It was sometime after the bubbly had worn off and before my new sparkly diamond ring had made a permanent groove in its new home that I came to the stark realization that hits every new bride-to-be: "Oh right, now I have to plan a wedding."
Having zero knowledge of what to do or where to begin, I found myself relying heavily on those that had gone before me. Every spreadsheet, every budget checklist that was kept by former brides was quickly summoned and yes, I may have even googled, "planning a wedding, where to start?"
Here's the thing: Over the course of two years, Tom and I had somehow been invited to close to 20 weddings. Yes, 2-0. I was in five of those weddings and Tom was in three. And only one wedding was in Minnesota. (ka-ching, ka-ching!)
We learned a lot from that experience but by and large, we found ourselves mostly creating a checklist of things we didn't want to do, rather than ideas for our own. Not that the weddings we attended weren't fabulous in their own way, but they just didn't feel like us, which really, they shouldn't.
So we were on our own to find ideas . . . that is, until I discovered the most amazing website ever created in the history of websites. Yes ladies, I'm talking about Pinterest, the site where you "pin" your interests. (Get it?) And there, in between ideas for traveling and the catchall "other" category was the best thing a gal planning her big day could find: the tab for Wedding & Events. It has its own page.
Forget about dusty old bridal books and outdated wedding websites, this is your one-stop planning haven. I quickly created new boards: Bridesmaid Dresses, Wedding Ideas, Photography Musts, and I was off and running.
The ideas were almost overwhelming. I saw multiple photos of mismatched bridesmaid dresses and it was like a light went off in my head. Duh, why didn't I think of that? Everyone can find something they like, in a budget they can afford and be a bit more individual. I saw photos of pale pinks and light peaches and instantly fell in love. It was decided; my bridesmaids will welcome in spring for our May wedding in a dress they love, in a lovely peachy, pink palate.
I found multiple ideas for new, creative ways to have a record of your guests without those boring, old guest books and their quill pens. Have your guests leave their mark literally with a fingerprint in a fun design such as balloons coming from a "Just Married" car or leaves on a beautifully sketched tree trunk.
Need ideas for table numbers? Use the numbers to say something about you as a couple, Table 5, with photos of the two of you at age 5. Or Table 6, a reference for June 6, the day you and your groom had your first date.
I found flower arrangements I loved, wedding cake designs that would fit our colors and style and more ideas for the day-of photos than you can possibly imagine. When we met our photographer for our engagement photos, we had a long laugh after both she and I pulled out our iPhones and powered up the Pinterest app. (Yes, there are several photos we took that were inspired by Pinterest).
They say the possibilities are endless, but with Pinterest, it's certainly true. Just when you thought you've found all the ideas you need, that little message pops up telling you there's a new pin.
But beware my friends, if you dive right in and don't limit yourself, you risk the chance of spending full days on the site without being able to rip yourself away.
My advice? One-hour doses and maybe a quick check in on your lunch break.
Happy Pinterest planning!