Wedding Vendor Reviews
In a recent group Facebook post I read a previous bride was warning others in the group that wedding companies may be misrepresenting themselves when it comes to their wedding vendor reviews. This bride used online reviews as ‘gospel’ and was warning others not to necessarily do the same thing. In the end, she was very unhappy with the service she received and posted a 1 star review. Later she found 21 reviews posted the very next day for 5 star reviews in one afternoon on google. A few days later another bride negatively reviewed them and of course 11 five star reviews followed the next day on The Knot. She even reached out to other unhappy brides who used the company. They all continued to see their negative reviews overshadowed by more fake 5 star reviews. In all she was now posting on this Facebook group to really try to help others make a good choice and warn everyone about fraudulent reviews.
As an owner of a wedding company in Pittsburgh that provides wedding DJ, photography, videography, lighting, and photobooths, I wrote this to educate prospective brides about how wedding vendor reviews should be approached when you are trying to decide on a wedding company. We are also extremely proud of our reviews and awards as we have worked very hard for our clients to get them.
The Knot and Wedding Wire
It is most important to understand that The Knot and Wedding Wire sell advertising to wedding vendors. Also know you do not have to have an account to post on Wedding Wire. These websites want a bride using them as much as possible to plan the wedding and connect with their vendors. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the prices they charge make it difficult for a single photographer or DJ, etc to make it to the top of their list due to the high price of advertising.
There are many excellent wedding vendors who are harder to find because they are not at the top of their paid list. Just because someone is NOT on these platforms with hundreds of 5 star reviews does not mean that they don’t provide a great service. Likewise, some of the best companies in your area are there for a good reason. Any vendor on these platforms is encouraged to get reviews. This keeps the community (and ultimately the business of The Knot and Wedding Wire) strong. The wedding vendor reviews here can be honest and worthwhile to read for sure. Pay attention though if the reviewer seems to actually have received a great service and experience or is just talking in generalizations. Most clients who are happy with their wedding talk in great detail about it!
Facebook and Google
Google reviews have seemed to be getting more popular. Again, like the knot, at least you have to have an account on Google to post a review. The only problem is you can’t typically view the reviewer’s account. Most people (at least the ones I know) don’t use google+ to even have a profile to view. Because of this Facebook, as much as I hate to say it, is actually a great resource. You can check the Facebook reviews and then check out the profiles of the people who actually did the reviews. You can even message them direct about their experience. It is much harder to actually connect with whoever did the wedding vendor review on the other sites. For that reason, Facebook is one of the best resources. In addition, the groups that have popped up on Facebook for recommendations offer another great resource to hear the opinions of actual people. Keep in mind, many businesses will recommend themselves (which is not really a recommendation, but an advertisement).
My final recommendation from personal experience is to avoid Yelp. This advice is for consumers and business owners. The short story is we had positive unbiased reviews removed from our profile when we told Yelp we did not want to pay them for advertising. The reviews they took down had been up for over a year. In our dealing with them and attempting to remedy the situation we found MANY other business owners with the same story. There is even a website (http://yelp-sucks.com/) allowing business owners to voice their story.
In the end everyone should understand the old saying “don’t believe everything you read on the internet”. Just because some website says a company is 5 star, doesn’t mean they really are. Unfortunately, you have to actually read quite a few wedding vendor reviews to get a good feel if the people who actually wrote the reviews were real and honest. Take note if all the reviews seem to be vague generalizations about the company, or do they mention actual names of people who did the services at the wedding? Another thing to consider is the timing of the reviews. Obviously too many reviews in 1 or 2 days is a big red flag they could be fake.
Reviews are still one of the best ways to get an insight into a vendor. If you are unhappy, write an HONEST review. If you had a great time, do the same. They shouldn’t all be 5 stars or 1 star, but that is kind of the polarized world we live in right now. In the end, it is best to know the people you are hiring. Make sure they communicate with you in a timely fashion, and that the people you are communicating with are actually the people who will be working at your wedding.
Happy Wedding Planning,