by: Lauren

So I know I’ve posted about this before, but it’s been a while, and with a new wedding season starting and a whole new group of brides, I thought it would be beneficial to touch on some of these points as a refresher. :)

When I was a bride, I honestly think I had no awareness of time. I would send an email to one of my vendors and then STALK my email, waiting for their response. If I didn’t hear from then within a few hours, I would start to get mad. Now realizing that vendors don’t sit at their computers all day and they have to actually work, I look back and think: “OMG. Seriously? Did I really do that?!”

Thursday Tips: 5 Tips For Communicating With Vendors via TheELD.com

Photo by ELV photographer, Vue Photography

I had no clue- it’s not like I had anyone tell me that the photographer had to *actually* leave her studio to take those photos that she was paid to take and that my planner had other meetings with other brides. I had no clue about networking events, and how important it is for wedding pros to mingle and meet new people to keep their businesses thriving. Or even better- that they had weddings on the weekends, so when I emailed on Friday, I most likely wasn’t going to get a response until a few days later! You would think that it was common sense, but when you’re in bride mode, common sense has a tendency to fly out the window. No. Freaking. Clue.

But now I know, and I want to share this knowledge with you all, because ultimately, it’s communication that makes your wedding happen, and you want to have GOOD communication with your wedding vendors!  So here are some tips to keep in mind when communicating with you vendors:

 

1. The very first thing to keep in mind is that wedding vendors are PEOPLE. They have families, they try to have lives outside of work (which doesn’t always successfully happen) and responsibilities. For some reason, I’ve seen that that since weddings are so cool and fun, it creates the thought that the normal rules of business don’t apply to those who work in the wedding industry. It’s so weird, but it’s true. It was my own thought process when I was a bride! Perhaps it’s because they’re so accommodating and fun to work with. But the key here is to remember that your wedding vendors are PEOPLE, just like you! :)

2. Be mindful of business hours. Yes, I realize that wedding pros work odd hours and weekends and are incredibly accommodating to schedules, but during the week (for the most part) the majority strive to keep normal business hours. The reality of it all is that you don’t always know what their schedules are. So sending an email or leaving a message at 4pm, asking for an answer right away, and then getting mad if you don’t hear back by 7pm? What if they’re out at meetings and have no access to email? Or what if they have an event that day and won’t be done until 11pm? You never know. Think of it this way: I’m sure many of you have jobs in the professional world. So how do you feel when your boss or a coworker emails you late at night?

3. Be informative. So this one is simple- just give as much information as you possible can. Sometimes not everything is necessary, but the more, the better! The less emails that have to go back and forth between you and vendor, the better! :)

4. Be open to conversation. If you’ve been emailing and one party isn’t quite understanding the other, the best solution is going to be chatting it up on the phone for a few minutes. As convenient as emailing is, sometimes a phone call is just so much more efficient and effective!

5. Be happy. Just because everything is better when you do it with a smile! :)

 

And then also throw in there everything that I said in this post and this post! Like I said before, communication is the key to making your wedding happen, and I want everyone to have a happy, pleasant experience planning their wedding! If you have any questions about communicating with your vendors, feel free to ask! Or if you have any other tips that you’ve found have worked well for you, please share in the comments! :) Happy Thursday!

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Thursday Tips: 5 Tips For Communicating With Vendors via TheELD.com

Lauren

Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.
Thursday Tips: 5 Tips For Communicating With Vendors via TheELD.com

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16 responses to Thursday Tips: 5 Tips For Communicating With Vendors

We love your comments, but please remember to keep them kind and positive, as this is a place for inspiration and sharing information. We have the right to remove or not approve any negative or harmful comments.
  1. Brynn - D'Avello Photography

    Great tips Lauren! We have always gotten great feedback on our timely communication, but as we get busier it is harder for us to keep up. I’ve started leaving updating my outgoing message daily with the times I will be free to return phone calls, and on the days when I will be away from email for long periods of time I put an away message up.

    It takes a few extra minutes, but it gives my clients a heads up and it will tell them what time they could expect an answer so they are ready for me.

  2. Brynn - D'Avello Photography

    Great tips! We’ve always received great feedback for our communication, but as we get busier we find it harder to keep up.

    I have started updating my outgoing voicemail daily with a time that I will be returning phone calls. It is a great way to keep our clients in the loop and it gives them a time frame that I will be returning calls so that they are expecting me, and will be available. When the weekends are booked I also update my email away message with a reminder that we are working and when I will be likely to respond.

  3. Anna

    Be KIND and respectful. Your vendors work with you, not for you. They are professionals and this is not there first wedding, so belittling them, telling them how it is and being unkind helps no one. treat people the way you expect to be treated. After all you get more bees with honey.

  4. Shannon

    What is a good rule of thumb for hearing back from a photographer or videographer after the initial email? its been a week since ive heard back from the videographer i emailed. Is this normal? should i send a follow up email? not sure what to do without being an annoying bride!

    • Lauren Grove

      @Shannon, I’d say definitely send a follow-up email! 24-48 hours should be a good time span for them to get back to you, especially if it’s the first email! Check their website to see if there’s a contact form- that might work a little better, as sometimes emails get sent to junk or don’t go through correctly. :) Good luck!

  5. Ashley Daniell Photography

    Great post Lauren! And I would agree with your advice for @Shannon – definitely follow up. Although you shouldn’t expect a response immediately if you email on a Friday, a week is still a long time to not hear from the vendor (unless they are on vacation, in which case they should have scheduled an “out of office” reply)

    I’d like to add one more tip if I could: Let the vendor know if you chose another company! It really is frustrating as a vendor to receive an inquiry, respond, and then hear crickets. A vendor isn’t going to be upset if you chose someone else – just be courteous enough to let us know! :-)

  6. Elizabeth {Bridal Musings}

    Great advice ~ I clearly remember being {internally} miffed at my wedding vendors when I didn’t hear back from them within a few hours of emailing. i don’t think I could comprehend that there were brides other than me out there who they were working with! What a bridezilla eh?!

  7. Melina

    I love the tip about giving as much information as possible. There is nothing worse than if a bride doesn’t give enough for the vendor to get a grasp of what they really want and then find on the wedding day that the bride gets disappointed! I just started an internship and we met with a bride who had over 150 pictures to look at. It was awesome because by the end of it we felt really good about what she wanted! I love it!

  8. Wrapped Couture

    I always love your Thursday tips posts and this one was a great one! Communication is key! I love that you say to be mindful of business hours and that we’re people too. I think that it’s often forgotten about that we are people and have jobs, families, and events to run (which is why we’re hired in the first place) all at the same time. without missing a beat.

  9. EMMA | EMMALINE BRIDE

    Lauren,
    I love your tips! I love how you added the part about email stalking when you’d send a request to a wedding vendor while planning your own wedding. i totally know the feeling… and, now i have a completely different view of it. :) thanks for sharing these useful tips! have a beautiful day-

    -e.

  10. erica

    awesome advice, lauren! thanks for the post!

  11. Pingback: moNdAy MeNtioNs » Vue Photography

  12. Wendy {Weswen Design}

    This whole emailing outside of business hours and then stalking me for a response JUST happened yesterday. Thanks for writing this, it really is wonderful!

  13. Lucia

    Great post! I’d like to add that not every vendor texts or has unlimited texting on their phone so it might be helpful to ask them how they’d prefer to keep in touch (phone, email, or texting)! Also if you post on a personal FB wall and want a response be sure that vendor checks their FB page!

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