Pinterest spotlight: #wedding trends

Pinterest is a marketer’s best friend. Yet it very rarely gets the credit or attention it deserves. It has over 459 million monthly active users, and almost 90% of them report using the platform for purchase inspiration.  Pinterest’s impressive referral rates bear this out: the platform drives 33% more referral traffic to shopping websites than Facebook – its largest social media contender. It’s a place of brand inspiration to be reckoned with – and so a great source of consumer insight.

The platform can also predict trends, rather than just see them happening. People use it early on in their inspiration journeys – so the things they’re pinning now are often things they will eventually buy.

Brands who aren’t paying attention to Pinterest are missing out on an opportunity to spot green sprouts, influence their audience and understand their customer journey. To show the sorts of insights that brands can gain from Pinterest, we’ve deep-dived into some of the platform’s most popular search topics.

Wedding inspiration tops the list. We, therefore, decided to analyse #wedding trends. And boy, did we find a lot. Three themes, in particular, dominated the results; all tinted with an air of rosiness and perfection. Weddings are heavily idealised on Pinterest – but an ideal wedding aesthetic means very different things to different people.

The three themes associated with content for #wedding trends were:

Women in the limelight

Gender roles may be changing but wedding planning very much continues to be women’s domain. Women, after all, make up 60% of Pinterest’s visitors. Results for wedding trends almost only depict women – typically young white women – whether in the form of brides, bridesmaids or female wedding guests. Grooms occasionally pop up, but only then to pose with their blushing bride. This suggests that the content is heavily directed towards young, straight, female users, meaning there may be a big market for brands that want to direct themselves towards other groups who aren’t being represented.

The content does sadly also play on traditional female pressures to be beautiful. The results feature lots of make-up tutorials and promoted posts for dieting and rapid weight loss, as you can see below.

A backlash seems long overdue. Maybe there’s a gap in the market for brands that celebrate a more inclusive picture of what brides can look like and push back against prevailing beauty norms?

The simple life

According to Pinterest’s global predictions for 2021, low-key weddings would dominate 2021 in the wake of Covid-19 and national lockdowns. Trending search terms that like ‘small back garden wedding’ and ‘simple wedding cake small one tier’ rose by 160% and 200% respectively, for instance. Our search results bear this out: simplicity and subtlety dominated the posts we looked at. Most veered towards the rustic rather than the sumptuous. Venues are typically small and intimate. The images typically feature a lot of subdued natural colours in down-to-earth environments. The posts below give a good sense of the results:

Because the coronavirus has made weddings even more difficult to organise, couples seem to have realised that they could do it on a smaller scale without ‘missing out’. There also seems to be a sense of norm-breaking, a rejection of social pressures that dictate something big and lavish. It seems people are feeling a bit more liberated to do matrimony in their own, simpler style – meaning that brands that have not previously been associated with weddings can appeal to this consumer segment.

The wedding industry rules supreme

Across all posts, it is clear that it is businesses associated with the industry that has the monopoly of what users see. Wedding planners, bridal shops, wedding magazines; these actors produce and promote most of the content results.

This means that there are a lot of customer needs that aren’t currently being met and that retail brands can respond to.  Fashion brands can share off-the-rack gowns for customers to order on tight wedding timelines. They can also increase sales of second-hand, upcycles and rented bridal dresses for the growing number of environmentally-conscious couples. Beauty brands can highlight low-key make-up looks that don’t require a make-up artist. Financial services brands can help users budget for their celebrations and plan for life after their nuptials. Use the platform, in short, to gain insights into unmet customer demand and you’ll be awarded handsomely by the users.

So as we can see, it seems that people are increasingly happy to move away from the traditional wedding ‘norm’ – and brands should too. Matrimonies are moving away from lavish grandeur and the whites and pastels of old. Small is beautiful – in both colours and wedding scenarios. With an increased focus on the environment a newfound appreciation of nature following Covid lockdowns, brands can expect earthy, nature-inspired palettes to continue to appeal to trend-conscious consumers. Minimalist weddings may be a shorter-term response to the economic downturn of the pandemic. So keep on checking Pinterest for insights into what your audience is searching for and finding. You’ll have front row seats to how the market is moving.


By Louise Alestam


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