Ideas for the ultimate wedding ballot


Matt Coen

Supplementing your wedding special section or bridal show with a wedding ballot designed to discover the best vendors and venues in your market is a great way to engage your advertisers in a new way. Weddings are such complex affairs with so many vendors that they seem practically made for ballots, and running one is an opportunity for you to engage your audience and generate revenue from local advertisers.

A wedding ballot isn't just for engaged couples either! While it's true that future brides will be looking for the best of the best for their special days, past brides are eager to share their opinions about everyone they worked with to make theirs. A ballot is the perfect way for them to make their preferences known, and the crowd-sourced list of winners can live on as a resource for brides-to-be all year long.

You can also create stories around this crowd-sourced content online or in print.


A wedding ballot – like the Best of Wedding Awards run by Charlotte Wedding shown above – should cover every aspect of the wedding, from the venues to the florists to the caterers, DJs, accessories and more.

Once you have created the ballot and filled it with local vendors, be sure to give all of the listed advertisers the opportunity to purchase a category sponsorship or upgraded listing!

Here's a list of which categories and subcategories you should consider including:


  • Shoe Stores - Women
  • Shoe Stores - Men
  • Department Stores
  • Tie Retailers
  • Local Boutiques


  • Bridal Boutiques
  • Bridal Superstores
  • Department Stores
  • Tuxedo Rentals
  • Stores for Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Stores for Flower Girl Dresses
  • Gown Preservation


  • Restaurants
  • Catering Companies


  • Bakeries
  • Sweet Shops


  • Furniture Rentals
  • Linen Rentals
  • Tent Rentals


  • Live Music - Ceremony
  • Live Music - Reception
  • DJs
  • Dance Lessons

Event Planners:

  • Big-Budget Wedding
  • Creative Wedding
  • Small-Budget Wedding


  • Local Boutiques
  • DIY Supplies


  • Florist for Bouquets
  • Florist for Boutonnieres
  • Florist for Centerpieces
  • Florist for Ceremony Décor

Guest Accommodations:

  • Hotels
  • Bed & Breakfasts

Health & Beauty:

  • Spas
  • Fitness Centers
  • Hairstylists
  • Make-up Artists
  • Salon for Manicures & Pedicures
  • Massage Parlors
  • Tanning Salons
  • Dermatologists
  • Dentists for Teeth Whitening
  • Yoga Studios
  • Honeymoon Planners


  • Store for Rings
  • Store for Costume Jewelry
  • Store for Fine Jewelry

The Official Stuff:

  • Officiants
  • Premarital Counseling
  • Name Changing Services


  • Black & White Photography
  • Boudoir Photography
  • Engagement Photography
  • Bridal Portraits
  • Photo Booths
  • Videographers


  • For China
  • For Home Appliances
  • For Linen


  • Supply Stores DIY Invitations
  • Stationers for Custom Invitations


  • Buses
  • Limousines
  • Vintage Cars
  • Unique Transportation


  • Museums
  • Historic Sites
  • Hotels
  • Outdoor
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Unique
  • Bridal Shower
  • Rehearsal Dinner

As you are planning your own wedding ballot, don't feel that you have to limit yourself to the categories and subcategories listed here. The most important thing is to include listings that will appeal to your audience and allow you to sell category sponsorships and upgraded listings to the advertisers you include.

Matt Coen is the president and co-founder of Second Street, a leading provider of private-label online promotions platforms and partner success services for media companies based in St. Louis, Mo. He can be reached at (314) 880-4902 or

Coen, Second Street, promotions, weddings
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