How to nudge wedding vendors

So you found  wedding vendors that you really like. Their work is impeccable, they have stellar reviews, and the price is right!  You just have a few more questions to clear up before you book, so you contact them – but you haven’t heard back!

A few days go by, and you STILL have no response.  Or maybe you’re stuck playing phone tag.  At this point you’re wondering if this is a red flag.

Should you reach out again?  How do you nudge them without being too pushy?  Should you even bother?  Is it better to just move on and search for a new vendor?

This is a common scenario, so in today’s post – I’m writing all about how to deal with unresponsive vendors.

Decide if it’s best to follow-up or move on

This might be obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway: If you’re not excited to work with this vendor or if you have even a slight preference for another vendor, then it might not be worth your time or effort to follow-up – feel free to move on!

Now, if you’re really interested in working with this vendor, then you should spend some time following up.  But don’t put your search on hold while you wait for their response.  Instead, use that time to continue to search for other vendors so that you have options in case the unresponsive vendor never responds.  Plus, who knows, you might find a better vendor!

So, once you’ve decided to follow-up, the next thing to figure out is: how to do it in a way that’s firm, but polite?

The anatomy of a solid follow-up message:

  • First, make it clear that you’ve tried to reach them.  Then ask if they’re still interested in working with you.  So you might want to start with something like: “Hi, we still haven’t heard from you, are you still available to help with our wedding?”
  • Let them know where they stand.  If you’re taking the time to follow-up with this vendor, then you’re probably really interested in their services – let them know that.  Say something like, “We’ve narrowed down our list of top vendors, and we’re happy to say that you’re on our short-list!”
  • Include a timeframe.  Setting a follow-up timeframe is helpful for you and for the vendor because it will serve as a deadline.  This can be as simple as saying something like, “We plan to review all of our top proposals this weekend – so we’d love to hear back from you by Friday.”
  • Are you in touch with the right person?  It’s entirely possible that you’re contacting the wrong person.  It might help to ask if there’s someone else who can help you. You can simply ask, “Is there someone else we should contact to better assist us with this request?”
  • Closing your message.  Finally, to close your message, tell them that you plan to follow-up again.  This might seem like a little much, but it really gets the message across: “I’ll email/call you again tomorrow, in case I don’t hear from you by then.” (This trick works like magic because, generally, vendors will try to beat you to it!)

Here’s a sample follow-up email/voicemail message that you can use right now:

Hi Caterer!

I haven’t heard from you, are you still available to cater at our wedding on August 31?  We really liked the menu you created for us – it’s one of our top two favorites so far!  We just need to clear up a few more questions before we make our final decision.  

We plan to review all catering proposals this weekend, so it would be great to connect with you by this Friday.  I’ll follow-up with you again tomorrow – and if there’s someone else I should contact about this, please let me know.  Hope to connect soon!

Thanks!

Katie

Next Steps

Once you send this message to the vendor, your next step is to follow-up one more time and then wait!  Wait for few days, but if you don’t hear by the deadline then it’s time to move on.

While you wait for a response, make sure to continue shopping around in case the vendor is no longer available, or just doesn’t seem interested in working with you.  It sucks when one of your top vendors doesn’t seem interested in working with you – but it’s entirely possible!

When is it time to move on?

Remember, at this point you’re still in the shopping phase, vendors should be trying to woo you to win your business!

So if you’ve reached out, followed up, and if it’s been more than two weeks since you’ve heard anything – it’s time to move on.  You’ve invested your time and effort but if you’re being ignored, then this vendor might not give you the best service after you’ve hired them.

Bottom line

Ultimately, you need to get answers so that you can keep the ball rolling.  You don’t have the time to halt your wedding planning for a vendor.  So follow-up, so that you can move on!

Onward!

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