As a career long wedding vendor, I can tell you that it happens to literally all of us within the wedding industry, wedding ghosting. What is that exactly? Well, its actually not a new thing, it just has a name in 2019, its when a couple reaches out to one of us and then never responds back to a follow up email.
Today, I want to share with you why you need to respond to vendors when they reach out to you and what happens if you choose not to do so.
Listen, I get it, you’re planning a wedding and most likely when you reach out to a select vendor, say a wedding photographer, you’re shopping around for value, price and the artist style. With that, you should be connecting with everyone that you reach out too via an email or an online form, even if you don’t wind up using them as a vendor.
I recently had a bride reach out to me about three months ago asking for their 2020 wedding date. Well, I responded months ago and told her that I had her date available and would be happy to work with her. A couple emails later, still nothing so I sent her a final email telling her that I wasn’t going to bombard her further since I hadn’t her from her.
Well, she was talking with another wedding videographer for her wedding which is fine (hey, I think it’s great that someone is smart enough to make an investment in wedding video, even if its not from me).
But, there was an issue, the wedding videographer she was talking too, suddenly couldn’t film her date (not sure why honestly) so the bride was scrambling to find someone else, i.e., she was going back to her emails from 90 days prior.
Well, she emailed me back, saying how interested she was about my pricing and services, but I couldn’t help her, I had already booked that date with someone else.
The Magical 288 Number
Now before I go any further with the story, I want to toss out those numbers, especially for those that don’t follow my blog on a regular basis.
You’re not the only couple getting married on your wedding date, I know, surprise!
In the Commonwealth according to the VA Dept of Vital Records, in 2017, roughly 55,000 couples got married. Of that, about 16,000 couples were here in our part of the state, the Roanoke, Lynchburg Demographic Marketing area.
When you divide 16k by 52 weeks, that averages out to about 288 couples a weekend that are getting married in the area. Sure, sometimes like November-December are less than say May-June, but is averages out to 288 couples.
That means there are many other couples looking for the same types of wedding vendors that you are. Just remember that when you reach out to a wedding vendor in our area.
When You Don’t Communicate
Needless to say, that bride that reached out to me completed missed out and I honestly don’t know if she ever found someone else, I do know she had reached out to a couple other competitors of mine (many of us are friends and help each other out with clients we can’t take).
When you reach out to a wedding vendor, communicate with them, even if you don’t wind up hiring them or using them, just simply tell them, TRUST me when I say you won’t hurt their “baby feels”, we’re all adults and we are running a business.
Now, some couples are just lazy in returning emails and connecting with vendors and honestly, I understand that you’re connecting with many other vendors for other areas of your wedding. But truth be told, when you don’t connect within a few days of an email or message, it send’s us wedding vendors another signal.
You might Not Be the Ideal Client to Work With
One of the things that I’ve heard over the years at various networking meetings is that when couples don’t communicate, some vendors will shrug their shoulder’s and say “eh, they’re not really people we want to work with anyway if they don’t reply back…”.
And I see their point, when you ghost a wedding vendor, you are sending that signal to them. What you’re saying is that you won’t communicate with people if you don’t let them know your intentions and that translates into this for us wedding vendors:
“You’re not worth the time to talk too so we’ve moved onward”.
Vendors see that and when you ghost a wedding vendor but come back to them as a backup solution or a last minute solution, it leaves a sour taste in our mouths. Wedding vendors, no matter the type, love great communication and as a wedding filmmaker I can tell you the MORE you communicate to vendors, the easier your wedding planning will be and BETTER you wedding will be overall too.
The other thing to consider is that many wedding vendors have little “click’s”, groups of vendors that like to stick together and people talk. If you ghost a lot and you’re trying to navigate through a wedding group unknowingly, it can actually hurt your chances of locking in the date you need and hurt your chances of getting any sort of discount, upgrade or freebie they might be having.
But You’re Not Giving Me Your Pricing
Why Brides Ghosted Vendors
For those that know me well, I do wedding surveys and LOT’s of them! One of the things that I found in my 2015 question to couples was that pricing was the number one reason why couples never responded back.
56% said they didn’t respond back because the vendor message didn’t have pricing.
In fact, one comment I got from the survey stated: “We emailed [vendor] and asked them for a price-list but instead we got an email about their services, what they do and nothing about pricing, they wanted to sit down in person and go over that. I don’t have time to sit with every [vendor] and price it. I just wanted their price!”
Beyond that, 23% said they were just too lazy to communicate back. 13% said they just didn’t like what they saw after the initial contact and the remaining 8% said other.
Just Let Us Know
No matter what the reason is, just respond back to us, even if you don’t intend to hire us, we’d much rather here something back from you than silence.
A couple of canned responses you can use include:
· “Thanks for your time regarding our wedding, we have gone in a different direction and appreciate your time”
· “Thank you [name] for helping us better understand your services for our wedding date here, after talking about it, we’ve decided to go with another vendor.”
· “Thanks for getting back to me here so quickly, we really like your [product or service], we’re going to pass on it at this time, but we may want to reconnect later as we consider things”
Being able to connect and communicate is an important piece of the wedding day. The MORE you communicate to us vendors, even the ones you don’t hire, will make things a lot easier for your BIG day and it will make those that you do hire much smoother at your wedding too.