If Simon Cowell got in touch with a list of the UK’s top 50 wedding bands, I’d be less than impressed. He’s no expert on music if you ask me… just a very shrewd businessman. When I see a list of ‘the top 50‘ or ‘the UK’s best‘ I’ll sit up and pay attention if it’s compiled by an expert. Otherwise, I’m at best disinterested and at worst alarmingly cynical about these sorts of things.
Who knows who’s best?
A list of wedding bloggers is harmless. But a little while later I noticed they’d published a list of the top 50 UK wedding photographers (here). Uh-oh… The article is written by GoHen – “the dedicated hen weekends division of StagWeb – the event specialists, established in 2001”. Their ‘about’ page gives no mention of any expertise in wedding photography.
Anyone can be an expert online – be wary!
I’m not saying I disagree with their list. There are some amazing wedding photographers there, some I admire enormously and some who are my friends. BUT there are a few on that list I’d dispute: and therein lies danger. Will couples find this list, book one of the lower priced, not-especially-good photographers and still think they’re getting ‘top 50’ quality photos? I truly hope not…
GoHen don’t know enough about wedding photographers to publish this article under the heading “the top 50”. I see a lot more wedding photography in my daily blogging research – and even I wouldn’t dare publish a list claiming to know who’s best. I’d share my own personal favourites, but I honestly don’t think anyone’s qualified to say who the best photographers are. Every one has a different style and approach – and every couple has different needs and requirements: is reportage better than other styles? Speaking of which, where the hell is Allister Freeman?
Sorry – this all makes me uneasy.
GoHen in their infinite wisdom have also published lists of the top 50 UK wedding cake designers, 20 of the UK’s best wedding designers, the UK’s best wedding florists, and the UK’s best wedding dress designers.
It’s a PR exercise, and misleading
It’s very, very good PR. Marketing a wedding business online means writing popular posts people will find on Google and click on. Everyone – brides, grooms and suppliers – wants to see who’s on the lists. Wedding industry old hats like me will have a good idea when they’ve got it wrong… but will brides and grooms be deceived?
If GoHen had published these articles under different headings – “our favourites” would do – I’d have no issue with them. It’s nice to be included in a list, to be noticed as a wedding supplier or blogger and be able to share a link on Facebook saying “look, someone wrote about me” – but if it’s Simon Cowell or GoHen I’d take it with a hefty pinch of salt.
Be your own experts and trust your instincts
So while everyone on the lists is returning the favour with Facebook shares and website links, I’d urge couples not to take these lists as gospel but to use your own judgement.
As a bride- or groom-to-be you’re better placed to know who the top 50 wedding anythings are: use your own sense of style and your own instincts to decide who to book. Don’t be swayed by online lists: they’re not written for you, but to publicise the brand who compiled them.