Pin Pal

Just three years ago, Inside Columbia ran a story on how to be an organized bride, and the essential planning tool was a three-ring binder. It sounds so old-fashioned now, this side of the Pinterest boom. Thanks to this “virtual pinboard” site, brides can save images and ideas digitally — no more messing with page protectors. And Pinterest offers the advantage of interactivity; brides can mine the wedding boards of other users for ideas, as well as get feedback from their friends on their “pinned” selections.

While it’s easy enough for a modern bride to figure out how to navigate the Pinterest site, it’s also easy for them to fall into some Pinterest planning pits. The following tips on how not to use Pinterest will help brides avoid those traps.

Don’t just collect — organize. Back when brides used binders, they didn’t just mix all aspects of the wedding together: Tabs created sections based on planning areas. But some Pinterest brides create just one wedding board and then have trouble finding pins and narrowing down choices. The solution is several wedding boards. Create separate spaces for the bridal gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, men’s attire, hair, accessories, flowers, cake, music, favors, photography, centerpieces, honeymoon, food, etc., to keep it all organized.

Don’t forget to follow.  Make sure you’re seeing the pins of individuals, magazines and vendors that inspire you. You can use a search engine to find lists of top wedding boards and then follow your favorites, or do a broad search on Pinterest with topics such as “centerpieces” and “bridesmaids” to find users with tastes similar to yours.

Don’t DIY? Don’t worry. One of the negatives of Pinterest is how inept it can make the non-Martha Stewarts feel. But remember, just because a project can be DIY, it doesn’t mean it can’t also be turned over to a professional. With notebooks and a Pinterest iPhone app, it’s easy to share Pinterest collections with vendors.

Don’t reveal all the surprises. It might be tempting to create a board for all the “winning” pins, but do you really want guests to know exactly what everyone will be wearing or what decorations will be on the tables?

Don’t forget: It’s inspiration, not real life. Brides dream of perfect weddings — and seem to find them on Pinterest. But it’s not real. Take the ideas from Pinterest, but leave the perfectionism behind.

Pinning From Inside Columbia

See something in an Inside Columbia wedding story that needs to go on one of your Pinterest wedding boards? Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Get the “Pin It” button, found under “About” on Pinterest’s menu bar. This button allows pinners to grab images from the Web.
  2. Go to and click on the magazine’s digital edition.
  3. Click on the page number or use the search feature to find the story with the desired image. Use the “Pin It” button to transfer the image to your chosen Pinterest board. And you’re done!

Check out the Brides & Weddings pins on Onside Columbia’s Pinterest page: