How your choice of a wedding service provider can be manipulated
I know, it sounds funny. And that’s the point – making you smile. I honestly smile every time when I see in the info of a wedding planner/photographer/supplier or any other type of service provider, descriptions like “proclaimed one of the best 20 wedding photographers in the world” or “nominated one of the top wedding planners of the year”. But nominated by whom? Proclaimed by which jury? And the answers are often unknown. And even if it is indicated which jury or association gave them this title, I bet you haven’t even heard of it. So you just stand there, getting excited by all these titles and you’re about to contact that photographer or wedding planner for your wedding.
As an insider in the world of weddings, I found myself being called many times to enter contests, sign up and be voted. To be honest, I never planned on doing that, it’s not in my interest and it’s not my thing.
I strongly believe that the outcome of my work, the satisfaction of my couples, the reviews they leave, are worth a thousand time more than any title. And also, in my humble opinion, the only worthy titles are the sport ones: who runs faster, who scores more goals, who jumps higher… All that in front of a group of referees or judges with world-standards, which are the same for all the athletes of the same category. And how does it work in the world of weddings? How can you pick “the best in the world”?
What are really all these contests about?
Well then. I want to tell you what happens behind the scenes of these “amazing” contests where all these denominations come from. Did you know that most of these contests are not free? If any wedding service provider wants to compete, they have to pay! Maybe not from the beginning, maybe the first round is for free – to make them want to move forward – and then when someone makes it to the next round, they have to pay to support the contest expenses. Sure, with that amount paid, there’s also a ball to attend where you meet nice people, take photos to upload on social media, and mostly there’s the chance to win this “miraculous” title that the provider will then flaunt everywhere. Who would say no?
Believe me, I’ve met many people whom I never heard about in the wedding industry, yet they were in some top 10 or won this or that award. And maybe they weren’t even so great at their job. When you get an invitation to participate in a contest, then it’s up to the wedding service provider to gather votes among former clients, colleagues, friends and family in order to reach the minimum number required to be admitted.
I can’t tell how many times I have clicked on “vote for me” in the emails received from many colleagues, providers who sent me those emails for contests they were participating in.
A title or award doesn’t really make a difference
There are also internal contests in this or that wedding planners or photographers associations. There are so many new associations nowadays that I lost count. And each year they create a ranking… of their members. Yes, because to participate you have to be a member of that association. And membership is not for free, of course. Then they have their sessions, give themselves titles and proclaim each other. There is one Italian association that even gives each member the title of “manager”: manager here, manager there, manager of this or that field. All of this with a pretty sign to publish on their websites or social accounts.
I have a question for you: have you ever noticed that those few wedding planners, floral designers, wedding photographers or service providers who are really famous, that everyone knows and are true celebrities have none of those titles in their info? They’ve never took part in a contest and got no type of titles.
Yet everyone knows them and brides dream of having them plan their wedding or being photographed by them. They just need a name, not a title. Whereas, Instagram is all about those accounts with “titles” that nobody knows.
So what is that title even for?
Well, that’s a whole new topic. Obviously one of the reasons is to be known to a wider audience, to stand out in the ocean of competition, hoping that the title may do the difference in the choice of the couple. And then there’s another reason, the most important one. I don’t know if you have ever contacted a “titled” wedding service provider, but if you have, you’d surely noticed that this provider’s fee is at least 30-40% higher than a non-titled one. Even if – in appearance – they are of the same level. Being photographed by someone titled “one of the best photographers” by who knows who! Of course it’s more expensive! As a matter of fact, having a title showcased on Instagram or website, immediately adds more importance and – consequently – increases the cost. Because that’s the main goal: being paid more!
Not to mention “luxury suppliers”… That doesn’t even need a contest or title: just write down “luxury” and it’s immediately more important and cool. Lately everything is “luxury” here and there, any account you visit. Because everyone likes “luxury” services, even if that means different things to all of us. So do you really need a luxury provider? What for? Just to tell your friends and show off? That’s a shame because instead of giving the extra money to a luxury provider, you could spend it in an extra service for your wedding. Just hold on and think: is it really that important to have a luxury provider with a cool title? Make your choice and it will be the right one for you.
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