While Pinterest and other online platforms can certainly be amazing reference tools, they can also create issues when it comes to planning a wedding. Yes, we have a Pinterest presence and yes, we have an Instagram account, however studies show there can be some negative affects of having so much information and inspiration at your fingertips; and that’s without even touching on the subject of binge pinning for hours. (which we are very guilty of)
Don’t worry we won’t be covering the entire gamut of topics regarding negative outcomes of frequent electronic and internet use today, but we will be covering the issues that could affect your ability to make important decisions regarding your wedding.
Expectations are an age old problem. But with the addition of technology at our fingertips, there is more instant gratification than ever and it's resulting in higher expectations than ever. Because we have so much access to wedding inspiration, aka. pictures of other people’s weddings, it can create in us, if not controlled, a dangerous desire to have it all.
It’s nearly impossible not to get your hopes up as you browse seemingly perfect weddings and pin them to your own wedding board. And its good to have hopes! But as we mentioned before often times, those pinned weddings turn out to be more expensive than your budget allows or not practical for the region you live in. This can create a feeling of great loss that you may not have experienced otherwise.
There has always been loss accompanying areas of compromise when planning a wedding, but the Pinterest and Instagram era, and its ability to place more real photos in front of us than before, has resulted in unparalleled feelings of loss for things we never knew we wanted. This is marketing revealed, its job is to create in people a desire for something they never knew they needed.
And not only can browsing too much wedding inspo create high expectations, but it can also cultivate negative emotions as a result of that loss, such as jealousy and perfectionism.
So what are the signs that these things may be present in your heart?
Blowing past your previously determined budget after seeing someone else’s wedding photos, feelings of sadness and negative self-talk as you browse wedding boards, catching yourself hating on girls you don’t know (in your mind) online that posted beautiful wedding photos
Maybe none of those examples pegged you, but if they did, know that you aren’t alone, its more common than you realize, and we encourage you to do a couple things:
1. Stop and think about the wedding of your dreams before you ever looked at wedding inspirations online. Ask yourself what was most important to you then? Then focus on making sure that element is present and remind yourself that getting married to your partner should be what matters most.
2. Keep only the Pinterest pins you plan to use and delete everything else that may cause you to second guess your decisions in the future or make you feel that you were “without” in the end as you look back on your day.
3. Unfollow Instagram accounts that leave you feeling ungrateful, less than, or jealous.
Analysis Paralysis, Decision Fatigue, and the Paradox of Choice
Weddings have always come with lots of decisions and traditionally they have been a beautiful opportunity for bride and groom to problem solve and make decisions as a family for the first time, but the access and inundation that has come with the digital age has created entirely new categorical dilemmas for brides and grooms resulting in paralysis and decision fatigue.
“Analysis Paralysis” is created by too many options. The definition states Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over- thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
Paralysis not an issue for you? How about “Decision Fatigue “also caused by too many options. This refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making.
Both of these issues are rampant in the wedding industry. Instead of being excited about the decisions made, brides are often overwhelmed with the thought of decisions that haven’t been made or so unsure of themselves they are too paralyzed to make a decision at all often leading them to give up, telling the wedding planner or their mother they want nothing to do with the remaining decisions. The problem with this is that it often leads to feelings of bitterness or regret down the road.
Why is this happening? As we mentioned above, with the rise of technology marketing is more targeted than ever, and social media has integrated marketing into just about everything we do. And studies show this could be diminishing our self-worth, making us feel like we need more or have less than what we many have thought otherwise.
Another way it’s been described is the “paradox of choice”. And Business Insider summed it up this way, “whenever you choose one thing, your also not choosing other things that could be just as good.” With access to so many ideas on Pinterest and other platforms, what we once had no idea we were not choosing or missing out on is now in our face daily, by the thousands.
These three issues, analysis paralysis, decisions fatigue, and the paradox of choice are threatening the fun, excitement, and anticipation that used to accompany planning a wedding or really planning anything.
So, what can you do?
1. Limit browsing weddings on Pinterest or scrolling through Instagram after you’ve already made decisions, because it can create uncertainty.
2. Feel yourself slowly moving towards disappointment when thinking about your wedding or scrolling online? Stop and cultivate gratefulness for what you do have and the choices you are excited you have made.
3. Remind yourself that Instagram and other social media sites are just pictures, they do not represent the reality of one’s real life. Try not to compare yours.
Lack of Authenticity
All of these issues we are discussing go hand in hand, authenticity is no different. The internet can assault and compromise your authenticity. It may seem like an amazing discovery seeing ideas online you had never even thought of in your wildest imagination, however often this ends in underlying feelings of despair. Ever hear yourself ask, “why didn’t I think of that?” or hear yourself say, “I’m just not that creative.” Those are signs that your own self-confidence and authenticity could be under attack and are maybe being compromised.
For clarity, we want to reiterate that we are not saying you shouldn't use the Pinterest to look for bouquet inspiration and aren't even sure what direction to point your florist in. But what we are saying is that describing the bouquet you've been dreaming about to your florist, versus sending her a picture to copy may result in something brand new and totally different than anyone else.
You are unique and therefore your ideas are unique. Every viral pin started with one person’s authentic idea, right? Perhaps YOUR dreamed-up bouquet will go viral.
How do you cultivate authenticity?
1. Spend time dreaming and then drawing up what comes to mind. The internet wasn’t always around, people used to sketch their ideas all the time!
2. Gather people you respect and treasure and brainstorm new ideas out loud, never checking to see if or how it’s been done before online.
3. Truly don’t have any ideas on some parts of your wedding? Let professional creatives have room to create something totally new for you. *This actually takes confidence in oneself to let go, and we also have major control issues these days, but that's a topic we won’t get into now!
4. Tell yourself you are proud of your ideas more often than you say you have none.
5. Don’t be afraid to fail, some of the best ideas in the world started with failure.
6. Remind yourself every day that you are planning a wedding because you are worth loving, and someone has chosen to love you for the rest of your life!