By: Kristen Soileau Portraits

By: Kristen Soileau Portraits

First off, I’d like to start by letting everyone know that I am a huge fan of Pinterest. Huge, huge fan. I can actually remember the day I got "invited to join" several years ago. This was back when you actually had to be invited to join.

I was sitting in my friend’s apartment and she asked me if I knew what “Pinterest” was. Upon hearing that I was unfamiliar with it, she ran into her room to grab her laptop and began showing me the awesomeness that is Pinterest. 

I couldn’t wait to get home to set up my account, create my boards and then “pin” away my heart’s desires. 

I'd also like to say that I absolutely used Pinterest when planning my wedding. It is a great tool for inspiration and ideas when dreaming up the day you say, "I do." The key word being: tool

Thank goodness for all the wedding planning aids out there: wedding planning books, to-do lists, bridal magazines, wedding coordinators, Pinterest. 

But, Pinterest can become harmful when... 

  • ...you use it as your measuring stick. If your Pinterest wedding board is your idea of perfection and you set your level of expectation only at what you've pinned, you're bound to be disappointed. Pinterest is filled with beautiful photos of to-die-for groom's cakes, perfectly decorated wedding venues, swoon-worthy seating charts and tables set to the tee. But, we have to remember that we don't know the story behind the photos. These are people living in different areas of the world, dealing with different wedding budgets, working with different resources. You have to be okay with the fact that you may not be able to replicate every thing you've pinned.

  • ...you let your idealism get the best of you. Planning a wedding is a dreamy task, the dreamiest if you ask me! But, along with your optimism and idealism, you need a realistic perspective when pinning ideas for your wedding day. When I learned that some of the pins on my wedding board would have cost $50,000+ to pull off, I realized that my pins were there to give me inspiration for how I could incorporate the ideas to work within our budget.

  • ...you let "you" disappear. In my opinion, this is the most important reason. Your wedding day exists to celebrate the uniting of you and your spouse. Therefore, your wedding should reflect elements of you and your spouse's personality. Don't get lost in what everyone else chose for their wedding. There are no rights and wrongs. There are no rules and guidelines. Let your day reflect you as much as possible. Don't let your wedding day become a collection of other's ideas–put your own spin on things! You'll be glad that you did.

Don't get me wrong, Pinterest is not a bad thing. It is such an incredible resource for networking, information and inspiration. There are many ways to use Pinterest in a positive way when wedding planning.

  • Allow it to foster your creativity. Scrolling through Pinterest can help get the wheels turning as you're planning your own wedding.

  • Let it expand your knowledge. Pinterest has more than just pretty pictures. There are lots of infographics and articles to give you advice/guidance during your engagement!

  • Ask yourself how you can make an idea your own. If you find a pin you love, ask yourself how you can add your own personal touch to it. It's the little details that make your wedding unique to you.

Pin away, beautiful brides–just be cautious and be yourselves!



All photos by: Kristen Soileau Portraits

All photos by: Kristen Soileau Portraits

I am a planner at heart. So, naturally, when I got engaged, I was beyond excited to finally be planning my dream wedding. And, that's exactly what it was... a dream. When I look back on that magical day, the biggest grin grows across my face.

My husband and I had an 11-month engagement. Some may say that 11 months is too long, but it was a perfect time frame for me. I had ample time to plan and prepare for our wedding day. And in those 11 months, I learned a lot about wedding planning. 

For those out there in the midst of planning, here is some advice from one bride to another:

1. Be yourself. When you become a bride-to-be, you suddenly have hundreds of decisions to make ahead of you. And there's this pressure to pick a theme for your wedding and to have everything coordinate, match and make sense. I felt this pressure immensely and it gave me anxiety. I didn't know what "theme" I wanted my wedding to be, I just knew what things made me happy. Finally, my florist alleviated this pressure for me when she told me, "Ashley, when you make a decision for your wedding, just make sure it's something that you love. If you love it, everything will come together and your wedding will reflect you and Joel's personalities." I loved that and it gave me so much freedom when planning the rest of my wedding. 

2. Live in the moment. When you're engaged and planning a wedding, it's easy to have your eyes set on the prize. For months, I was very focused on my wedding day and the actual ceremony and reception taking place. This is perfectly normal, however, don't let the anticipation of the wedding day take away from the excitement of planning it. Tasting cakes, trying on wedding dresses, shopping for flowers, having fun with your bridesmaids, picking out a venue... these are once-in-a-lifetime moments. Savor them. I know that planning a wedding has it's stressful times, but don't wish them away. I would love to go back and tell myself to stop, take a deep breath and appreciate the moment. 

3. Not everything will go according to plan, and that's okay. I don't think I've ever talked to a bride that had everything go smoothly on the day of the wedding. I am not saying this to scare you. I am saying this to prepare you. If someone would have told me beforehand all the things that weren't going to go according to plan on my wedding day, I would have been so upset. However, on the day of... those are the things that make your day your day. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter that the boutonnieres didn't get pinned on for pictures. It doesn't matter that the wedding favors didn't get put out in time for everyone to grab one. It doesn't matter that there was a missing groomsmen in the cake picture. What matters is that you and your loved one are joined together as one, surrounded by family and friends who love you. 

4. Have a private dining moment. This was one of the best decisions we made when planning out the schedule of our wedding day. Right after Joel and I were married, signed the wedding license, and rode to the reception with our wedding party, we went into a private room and ate dinner. It may sound strange, but this was such a precious time together. We were able to actually taste our wedding food, smile and giggle about being newlyweds, and take a breath before being the center of attention for the next 3 hours. It was only 20 minutes, but that short time recharged me and made me excited and ready for the reception. 

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