The Pinterest Effect

If you haven’t yet heard about Pinterest, the best way to describe it is as an Alice in Wonderland style rabbit hole full of inpiring recipes, quotes, wedding ideas, memes... the list goes on. It is a virtual pin board of all your favourite things from all around the internet. 

I love Pinterest for it’s seemingly never ending supply of inspiration & pretty pictures - I used it pretty much exclusively to plan my own wedding 6 years ago and still use it for ideas for kids birthdays & shop decorating.  

As good as it may be, it has it’s downsides, especially for people working in the creative industry - aka florists, cake makers & photographers.  

It all comes down to expections vs reality. I’m sure you’ve all seen enough DIY ‘Pinterest Fails’ memes to know what I mean, however sometimes the expectation does not match what is realistic - be it due to budget, seasonal availability, location etc. 

 Inspiration image via Pinterest  

Inspiration image via Pinterest  

 True to colour interpretation  

True to colour interpretation  

When you approach someone in the creative industry and say ‘I want an EXACT replica of this bouquet/cake/photo’ - the truth is, it’s not going to happen. I’ll use floristry as the main example here - every single florist is different. We have different styles, experience, ways of doing things - which will in turn determine the price & overall look & feel of the final product. You could put 10 florists in a room, give them a bucket full of the exact flowers, and every single one will produce something different - it’s just the way it is!  

I always say to customers that I will use their Pinterest photo as inspiration however it won’t look exactly the same. Most people are more than happy with this - they trust in what I do. But there are some who don’t understand why I can’t make a lush peony bouquet in the middle of Autumn, or put dahlias on their cake in Winter - ‘but it’s on Pinterest under ‘winter weddings’ so make it happen!’ 

Firstly, don’t believe everything on the internet. It’s likely someone pinned the dahlias under ‘winter wedding inspo’ without knowing that they’re not available then - thus creating confusion elsewhere in the world. We will always suggest alternatives. Also, there are some flowers used in overseas designers work that just aren’t available in Australia at all - commercially or not. Again, we will suggest alternatives.

Another issue with the beautiful professional photos on Pinterest is that more often than not, they’re heavily photoshopped and the colours displayed are not true to life. I’ve seen many professional photos of my own work come back, only to see that the deep reds are now hot pink or the beautiful peach tones are washed out to an orangey-grey. It’s disheartening when we spend so much time colour matching but it’s just how it is - often the photos can’t be replicated exactly because those colours aren’t actually real!  

 Unedited image of bouquet showing true to life colours

Unedited image of bouquet showing true to life colours

 Photographers photo - absolutely beautiful, but does not show colours as they are

Photographers photo - absolutely beautiful, but does not show colours as they are

Then comes the issue of the Pinterest ‘dream wedding’ of champagne tastes, but on a beer budget. Large hanging installations, huge balls of fresh flowers on top of tall stands, an archway covered in blooms, huge floral letters... these things cost money. Flowers are not cheap, and neither is our time in designing, sourcing the flowers, prepping, arranging, installing, perfecting and then packing it all down the next day. Often we may need to make special stands, boards, frames or trellises to be able to support the flowers. To turn around and say ‘oh no, you’re far too expensive’ is not only offensive to us personally, it’s quite ignorant. Just imagine if your boss said ‘I think your wages are too high, I’m going to pay you $10 an hour instead of $30 because I believe thats all you’re worth’. 

 Image via Pinterest - it may be ‘just greenery’, but foliage is quite expensive and an arrangement like this is labour intensive - expect to spend a minimum of $300 on something of this size

Image via Pinterest - it may be ‘just greenery’, but foliage is quite expensive and an arrangement like this is labour intensive - expect to spend a minimum of $300 on something of this size

By all means, use Pinterest as inspiration. It’s a valuable source! However, be realistic. Understand that the vendors you approach are professionals  and know what they’re doing - trust that they will do the absolute best they can. There is no such thing as a ‘wedding tax’ - not from reputable vendors anyway. The reason your wedding flowers cost more than an everyday bunch of flowers is due to the sometimes extreme amount of hours put in behind the scenes sourcing & creating your perfect florals - I’ve often worked 18+ hour days in the middle of wedding season! Also the quality of wedding flowers is higher than a ‘normal’ bunch - I personally only use one main Australian rose company for wedding roses - these come at a higher price which isn’t sustainable in day to day work. 

I hope this helps shed some light on us creative people’s side of the picture, and spread a little understanding! 

Rhi x