Dirty Little Pinterest Secret: Putting the Board Before the Ring

The biggest advantage that came out of canceling my first wedding was that when the next opportunity came around I’d have the chance to plan another one. With the help of PINTEREST!

It’s the planning tool of every bride’s dreams. Endless feeds of over-the-top floral arrangements, chalk board signage, mason jar centerpieces, kraft paper invitations, twinkle light designs, tulle inspiration, DIY tips, Spotify playlists, speech outlines, ornate designer dresses, antique wedding bands, complex updos, half updos, beachy curls and 40s waves, mood boards, photo stories, candy buffets, cupcake towers, signature cocktails. The perfect place to mentally plan a $100,000 day you swear you can do for $15K “if we just do most of it ourselves!”

Still, for all the good the wedding Pinterest board has done for the economy, The damn thing has some weird (anecdotal) implications for relationships. I always thought it was presumptuous to start Pinterest planning a wedding before the ring, or even before the guy. Though, I’m not sure I can back that opinion up with anything more than “I don’t know, it’s weird.”

It’s essentially a technological manifestation of the idea that women have been planning their weddings since the moment they escaped the womb. And maybe before if mom watched a lot of “Say Yes to the Dress.” Still, I vowed to keep all that internalized until the moment came to reveal the fact that I’ve kept a tropey wedding binder under my bed for all these years.

That’s right, the practice of pre-planning your wedding is so natural that endless sitcom plots revolve around it, but there’s something a little odd about going Internet public with it. Despite the fact that some boards pay winky homage to the trope.

Full disclosure, so you know I’m a fraud before I continue outlining my arguments against publicly pre-planning a Pinterest wedding. My wedding dress was an exact replica of one I had pinned a year before I was even engaged. To be fair, though, it was on my Fashion Fantasy board, so my expectations were realistic.

The evidence against me. 

The evidence against me. 

There you go. Now that we’re all out in the open I can continue my rant.

I understand that this is the world we live in. The Internet is a place where we take all our most private desires and dreams and shout them out to the world because we love to hear ourselves talk. But, guys, we don’t need to say everything out loud.

If You’re Relationshipped

Despite the fact that wedding dreams are completely normal for someone not in the bridal way, and Pinterest has become a 70% normal way to organize those dreams, there’s still something a little shocking about seeing them publicly posted in black and white (with hints of mauve, COLOR STORIES!). It can come off a little like maybe you lost your bubble?  And some nosy biddies will waste no time in pointing these things out to your wishfully intended.

In some cases it may not be a problem. But to paraphrase Mr. Stay (still playing with names for him), Pinterest wedding boards could potentially turn yellow flags into red ones rather quickly. Which to me sounds like you should probably end it anyway, so maybe you should just leak your board and see how he reacts.

Now, if you’re all open and honest with your boyfriend (of more than a week) and he has no reservations about your indulgent behavior, then no harm no foul. In fact, he sounds super, you should probably marry him.  

If You’re Not

Those who haven’t yet found your boyfriend, target, what have you, are treading dangerous ground all your own. People use the Google machine to build a dossier on potential dates and that Google machine will betray you in the way a stack of wedding magazines beneath your bed never would. So dude, if you’re single, keep that board private like a normal. The same way you don’t tell potential suitors that you let your cat bathe you or that you sleep with a picture Leif Garret because VINTAGE!

If You DGARA About a Dude

If you’re not concerned about what the guy is going to think because your board is private muahahaha, there’s still the psychological impact it can have. This academic report suggests that pre-planning brides who use Pinterest to plan their imaginary weddings tend to be more bridezilla inclined. (Granted that is a leap I made reading a report that begins “Weddings, Weddings, Weddings,” so, you know, grain of salt).

When you pin, you become more invested in the fantasy. And that’s not exactly healthy. It can create a sense of panic, even when you don’t have a real wedding to panic about. I have no idea why you’d want to subject yourself to that.

[When you Pin] you’re actually doing something. When you do something, you invest more in its reality. You put together the pictures. You make it real, in a funny sort of way. It’s more real in the fact that you’ve assembled your dreams. It’s personal. Now you have a better sense of what you’d really like to do, and that makes you more invested than you would be if you were just flipping through a bridal magazine.
— Pepper Schwartz, sociology professor at the University of Washington.


The Counter

There are, of course, the counterarguments. Everyone does it. He should be mature enough to get it. These boards are just fantasies; I never expect to be able to afford them. It’ll expedite the planning process when the day does come. It’s the same as his car calendar or model airplane collection or NFL fan fiction (I don’t know what dudes do).

And then, there’s this guy who ruins happily ever after for everyone. At one point I thought, well how is that fun for her? But, seriously, after going through the hell of planning a wedding, I realized that guy is a saint. And, there’s no one way he could have pulled it off had his girl kept her wedding thoughts hidden away.

So, really, what the hell do I know, you do you. Maybe just do it in secret. And keep one foot grounded in reality.

Cover image via