My private wedding fantasy: Inside Pinterest's secret boards

Millions of Pinterest users save wedding inspiration photos even though they aren't planning their nuptials. We asked five of them why they do it.

If a wedding is a day but a marriage is a lifetime then a Pinterest wedding board is eternal. With 38 million boards devoted to white gowns and Mason jar flower arrangements, the social network has grown into one of the most powerful wedding-planning tools in the industry. But increasingly, these boards aren’t being used to prepare for the Big Day at all.

Seventy percent of Pinterest’s 72 million users pin wedding-related images even though they aren’t engaged. Many of these pins are stored on private boards that aren’t visible to other users. Since January, secret wedding boards have doubled from 15 percent to 30 percent of all secret boards on Pinterest. To find out what’s inside these classified wedding inspiration boards, we asked five Canadian women to share theirs with Chatelaine.


Marilou’s secret wedding board.

Marilou, 21, student, Quebec City
Relationship status: Single
What she pins: Beachside escapes, ethereal Liz Martinez dresses, DIY crafts
Why she keeps the board: “I only go on Pinterest before I fall asleep. It’s become this strange ritual; I just think it’s relaxing to look at beautiful pictures before bed. I don’t tell my friends about it because I know I’m a bit too young to be thinking about having a wedding, and they would think I’m crazy. I don’t even know if I ever want to get married. To me, my wedding board is fun — it’s like a private escape. Plus, I don’t have to worry about how many “likes” I get on the pictures I post. It’s a very non-judgmental thing.”

Jenna 1

Jenna’s secret wedding board.

Jenna, 24, tech account executive, Vancouver
Relationship status: Has a boyfriend of one year
What she pins: Flower girl dresses, embroidered Katie May and Elie Saab dresses, outdoor dining ideas
Why she keeps the board: “If I showed it to my boyfriend, he would take it as a sign that I want to get married tomorrow, but I don’t. Having a secret board means more than what’s actually on it. I have a very clear picture of how I want my wedding to be and finding a dress that matches that has been something I’ve been doing since I was 16. If I had a different boyfriend, I would probably change my board — with each person, your picture of your wedding changes.”

Alex 1

Alex’s secret wedding board.

Alex, 30, wedding invitation designer, Toronto
Relationship status: Dating
What she pins:
Inspiration for her job, floral crowns, rustic barnyard venues
Why she keeps the board: “I’ll come across something and think, ‘I love this idea, I want to keep it for myself and not let my friends or clients in on it.’ Thinking of planning a party like that is just fun. Regardless of your relationship status, it’s your special day and people enjoy the idea of imagining what they might do. I wouldn’t feel comfortable showing it to a new boyfriend, but I don’t think it’s anything to be embarrassed about.”

Miriam 2 v.2

Miriam’s secret wedding board.

Miriam, 41, public relations account supervisor, Edmonton
Relationship status: Divorced
What she pins: Late-night snack ideas, wedding-day emergency kits, guest gifts
Why she keeps the board: “I started pinning after my friend told me that Pinterest was a fun way to find new recipes and decorating ideas. For a while, I just pinned pictures of crockpot meals and throw pillows, but eventually I started noticing all the shiny wedding paraphernalia. Having already had a wedding of my own I thought, ‘No, you don’t get to do this. You don’t have a wedding to plan. You already got your turn.’ But it just looked like so much fun. Still, I felt sort of ridiculous. Was I jealous of these online women who I’d never even met before? Then one day I realized I was a fool if I let anyone make me feel guilty or desperate just because I wanted to pin a few white dresses. I’m not in a relationship right now and since most of my friends are married with kids they sort of already pity me. Showing them a Pinterest board of all my secret wedding aspirations would be a horrible, horrible idea.”

arty 1

Arty’s secret wedding board.

Arty, 55, artistic director, Vancouver
Relationship status: Married
What she pins: Theatrical Dior dresses, centrepieces, outdoor lighting and decorating ideas
Why she keeps the board: “I started my board because a friend of mine was getting married and instead of constantly sending her things that I found, I put it all on a board for her to see. It was super fun to plan somebody else’s wedding. But it’s not just dresses, it’s all sorts of things — it’s a whole event plan, which is fabulous. I would get married again if I could, if I was still young and cute. I should have gotten married twice; give me another wedding to plan.”

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