In a world where positive online reviews seem to be the measure against which all business are judged, it can be hard to even consider a wedding vendor without first reading tons of comments from previous (happy) clients. With a plethora of sites available to rate every big-day pro, it's expected that everyone you hire will have a healthy number of reviews and a minimum of 4.5 stars. But is that really an accurate way to determine whether or not the vendor you're considering is worth hiring? What if you fall in love with someone who doesn't have online reviews at all?
The short answer is: It's totally fine to hire someone without online reviews. Seeing exactly what previous clients thought of the person or business you're considering can be invaluable, but finding no reviews shouldn't make or break your decision. There are many factors to consider when hiring a vendor, the most important of which is the feeling you get when talking to him or her. If you're putting your trust in someone else to deliver on the biggest day of your life, you should not only like them, but feel a genuine connection to them. Working with a professional wedding vendor is a true partnership, and you—not their past clients—should feel comfortable and excited to about having them part of your day.
There are a number of different reasons why a vendor you're considering could have just a few or no reviews. Some professionals offer discounts in exchange for an honest (that's right, not glowing, but truthful!) review of their work on the day, while others don't. Pros with lots of positive reviews may have also been in the business for a longer period of time, thus giving them more opportunities to get feedback from past clients. If you're searching for reviews of a vendor you like and can't find any, it's really not the end of the world. If they have a great website, a strong portfolio, and social channels chock full of previous work you connect with, that should suffice.
Check out whose following them, too. You can often gauge their professionalism by their followers, especially if other vendors you admire in the industry (or have at least been speaking to) follow them as well. Also, don't be afraid to ask for referrals from previous clients and even ask your other vendors if they've worked with them before or have heard of them. Sometimes a personal review is worth ten times that of a stranger's online.