Getting married abroad can be stressful, so when you’re trying to pull all your services together in a foreign country, having your emails ignored makes your nerves skyrocket. Here’s what happens with weddings in Italy according to local vendors, why, and how to fix it.
Why vendors do not answer emails promptly
- The first reason an Italian wedding vendor may not respond to your email is due to the very high volume of inquiries they get on a daily basis … many of which are just probes, not real weddings. If your email is too vague they may not be convinced of your investment.
- English is a foreign language for Italians and the pressure of writing or speaking in English is intimidating for them.
- Italy is at least 3 hours ahead of North America, an hour ahead of England, and 9 hours behind Australia. Factor in time zones and that boosts typical response time up at least 48 hours.
How to get vendors to answer your emails
Here are some fixes to help you get what you want from local vendors in Italy:
- Be a person you would want to do business with. Be concise and give your local Italian wedding vendor a specific list of what you want, on what day, where, and most of all, give them a budget range. Some vendors have a minimum order amount and will tell you if you do not meet it, so there is no wasting anybody’s time. The less back and forth they have to deal with increases the chances they will answer your request the way you want.
- Give the supplier the chance to talk to you. Italians prefer face-to-face negotiations and skype is a great tool for that. Invite them to hop on a skype call to break the email barrier. Before your call prepare a list of questions about their products, policies and procedures so they know you mean business. Any phone/skype calls need to be scheduled beforehand.
- Most Italian businesses are small and family run, there is rarely a permanent office person assigned to answering emails. That, paired with time zone differences boosts your wait time to at least a week. Persevere. If you use Mail on Mac or IOS, you can send your email message again and again with no effort (in the Mail menu select Message/Send again/Send). If there is a cell phone number on the website try Whatsapping them to get their attention (again, please consider time zones!).
More facts about Italian wedding vendors:
- They are very busy during wedding season, they work 7 days a week between weddings and back office work from April to end-October;
- They take vacation in the off season and close down their offices;
- They correspond in a foreign language with most of their customers, an added stress for them;
- They are familiar with Italian wedding traditions and they are proud of them. They may not be familiar with your traditions so break it to them gracefully and listen to what they have to say about theirs – you may learn something fun!