Start pinning! Pinterest, as I know you are already aware, is a great place to start gathering ideas. I know, your eyes just rolled so hard I heard it. But in all seriousness, make a secret board and invite the appropriate people to view your inspiration (mom, aunt, fiancé). The sooner you do this the better. This tool is so helpful when you meet with potential vendors, as it gives them the full picture, enabling them to provide you with an accurate quote.
This, like most aspects of planning your wedding or event, is something that should be done in an organized fashion. So if you find yourself getting too "pin" happy, take a step back and categorize those pins into separate secret boards. You may want a ceremony board, wedding dress board, reception board, etc. Be sure to make note in the comments of what you like about that particular picture, venue, décor, dress, etc. With everything going on, trust me, you will forget why in the world you pinned that random picture of a dog sitting on the steps of a gorgeous antebellum. Once you've gotten a good foundation, begin eliminating pins that no longer follow your overall theme. This will help you narrow down your ideas and get a better picture of how your event will transpire.
While Pinterest can be the ultimate planning tool, it can also become an unrealistic distraction. Be careful to keep that budget in mind while you peruse the web. Some of the outlandish weddings that you will come across can be out of reach in terms of your finances. As you do your research, don't become completely attached to an idea until you have discussed your vision with your wedding planner. And remember, your planner and vendors are the best resources for ideas. Keep a conversation going with them to help guide you through this process. Your pins are simply a starting point.
In addition, the astronomical amount of cutsie DIY projects you will see can become overwhelming. You need to keep in mind that these are DIY...do you have the time and manpower to sit down and make those adorable individually wrapped favors for your 250 guests? Are you really saving any money by doing this yourself when you think about the amount of time it will take you to do it? Like with most things, this is something people can go overboard with. Now with that said, is it ok to incorporate a cute guest seating sign that you created, or a special memorial project you did with your mom...absolutely! Just keep yourself in check and organized. This is not the time to bite off more than you can chew.
mom? Absolutely! Just keep in mind the amount of elbow grease you will need to make this happen and keep your creative side in check.