Tips today about how to communicate best with vendors!
1. Ask them the best WAY to communicate with them.
For me, some days, I’m in meetings back to back. I may get a few minutes to return an email but it’s much harder to return a call because I don’t want to cut them short if another client walks in. This means, for me atleast, it generally takes me longer to respond to some phone calls unless it’s an emergency. Also, I can tell you that I loove getting details, changes, special request by email. I also love sending the same to other vendors for my brides. In the case where there is a discrepancy on what was agreed upon, we have that to look at and be able to have something solid to stand on.
2. Ask them the best TIME to communicate with them.
What’s their work schedule? If they are off every Monday and you happen to call every Monday and keep missing them (and not leave a voicemail), it can be very frustrating as a bride. Knowing their office hours can ensure you call when they are near their desk. Emails are a bit different. You can send them anytime you like as long as you understand they are probably away from their computer on wedding days or Sundays or their particular off day.
And a few general things
1. Show respect to their personal/vacation time.
I’ve heard one wedding industry pro say there are very few actual wedding emergencies, aside from a venue burning or a death in the family. For the most part, there is nothing that has to be done at midnight or while your vendor is on vacation for a few days. This goes along with knowing when the best time to communicate is but goes a bit farther. Even as a bride myself, I remember that feeling creeping up that yea, yea I get it, but this is just one exception and “We have to take care of this now” or “It’s my wedding day we’re talking about.” Save this for real emergencies and vendors will jump to respond to you. Cry wolf often and real emergencies can get neglected.
2. Allow several days for them to respond to your call/email, etc.
I work with vendors all the time and even the best vendors take a little while to return calls. I give them a few days and sometimes even a week to respond because the wedding industry operates on such a different schedule. If your wedding is a year away and they having to respond to one call in between meetings, it’s most likely going to be the more immediate request. Also, their days off can vary: some photographers are off on Thursday and some cake bakers off on Mondays. That means if you call on Wednesday at 4:55, the earliest you may get a response from that photography is Monday morning. Don’t call them for a second time if they haven’t returned your call in 20 hours (which in some cases is technically only 3 business hours if the call/email was made toward the end of the day). This goes back to working with great vendors. If they are reliable, trust that they know they need to call you and will return your call shortly.
A quick note for vendors:
Respect your brides time. If she has to call more than once even with the above guideline, working with you is taking more energy than it needs to. You’ll book more weddings with brides by referrals and find yourself on a wedding planner’s referral list, by returning calls in a reasonable amount of time. If you do find yourself behind, send a quick email to say you received their request and will get to them by (insert exact date). This will keep them from growing frustrated.
Any other times for communicating with vendors?