It should be known up front that though I do have a boyfriend, I am nowhere near getting a ring, buying a dress and planning what decades of advertising have told me will be the biggest day of my life.
Don't get me wrong; I have every good intention of doing all of those things and, honestly, the sooner the better. While I draw the line at dress shopping until I have a sparkle on my finger, the lack of bling doesn't stop me from looking and pinning. Pinning on Pinterest, that is.
And I'm not alone.
For anyone who has ever been on the image-sharing site, Pinterest seems like it was made for women planning weddings, whether they are getting married or not. According to Modea, a digital ad agency, 68 percent of Pinterest's users are female, and of those women, about 28 percent are in the age bracket of 25 to 34 years old.
What all of these numbers translate to is a lot of women who are marrying age with millions upon millions of photos of DIY centerpieces, perfect proposals and stunning dresses literally a click away. How many women, exactly? According to a Pinterest spokesperson, "We don't have an official count for wedding-related boards, but it's safely in the order of tens of thousands, if not more." (The company doesn't share data related to pins, boards or categories.)
Instead, I turned to a company that interacts with Pinterest on a daily basis. Paper Moon Weddings is an online wedding magazine, one I'm guilty of following on Pinterest because their pins are prolific and suit my taste for a subdued and natural-feeling celebration. Rebecca J. Hodges, the creative director, told me that Pinterest has changed their world because their ideas and photos can go viral in minutes at the sound of a pin. "Because of the creative generation coming behind us with technology at their fingertips, more and more crafters are sharing their ideas," she says.
What I was most interested in, though, was what type of weddings might be crafted out of Pinterest boards. If one was to look at the 100 pins on my "Wedding Partay" board, you would think I loved typography (which I do), want a wedding cake that is made to look like a tree (preferably an aspen) and am undecided on what my color scheme is going to be (too many choices). But through my pinning, I kept coming across some of the same bridesmaid dresses or mismatching wedding bands — everyone and their mom (who probably also has a wedding board) was pinning these photos.
Does this lead to the creation of more "cookie cutter" weddings because a lot of today's brides, and future brides, are using Pinterest as their inspiration? Hodges set my mind at ease: "It's hard to say 'cookie cutter' when brides are using circuses to inspire their day or if The Great Gatsby is their greatest wedding dream."
Hodges stressed that while Pinterest may make you feel like you have to make all of your guest favors and place settings, or make sure that you don't copy the next bride, its main purpose is what it started out as: a visual representation of what we all like. "While many brides want their wedding to look personal and DIY, they don't necessarily want to 'do it themselves.' More than anything we are seeing more specialized vendors that make these unique projects for them," Hodges says. "Pinterest feeds from these creative places. If anything I would say that Pinterest is keeping up with the growing creative and visual needs of the wedding industry."
In my experience of looking through wedding pins on Pinterest I've learned that there are too many ideas out there to count. And while I don't need to copy the photos exactly, they at least get me thinking about ways to incorporate Mason jars into my future wedding. Hodges agrees with me, saying that Pinterest helps brides to organize their ideas in order to show vendors what exactly they're looking for. "Verbally communicating creative ideas can be tricky if you have never done it before," she says.
So don't be ashamed if you have a wedding board and no ring. Don't even be ashamed if you have a wedding board and no man. I'm almost positive that you will thank yourself later for having pinned that photo of the perfect centerpiece.