.happilyeverborrowed.com) is our site and we RENT designer bridal accessories to brides for their wedding day. So when brides see that gorgeous statement necklace that generally costs $600, they see a price tag that says $90, which directs them to our site where they can borrow a gorgeous designer piece for a fraction of the retail price!

    While Pinterest wedding pinners are often living in aspirational inspiration boards, at LEAST you can be assured that there are some real life, real solutions, with a real price tag on there that you can take advantage of. And forget DIY – we’re doing all the hard work for you ;)
    <3 Love, Laughter & Happily Ever Afters,
    Brittany @ Happily Ever BorroWED

  14. You have taken the words right out of my mouth!!! Good for you. lol
    My wedding was 2 years ago, and to be honest I am glad I did not know about Pinterest during my planning! Yes all the ideas are beautiful but they are SOOO repetitive and you end up having the same wedding as someone else….I prefer true originality and putting your OWN personal touches into your wedding! LOVE your blog and had to share it! :)

  15. shirley says:

    Nobody makes you go to the pinterest site and the ideas aren’t necessarily there for you to copy but rather give you inspiration to come up with your own ideas. While planning my daughters wedding we got great ideas and altered them to fit our budget. As for my ideas being copied, I would be flattered that people like my ideas so much that they want to create them themselves.

    • hs87 says:

      I agree that it is a great place to find ideas…. but it is also a great place to get overwhelmed with them! However, I did like getting to use it to allow my bridesmaids to comment on dress options, show cake designs to my fiancés mother, and store ideas I didn’t want to forget. I just think that it (along with a whole host of other internet offerings) contributes to the discontentment and unrealistic standards that are plaguing brides (and people in general) today.

  16. Erin Z says:

    This is why I don’t have a Pinterest. I think it propagates envy and materialism, which happen to be my particular weaknesses. Maybe others are strong enough to resist, but I’m not . . .

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  19. Sarah says:

    Hannah, we haven’t met, but I’ve befriended your wonderful fiance and he directed me to your blog (mostly because he couldn’t tell me what shade of blue the grooms ties are, and I wanted to know). I LOVE this post. You are not alone, sweet girl. This is so perfectly written. You guys will be in my prayers! XO

  20. cracked. me. up.

    I wasn’t on Pinterest while planning ours, but I devoured wedding blogs. Before too long I had the same realization: Wait a minute. These sites claim to be propagating personalized, creative weddings, but they all look the same. Polaroids and typewriters and gluten-free cupcakes and signature cocktails in Mason jars and bedazzled headbands. (At least that was what dominated the indie wedding scene two and a half years ago.)

    Maybe, I thought, we should just do what we want and have lots of fun without worrying about what’s “in.” Lightbulb!

    So we did. It was the best day ever and no stenciled burlap was involved. Just a lot of love, amazing food, flowers chosen because they were beautiful and not because they were trendy, a gorgeous old bed and breakfast, and music played by talented friends. (My wedding dress did happen to be vintage, but that was providential more than planned. I found it at Goodwill for $20.)

    I mean, if handmade pinwheels and Polaroids really appeal to you, go for it. But for us they would have just been an effort to get on the cool train. We used old books as centerpieces, because that fit us as a couple. Pinwheels and polaroids didn’t. Everyone said it was the best wedding they’d ever attended, and it was pretty darn classy, but in the end it was just a big old party with our favorite people.

    p.s. Yeah, I still love Mason jars too.

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  22. Melanie @ Mailbox Journey says:

    So true! Love this.
    I have a Pinterest account, but I haven’t been on it in months.

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  27. Sarah Fletcher says:

    There was a time shortly after my wedding, that I was perusing pinterest. All of a sudden, I was wholly discontent with how things had gone. I cried and called my mother (who had decorated the whole thing beautifully) and tried to – without offending her- lay out my despair. I love pinterest for its many wonderful ideas, but I honestly try to avoid it because it makes me so unhappy. My house is not decorated properly, I know I don’t have the time or talent to create all of these “easy to make diy projects” that I see. Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one out there that feels this way. I enjoy reading your blog because, Hannah, Pinterest has nothing on your originality.

    • Hannah says:

      Ah thanks Sarah- you are too sweet!

      I have actually pretty much left pinterest, with the exception of recipe storage and the occasional cool picture. And I think I might just be happier :).

  28. Katelyn says:

    Thank you so much for the well needed chuckle you just gave me! I found this blog after googling “Pinterest is making me and my wedding insane”…at 2:00am…after having a little melt down because I will never live up to Pinterest expectations. Needless to say, I feel better after laughing at myself and knowing that I am not alone.

    • Hannah says:

      : ) I’m so glad it gave you a little break from the wedding planning insanity! Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration, but only if used in moderation. Otherwise it is a source of I CAN’T TAKE IT hair pulling. : ) Best of luck with the wedding planning!

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  32. Aubrey says:

    Hannah, I think I love you. So glad your not a soul mate post went viral. You are hilarious! I’m glad I found this blog. This was me nine months ago! Haha.

  33. Caroline Merrill says:

    Hi Hannah – I read your soul mate post and then started to peruse through your blog – I feel like I know you because I too spent a year in Paris and recognized so many of the places you visited, so many of the experiences you had (yes I too lived in a 7th floor walk-up that everyday seemed just as tiring as the day before and never seemed to take anything of that butt of mine) – I also had a pinterest break-down last year when planning my wedding and pinterest and I we had to break-up and go our separate ways. It was hard but it had to happen. I also lived in DC for a little while and love that you live near Eastern Market – my husband’s friend live near there in an adorable blue house and I kinda sorta want to be them. ;)

    Anyways I probably sound like a crazy person but seeing that you are (were?) in grad school for something related to French would love to hear your opinions on it…I’m thinking about it myself and have been trying to soak up all the advice I can before taking the plunge.

    Thanks for this awesome blog!

  34. louisa says:

    um, if you haven’t already gotten married (i realize this post is a year old), let’s have a chat about having me shoot your wedding. louisa marion photography. i LOVE this.

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks Louisa!

      We actually got married last July and had a great Louisville based photographer named Whitney Neal do our photos. But I did just hop on over to your site and check out your work — your photos are STUNNING!

  35. Lorajean says:

    It’s really about misplaced blame. Is Pinterest really to blame? Aren’t extreme expectations only in our own minds? Lets try to live by this quote by Dr. Seuss “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”. Those who matter are not expecting you to live this lofty “pin-worthy” life. Those who matter aren’t scrutinizing your wedding and saying “she should have used mason jars and chalkboards”, They’re going to say “look at them they’re glowing and so in love !”. And regarding flowers not being in season: If you want them that bad get silk, if your a purist, then go with what IS in season. And if thats not good enough for you maybe you should break it off with your man and marry the flower when it comes back in season! :) Those poor grooms. Girls, we could all learn a lesson from our amazing guys, all they care about with this wedding is getting the girl! They couldn’t care less about burlap buntings or if your dress is vintage. Lets show our men that we we love THEM more than booking old barns and making handmade favors! Even when the wedding’s over we can show our gratitude for our men by not complaining about what we wish it had been and thanking them for their devotion and love!
    another great post about Pinterest blame
    http://marahgrantblog.com/2012/07/putting-my-pin-in-the-ground/

  36. Cheoy says:

    Love this! It can sometimes be damaging I guess to try and get so much inspiration from others and use the element of what you actually want for your wedding!

  37. Christina says:

    This was a great post, super funny. As an unmarried, but in a relationship girl, I refused to look at Pinterest for wedding ideas. I know girls that have their whole wedding planned out on PInterest and not even a boyfriend. I took my inspiration from two things. First, my venue: I chose a historical ballroom in St Louis from 1904, which led me to a World’s Fair theme. Second, my color: I chose a coral to match the color of my unique sapphire engagement stone. After that I searched Pinterest for ideas relating to those things. Pinterest did help, but it could easily have hindered me. There were so many ideas that I simply had to say no to, for reasons of cost and time. My wedding was what I’d call Modern Vintage, but not in the same way others are doing vintage. I’m proud of what I was able to do, but there were times I did feel inadquate or nervous that my wedding wouldn’t live up to the expectations of others and my Pinterest loving self. You can check out my wedding in the July Issue of Alive Magazine 2013.
    http://alivemag.com/weddings/sub_weddings_article.cfm?ref=1341&ref2=8&story=All's-Fair-in-Love

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