To get a glimpse at the Pinterest phenomenon, look no further than Trish Smith. Her childhood pal Tiffany Loken was so sure she'd join the ranks of the addicted that she created a 50-pin "my best friend's wedding" board for Smith — even though the IT education adviser from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., wasn't engaged.
"Yeah," says Smith, 29, laughing. Posted to the wildly popular, photo-driven social media platform were "all the ideas we had talked about since I was a little girl" in pretty, pictorial form.
Six months later, in December, with a proposal in hand, Smith seized the wedding planning reins and cemented her Pinterest obsession, creating seven boards over one to three hours every night related to her Nov. 10 nuptials. One showcases two dozen potential hairstyles; another displays 29 possible bouquets. But the topper on the cake? The 366-pin catch-all "my countrytale wedding" board, with its photo patchwork of gowns, favors, boutonnieres and, yes, a baker's dozen cake toppers.
Meet the Pinterest bride. For her, planning a fairy-tale wedding without the tool is, well, inconceivable. Indeed, Smith estimates that 90% of her rustic mountain event will be inspired by or pulled directly from Pinterest, as she wishes.
With its heavily female demographic and emphasis on DIY derring-do, Pinterest and brides go together like love and marriage. But it's not just the women in white who are touchscreen-tapping into the power of the 2-year-old site.
"It's changing the industry" for vendors, planners and magazines, says Anne Fulenwider, editor in chief of Brides. Since she took over the title in November, Pinterest has "exploded and really changed the conversation." A majority of her readers are pinners — repinning other users' favorites, culling the Web for new stock and uploading their own pictures. She estimates that Brides' 55 boards, supplied with fresh images every day, are gaining about 500 followers a week. A favorite? "Couture-inspired wedding gowns," with more than 10,000 followers. ...