You can feel it coming in the lavender-scented air: Wedding season is upon us, which means several months of taffeta, toasts, and soft-focus photo shoots that end up looking like they were taken from the inside of a cloud. But that’s the point! They’re more artsy that way.
However, even the most jaded wedding-goer can still find the beauty in the trappings of a ceremony meant to celebrate a lifetime of love, which is why it’s sometimes jarring when you enter a reception, or a chapel or wherever, and your eyebrows instinctively raise.
“Wait,” you think. “Haven’t I seen all of this before?!”
Enter wedding deja vu, the unsettling feeling that when it comes to dresses and cake, you have pretty much seen it all. An anonymous HLN coworker confesses that she recently attended a wedding that looked, uh, a little too familiar.
“I looked around, and I recognized everything she had done,” she said. “The flowers, the decor, I thought, I’ve seen all of this already… on Pinterest!”
Le gasp! A wedding betrayed by a bride’s dutiful Pinterest habit? Next you’ll be telling us signature colors, soft-focus photography and folksy quilted haybales aren’t original ideas. ”Nothing’s original,” another newlywed HLN-er revealed. “When I was planning my wedding, I was so excited about getting striped straws using ‘my’ colors — thinking it was all cool — and my friends pulled me aside. ‘Honey, no offense,’ they told me. ‘But it’s nothing new. It’s all been done before’.”
Maybe that’s unfair. Of course there are ways a wedding can be made unique, and the pastel pages of Pinterest make for great inspiration, but you also run the risk of over-saturating your fete with stuff that is so trendy, it’s becoming played out.
Blair Hunter Grant is the President and CEO of The Boutique Group, which organizes soirees of all sorts in the New York City area. She says there’s definitely ways to make online pinboards work for you. After all, before Pinterest there were always wedding blogs, magazines, message boards, and all manner of material to help you with your big day. All that’s changed is how much you can share.
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Online boards “are great for staying in the know on what the new wedding trends are, what people are talking about, and what the new, fresh ideas are,” Hunter Grant says. “But you don’t want to put it all out there because that ruins the element of surprise.” Hunter also says if you leave all your ideas out in the open, you might invite unwanted criticism, and “you may find out you end up planning your wedding for someone else.”
So what’s a girl to do when she sees those ideas on Pinterest that she absolutely loves, but she wants to avoid the glut of fairy lights and mason jars that may look pretty online, but honestly feel sort of “done?”
“If you really are in love with mason jars [the easiest shorthand for Pinterest's twee aesthetics], you don’t necessarily have to do the traditional way of doing it,” says Hunter Grant. “Hang votives in them, or you can paint them or wrap them in fabric” for a touch that’s on-trend, but still personal. “Or you can provide that element without the cliche mason jar with mix-and-match teapots. Go thrifting or go to vintage stores,” she says, a trip that will save money and ensures your decor will be one-of-a-kind.
The latest wedding trends also naturally lend themselves to originality. “Everything is rustic, it’s farmhouse chic now,” Hunter Grant says. “It’s the not-so-manicured look, it’s flowy and easy.”
In fact, Hunter Grant says, one mistake brides often make is trying to get that manicured, perfect look that they see in bridal magazines, or, yes, on Pinterest too. “If you’re looking for the same perfect cookie-cutter thing, sometimes it may not work out and you’ll be disappointed. Uniqueness is the beauty of it.” Using Pinterest to pick out individual ideas, as opposed to a whole look, can help you from falling into that “It’s been done” trap. “If you look and say, ‘I like these flowers, but I love that vase,’ you can piece together a look that works for you.”
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Although it may be hard when you’re surfing pages and pages of pretty ideas and trying to find those perfect flowers for that perfect vase, Hunter Grant says it’s best to prioritize, and you’ll have a better chance of getting something meaningful instead of just a collection of the latest trends. “Less is more a lot of times, especially when it comes to decor,” she says. “I feel like brides have a habit of just letting so many different things in, and it takes away from the beauty of it.”
Ultimately, you may find that your heart really does yearn for those mason jars or that one cutesy little detail that’s been done to death. So what?
“A bride needs to understand that she should stop worrying about what everyone else has done, and focus on what makes her happy,” Hunter Grant says. “If people are there and they have stuff to say about it, they shouldn’t be there. It’s your day, and if mason jars make you happy, and all the wedding cliches that everyone has done a zillion times, if that’s what you want, and that’s what makes your day as special as it can be, then go for it.”