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The Pinterest Wedding

How I almost let a Pinterest Wedding Board sink Our budget

Back in 2019, I knew nothing about wedding planning. My fiancée and I had just gotten engaged, we were one of the first in our friend group to get married and as a result, we were clueless. So, like many couples, we hopped online and created a Pinterest Wedding board to start gathering inspiration.


We pinned cascading bouquets, greenery hung from the ceiling interwoven with bistro lights, and dramatic orchid centerpieces. Our budget felt like a lot of money so I just assumed we would be able to afford at least some of the ideas we had pinned.


But we would later learn these floral ideas would cost more than our entire wedding budget. It was a shock to say the least.


Then came the disappointment. I felt like I was settling on every aspect of the wedding because nothing we chose even came close to my Pinterest vision. Everything we chose was nice but I didn’t want just ‘nice’ for a day that was supposed to be one of the most important days of our lives, a day in which we were already spending a small fortune.


Flash forward to now, running Silk Stem, and I laugh out loud when I see what kind of floral inspiration is posted on Pinterest, or any social media platform for that matter.

Pinterest Weddings are Fake (Duh!)

It seems like a no brainer but this was a shock to me back in 2019. Not only are images of Pinterest Weddings super fake, but they are designed in such a way as to look real.

 

We estimate up to 80% of wedding inspiration images on Pinterest are not from real weddings. Rather, they are from carefully curated styled photoshoots with models, props, and scenes that would be far too expensive to duplicate on the larger scale of an entire wedding.

 

The other 20% are real weddings but they cost well into the six figures, a price tag that the average couple just cannot afford.

 

Once you know this, looking at Pinterest Weddings becomes quite comical. The floral installations especially are outlandish. Let’s take a look at some of images we had on our Pinterest Wedding board and point out how much things would actually cost (rough estimate based on US data):

 

First, we have a lovely garden ceremony costing more than the average wedding budget even before the reception.

A bride and groom walking back down an aisle with a bushy floral arch behind them. This is an example of a Pinterst wedding with expensive X back chairs, custom wedding dress, and formal garden venue.

Next, an outdoor reception from a fairytale. I LOVED this look before I realized the florals alone were a small fortune.

Image of a Pinterest wedding with an outdoor wedding reception at night, billowing white curtains, florals on the tables and ground, and Edison bulbs hung from dark greenery on the tent roof

And my personal favorite. For some reason I thought a tent in the backyard would be cheaper than a formal venue…

A Pinterest wedding example with a large sail cloth tent, cascading installation of greenery and pale florals decorated with dark metal lanterns.

I can’t deny these styled photoshoots and weddings are stunningly gorgeous! And none were created with the intent of fooling wedding planning couples. These editorial images are designed to provide inspiration, not expectation.


Understanding this was my first step in planning a realistic wedding that, in the end, made us both really happy.

Overcoming Unreasonable expectations

To start planning the realistic wedding we wanted, we needed to start by resetting expectations. I don’t look at a magazine and expect to have skin as perfect as the airbrushed cover. I wouldn’t expect a bathing suit to look the same on me as it does on a model. So why would I look at a Pinterest wedding and set unrealistic expectations for our event?

 

For couples looking for wedding inspiration, we recommend website that feature Real Weddings sorted by budget. Most US cities have a specific website that will show real wedding in your area. Some of these will still be crazy expensive so look for websites where you can sort based on budget.

 

We also love forum style websites like Reddit which feature specific groups for weddings under a certain amount (try r/WeddingsUnder10k for some realistic wedding ideas). These communities are fantastic for setting, and sticking to, realistic wedding budgets.

Exploring Alternatives

I always encourage couples to look for creative alternatives when wedding planning.


We see no harm in looking at Pinterest for rough inspiration. Color schemes, styles, or details like hair styles or jewelry. But once you have a general idea, stop looking at unrealistic images and instead focus on some more affordable alternatives, especially when it comes to wedding flowers.


1. Select a beautiful venue

If you can afford it, find the most beautiful venue you can. The more character and beauty at your venue, the less décor and florals you will need to get the vibe you want.


2. Use greenery

If florists were superheroes, greenery would be their superpower. Weather you are doing DIY florals, hiring a florist, using fresh, or going faux, fresh greenery is a budget lifesaver. It is beautiful, easy to drape across tables, and very inexpensive comparted to fresh flowers.

 

3. Go faux

I’m quite biased but as a faux flower florist, I love the versatility and beauty of faux flowers. Because renting faux is so much less than fresh, couples can get much more for their money and for the first time, dramatic displays may be in the average couple’s budget!

 

4. Double duty

An old tip but a good one: Use the same flowers for the ceremony and reception. A wedding arch or alter centerpiece can go near the head table during the reception. Bridesmaid’s bouquets can be placed into vases and transformed into centerpieces. The more “work” your flowers do, the further your budget will stretch!

 

5. Stay of Pinterest

Nowadays, Pinterest is as much ads as it is actual inspiration. We recommend just staying off entirely as you plan your wedding. Trust us, you won’t miss it.

 

I hope you found this helpful. If you have any wedding flower questions for us or you just want to vent about how annoyingly expensive weddings are, email me anytime at megan@silkstemcollective.com.

 

Best of luck with your wedding planning!

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