Pinterest

Pinterest is a bride's best friend, or worst enemy. (screengrab from Pinterest / May 17, 2012)

I started using Pinterest a year and a half ago. Partly because I had a feeling Pinterest was about to take off (it did) and partly, like a smoker uses toothpicks, to curb a little online shopping problem I had. Somehow, pinning beautiful things is almost like dropping them into a cart, only without the guilt and debt. 

When I began planning my wedding, I settled into a serious Pinterest binge. For the first two months of planning, I consulted Pinterest like a needy friend. Do I like these flowers? I like these flowers. What about this dress? Yes. Pin it. Pin it now. When I look back on this, it's a montage in my brain. Styles, cakes, colors, dresses flying onto my boards, with flashes of me alternately overjoyed and overwhelmed. But like all one-sided, intense relationships, it came crashing down.

I realized that I was planning my wedding in complete defiance of all Pinterest trends.

Instead of being inspired by the linens of another bride’s wedding, I was making a note to not use them. Though I initially wanted my bridesmaids in gray and yellow, I saw so many bridal parties in those colors parading around Pinterest that I nixed the idea. Every gut instinct I had about my wedding was immediately called into question once I saw other brides had not only done it first, but were clearly throwing it in my face. (They absolutely were not, I'm just a crazy person.)

It's not that they didn't do some of my favorite ideas well (although, I did see some horrific crap) - it was that they did them at all. Every cool cocktail or grooms gift or bouquet I liked had been featured in countless weddings, and I was suddenly wading through a swamp of unoriginality. It was humbling and infuriating, and I actually stopped using Pinterest to punish it for inducing all my self-doubt.

Turns out, you can't punish a website. It also turns out that the entire wedding-related corner of the internet should shoulder some of the blame with Pinterest. The digital ghosts of weddings past were all out to get me, and I let them.

As my wedding approaches, I have to make more decisions and stick to them. I picked an entirely new scheme for my bridesmaids (one I had not seen anywhere else at the time), and now have to keep calm and scroll on when I come across the actual hundreds of bridal parties using my exact idea. I realize you may think I sound bratty and self-important, but please give me a little wiggle room — I'm just now grasping the idea that original thought is obsolete.

So my advice to you, other brides, as you plan your blessed affair, is either have a friend help you down from your creative high horse and just do what you wan — or stay the hell off the internet.