When I first began this blog my intention was to be like every other wedding blog out there…a lot of “oooh isn’t this pretty!” kinds of posts. But it never really became that. Instead it has always been more of an educational tool. My goal is to educate couples on why they need a Day of Coordinator. How anyone can be Carefree on their wedding day. And sprinkled with a few “oooh isn’t this pretty!” kinds of posts.
I’ve often mentioned that I am a big fan of WeddingWire (rather than the more famous the knot). I love that when you visit a storefront on WeddingWire you get details about the wedding professional, you can see photos of their work, you can read reviews from former couples, and read vendor endorsements. And that’s just the sourcing a wedding professional portion of the website!
WeddingWire is doing it so well that other websites (like the knot) have started following their lead. And while I think nothing but good can come from that, I would like to share with you some lesser known facts about wedding websites.
Not all wedding websites offer free listings to wedding professionals. In fact, one of the reasons you will not find me advertising on the knot is they don’t offer a free listing option. But the traffic on the knot is certainly high enough to perhaps be worthy of a listing…until you find out the cost. I would have to significantly increase my prices to justify a listing.
But WeddingWire does offer a free listing and it is really good – some websites will only list your company name and contact information for free. And although I recently upgraded my free listing to be more prominent, the content of my listing is no different than when it was free.
Which brings me to my next point: Featured or Spotlight status for a vendor is almost always paid for. And this is the main inspiration for this post. One day I was talking with my assistant and she didn’t realize that those vendors paid more to be first on the page. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best (it also doesn’t mean they aren’t the best) – it just means they paid extra. Kudos to anyone that can afford that kind of placement, but if you take one thing away from today’s post please let it be this: Featured or Spotlight is not a designation awarded to a professional.
Speaking of awards, if you don’t advertise on a website, you can’t win their award…but advertising doesn’t guarantee you an award. I would love to win a coveted Best of the knot award every year – but it is too expensive to advertise and I might not get one. My listing was free on WeddingWire and I received a Bride’s Choice award two years in a row. That tells me you don’t have to pay to win and they really listen to customer feedback. It should also be noted that I did not receive an award for 2013 even though I upgraded my listing last year…the quantity of my reviews (NOT quality) went down and I did not qualify this year – again telling me that paying doesn’t guarantee an award. And as much as I would have loved a threepeat, it pleases me to know the award cannot be bought but must be earned.
So what does all this mean to you? Why did I feel this was an important post to write? It is important for you to know that not all wedding websites are inclusive – just because a professional isn’t advertising on the knot does not necessarily mean they aren’t great at what they do. And a Featured or Spotlight listing doesn’t mean they are the best of the best – it just means they paid to have their name at the top of the page. I’m not saying to dismiss them because they had the means to advertise – but don’t dismiss another wedding professional just because they didn’t.