Say you have just gotten engaged and are beginning the wedding planning process. You do some research online and find vendors that you think will be able to create your perfect day, so you send an email with your pertinent information. But then weeks go by and you never hear back from them. Or perhaps you’ve been engaged for a while now and the wedding is quickly approaching. While at your bridal shower, you get inspired by a nearby garden and decide you need to adjust your flowers. Despite calling and emailing with your request, your florist never responds. Maybe you never got a guest count deadline from your caterer, and you’re unsuccessfully trying to obtain this information while working on wrangling late RSVP response cards. Unfortunately, these situations are as frustrating as they are common for brides and grooms, many of whom do not know what to do besides wait and hope. That’s why we have put together a few ways to handle these nonresponsive vendors.
First of all, be sure you’re not only emailing, or only calling. Using multiple methods of communication increases your chances of being heard. Sometimes it’s not even the professional's fault: Spam filters aren't always reliable and sometimes messages get lost. Even voicemails have been known to show up hours after they were left! If possible, show up in person and try to schedule an appointment that way. Just remember that most vendors will be off-site or busy on weekends, as they are working on other events. Weeks without hearing from someone is a problem, but give your vendors a longer leash than you would give a personal contact. Hiring a wedding planner will also help, as they can devote more time to following up with vendors and keeping everything organized.
However, it’s also important not to forget that they are not doing a favor by working on your wedding. You are a client and you are paying for the service they provide. A good rule of thumb is to follow up once after two weeks. If you don’t hear back in another two weeks, go with someone else. If the nonresponsive vendor is someone you have already booked and you have done your due diligence in regards to following up, a civil but strongly worded post is often effective. Just don’t be too harsh, both because they are still people and because you are still trusting them with your wedding and don’t want to make something feel spiteful.
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Opening photo by Luke & Katherine Griffin for Max & Friends