If you’re planning a wedding and knee-deep in collecting ideas for the perfect dress, hairstyle and invitations, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Pinterest.
The two-year-old social bookmaking site — which allows users to collect and share things they like on the Internet — is becoming a hotbed for the wedding industry. Not only are Pinterest users adding images to their virtual pinboards for inspiration to help plan their big day, but some are collecting ideas for the future and aren’t even engaged.
Either way, Pinterest is an easy way to make planning a wedding more manageable. It’s like ripping the pages out of wedding magazines and taping them to your bulletin board — but digitally. Even better, each picture is typically linked to a site where you can buy the styles you want, learn DIY crafting tips and become informed about the latest trends. Friends and other Pinterest followers can also leave comments and feedback to make the whole planning process more interactive.
If you haven’t already, sign up for a Pinterest account. There’s a waiting list to join now — talk about exclusivity — but you can beat the system by having an existing Pinterest member send you a request. If you don’t know anyone on Pinterest, some have had success by finding members via Twitter and asking for invitations that way.
2. Create Boards
It depends how detailed you want to get with your boards, but we recommend creating various sections based on planning areas. Creating boards based on category makes it easy to keep track of ideas and narrow down preferences. Pictures can also be pinned to more than one section. Here are some board topics worth creating:
Invitations, wedding dresses, veils, shoes, flowers, cake designs, hair styles, nails, makeup, bridal accessories, bridesmaids, groomsmen, centerpieces, favors, showers and photography (engagement/wedding day ideas).
3. Follow the Experts
In addition to following your friends and family for style inspiration, keep tabs on what the wedding experts of the world are pinning to their boards. In fact, a lot of wedding and magazines blogs — including The Knotand Style Me Pretty — are getting in on the Pinterest trend, pinning hundreds of creative and beautiful ideas.
Style Me Pretty is one of the most popular wedding presences on Pinterest, with over 160,000 followers and 52 boards. You can follow all of their boards or just a few that most interest you, such as “Hairstyles” or “Bouquets.” Also, try searching with broad keywords such as “wedding” and “hair” to find and follow users who have pinned images of styles you like.
4. Start Pinning
The site is overflowing with creative and beautiful pictures, so to keep track of what you like, click on a picture and “repin” it. Pinterest will ask you which board you would like to add it to — for this picture, it would likely go under your “Cakes” section. Visiting your boards and pins will help inspire creativity with planning.
5. Use the “Pin It” Bookmarklet
If you find a picture you love on a site besides Pinterest, it’s easy to add it as a pin to your board via the “Pin It” bookmarket in Google’s Chrome browser. To install, click on the Wrench icon in the browser and select Toolbars – Always Display Bookmarks Bar. Drag and drop the Pin It button onto you Bookmarks Bar. Once installed in your browser, the Pin It button lets you grab an image from any website and add it to one of your pinboards. When you pin from a site, Pinterest grabs the source link so it credits the original creator.
6. Encourage Feedback (If You Want It)
Friends and other Pinterest followers can leave comments and feedback on pins to make the whole planning more interactive. If you are interested in hearing opinions, ask questions and invite people to tell you what they think.
7. Download the App
Instead of printing out pictures or bringing magazines with you to shop for wedding dresses and other items, iPhone users should download the app, so boards can be accessed while on the go. Unfortunately, the app isn’t optimized for the iPad just yet, though the site can still be accessed via the tablet.