To say that weddings are a business is a vast understatement. From flowers, to venues, yes…photographers and videographers, everyone seems to be willing to give you the day of your dreams…for a fee.

But have you ever thought about where you’re finding these vendors at? Today there are tons of sites that offer you one stop shopping for your wedding vendors. From The Knot, to Wedding Wire, to WedPlan, these sites will give you access to wedding vendors from all over…but does being listed there really mean they are the pick of the litter?

In business, one of the prevailing notions is ‘you have to spend money to make money’ and that’s what many of these sites prey on. Most of these sites have free listings that are usually nothing more than an image, url and brief description. The ones that have video, multiple images, blog post and so on are paying a pretty penny to get your attention. And that’s where things get hairy. You’re connecting with your vendors through a third party who is also making a profit. The ranking on those sites have nothing to do with the service they provide, but everything to do with the price they pay.

Now I’m not saying that they aren’t great companies, they very well could be. I’m just saying that brides and grooms should do some deeper digging. It take a lot of time to keep those sites up-to-date with relevant info to attract you. Time that could be spent elsewhere. If a company is listed on as few as 5 sites, that’s a heavy time investment. The thing is all that work only helps the company on the vendor site…not theirs! If they are writing blogs, updating video/photos and such for that site…they are increasing search traffic in the wrong place.

collage-dan-copyAs a small business owner, I’d much prefer you spend time on my site (that I’m already paying for) and work with me directly. When I get notification from these sites…you’re just a name, email and usually ‘expected budget’. Working with clients, whether corporate or for a wedding, should be about the relationship we build. For me to best capture your day, I need to get to know you, not some questionnaire.  Sure, we’ll eventually have a face-to-face, but that’s after a few mediated contacts that I had to pay for. Of course I’m going to really try to net you, regardless of whether or not a good fit, because I’m paying to talk to you!

Also, if the vendor you find is any good, they probably have contacts and connections locally to wedding venues, caterers and other vendors. Local small businesses win and you’ll get a chance to really get to connect with and find a good match. I think of the Knot and other sites like wikipedia…use them to get some general info, but then dig deeper to really find what you’re looking for.

In the end, I’m willing to bet you’ll be happier with those around you on your special day!

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