Every January, wedding pros across the country announce their “Best of The Knot or Wedding Wire” award winner badges on social media. And while I’m very happy for those wedding pros that are proud of their achievement, I want to explain why some wedding pros may not win these “best of” awards.

As a baby wedding business in 2017 & 2018, the quickest way I knew to get my name out there was to advertise with one of the biggest wedding vendor directories available, The Knot. The first year, it worked very well! In the second year, I received inquiries from mostly two groups of people.

  • What I believed to be spam inquiries (wasted my time, energy, and resources)
  • Those who did not want a true partner in their wedding planning process, but a paid-by-hour assistant to complete tasks for them (not the service I was offering)

Not ideal. I did not renew my contract the following year. Instead, I invested my advertising dollars in a social media manager for Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest. This led to an immediate increase in inquiries that wanted to partner with me in their wedding planning process. Also, since TK/WW were not sending me quality leads, I started asking for reviews on Google instead.

What even is the award and how is it won?

According to The Knot, “The Knot Best of Weddings is an annual award that recognizes the top wedding vendors across the country. This prestigious honor represents the highest-rated vendors on The Knot who are trusted, dependable, and deliver quality service. Only the best wedding vendors (top 5%) receive this award!”

Detroit DJ Christopher London says “As a full-time DJ and Musician for the past 20-plus years, I’ve taken the time to hone my craft ensuring I provide an experience that leaves wedding couples wanting to leave reviews based on my performance. When I say performance I am talking from that first impression to the final goodbye at the end of the event.  There are so many aspects to what we do in between, not only as business owners but professional vendors that help us continue to master our craft and allow us to continue to be top leaders in our industry based on talent, professionalism, and integrity.

How does one receive The Knot and WeddingWire Best of Award, you ask? If you are able to receive five 5-star reviews on the Knot or WeddingWire website, in one calendar year, you are considered the best in your category and are awarded this honorable mention. (See all rules here.) Seems easy, right? That’s the thing – it is. It is my opinion that any professional vendor who has the dedication to their couples should be able to satisfy 5 couples within a year’s period. Most do, resulting in these awards being handed out to MANY vendors. So if that’s all it takes, how does that set you apart from any other vendor who has also received the same award that year?”

What’s worse is that if you stop paying for advertising, your storefront gets buried underneath those that do pay to be on the first pages of the search.

“In past years, we have accumulated over 150 5-star reviews on The Knot and WeddingWire. But, if you were to take a look at The Knot/WeddingWire website today, you would be searching for quite a while as we are nowhere to be found on the site. Why you ask?

In this case, after you receive a few “Best of Awards” on their site, you will be greeted with an option to subscribe to their website to continue to be featured as one of their top contenders and ultimately land yourself on the front page. If the right business decision for you is to not subscribe, then slowly (but surely) your free listing will become non-existent, and buried along with those kind words from the couples you left a lasting impression on. Now, paid advertising with these websites may be a great business model for other wedding vendors and I’d like to congratulate all the wedding pros for receiving the Best of Awards. Although we are no longer considered “The Best ” according to The Knot and WeddingWire, we still consider ourselves leaders in our craft and are ready to always provide testimonials that we satisfy well over 5 clients each year.” –Christopher London

New York DJ Lou Paris says “Yes there are extraordinary businesses that get these awards. But this isn’t the vindication that makes them worthy. It’s their client and peer interactions that set them apart. TK/WW is not an authority in this matter. They are just seeking more recognition of their brand to sell more ads.”

And I tend to agree with him. It’s all about the mighty dollar and has nothing to do with who actually does the best work.

Again, I want to reiterate that I am not hating on the winners! I actually did win Best of Weddings from The Knot in 2019. And I was super proud of it at that time! You should knot let it be a deciding factor, though. There might be a very good and logical reason that a company is not deemed a “Best” when it comes to awards like these. And conversely, the businesses that do receive these awards might not actually be “the best” vendor for your wedding.