Wedding Planning Tips for the Wedding-Planning Bride
When initially scoping out the vendor and venue options for your big day, online ratings can be both incredibly valuable and incredibly deceiving. Those little goldenrod-yellow stars you see nestled just below the company’s name and contact buttons can trigger immediate reactions that land somewhere between, “Wow! They must be great!” or “Yikes… Next!”. While that initial impression is certainly valuable, it may not be a fair representation of a company’s work and reputation.
Speaking generally, on a 5-star scale, if a company’s rating falls below a high-4 with more than 20 reviews, save yourself the time, and move on to other vendors. That vendor has had enough reviews to justify a healthier score.
On the other hand, if the rating is a bit lower and has fewer than 20 reviews (and you like what you’re seeing otherwise) or if a rating is strong but there are no comments along with it, dig deeper into the reviews to find out what clients said about them.
… A single, low (potentially unfair) rating can pull down an (overall wonderful) score. Everyone’s event experience, context, and challenges will be different. If you’re attracted to a vendor who has one low score among otherwise glowing reviews, don’t write them off just yet.
… Many people don’t believe in perfection, so they’ll give 4 out of 5 stars, despite being over the moon about their vendor experience! It’s not uncommon to see a 4 star review filled with exclamation points and nothing but words of perfection! These people usually leave positive words, but their star-rating will dampen the overall first impression you receive. So be sure to take a past customer’s words more seriously than their stars.
…It’s rare for someone to give a low score (0-3 stars) without an explanation, especially if they spent money on what they feel is the most important day of their life. With this in mind, there’s a good chance that a review with a low score and no feedback would have been left by a disgruntled employee, competitor, ex-relation of the vendor, or by someone who confused their business name for another they intended to rate. Low scores should raise a flag, but if every other score and review is downright impressive, you may be seeing an invalid rating.
…There are more rating options to review than the first one that comes up in your browser, so it’s worth considering those, too. A combination of The Knot, Wedding Wire, Google, and Here Comes the Guide are all excellent resources with ratings to consider. Google (or the like) may be the first hit, but it’s often not the only score.
…While one would hope high scores are authentic, if they don’t come hand-in-hand with high praise in the comments section, you may be looking at a company that asked friends and family for a rating. Small, startup businesses can’t be blamed for this since website activity and ratings often boost their online presence. That said, such a rating can be deceiving and may leave the impression that they’re well-seasoned. A high score with no comments may indicate a lack of experience or start-up company.
In the end, what should you do if you love a company’s work, but their ratings and feedback aren’t in sync?
Dig deeper and even ask the company for client feedback they may have elsewhere. (Of course, anything they provide will only consist of positive comments, but a long list of glowing comments is a good sign.)
Gently ask your vendor about any critiques you read and are concerned about when you speak to them. Be sure to ask these questions kindly, but understand that you’re paying for a service so you have every reason to confirm past “issues” were situational or that they have been or will be resolved.
Ask venues you like if they’ve had experience with the company in question. Assuming your venue has great ratings and feedback to boot (showing they know how to host a great wedding), ask them if they know anything about the vendor in question and take their feedback to heart.
The vendors you choose build the foundation of your wedding day and guest experience. They are the moving force that makes your wedding day a success, and it is worth every bit of your time to make sure they can carry your big day over the threshold.
And of course…
If your busy schedule doesn’t allow for this, we can help!