How To: Inquire with a Wedding Vendor
Let’s talk etiquette, and brides, this time I am talking to you! I want to discuss the proper way to send an inquiry to wedding vendors, because there is a preferred method of communication that will make everything smoother. As wedding vendors, we are all small business owners, many of whom work additional jobs, so by inquiring with us in the correct way up front it will save everyone a lot of time and energy.
When you are first starting your planning process, it is almost never a good idea to inquire with any vendor over social media. Period. Unless that vendor has specifically asked for that kind of contact, I would just avoid it and here is why. Whether it is Facebook or Instagram if you are not “friends” with the person or business who you are inquiring with, then the message will go straight into their “requests” folder, and we all know how easy it is to miss these message requests. Since they are not in the primary messaging folder the owner of the account does not receive the typical notifications, so sometimes those messages can go days or weeks without being answered if that folder is not specifically checked on a regular basis. And that is no fun for anyone! You, as the client, do not like being ignored. And we, as the vendor, do not like missing leads/inquiries.
So, with that said, how should you initiate that contact? Email, website, or phone call. Honestly, email or website are probably the most preferred methods of contact because again, voicemails can get lost or forgotten about and it is a lot easier to have a paper trail of all correspondence. If you are finding your wedding vendors through social media, most (should) have a contact button on their profiles, so use that for email addresses. There also may be a link provided to inquire via their website and that is likely to have all the questions they NEED to know right on the contact form. Super simple! If you are looking for your vendors via Google Search, I would recommend going straight to their websites for easy contact initiation.
You have found that vendor who you would like to get more information from, and you have an email all cued up, ready to go. What do you say? There are some basic informational things that most every vendor will want to know. Some of these may sound silly or obvious, but sometimes the information gets overlooked and left out leaving you stuck in this back-and-forth email chain between a vendor trying to get them all the information they need to quote you properly.
1. Names (BOTH yours and your significant other’s)
2. Contact information (preferred phone number & email address)
3. Type of event (ceremony & reception, elopement, just reception, etc.)
4. Date of the event
5. Location of the event (if you have one yet)
6. Estimated guest count
7. Budget (for that vendor specifically, unless asked otherwise)
8. How you found their business (this is not a must, but as business owners we always are curious to know how you find us – essentially what are we doing right in the marketing department)
From there you can start to include details that are pertinent to that specific vendor who you are inquiring with. For example, if you are looking for more information from a photographer, let them know either how long you are hoping to have them there for OR what the most important parts of the day you want captured, because then they will know how long they need to be there. In that case, I would recommend including the start time of the ceremony as well (if you know that information at the time of inquiry). If you are inquiring with a florist, include exactly what you are looking for (centerpieces, bouquets, arbor, pedals down the aisle, etc., etc.), inspiration pictures (if you have them), and probably most importantly to get an accurate quote, if there are specific flowers you WANT to see in all your arrangements and specific flowers you absolutely do NOT want to see in your arrangements. Last example, if you are inquiring with a wedding planner, go into a little detail how much help you are looking for. If you are needing help putting together the rest of your vendors, if you have everything covered and just need someone to execute the big day, or if you are overwhelmed and have no idea where to start. To a wedding planner, there really is no such thing as too much detail in your inquiry.
Bottom line is that all these vendors want to help YOU and make sure they are serving YOU to the best of their ability, but if they don’t have all the information up front to do that it can create a lot of unnecessary back and forth conversation and frustration between vendor and potential client. Now, you got the information back, but you don’t feel like one of the vendors you inquired with is going to be a good fit for your wedding. What do you do? The first thing you do NOT do is ghost the vendor. We understand that our services may not fit within every couple’s vision or budget, and we are okay with that! But when you inquire with us, we likely put a soft hold on that date or start to hesitate with additional inquiries for that same date because we operate on a first-come-first-served basis. So, the best thing to do if you don’t feel that a vendor is a right fit for you is to simply send a polite email (you don’t even have to speak with them directly on the phone) that says, “thank you for your time, but we have decided to go in a different direction”. Boom, done. Moving on. That easy.
As wedding vendors, we all know that you as the potential client are inquiring with a lot of people, and it can get tiresome having to put together email after email with the same information. However, in the long run it will likely save you time and show that you also value our time and what we offer as small business owners as much as we value you trusting us with such an important day and milestone.
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