From social media platforms to wedding planning websites, there are a plethora of avenues for discovering creative ideas for wedding decor and more. But not everyone enjoys the process of seeking inspiration—it’s easy to get overwhelmed by how to categorize all of your great finds, so you can actually make use of it all.
Luckily, Zola is here to show you where and how to find the best wedding inspo, plus help you figure out how to bring your ideas to life, and—later—post your own wedding content online. Below, a comprehensive social media guide to organizing your wedding vision.
Comfort and escape during wedding planning can often come from online communities. In fact, 23.49% of couples combat wedding planning stress by “endlessly scrolling social media,” whether it be as a source of mental break, comic relief, vendor recommendations, wedding inspiration, or advice from other couples. Although spending too much time on these platforms can feel overwhelming and oversaturated with trends, for the most part, using social media apps correctly and in moderation should build your excitement for your wedding day.
The top three social media platforms couples find their wedding inspo on, according to Zola’s 2023 First Look Report are Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok. You may decide to use a combination of social media apps and traditional media for your wedding vision board or focus your efforts on one preferred platform. There is no right or wrong way to go about gathering ideas. However, each of these platforms occupies its own niche and has different benefits to be aware of.
Since 2016, TikTok has rapidly grown in popularity as a platform. The rise of TikTok came most prominently in 2020 when users downloaded the app 850 million times. The vast majority of this app’s users fall in the under-30 age range, with 35% of users being 20-29 years old. As TikTok functions as a hub for the younger generations, it also captures and disseminates emerging trends in the fashion, music, and pop culture spaces. Wedding content is no exception—33.48% of all couples Zola surveyed turned to TikTok on their quest for bridal inspiration. We recommend that couples use TikTok to escape the stress of planning, survey other couples’ special days, and draw from ideas they see for DIYs, color schemes, venues, dress styles, and more.
Perhaps the ultimate creative inspiration source for planning any event or developing a mood board is Pinterest, with 74.7% of Zola’s surveyed couples turning to this source during their wedding planning journey. Pinterest launched in 2010, and since then, users have adopted the platform for digital scrapbooking and grouping visual elements together in various labeled boards. This platform may not be your best friend for finding specific vendor resources, but it can provide ideas to visually replicate or modify to fit your wedding.
If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to Pinterest, simply search general tags like wedding inspiration. From there, you will find pins of different aesthetics that resonate with you or Pinterest influencers with similar senses of style whose other boards you may want to browse. Through these explorations, you should start to notice more specific colors and trends that you gravitate toward, which will help you narrow your search terms. Create a board for all of your wedding inspiration, or split it up into multiple boards for each specific aspect of your wedding like your reception, bridal gown, bridesmaids' dresses, decor, flowers, and food.
Instagram functions as another highly visual platform for garnering inspiration from photos and videos. If you have specific engaged or married couples in your own life or who you look up to as influencers, start by following that list of people—especially if they post frequently. Following these people should supply a steady stream of wedding-related content to your feed. Many of these wedding influencers may also recommend and tag brands or vendors that they have previously used and enjoyed. Additionally, the more wedding-specific content you interact with, the more Instagram will recommend similar content in your feed.
You and your partner can also harness Instagram’s search bar and explore pages to your advantage. Simply look up general or specific wedding hashtags you resonate with and proceed to browse and interact accordingly. Using Instagram’s photo save feature, you can store your favorite photos and videos in collections to reference at a later time. Even if you don’t find Instagram helpful in developing dream wedding ideas, you can retreat to the app for a welcome respite from the mental stressors of wedding planning.
Although Facebook leans less trendy than Instagram or TikTok, the platform still offers a wealth of resources for wedding planning and building community. The majority of Zola’s 2023 First Look Report couples harnessed the power of Facebook for finding vendors, gathering wedding inspiration, or taking a mental break from their wedding day stresses.
Not sure how to best make use of this popular app? Join respected wedding Facebook groups and connect with other couples navigating their wedding planning journeys. Many Facebook group communities serve as recommendation tools and sources of friendship and connection through shared experiences. You may want to search for local wedding vendor groups, applying terms specific to your location.
Although social media is a fantastic tool, it is not the only platform couples turn to as they plan their special day. If you prefer a more traditional route or simply don’t use social media often in your personal life, media like wedding and vendor websites or magazines may better suit your needs.
Zola is your one-stop shop for all things weddings. Start with our Real Weddings search tool to browse curated Pinterest-like boards according to your search terms or suggested trending searches. All of our “pins” will tag the involved vendors and locations of the photos for your convenience. Our vendor search tool compiles mass lists of vendors for you to sort through by location, pricing, or other criteria. Finally, if you’re looking to jump into discussions with other engaged couples or ask Zola’s leading experts questions, check out our Zola Community, a judgment-free wedding forum for couples just like you.
Every reputable wedding vendor, from a wedding venue to a bridal caterer, will have its own dedicated website with services, pricing, and contact information. You and your partner may accumulate vendor recommendations to research from family and friends who have recently been married and through social media groups or influencers.
Never underestimate the power of an old-fashioned scrapbook or mood board. Gather a stack of bridal magazines and either flip through and bookmark certain pages or cut out images that stand out to you to produce a collage. Some popular bridal magazines today include Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Bridal Guide, and Southern Weddings, to name just a few. On their pages, you should expect to find bridal dresses, wedding menus, hairstyle and makeup ideas, budgeting tips, wedding planning advice, and more.
Once you’ve executed your dream wedding vision, now comes the work of sharing moments from your wedding day with your family, friends, and online community. The amount you choose to share and the audience you share with depends on your comfort level and how social media savvy you are. For example, influencers or couples with a substantial social media following and interest in social media will likely post more wedding content than those who have less of an online presence.
Many couples choose to at least show small snippets of their wedding online, like an engagement announcement post and photos of the wedding day. According to Zola’s 2023 First Look Report, 67.97% of couples shared an engagement post and 63.37% shared photos after the big day.
Wedding content comes in many forms and variations, from ceremony videos to engagement posts, getting ready TikToks, bridal shower photos, and much more. All these forms of digital content can be executed by professionals or taken more informally on a cellphone with a decent camera. Many couples want photos of their guests enjoying the wedding, staged/professional photos of the bridal party and themselves, candid shots of the day, and a professional wedding video or photo compilation.
When considering what content you want to share, you and your partner should account for aspects like your budget for photography and video, the quality of content you’re looking for, and protecting your privacy. For example, if you have a large budget for photography and video, you and your partner may want to get more content than the average couple. This could mean photos on your actual wedding day and the events leading up to your wedding, like the rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, and bachelor and bachelorette parties.
After you and your spouse receive the wedding content from your photographer/videographer, you can devise a social media plan for sharing your favorite photos and videos. Keep in mind how each social media platform functions when deciding what to share. For example, a 10-minute wedding video compilation would best live on YouTube instead of Instagram or TikTok due to the time frame limits that these platforms impose. Likewise, if you want to share whole albums of photos, rather than just a few of your favorite snapshots, Facebook may be a suitable choice. Instagram and TikTok will work best for short-form videos and live streams.
Once you’ve narrowed down the types of content you would like your photographer, videographer, or family/friend volunteers to produce, get specific about your ideas and delegate tasks accordingly. Whether you’re working with a professional or saving money by having a trusted family member or friend photograph for you, whoever is shooting the content will benefit from the detailed creative direction. You won’t want to leave anything up to chance or misinterpretation.
Outline your photo and video ideas in specific terms. For example, instead of saying you want pictures of you and your partner at the altar, say you want close-up shots of your partner’s face as you walk down the aisle, a medium shot of you and your partner exchanging rings, and a long shot with a high angle of you and your spouse reading your vows. If you have details of your dress, the decor, or the food at your reception that you would like highlighted, feel free to communicate that information to whoever is taking photos or videos.
Professional photographers and videographers will need less direction than amateurs but allowing your vendors to see your vision still matters. Remember to communicate the style of photos and videos you enjoy in terms of lighting, ambiance, and equipment (film or digital), or hire a photographer/videographer that matches your desired aesthetic.
How you delegate duties will hinge on how many photographers and videographers you have (many couples have one of each) and the level of involvement and intricacy your ideas require. Enlist members of your bridal party to corral guests for photos or gather volunteers to participate in video shots for professional video content and goofy TikToks. Your photographer/videographer should also feel comfortable pulling people where necessary to get the shots you and your partner have requested. Keep in mind that although more hands may seem useful, there is also such a thing as too many people involved in a project.
With all of the social media platforms available as wedding planning sources and the increase in weddings post-COVID, 2023 couples experience an overload of wedding ideas by the time they get engaged. This leads to a desire to make weddings more authentic, fun, and unique, and less contrived and traditional. As social media platforms house and distribute cutting-edge trends, couples should take advantage of organizing their wedding inspiration and sharing their wedding day content on these apps. Applying the tips above, you and your partner will create a curated wedding day that matches your personality.