How bad is it to copy a design you find on Pinterest?

Wedding DIY, crafts and making everything at home is brilliant. I LOVE the revival of crafts and how brides and grooms (and mums and bridesmaids) are getting their fingers glittery and glue in their hair. You ROCK.

Rob Tarren Photography - Brockworth Court-51

Image credit (for all photographs used in today’s article) Rob Tarren Photography. For suppliers of items listed please see links at the end of today’s blog post.

It’s also what blogs are all about. We exist to share ideas, to show you new styles and help couples share their real wedding crafts with the world. Every great wedding blog is full of styling touches which we hope will inspire you to get your craft on… or shop from the best wedding designers and crafters who will get glittery on your behalf.

Handcrafted or homemade – it’s all good.

Rob Tarren Photography - Brockworth Court-42

But more and more often brides tell me about a design – say for a cake, an invite or a table plan – which they found online and copied / asked someone to copy for them.

Rob Tarren Photography - Brockworth Court-45

This is how I hear it…

“I looked everywhere for an invite I liked and then found a design on Pinterest which was perfect! I took a picture of it to a lovely lady I found at a local wedding fair and she made the design for me – nothing was too much trouble and she was brilliant.”


“We struggled to find a cake locally but we’d seen one on a wedding blog which was amazing. It took a bit of practice but we managed to make one the same at home, and all of our guests commented on how fab it looked!”

And the problem is, whether they’re asking someone to copy a design for them, or making it at home themelves, this is a) illegal and b) morally questionable / wrong!

Rob Tarren Photography - Brockworth Court-50

How bad is it to copy a design you find on Pinterest?

It’s really bad.

Please don’t do it… there are better ways to make your dream wedding:

  1. Use Pinterest by all means – it’s an amazing place and full of ideas. But they’re not there so you can copy; they’re there to inspire you to create something unique of your own. Make changes to what you see – change the colours, the sizes, shapes, wordings… as much as you can to personalise your ideas. Copying is boring. Creating is brilliant!
  2. Track down the suppliers you find on Pinterest / wedding blogs and ask them if they will deliver to your area. Most photographers I feature on the blog will travel throughout the UK, for example. Some don’t even charge more for travelling to you. Don’t copy from the designers; buy from them!
  3. Use Pinterest to make mood boards the way designers do. You can ‘collect’ a series of images of cakes / bouquets / invites which will make it clearer what styles you love. You might be a fan of botanicals, of illustration or of muted colours. Discover your style and then start your supplier search again! Search the internet for designers near you who love the same things, and you’ll discover amazing pieces closer to home. There are always more wedding suppliers than you think; it’s often a case of a really thorough local search.

Rob Tarren Photography - Brockworth Court-31

What strikes me most of all is that people find it so easy to copy a designer’s work – and don’t realise it’s a bad thing to do. So this is my plea to you: by all means be inspired by Pinterest, but add a personal touch to every aspect of your wedding.

Between us, we can help put an end to copying in the wedding industry.

Ethical wedding suppliers will never copy a design – and most will be very clear in explaining why they won’t copy. The occasional Ebayer might be willing to make something “identical” on the cheap… but trust me, you get what you pay for!

So if you see a design you’d like to copy, think again. Go back and try to find the original designer. If you can’t, see if you can dream up a similar idea, have a similar style or use similar colour tones or textures – but never copy!

Thank you for listening 🙂

It means a lot to me!

claire gould calligrapher signature

styled shoot rob tarren photography


If you’ve fallen in love with the styling and ideas from the images I’ve used today, they’re all from a styled shoot we featured back in June. See the full shoot here:

Beautiful blue hydrangeas for a dreamy summer wedding style, with The Flower Girls & Rob Tarren Photography


Cotswolds wedding suppliers whose wonderful talents feature in today’s images:

Emma Matthews – Creative Styling and flowers –
Venue – Brockworth Priors Barn
Iris Fitzgerald – Model –
Rob Tarren – Photography –
Katya Katya Shehurina – Dresses –
Lancaster & Cornish – Ribbon –
Made by Marie Green – Cakes –
Bella Bridal Hair- Hair & Make up –
Cotswold Vintage party Hire –
Saunders Creative – Signage –

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Nathan @ Artemis Stationery
    5 years ago

    It is a good comment, unfortunately creating is tough and copying is easy. While saying I won’t copy that exactly does cost clients. Cake makers seem to have it really bad as they’re quite geographically limited and alot of people expect a local cake maker to knock up something they’ve found online, while some unscrupulous bakers use other peoples images because they could make that if asked.

    For any potential clients of any creative wedding business rather than finding one image of something you like I think find several and detail what it is you like in each image. Then you’ll get something more original, more you and not a knock off.

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