2/1 Ask Liz: Why Aren’t Vendors Calling Me Back?

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Dear Liz:

I got engaged last month, and I was so excited to start planning my wedding. But it’s taking so long to even get to see any venues, we aren’t going to visit the first one on my list until this Sunday. It’s also been really hard to get a hold of any photographers too, and I don’t know what to do.  Is this the way it’s going to go, I just have to keep calling and emailing over and over until I can get meet with anybody? How am I supposed to hire people if they won’t call me back, or can’t see me for weeks?


Bride Blocked

Dear Blocked,

Most of my job as a wedding planner is trying to get in touch with one person or another, so, believe me, I get your frustration. I know it feels like bad customer service, but a lot of  it’s just bad timing. Bad timing and busy, busy schedules. The venue you’re going to see this weekend most likely has a wedding right after your visit and another wedding next weekend. Same thing with photographers, plus they’re editing weddings they’ve already shot, too. Your wedding is months away, and not actually their wedding, yet. It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle…or at least feel like you are.

Knowing what to expect helps. Generally speaking, the best time to contact any vendor is between Tuesday and Thursday.  Venue managers usually take Mondays off. Friday is not great because everyone is gearing up for Saturday again. Photographers might work on Sundays, too. Never try to contact them during the weekend – anyone who has to work the weekend of your wedding is probably working this weekend too.  Never drop by without an appointment.

In your initial contact with any vendor, give them as much information as you can. Date, guest count, location, overall budget, anything you know about your wedding so far. Try not to create a phone tag situation – if you are emailing or have to leave a voice mail, tell them best time and wait to get back to you. If you reach an assistant, find out the best time to reach the boss, and try again. Figure out your schedule beforehand too: If you can only meet in person on a weekend because of your schedule, say so. If you can meet after work or at lunch, say so. Give them specifics to respond to.  Always give specifics.

Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t run into wedding pros who simply will not respond in a timely manner, but that’s not the norm. Most are eager to talk and find out more about your wedding and, well, get paid. A good rule is if you do not hear back in two days, move on to the next company on your list. If they miss a scheduled phone call or meeting, seriously consider moving down the list. It’s not going to get any better once you hire them – it shows disrespect for your time that is  not going to change.

So, what’s the longest it took for you to hear back from a vendor and meet with them? What do you think of my advice? Let me know in the comments below! And, if you would like to find out more about me and my Wedding World, visit my website at www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith is the owner of Silver Charm Events, a wedding planning service in Los Angeles. She's also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of "DIY Your DOC: Do-it Yourself Wedding Day Coordination." Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.