In order to coordinate a successful awards program, there has to be transparency in the way that it is organized and executed. That is why we want to give you a behind-the-curtain view at the way that the Kansas City Wedding Vendor Choice Awards has been structured.
This event was a Wed KC dream; to commend and celebrate the hard work and dedication of the wedding industry in Kansas City. The KCWVCA is organized and presented by Wed KC exclusively. The sponsors of this are not associated with the nominating or voting process but instead organizing the awards gala. We appreciate all of the sponsors for all that they are doing to help us execute such an amazing evening of celebration for all of Kansas City!
If you wish to learn more about the process of nominations/voting, the role of sponsorships, and more behind-the-scenes information, please view our KCWVCA Guidelines. If you have any additional questions or concerns about the awards/event, feel free to reach out to Britney at 816-726-2877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wed KC created an “Academy” for the Vendor Choice Awards by combining together a group of respected wedding business representatives from each category within the industry. There is no better group to ask than the winners of each award category from the year prior, who were nominated and voted upon by the industry itself. One-by-one each vendor is asked to join the Academy to help shape the awards platform and serve the industry for the following awards season. Additionally, they are asked to abide by certain rules and regulations as being a part of the Academy, including speaking up for their sector of the industry, voting on behalf of others within their category, relinquishing the ability to be nominated and voted upon within their previously won category during the season they serve on the Academy, and “handing off” the award at the gala to the next winner. If you wish to know more, you can see the full list of Academy Rules & Responsibilities that is agreed upon by each member.
The Academy meets several times throughout the year to discuss the process of nomination, voting, and awarding winners for the KC Vendor Choice Awards. There are many discussions throughout the meetings on logistics and procedures that should be put in place to solidify and validify the award process. Each Academy representative had the opportunity to speak up for their sector of the industry and when it comes time to decide on a matter, a silent vote is cast from each member so they can anonymously vote one way or another. Meeting minutes can be viewed at length on the wedkc.com website.
Things to know about the Academy
- The Academy is made up of businesses that are willing to donate their time to the betterment of the awards. Not all categories may be represented each year depending on the specific business’s agreement to be on the Academy. Open positions are not filled if left open – work is continued with the existing Academy members.
- Participating in the Academy relinquishes the ability for Academy members to be nomination/voted upon during the year of their service. The following year, members are able to be nominated and voted upon again.
- The industry will be notified of who serves on the Academy and will be asked to refrain from filling their business name in on the award forms.
- Votes cast by Academy members must be done in person, no proxy voting.
- For their contributions, the Academy is given a two-week pre-sale of the tickets to the gala.
In all, there are 23 categories that are recognized in the Vendor Choice Awards. They are as follows:
Band of the Year
Beverage Company of the Year
Bridal Boutique of the Year
Cake/Dessert Company of the Year
Caterer of the Year
DJ of the Year
Florist of the Year
Hair Stylist of the Year
Makeup Stylist of the Year
Menswear Company of the Year
Photo Booth Company of the Year
Photographer of the Year
Rental Company of the Year
Stationery/Calligraphy Company of the Year
Transportation Company of the Year
Travel Company of the Year
Venue of the Year
Videographer of the Year
Wedding Planner of the Year
Rising Star Awards
Company of the Year
Vendor of the Year
The Trailblazer Award
Categories that have not been added to the roster but that have been included in discussions include Bridal Accessory Company of the Year and Minister/Officiant of the Year.
Wed KC creates and maintains the nomination submission process along with the announcement of the final three nominees. A secure site, SurveyMonkey, is used to handle the logistics of creating, accruing, and exporting all this data.
A nomination form is created within Survey Monkey with an area where wedding professions write-in their nominee’s name/business name within each category. When a business or individual’s name is written in by a voter and submitted on a ballot, it counts as “1” nomination. If the same business receives an additional nomination from a different wedding professional, then their count rises to “2”. The top three wedding professionals/businesses within each category that receive the total most nominations are announced as the final nominees to move forward to the voting round. The Academy has discussed hiring a third party to count the nominations, but since everything wrote-in may not be the same (planner’s name vs company name) it would be very difficult to expect this 3rd party to get it correct. Wed KC was designated to count the nominations as they are an unbiased party.
All wedding professionals are required to fill out a bottom contact portion on their ballot so that tampering can be seen and handled from the back end. These details include first and last name, email, and business name. Only one nomination ballot is accepted per business email. Nominations are not counted if they are received from someone that does not have a valid wedding business-related email address (we search all emails online to see if they corresponded with a business), lived/worked outside of the Kansas City Metro Area, or refused to provide any contact information at all. Survey Monkey cannot filter this information, so it is done by hand by Wed KC. No nominations are accepted outside of Survey Monkey.
All self-nominations are strictly prohibited and will be voided immediately upon submittal. Business name/email will be compared between the nomination form and the wedding professional’s personal data to confirm that no business is nominating themselves within a category. The number of nominations a company can submit is indifferent since they cannot vote for their own company to win.
In the event that there is a tie for 3rd place within any category, that category will then feature both 3rd place businesses within the voting round.
Finalists are announced live via Facebook by Wed KC. Voting immediate opens so wedding professionals can begin casting their final vote for the winner.
Once the final nominees are determined by the nomination ballots, a multiple-choice ballot is created within Survey Monkey by Wed KC. Nominees are listed randomly (and names shuffle between opens/views by voters), with a fourth choice added for voters to utilize if they want to opt-out of voting within a specific category. Links to each nominee’s business website are added to each genre-specific category.
Voting is open until midnight on New Year’s Eve. After voting closes, all ballots will be evaluated by EA Bride for authenticity. The only votes that will be counted are those from Kansas City Metro Area wedding professionals with legitimate businesses and email addresses. Once the voided ballots are removed, SurveyMonkey will export the data of each category including the number of votes for each nominee.
One vote is accepted per business email. And the voter must provide their name, email address, and company name in order for the ballot to be accepted. Voting ballots must also be filled out in their entirety to be submitted (with the opt-out option available for those that do not want to vote within a specific category).
In the event of a tie for 1st place within the same category, the finalist will be determined by going back to the nomination process. Of the two companies that tied, the company that received the most write-in nominations will be determined as the winner of the finalist round.
Up until the live announcement of the winners at the gala, Wed KC will be the only party knowledgeable of the winners.
The second component of the awards is the celebration where the final winners from industry voting is announced. The Academy participates in discussing the design, table offering, and ticket prices in relation to the event. All Academy members have approved the following ticket offerings and inclusions for the upcoming gala:
2-Drink Option Ticket Open Bar Ticket VIP Table
Seat at Gala & After Party Seat at Gala & After Party VIP Seat at Gala & After Party
2 Drink Tickets Unlimited Wells, Beer & Wine Unlimited Wells, Beer & Wine
Plated Meal, Apps, & Dessert Plated Meal, Apps, & Dessert Plated Meal, Apps, & Dessert
Bartender & Serving Fees Bartender & Serving Fees Bartender & Serving Fees
Taxes Taxes Taxes
$55 $80 $1250
VIP Tables may have champagne at their table as well as 1 projected logo on the gala slideshow.
An alternative ticket option may be available after all seated tickets are taken. This will depend on the venue’s capacity. Such tickets will be available at a smaller rate, as they are likely to be standing-room tickets.
While changing vendor sponsorships year to year is ideal, it is not an absolute requirement of the awards gala. Wed KC is in charge of finalizing trade logistics with the sponsors but would take recommendations from the Academy for who should be contacted.
Since Academy members are abstaining from nominations/voting within the year they serve, their business has the first opportunity to serve as a sponsor. This would prevent a company from outside the Academy from having to waive their right to be nominated as a participating sponsor.