Nope. It’s not just me, is it? There are so many wedding industry awards going on that it all gets a bit… meh. It started with the Wrapit awards (that ended well, didn’t it – when the organisers went bust in 2008 leaving thousands of couples heartbroken). Then we had glitzy wedding magazine awards ceremonies and everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Along came more ethical awards, but then we all had to pay for them so they weren’t as ethical after all. Now it’s the turn of big events companies to branch out and try and send us to sleep a wee bit more. Marvellous.
I’ve had a couple of emails now from a business called Creative Oceanic, who are the organisers of The English Wedding Awards (no relation, I promise!). They specialise in event production and are behind lots of other awards events including the Scottish Wedding Awards and What’s On Awards across the UK.
It’s pointless launching a new wedding industry awards event!
We already have enough high profile wedding industry awards – there’s Wedding Ideas Magazine (the one which gets in the press), The Wedding Industry Awards (the one with the fairest-but-not-foolproof voting system) and The Wedding Industry Experts Awards (where suppliers can all vote for each other if they’re friends on twitter).
Does anyone really care about awards anyway? I don’t mean businesses – yes, it’s nice to have ‘award-winning’ next to your name. But I don’t think many brides and grooms are choosing suppliers based on trophy collections alone. And with more and more awards events coming along it just dilutes the meaning of the existing awards.
So why on earth are they doing it?
The awards events aren’t for your benefit, lovely brides and grooms. They’re not even for the benefit of all my wonderful wedding supplier friends. They’re not for the good of the industry. They’re lining pockets.
Businesses pay to enter awards.
Advertisers pay to feature on the awards associations’ websites.
Tickets to the glitzy events cost hundreds of pounds.
The more businesses enter or are nominated, the more visitors flock to a website to vote. The more suppliers share links in their facebook statuses, the more visitors flock to a website to vote. The bigger the website becomes, the larger its power and recognition… and the more everyone wants to be involved with a hyped-up awards ceremony.
Oh, and the more magazines people buy. And the more likely the businesses are to advertise in those magazines.
Is there any harm in having all these wedding awards flying around?
I actually suspect there is!
Last year I saw the pressure on businesses to enter some of these awards ceremonies. I saw friends working hard to promote the awards and asking their past customers to take time to give feedback for them, and vote.
It takes a lot of time for a busy wedding business to prepare for an awards event, with investment in social media and online promotion using up those precious hours we save to spend with our families.
Most wedding businesses are very small – craft businesses from jewellery to couture wedding dresses and stationery as well as photographers, stately homes and florists tend to have only a few people working for them. Can they really afford to enter wedding awards competitions? And for what… a glass trophy (which I’ve heard has to be bought!) and an online badge?
At a time when the wedding industry as a whole is in decline and budgets are falling from an average £20k+ to closer to the £10k mark, wedding suppliers should be cutting costs to provide the very best service they can at affordable (but realistic) prices. This means focusing on what’s important – and that’s you.
The best wedding suppliers don’t enter awards
Elite wedding suppliers rarely enter wedding awards competitions. The masters of their trade, the skilled craftspeople who’ve been providing a top class service for brides and grooms for years – they rarely enter. They don’t need to. Their work speaks for itself.
So brides, grooms, don’t choose your suppliers for their awards badges. Choose them for their products, the quality of their service, and because you fall in love with what they do.