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May 24, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Here come the Pinterest brides. More engaged couples are turning to the website to create and manage topic-based image collections full of ideas for the big day. Pinterest.com gives them virtual access to thousands of photos of sequined wedding dresses, DIY invitations and any other wedding details imaginable.
With more than 104 million visits in March alone, Pinterest allows users to browse one another’s pinboards, or collections of images, and add images, or “repin,” to their own collections. By clicking on an image pinned to a board, the user will be directed back to the original source of the picture, typically a blog or magazine website. This puts wedding resources right at brides’ fingertips.
Although 32 percent of Pinterest users are male, search results for “wedding” on the site reveal repins and comments on images come mostly from women. The largest number of the site’s users are between ages 25 and 34, which makes sense given that the national average age at which American women marry is 27.
Pinterest allows women to create a virtual hope chest in anticipation of their walk down the aisle – whether it’s months or years away. “It’s like thumbing through a magazine and ripping out the pages to create inspiration boards, but it’s all done online,” says Melissa Power, co-owner of Fresh Inspirations Photography.
Within the past six months, Power and her business partner, Katie Sexton, have seen more and more Internet-savvy brides-to-be bringing ideas from Pinterest to consulting sessions. “It actually makes our job easier because we can usually get a feel for a bride’s personality just by taking a peek at her pins,” Sexton says.
Pinterest is 22-year-old Elizabeth Heeb’s only wedding planner. Heeb has collected ideas from the site and plans to use them for her July 28 wedding. After seeing a photo of a ring bearer carrying a “Here comes the bride” sign, she has decided to re-create it. For her something blue, Heeb says she saw pinboards with photos of the wedding date sewn in blue on the underside of the wedding dress. “That’s the one I like the best,” she says. “I think that will be something that I’ll have for a long time to remember.”
Heeb’s fiancé has looked at Pinterest a few times but only to check out ideas she wants to show him. Although he has input on his tuxedo and the groomsmen’s outfits, he leaves the pinning to his wife-to-be.
Because Pinterest allows couples to customize pinboards for every whim, Laura Gilbert, owner of Sugar & Spice Laura’s Delights cake decorating, says almost everyone requests something unusual. A few years ago, Gilbert designed a camouflage cake with fawn-colored frosting and deer-head toppers. The design recently circulated on Pinterest, and Gilbert says she now receives about eight inquiries per week about her creation.
As 22-year-old Erin Walker’s Nov. 17 wedding approaches, she’s pinning fewer items so her friends won’t know exactly how she’ll do her hair or what shoes she’ll wear on her big day. Her mom also got a Pinterest account so they can discuss wedding ideas together.
Just because someone hasn’t put a ring on it yet doesn’t mean romantics can’t start planning their fairytale endings. Jaime Beard, 19, has a wedding pinboard entitled “I do…one day,” even though she isn’t engaged.
With something old, something new, something borrowed and now something pinned, brides have a little helper when planning their “I dos” well in advance of the big day.