(Closed) vendors not taking me seriously…

posted 6 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 3
1024 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I have a similar problem.I look VERY young (people think I’m still in high school). When we met with a photographer the other day, the main photographer automatically assumed that we couldn’t afford her and only talked about her assistant the entire time. I even asked the main photographer to see her portfolio, and she told me that I “can see the assistant’s photos on the assistant’s website”..

The vendors you are dealing with her completely out of line….how is that at all professional to answer someone like that? I can’t believe it….where do you live? Asshole central? haha

Post # 4
3942 posts
Honey bee

It’s weird to me that vendors can be judging you based on how young you look, because SO many of our vendors were booked through email or phone. I also know quite a few vendors personally and money is money to them…whether you are 20 years old or 90 years old they dont’t care.

I’d probably write a scatching review on every website I could find, for your rehersal dinner spot. And find an even better place to hold it.

Post # 5
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Honestly, that’s been one of the things that instantly turned me away from a vendor. A couple vendors had major attitude problems, or their staff seemed nasty.

Now, I’m a reasonable person. I work in corporate for a leisure resort of over 100 acres. I KNOW how to talk to the public, and some of those people just weren’t doing it for me. I wouldn’t even bother with them.

I haven’t gotten treated badly over my age, but more over my date. A couple have been asking questions about why we were booking so early. – And yet.. other vendors have already been booked up to 2015!

I would say just keep going and contacting vendors, you want someone who is going to make your day better/easier, not someone who’s going to sling around attitudes.

Also, have you tried contacting them by email/phone first? If they don’t SEE you first, maybe they’ll be alot nicer.

Post # 6
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@mrsrecon:  I’m not sure that age is the only issue here, although it may be a factor.  Your timeline is pretty short for some of these things. 

I’ve found rude vendors with poor business habits too, and I’m not a young bride.  Some of them just don’t carry themselves professionally.  I had the luxury of choosing not to go with people that I didnt get the right feeling from (or that I thought I’d be chasing down each step of the way).

I learned some tricks that helped a bit.  First, in the initial contact, I put as much detail as I can — date, number of guests, desired times/included services, etc.  That saves the vendor from some of the back and forth… They can tell me right away if that date is booked, or if the venue won’t hold enough people.

I also try to contact people with a friendly and personal demeanor.  Yes, vendors are working for you, but they are also people, and they are more likely to go the extra mile to work with someone that they think won’t be a nightmare.  i’m not saying you’re guilty of coming on too strong, but I have seen some brides who complain that vendors don’t respond to their calls after they pretty much introduced themselves as a bridezilla from the get-go.  Some of these vendors get enough business that dealing with someone who seems extra high-maintenance just isn’t worth it.

I definitely think you were right to try a couple forms of contact.  Email PLUS calling.  Some folks just do better with one than the other.  I’d also leave both your phone and email when contacting others.  Let them know that you “hope to hear back to them by Thursday, because you are making final plans” or the like.  And if you don’t hear back, take that as a really good sign that this is not a business to whom you want to trust your wedding.

Good luck.  And remember- your first choice might not want to work with you, but the BEST choice always will.


Post # 7
2335 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I don’t know that you’re necessarily being judged for your age, I think you’re just picking shitty vendors.  No professional should act like that.  Look up vendors with good reviews, be direct in what you want (ex: I am interested in holding a wedding rehearsal dinner for X people at your restaurant on DATE.  Please let me know your availability and pricing.), and don’t wait around for people who don’t respond.

Post # 8
3688 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

How would the rehearsal dinner spot judge you for your age if you were communicating through email?

Post # 9
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Ouch, it sounds like you’ve just hit some crappy vendors.  One of the first rules of customer service and sales is to treat all of your customers with respect whether they’re 18 or 88.  Prejudging is a great way to miss out on a sale.

I would look at reviews carefully before contacting anyone to see who has positive feedback.  Give them firm times in your messages, and if they don’t get back in a reasonable time then move on.  You’re calling/emailing to talk about giving them you’re business.  If they don’t find that important enough to get back to you then I wouldn’t want to rely on them for something important.

Post # 10
533 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think it’s your age. It’s more to do with some vendors are dicks. I had one recently. It has nothing to do with how old I am. 

Post # 11
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I don’t think its just your age.. I am 23 but everyone says I look more like 20-21 tops. All the vendors I have worked with have been wonderful.

Post # 12
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m surprised, especially since you live in the south where getting married at 21 is not uncommon, that you are getting this reaction! I’d expect in in Boston, San Fran, etc, but not in North Carolina!

Post # 13
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I don’t think it has anything to do with your age.  A lot of wedding vendors– a lot of businesses in general for that matter– are started by people who love what they do.  Many do not put the thought or concern into looking at proper business etiquette.

There are times when a reasonable expectation is appreciated, if a client was calling me on average 4 times a week, I would probably be avoiding them, and sometimes it’s easy to think that vendors only have one wedding at a time to worry about other than the scores that they are creating proposals, sending invoices, and ordering supplies for.

All this said, if you are looking for good word-of-mouth recommendations, try contacting the wedding coordinators for local churches or reception sites and ask for places around your area that they would recommend.  They may be able to save you a good deal of hassle just by putting you in contact with vendors they have good working relationships with.

Post # 15
4656 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

UGH. Man what a pain! My friend had a similar problem, she doesn’t like jewelry so her FH got her an engagement car, instead of a ring. She said every vendor would flash their eyes to her hand, see no ring, and put her at the bottom of the list.

Do not work with those people. Don’t let them make it up to you. They should be treating all their customers right, if they’re not, they don’t deserve your money. 😛 Aggravating as it is, YOU are the one with the power, since you’re the customer. 

Post # 16
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I’m not trying to attack you, or get all preachy or “back in my day” though I’m afraid I’m about to do just that on the memory-lane thing.  I’m trying to give you advice from past experience, current job experience, and based on the ease of dealing with vendors during my wedding.  I apologize if my previous post was not as helpful as I had wished it.

From what you’ve said it doesn’t sound that the issue is so much your age, but how you are communicating to vendors.  When I was 19 and 20 years old I was booking venues for 200+ people events and at 5′-2″ (which I guess is short) I was having vendors compete for the business when they typically looked at girls from my school and either saw a dirt-poor student organization or a blank check.  It was hard work to get good service and make sure I wasn’t being taken to the cleaners, but it’s that way whenever you deal with vendors from any trade.  It’s not about age, it’s about clear communication.

Unless the manager did specifically tell you the time you were looking at was free, then there’s nothing to say that the time wasn’t booked previously.  The fact that she doesn’t answer the phone does not mean that she was not at work.  Did she act unprofessionally?  Yes!  But eight phone calls and three emails over ten business days is overkill.  Someone is going to hear that many attempts to contact them and assume that you’re one of “those” clients.  And yes, some vendors will start avoiding if they think every time is going to be more questions or wanting to clarify again.  It’s wrong, but it happens.  To be perfectly honest, after call three and email one I would have sent an email saying you tried to contact them four times and that you were taking your business elsewhere. 

There are ways to leave messages in business to get them returned.  While I don’t know the specifics, a generic message like “please have X call me back” will not get results.  It’s also likely “please have X call me back because I have some questions about booking the restaurant” will probably not result in a phone call because the manager is probably bracing herself for a 30-minute conference call.  Short and to the point “X said to call her so I could book the party room.”

Also, never ever tell vendors (for any business be it wedding or home repair or anything) you have selected them without first meeting with them.  Most will assume they have your business and will not have to work for it because you aren’t looking elsewhere or screening their competitors.  If you’re a client in the bag then most don’t think they have to work for it.  Are there wonderful vendors out there that go above and beyond no matter what?  Yes, but human nature is what it is and the vast majority will act this way.

Don’t tell them about how you’re paying for anything or what your budget it– it’s none of their business.  Call, tell them your wedding date to see if they are free, schedule a meeting if they are, and leave them alone until you see them face to face.  Give them either in a follow-up email or in writing what you want pricing for and have them email you a proposal.  That way they know how much they are risking if they treat you like crap.  Any proposal clarifications or changes have in email and completely documented before anything is signed.  I know this all sounds very common sense and I apologize if it seems like I am belittling you, because I’m not trying to.  This is something personal to you, and unless you have done all this in an impersonal way before, it’s hard to keep the emotional distance that is sometimes needed to negotiate.

That’s not to say this is your fault.  She should have acted more professionally.  But, the manager is not going to feel the weight of losing a 50 people party, she’s just not, especially if she has something else booked.  That’s a hit the owner would feel.

So what can you do?  A lot of times in college I would wear a blazer or dress like I was going to a job interview– and I guess I was since I was interviewing the vendor.  It’s an unspoken way to say that you’re the one making the decisions.  Also, about this time was when I got an email that was very professionally sounding, basically initials/name email rather than my previous randomthing/numbers email.  You cannot change vendors that aren’t business savvy, you can only try to manage them through very specific and clear expectations or tell them you’re taking your business to a competitor who will treat you better.

If you need new vendors, then start finding them.  If there’s a “why are you waiting so late?” be honest but tactfully vague.  Some vendors (like flowers for example) may be willing to help a sweet, unlucky bride who has said she’s parted ways with her previous florist.  Because if all signs point to their competitor as the one that screwed up and not you, then by them swooping in to save the day, they’re getting industry gossip.  Imagine if ‘Flowers by A’ could tell the next bride that they meet with “oh, you’re looking at ‘B’s Flowers?’  One of my brides was going to use them until two months before her wedding…”  This happens.

I hope this helps, and again, I apologize if my previous post came off as unhelpful (or this one).  I’m sorry if this comes off as harsh too, but I am trying to show both sides of it since I’m kind of on both sides of it daily, albeit in a different industry.  Also, sorry I wrote a book… it wasn’t supposed to be this long.

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