Southern Bride & Groom Magazine Editor Jenna Parks Weighs in on Whether or Not we can Trust Wedding Reviews
We are immersed in the digital age, where with the click of a link or the swipe of a finger, we have access to endless opinions and ratings on any restaurant, service, or customer service experience. In the wedding industry, several advertising models are even based around this review system. This certainly is a helpful tool, but when we step back and look at the big picture, how reliable are wedding reviews, really?
Are (Wedding) Reviews Reliable?
“The way we’re interpreted on Google has become more important than who we actually are as people.”
I recently listened to a TEDTalk podcast rerun on this topic. It struck a chord with me. Southern Bride & Groom, a NC wedding magazine focused on the Raleigh-Durham area, is not a service so doesn’t typically get a lot of reviews per se. But I once had a run in with misleading trash talk on a social media site which led to a spiraling, confused public conversation that quickly felt like a fake news forum. And that’s a thing we all fear, right? And for this very reason: our secondary, digital persona has become so important.
Now of course, all of the legitimate businesses out there there have means of protecting people from falling victim to false or unfair wedding reviews for when Bride-zilla strikes. But on the other hand, many wedding reviews sites that feature paid advertisers have means of HIDING true, fair negative reviews. Just as I know of many amazing, kind vendors who work relentlessly and go above and beyond to please their clients and have been damaged by unfair or even just lackluster wedding reviews, I know of vendors who have made major blunders varying from unethical to not delivering a product or service, who have crystal clean review profiles. Kind of makes you wonder – are any wedding reviews reliable?
So what gives, how are we supposed to proceed?
I think reading wedding reviews is a useful tool, but take them with a grain of salt – or better yet, like icing on the cake if you see a great rating or especially kind words for a vendor you like. I would encourage brides and grooms to focus on the content of the work that they can preview, rather than the frivolous opinions of strangers who don’t necessarily have the same expectations as you, the same vision and style as you, or the same personality traits as you. If you see consistent work from REAL WEDDINGS (don’t even get me started on profiles that are 100% styled shoots) and you like what you see, CALL THEM and see for yourself if you like them, get along with them, and dig the way they describe running your event or executing the service for which you are hiring them. THAT is going to be the most telling thing of all.
Please note, Southern Bride & Groom magazine is not a wedding review website. We flip the equation – our experienced local team invites vendors into the magazine based on quality, experience and reputation among our local Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill NC wedding community of vendors, as well as what we hear directly from our local brides. We know each of them personally and have some kind of personal contact, often event experience, with each. In other words, we personally do the vetting. We do welcome input on our vendors from local NC brides – and cherish their words, often sharing them in our magazine and on our blog. We’d love for you to check out our LOCAL VENDOR GUIDE – and please, let us know if you have any questions about how we work!