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The Pinterest Effect: Can You Afford The Type of Wedding You Want?



Photo by Piteira Photography


As with the fashion and interior design, Pinterest and Instagram bombards us with glossy, perfected images of beautiful weddings the world over. We scroll and scroll through large bouquets, grand floral arches and ornate locations that take your breath away. What these images don’t usually include is the price tag associated with it and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.

Can you afford the type of wedding you want?

Disclaimer: This piece is not meant to offend anyone in any way or start a war against beautiful images on Pinterest selling us unrealistic inspiration. I am guilty of this myself! I don’t add prices to my Instagram images. This isn’t a piece to say “thing bad” but rather “thing exists” and to encourage you to be discerning when navigating the weddingsphere.


Photo by Marni V Photography

What is The Pinterest Effect?

The Pinterest Effect is a phenomenon when wedding couples browse Pinterest, Instagram or wedding blogs and underestimate or overestimate the cost of the images they see. This happens to almost everyone when starting their wedding planning because, before they get engaged, they are rarely privy to the actual costs of a wedding. Some of the images on Pinterest have budgets of €100k+ but unless you are an industry insider, it can be difficult to accurately predict the price tag of images you see.

I liken it to clothes shopping. You know when you pass a top in a shop window that is just perfect for you. You go into the shop with every confidence in the world that it was sent from the heaven just for you, find the top on the rack, flip over the tag and are either pleasantly surprised that it’s half of what you expected, or slowly back away from it, pretending you never really wanted it anyway.

I GET YOU. Happens to me all the time.

Don’t feel bad if you feel you are coming up against the Pinterest Effect when browsing for wedding photos for your moodboard. There are ways to combat this and be savvy when it comes to budgeting.


Photo by Marni V Photography

What can you do to combat The Pinterest Effect?

Tip 1: Decide on a feasible budget for yourselves and then acquire industry averages

The first thing to do is to figure out how much you can afford to spend on your wedding in the first place. Know your own parameters first and then start to look into industry averages. I’ve done a whole blog and video about how to decide on your wedding budget so do check that out to help you with this first tip.

Tip 2: Follow publications who often post images from weddings within your budget and style

If you know that your budget is limited and you may need to do more DIY pieces of more low key styling then follow blogs and Instagram accounts that fit what’s realistic for you. By contrast, if you have a large budget and want a luxurious style, follow publications that ft with that style. I promise you there are accounts and blogs for all budgets on the spectrum and even the big ones are starting to be more transparent about overall costs to make things simpler for you.

Tip 3: Ask the experts

Wedding planners and suppliers are great at estimates and assisting you with your budget plan. They’ll help you to understand what’s feasible for your wedding budget whilst attempting to maintain the style you want.


Photo by Luisa Starling

Don’t lose faith!

What can happen if The Pinterest Effect has already gripped you is that when you hear the actual cost of that gorgeous inspiration wedding you found, you feel disheartened that your €25k budget won’t come anywhere close to that €100k inspiration. And to a degree, you are right. It won’t be exactly the same or as lavish. But colours, aesthetic and venue type can all be applied to your budget. You can still draw inspiration and make a wedding day that is truly unique to you. Isn’t that we all want?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this juicy concept piece. Full of them recently but I like sharing my philosophy on things so you can better understand where I’m coming from, not just as a Portugal wedding planner and industry expert, but also as someone who wants to help you create the wedding you really want.

Until next time!

Olivia