In the last couple of weeks, a few variations of this question have cropped up in the Southern Bride group and in personal PMs: “Help! I’m trying to organise my wedding and noone is emailing me back!”
Basically, couples are emailing wedding vendors to make enquiries, and not hearing back… super frustrating when you’re trying to plan a wedding on top of holding down a full time job.
Because this keeps coming up, I wanted to pop my advice to these folks in a blog post, so it may be of use to others. It’s a pretty tricky one because there’s a ton of reasons why they might not be replying. We really don’t know the answer! However take a look through the list below and see if any of these might apply.
Why wedding vendors might not have replied to your emails…
The wedding vendor might not be comfortable on email
I popped this one first because I suspect this is the case a lot of the time. Some of the more “old school” folks who run businesses (I don’t want to say older, but…) are just not huge emailers. They might check their emails once every couple of weeks.
It’s a wedding vendor who isn’t at a computer often
Closely linked to the first answer, in that certain wedding businesses don’t run round a computer. People like florists, hairdressers, musicians and makeup artists are often looking after shop fronts or out and about for their work. They simply don’t sit down at a computer for a long enough time to get through all their messages (especially wedding enquiries, which take more time).
They might’ve missed it or forgotten
If it’s just the occasional person not responding, sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. It’s easy to accidently miss answering an email or forget to get back to someone, especially when they’re busy!
Is your enquiry suitable for email?
It might seem like a hassle having to ring or visit certain wedding vendors, but sometimes you have no choice. Florists for example. Corrine from Evergreen Elegance explains:
As a florist we are often asked via email or Facebook etc how much wedding bouquets are. Now that’s a really hard question to answer as there are so many options: styles, flower types and availability all play into the cost of flowers. From me, bouquets can start at $35 for something really simple and go upwards of $250 for a full trailing bouquet. I always like to see photos of the type of bouquets and flowers you like, as well as colours or themes – and then i can quote more accurately based from the photos the bride provides. It also helps to know exactly what you are after i.e 1 Bouquet for you 3 x Bouquets for Bridesmaids, 4 x Buttonholes for the guys etc. I think you should go into the florist shops and meet with them face to face and take all the info you need and photos or examples of what you want in with you, that way you can get a good feel as to whether the florist is for you.
They might be really, really busy
If a wedding vendor has a lot on their plate, they need to prioritise the client whose wedding is this weekend, vs the bride who is getting married in 18 months.
Speaking from experience, in the wedding season I can easily receive 70 emails over the weekend. I have to go through and quickly assess who is emailing for wedding stationery (urgent and important). I then work through those based on the closest wedding date. Once I’ve cleared those emails, I can look at the emails about getting wedding invites done for next season (important, but not urgent). Quotes take a lot of time to prepare!
Leah from Encore Event Coordination suggests:
Don’t email a bunch of people for quotes as you will just get the standard reply especially in busy season. Put aside a day and go in and introduce your self let them know what you want and your vision. Vendors will often do more, be more invested and work to a budget when they meet you instead of being just another email to reply to. We love to meet brides and grooms and hear about how you want your day to go. And we have all worked with plenty of other vendors so we can point you in the right direction of what you are after to save you time.
Did your email even get there?
Are you sure they’re getting your emails and are you sure you’re receiving their emails? I’ve had people tell me I haven’t replied to their messages and yet I reply to all emails within a matter of hours during business days – it’s usually a spam filter thing. Check your spam messages and follow up via alternative contact means if it’s been a decent length of time since you first emailed.
How long have you given them to reply?
Many people who work in the wedding industry, work unusual hours. That’s the nature of the beast when you are looking after weddings which are usually on the weekend! In the off-season (winter), you’ll find plenty of wedding folks are off having their holidays.
How long or short is your email message?
So, we wedding vendors are people. And people like to procrastinate. If you’re sending really long or really short, brief messages, you might be setting yourself up for a non-response. For example, if I get a really short “Hi, how much are wedding invites” email, I typically leave it till last since it is such a broad question.
On the other hand, if I receive a wall of text via email I would procrastinate on it. Who really wants to read a novel and then try address each point when you’ve got a heap of other things to do?
What are you asking them to do?
This is an unusual one. What are you asking the person to do? I often get emails I can answer easily, but at the end of the message they couple say “can you please ring me to discuss”. I’m useless with the phone. I check emails early in the morning – too early to ring people – and then again on my phone from the printery, where it’s noisy and loud. So I take ages to get back to people in this situation. Review what you’re asking. If you’re not getting responses, maybe you need to change it up.
Is it a red flag that you shouldn’t work with this person?
I left this till last because I think it’s the least likely option. But I suspect it’s the answer that most people jump to first. Of course, you want to know that they’re easy to get hold of and work with, so you could consider a series of non-replies a blessing in disguise, and move onto someone else. Not everyone out there selling services will be a good fit. Check out my tips on finding the right sort of wedding vendor for you.
So what can you do about non-responsive wedding vendors?
My best advice is find an alternative way to contact them – whether by phone or visiting in-person. This is especially true if you’ve already booked someone, and it’s getting close to your wedding! Ring them!