It can be one of the most frustrating things ever when you get an exciting-looking wedding enquiry that you’re available for, you send a well crafted, enthusiastic reply and then hear nothing back. Nada, zero, zilch. Not even a ‘thanks-but-no-thanks.’
Even more frustratingly, you may never actually know the real reason why you don’t hear back from a couple, even after following them up for a response.
The lack of closure can leave you confused/worried/annoyed or unsure about what you might have done or not done. Said or not said.
I’ve put together a list of reasons for why you might never hear back from couples, especially when everything about it seemed to tick all the boxes.
But like you’ll see below, some of the reasons why you never hear back from couples actually have nothing or very little to do with you. It’s mostly about them and their plans. Mostly.
Either way this list will help you to make sure that when you do get in touch with a couple, that you’re not letting yourself down in any way, or unintentionally giving them a reason to not get back in touch with you.
1. They’ve changed their plans
Sometimes couples will reach out to wedding suppliers when the idea for their wedding really is just an idea. They send out emails purely for research purposes, as they gather info to help them make their decisions about what they want to do for their wedding day, and so it can often be the case that they don’t get back to you because their plans have changed.
They’ve simply started to shape their wedding and it’s taking them in lots of different directions. They may eventually come back to you but quite possibly might not, if their research leads them away from the services that you offer. This can even account for couples who either decide not to get married after all or who delay their wedding plans. It does happen and quite often they won’t tell you about it.
2. They never got your email
We might live in the most technologically enhanced times ever but it doesn’t mean that technology doesn’t fail. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how suped-up and reliable your email provider might be, there are some emails, for whatever reason, that just don’t make it to where they’re supposed to be going. And this is why you might not hear back from a couple, because they’ve not heard back from you!
This is also why it’s super important to follow up an enquiry at least once, especially as some couples, if they don’t hear from you, they won’t chase you up. It’s like they’ve given you your one shot and that’s it! I follow up all enquiries that I don’t hear back from and usually about one in twenty hasn’t received my original reply, and were thankful for me following up and then went on to book!
Top tip: Have a follow-up strategy.
3. They booked someone else
Quite plainly and simply, sometimes you don’t hear back from couples because they’ve booked someone else. The end. If you’re lucky, a considerate couple might email you to thank you for your time and to let you know that they don’t need your services, but many don’t! Yes, it’s annoying as hell, but it’s just one of those things you have to get used to and get over. Yes it would be great if couples could follow some nice etiquette about how they communicate with wedding suppliers but in the real world, it just doesn’t always happen in this way.
4. They’re still working things out
There is an evolutionary process for how a wedding rolls out. Sometimes couples get all their enquiries out of the way, lay their foundations, get the ball rolling and then get back in touch with you when they have all of their ducks in a row and when you’re least expecting it. I’ve had couples get back to me as long as six months after their initial enquiry! Or sometimes not at all. Perhaps they go on to make new enquiries with other celebrants, forgetting that they’d made initial enquiries elsewhere.
5. They’re overwhelmed by all the info sent
For some couples, information overload can throw them into inaction. They may have contacted you wanting information but have received an email that feels too busy, with too much information and too many suggestions. With all that they have on their wedding planning plate, they may take their time getting around to reading it all, they might put it aside for later, or in some cases, discard it all together.
With all the emails that they get from all wedding suppliers they’re in contact with, some couples can be put off when they receive too much information to digest all at once. If you feel like this might be something you do, maybe have a review of your email responses and see how you can package up your wedding info more neatly, so it’s not too overwhelming.
Do you need to send all the info on that one email? Could you create a sales brochure which makes the info more digestible? Could you give links to blog posts you’ve written instead of putting the info in the email?
I’ve just added a new 18 page resource to my celebrant shop, complete with 5 email templates, a foolproof email sequence and lots of top tips and advice to help you nail your email enquiries, improve your communication and increase your chances of couples booking you. Check it out here.
6. You took too long to reply
I once replied to a wedding couple 24 hours after they emailed me and they replied to let me know that they’d already spoken to and booked another celebrant!
It’s generally accepted in the wedding industry that 24-48 hours is a normal timeframe to get a response from a wedding supplier, but sometimes there are couples who expect a response immediately! I was quite happy to not get the booking from that couple as it seemed to me that their priority was to get a celebrant, any celebrant! Which is not really how I want to be booked.
That said, most couples are a bit more discerning and diligent and often make their enquiries based on their first choice preferences. However if you do take longer than what’s expected to get back to them, it’s quite likely that they will note what seems to them like a lack of response and they will move on to their next choice. If you take too long to get back to them, their conversation with another celebrant may already be underway and so they don’t bother to get back to you.
7. You’re out of their budget
If you’re a celebrant who doesn’t put your price(s) on your website, the first a couple learn of how much you charge will be vía your email reply to them. So if it turns out that you cost more than what they can afford or want to spend, then some couples simply won’t reply to you.
Putting a price on your website or a ‘starting from’ price can help to reduce or eliminate these lack of responses because couples will already have a good idea of your price before contacting you.
8. You’re not for them after all
It could well be that despite you fitting the brief and looking the part on social media and your website, once they’ve heard from you on email, it turns out that you’re not quite what they’re looking for after all. It can happen and it’s a perfectly normal part of business.
You may never know the exact reason why couples come to this conclusion, and so you just have to let it go and focus on the next enquiry, confident that you’ve been true to yourself and presented yourself as authentically as possible.
As you’ve seen here, sometimes you just won’t know why a couple don’t get back in touch with you, sometimes you might have an inkling and occasionally your couples might tell you why.
But as long as you know that you’ve presented your best self, been clear and concise, helpful and enthusiastic, and been in control over the things you can control, then sometimes that’s all you can do!