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Bride-to-be Monica Gindhart knew she wanted to see sparkles – rose gold, to be exact– while walking down the aisle.

After that, it was just a matter of filling in the details – something Gindhart turned to Pinterest and Facebook for. “I used social media for pretty much the entire wedding,” she says.

She’s not kidding. During the planning process – which Gindhart started an entire year before her wedding day – she would scroll through Pinterest for inspiration, review vendors and talk to other brides on Facebook, all from the comfort of her laptop.

Photo by Twisted Oaks Studio.

For years, brides-to-be like Gindhart struggled with binders full of wedding inspiration in an effort to construct the perfect day. Color swatches, magazine cut-outs, lists of caterers and more would poke out the sides of these bibles of bridal information.

But these days, those overflowing binders have been replaced by a sleek laptop, portable tablet or smartphone as social media takes over the wedding industry, says Jeannette Torres, sales and event manager at Camden County Boathouse.

“Everyone is going online now to look at everything they need for their wedding,” says Torres. “There are so many tools available for these brides now. It’s ever-changing, but it’s good because they have a lot more resources.”

It’s obvious that the tool most associated with wedding planning is Pinterest, says Katlyn Mogavero, director of catering sales at The Grand Hotel of Cape May. But where thousands of variations of a sunflower centerpiece and hundreds of bridesmaid gifts are at brides’ fingertips, so is the potential for entering what Mogavero calls the “Pinterest rabbit hole.”

“Sometimes Pinterest can be a bad thing, because there’s so much on there,” says Mogavero. “When brides start looking, they change their mind over and over. You could end up going from light blue to eggplant.”

Photo by Twisted Oaks Studio.

That’s why a wedding professional can be so instrumental in putting together the perfect plan, says Mogavero. “Someone familiar with the industry can help a bride navigate all the wedding boards. If a bride does start having different themes and ideas, it’s nice to talk it out and figure out what is important.”

Sometimes you’ll even end up back at your original plan, she says, and that’s why it’s essential to start with a short list. “Do you want a cottage? Do you want to be in the mountains? On the beach?” Mogavero says. “You need to have an honest conversation about where you want your wedding to be and what you want to do before you search.”

Gindhart kept going back to her glamorous rose gold theme with her social media searches, but says she still ran into design roadblocks.

“I would find general concepts on Pinterest for certain things,” she says. “Like, I had an idea of what I wanted my main table to look like, but I couldn’t wrap my head exactly around it.”

Gindhart also had to make sure the ideas she happily pinned were within the wedding budget she and her fiancé Chris had set, so she turned to DIY inspiration, starting with that main table décor. Instead of flowers, she opted for a candelabra. She added white ceramic birds and two signs reading “Mr.” and “Mrs.” – all found online – to complete the Pinterest-inspired look.

 

Photo by Twisted Oaks Studio.

And the ideas didn’t stop there. Gindhart went to Pinterest to create her guestbook, construct the arbor that covered the altar, design centerpieces and even find photography ideas. The adorable photo of her nephew covering his eyes as the couple kisses in the background? Pinterest.

Then she went to Facebook. Specifically, groups where couples sell wedding décor. Since most items are used, that also means they’re on the affordable side, like Gindhart’s terrarium card box that she found for just $15.

“It was helpful, especially because we were trying really hard to stick to a budget,” Gindhart says. “I know if I didn’t use Pinterest and Facebook, it would have been three times the money.”

Sticking to a budget should be on the top of every bride’s mind when scrolling through Pinterest boards, says Torres. Eliminating ideas based on price is even a helpful way to keep your search process focused. “You have to adjust your expectations when searching, because the price tag will always be a shocker,” she advises.

Photo by Twisted Oaks Studio.

While Pinterest DIY will always be a bride’s go-to for budget work-arounds, just as Gindhart found, she prescribes caution and precision when approaching your project. And most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute.

“I started out small,” Gindhart says. “If you’re going to do it, try a sample early on. Get everything you need to do one completely, and then ask yourself, ‘Am I going to be able to do 100 of these or not?’”

Even in post-wedding life, Gindhart is still immersed in the social media wedding world as she sells leftover items, like the frames that displayed the couple’s hashtag and vases from her centerpieces. So far, she’s sold over $800 worth of stuff, but she says the money isn’t the main thing pulling her back.

“Bonding with other brides was the best part for me,” Gindhart says. “I know I was in the same boat, so it’s nice to be able to give advice, like what not to stress about, and to share photos.”

 

 

Tips for Your Pinterest Flower Boards – From a Florist

Michael Bruce of Michael Bruce Florist has seen it all. From climbing centerpieces to blooming bouquets, he knows what it takes to make a wedding shine. These are his tips for couples looking to find unforgettable florals:

Start Early
A florist is one of the first vendors brides book, which means the good ones are booked up fast. Make sure you get your flowers sorted out at least six months before the wedding to ensure the perfect petals.

Communication is Key
Explaining what you want your flowers to look like can be difficult, but a picture is worth 1,000 words. Bruce recommends sharing your Pinterest page with your florist to make the design process easier.

Remember Your Budget
Don’t be fooled by your favorite celebrity weddings – those extravagant floral arrangements probably come with an outrageous price tag. Keep your ideas consistent with what you’ll be able to afford. And if you’re not sure what that is, just ask!

Be Original
Pinterest is the perfect place for inspiration, but make sure you put a little of yourself into those floral designs. It’s your big day, so make it about you.

Narrow Your Search
Keywords are your best friend when it comes to finding flower inspiration. Step one: find out what you want. Do you prefer English garden? Minimalist? Modern? Step two: find out what you need. Make a list of who will carry flowers and where they will show up in the décor. And finally, search away!

 

 

Trade Your Website for a Facebook Page

Between dress fittings and cake tastings, who has the time to set up an entire website to keep wedding guests in the know? The solution: A Facebook event page.

Katlyn Mogavero, director of catering sales at The Grand Hotel of Cape May, isn’t suggesting that you ditch elegant invitations for a digital message, but she does encourage couples to also create a Facebook event to make communication easier.

“With a Facebook event, any updates go straight to a person’s phone,” Mogavero says. “Instead of getting an email saying to check a website, guests know right away whenever a change happens.”

She does caution to make the group private if you have some friends on Facebook who weren’t invited. (That could lead to a social media faux pas!) The one person you absolutely shouldn’t exclude from the list, though, is your coordinator.

Mogavero was included in one of her former brides’ page and says it’s a great idea for other brides-to-be.

“That way, if anything changes that I didn’t hear about or that a bride forgot to tell me, I will get a notification from the page. It can be very helpful.”

Not only does this put all the bridal information in one convenient – digital – location, it can also be a helpful planning tool. These pages can be used for everything from coordinating hotel rooms to gathering old pictures for reception projects, says Mogavero. There have even been wedding countdowns to get everyone psyched for the big day.

And the more events the better, says Mogavero. Set up a page for the bachelorette party, the shower and the bachelor party, and let the fun begin.

 

September 2017
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