Every article out there tells you how important vendor reviews are, and I am a strong advocate of checking reviews before booking any vendor, regardless of how much you liked him/her when you met for the first time. Just because he is nice and has a good sense of humor, for example, doesn't mean he returns a couple's wedding photos within two months, as promised in a contract.
But there are some ares in which I highly disagree with reviews, and I am going to set the record straight (in my eyes, at least):
A bad review doesn't mean much.
Well, it really depends on what the review is. There are always going to be people in this world who are out to ruin others. Don't ask me why, but some people are just nasty. There will be brides who review vendors who they didn't even hire - I just saw one this week where a bride was mad that her date got booked before she booked the videographer, and then wrote a nasty review about him...she didn't even hire him for her wedding! And then there will be couples who will write bad reviews, because of something that was out of a vendor's control - they had a small venue with little scenery so didn't like that there were no "green" photos. You may be laughing a little, but believe me, I've seen it all! Or there will be a bridesmaid who gets mad at the venue coordinator for not being there during photos, even though the bride opted out of hiring the venue director as her day of coordinator and said she was fine on her own - yes, this happened to me.
So if you find a vendor who has 372 AMAZING 5 star reviews and one terrible one star review, you can probably just throw that review out the window. No matter how amazing we are, people in this world are nasty and don't care too much about others. So those bad reviews are likely to be tossed into the mix every once in a while.
Lack of reviews doesn't mean a bad vendor.
We all have to start somewhere, and sometimes couples will disregard a vendor just because they have very few reviews.
I, for example, have been planning weddings for 7 years...for other companies. When I started The Overwhelmed Bride, I had zero reviews out there for The Overwhelmed Bride Company, because I was just starting out! I had hundreds of amazing reviews under the names of other companies but because there were zero under my current name, I am sure many brides disregarded me as inexperienced.
Every wedding professional has to start somewhere, and that may mean they have 20+ years in the industry but JUST started their own company. So don't look past those vendors before doing some more poking and prodding. You never know, they could be one of the best in the industry!
Please review your vendors!
With all of that being said, reviews are extremely important when it comes to hiring wedding vendors so if you hired a good one (or a bad one), please make sure you review them everywhere you can - it'll help future brides know the truth about his or her great (or not so great) work! And it only takes a couple of minutes!