Pinning your way to online inspiration

Everyone has their own method of keeping ideas organized for their wedding. Some find their zen at Google Docs while others lug around a big ol' binder o' doom. Some use planning websites while others are keeping track with lipstick on a mirror. All methods are good as long as you don't drive yourself crazy keeping track of all your inspiration sources. That's where Pinterest comes in.

I am a fledgling convert to the "pinning" concept of finding something online and pinning it to "boards," in this case, virtual boards. You may be familiar with it via sites like Delicious or a myriad of others, but a lot of them are niche-specific — ones for designers, fashionistas, or techies. And most of them turn photos into big lists of text links.

What it this thang?

Pinterest is the new hawtness since it's super visual, customizable, and, due to its popularity and viral nature, chock-full of inspiration in all forms. Ideas you like from someone else's board can be "repinned" to your wall for later use. And unlike some similar sites, the boards on which you pin are entirely of your creation. Instead of being stuck in the areas of planning you're "supposed" to have (dresses, flowers, etc.), you can create as many custom categories as you like. You can make a board to match your theme or general concepts: "awesome Labyrinth snow globes," "damask corsets," "wedding favors in mason jars," or "non-dorky photog poses." Seriously, whatever flips your switch.
 

At-a-glance look at a set of boards

How do I do it?

Trust me, it's not hard to use. Log in and they will direct you to drag a "Pin It" link to your Bookmarks or Favorites bar. So when you're on any site, hit "Pin It" and the image you choose will be placed on your board of choice. The best part is that the image is always linked back to the source. So if you link an awesome hair tutorial image, it will link right back to the full tutorial, no matter how many times it is repinned. Pinterest and its users are committed to sourcing correctly, too.

And bonus: Offbeat Bride just added a "Pin It" button to the site so you can pin to your heart's content.

The part that will keep you up past your bedtime is the social element. You can browse popular pins, pins based on keywords, and anything else that strikes your fancy. You can also subscribe to boards, which allows you to have inspiration roll in for later perusal (and so you can watch reruns of Buffy now). And when you do start browsing again, it's like when you're watching cats on Youtube and three hours later, you feel like you've hit the end of the internet. Addictive and awesome.
 

All kinds of pins for a search on headpieces

Me likey! What else can it do?

It's great for planning and even better for sharing ideas with others. Photographers and wedding planners can use it to easily share ideas visually with clients. Brides and grooms can share ideas with friends and family, even creating a "DO NOT DO" board if they can't quite verbalize what they can show in pictures.

And don't forget that you can use Pinterest after the wedding to save cool recipes, hobby inspiration, and books to read. Life after the wedding is worth planning for and it will help fight the post-wedding blues.

Oh, and if you like to pin on the run, there's a free iPhone app available and an Android app is in development.

One downside is that registration requires a Twitter or a Facebook account, so if you're not a user of either of these, it can be a bummer. You can always set up a Twitter account for this purpose, though. But that's the price you pay for being an awesome tech-savvy early adopter of cool shit.
 

A Steampunk search!

Take a look through the pins that source from Offbeat Bride and subscribe to the
Offbeat Bride boards themselves!

So, that's the scoop on Pinterest. There are some other sites like it, but I can see why this one is really catching on. It could be especially handy during that early, free-wheeling brainstorming time.

Connect with Offbeat Bride on Pinterest and share your boards!

If you don't know where to start, try looking through the pins that source from Offbeat Bride and feel free to subscribe to the Offbeat Bride boards themselves!

Let's see your boards too! Post your Pinterest wedding boards in the comments so we can go a-browsing.

  1. I'm on Pinterest, and I absolutely LOVE it. I've got all kinds of things on my pin boards.

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  2. I'm so glad you wrote about this today. I've been nervous about Pinterest not linking back to the original, but now my fears are put to rest. I might just have found a new addiction.

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  3. sigh this FABULOUS site came out right AFTER my wedding. sigh. but ladies and gents it really is WONDERFUL! I wish I had it. When I got my invite I emailed all my bride friends and said "I'm sending ya'll an invite cuz you need this :-)"

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    • I have been trying for days to get an invite from the site but nothing has been sent. Do you know how long it typically takes to get an invite once you request it from the website?

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        • Ooohh – are you guys still giving out invites? I've resisted Pinterest, but now that I've caved in apparently the main wait list might be as long as two weeks or more. Sigh.

          Cheeky pretty please?

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          • Sent! :) Leave us your username so we can stalk ya!

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  4. I got an invite to Pinterest a while ago, but I've been waffling on whether or not to use it. It sounds super useful, but I hate that it requires Facebook or Twitter and sincerely wish that there was a way to simply make a Pinterest account. I dislike forced participation in social media of dubious security.

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    • This! It does not seem that anything it does really needs Facebook. I'd be there in a heartbeat if I could simply set up an account without giving it permission to reach into Facebook and:

      Access my basic information
      Includes name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, list of friends, and any other information I've shared with everyone.
      Post to my Wall
      Pinterest may post status messages, notes, photos, and videos to my Wall
      Access my data any time
      Pinterest may access my data when I'm not using the application

      1 agrees
  5. I just tried to sign up but they said I'm on a waiting list? :( I was so excited!

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    • You'll get an "invite" very shortly…I think they changed it from invitation only to open invitation, but the marketing wording is the same in their email.

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      • Thank you so much for the invite! Pinterest is awesome!

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  6. Yes I love pinterest! It's a fab way to search for and save favorites. There's also a new service similar to pinterest, for weddings that is launching soon, Hitch'd. You can keep your bookmarks private and twitter/facebook login aren't required.

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  7. BEST THING EVER! Pinterest rocks my socks and you should all join. I'm the most unorganized person ever and I'm able to keep track of my life via this site.

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  8. Does it then post stuff to your Facebook or twitter account that other people could see? Only that'd be kinda embarrassing, given we're planning but not engaged

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    • Thankfully, it never auto-posts anything to Facebook or Twitter. There is a button that will allow you to share it, but only if you choose to. :)

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    • Yeah that sorta unnerved me too so I just signed up with a twitter account I never use. But they say they won't post anything without your permission so I guess you can turn that option off :)

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      • Phew! It sounds perfect for our inspiration planning stage, picking everything we want ready for when we want to book it all but that was the only dealbreaker. Thank you for putting my fears to rest!

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    • You can also remove the link to Facebook/Twitter after you've signed up (this is what I did). I understood (maybe someone else can confirm or deny it) that sites use Facebook/Twitter log-ins when they start up so they don't need to do their own authentication system. Also good for their publicity if you start posting about their site to your friends!

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  9. I had fought learning what Pinterest was or signing up. I had fought the social media junkie urge to dive in and bury myself in new website frenzy.
    Until.
    This.
    Post.
    COLORFUL, WELL-COORDINATED GRAPHICS ALWAYS GET ME.

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  10. Umm, you really want a glimpse into the mania that are my wedding boards???? Here you go!!! Oh, and the best part of Pinterest has been the online conversations in the comments between my Mom and I, since she lives halfway around the country. So nice.

    http://pinterest.com/jobanba/wedding-inspiration/
    http://pinterest.com/jobanba/centerpieces-and-flowers/
    http://pinterest.com/jobanba/wedding-invitations-and-paper-goods/
    http://pinterest.com/jobanba/wedding-clothes-and-accessories/
    http://pinterest.com/jobanba/wedding-fabrics-and-supplies/

    I have one more board called "Wedding Reality" which I use to refine my image; I only move pins there once I'm absolutely decided on it. So helpful to see how my own plans are coming together amidst a sometimes overwhelming sea of inspiration.

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    • Thanks for sharing! You have some amazing pics

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  11. i love, love, LOVE Pinterest, though i do feel i should warn peeps coming from the awesomeness that is OBB: there is a scary amount of "thinspiration" stuff on pinterest, so do be aware of this when you go browsing the general boards, or the general most recently pinned fashion/body/whatever stuff. There is also PLENTY of awesome, but if you're used to the positivity of OBB some of the weightloss stuff can be a bit jarring.
    Otherwise, i'm a pinning freak! rawr! I'm vacantmuse there too if you wanna follow!

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    • /Agree! I've noticed the thinspiration trend as well. They need more Offbeat Brides pinning instead!

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      • I am obsessed with pinterest, but have started a personal policy that when browsing, if I see something with text, I just won't read it. 95% of the time it is either something dumb or something about losing weight. I really wish they had a "thumbs down" or "offensive" option for that thinspiration stuff. It's creepy.

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  12. I love pinterest! This is off-topic, but who makes dress featured at the top? I LOVE IT!

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    • I believe that's a Vera Wang from this spring.

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  13. I am on Pinterest but funny enough I stopped following others' wedding and wedding style boards. I'm in that planning phase when other people's wedding stuff is too much for me to handle and makes me feel super overwhelmed.

    BUT that's the beauty…you can stop following specific boards while still following others. Like if you're a vegetarian and your friend has a "look at these juicy steaks" board and a "cool art" board, you still see her art pins without having to see all the meat.

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  14. I have to say that I, too, have just tried (again) to sign up and still got the waitlist email. So if you've got the details on how to get "in" pass 'em on bc right now I'm feeling like the cool kids are laughing at me…

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    • I feel your pain. Google+ isn't picking me in gym class either. I sent ya an invite though!

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      • If you want to send me your email I will try to send you an invite.

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    • <3 Offbeat Intern. I laugh in the face of cool kids now!

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  15. This is great! I'm not planning my wedding yet, but I definitely want to have ideas of the types of things I like so that when I go to plan, I can look over things and say, "Okay, the hairstyles I like mostly have these things in common," or "Huh, pretty much all the dresses I saved are this style." I *figure* that this'll make the actual decision-making process easier when the time comes. PINNING WILL MAKE THIS SO EASY. Thanks so much!

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  16. Oh, the irony! I was up way too late last night pinning and watching Buffy reruns. :)

    1 agrees
  17. I freakin love pintrest, my boss actually got me started pinning. I want to follow the boards in the first picture but can't find the person please direct me to their boards. Thanks!

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  18. I should have known about this earlier… I did all my moodboards in Photoshop.

    It's good to hear that you can cancel the Facebook link, because I absolutely hate sites that request full access to all your friends and stuff before you can use it.

    What I would like to know, is how easy it is to print your pinboards. Because when I went dress shopping, to the hairdresser, etc. I brought a printed version of my moodboards. It would be very helpful if you could print it without having to worry whether the images will fit nicely on your printing paper, and if the layout will be handled automatically.

    1 agrees
  19. OMG I love Pinterest!! Too bad I can't get off the wait list and actually start my own :-(

    I have already lost hours of my life looking at the fun stuff!!

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  20. I desperately want to join but I'm still on the waiting list! I've got dozens of browser tabs open with stuff I want to pin…….

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    • Sent you an invite. I think that's everyone who requested one so far. -Catherine

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      • If you happen to have any more invites to spare, I would LOVE if you could send one my way… :D

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  21. I'm on board, but the Pin It tab doesn't work with Chrome. Waaaaaaah! Well, I guess I'll have to move over to Firefox for my pinning adventures.

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    • What version of Chrome are you using? I'm using Chrome 12.0.742.112, and it's working just fine for me. What error are you getting?

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  22. Hey, long time OB lurker here. Any chance one of you cool kids would send me an invite? I'm on the waiting list and I'm so excited to pin so I can share my stuff with my bridesmaids and mom who are all on the east coast (I'm in CA).

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  23. Oh this site is amazing. We've just got engaged and I have so many ideas in my head I need a pinboard before I explode with excitement! I am on a waiting list how long does it normally take? If anyone can invite me that would be amazing! I'm from the UK :)

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  24. I want! I want! Alas! Still no invite today. It's been A WHOLE DAY! I'm impatient! I want it now! It's so gorgeous! It's so wonderful! I'm so excited to get started! waiting some more…

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  25. Oh yay! I'm following the OBB boards now!

    Are you sure you want to delve into my boards of wedding madness??
    All boards (wedding and non) are here: http://pinterest.com/saltysea/

    Specifically dress related: http://pinterest.com/saltysea/creating-the-dress/

    General wedding planning inspiration:
    http://pinterest.com/saltysea/wedding-inspiration-planning/

    Wedding photography inspiration:
    http://pinterest.com/saltysea/wedding-inspiration-photography/

    I am so addicted to pinterest! I think I need to join a help group…

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  26. I've just signed up with Pinterest and it looks fantastic! My only issue is understanding what can be pinned. I guess I should direct this to the Pinterest people, and I will in more general terms. But I'm just wondering about etiquette in relation to pinning pics from the OBBT? I've seen such amazing and inspiring pics on the Tribe and since some of them are porn rather than tutorials, I'm curious whether they can be pinned?
    Thanks :)

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  27. Squee! I am currently in the "early, free-wheeling brainstorming time" and had just started a folder on my desktop for wedding stuff. THIS. Much more organized.

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  28. I'm having trouble using the Pin It button on my Firefox bookmark tool. Has anyone else encountered this?

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    • I have had issues with it off and on today. Usually if I restart my browser they go away. also you can keep a tab open with your pinterest boards on it. There you can add pins directly by clicking the add+ at the top and cutting and pasting the link of the thing you want to add. Hope this helps!

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  29. Late to the game, so I don't know if this is a new feature or not, but you can make your partner an editor of your board so you can both pin to it and collaborate on wedding ideas from a distance!

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    • Definitely you can! Hit "Edit board" and there is a place to add people to the contributor list. Just make sure you're following each other or Pinterest won't find your partner's name.

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