I used to joke with brides when we met, “I’ll chase ya down if I can’t find you.” Never thought it would actually happen, till last month! And so the story begins…
The bride lived out of state, but had been in several months ago to hire us when she was in town shopping for many wedding pros. We collected all the usual info, name, address, email, phone number. You know, all the necessary details.
Little did I know, a simple typo and a bride’s neglect to update us on a new phone number would turn her world and ours upside down.
We contact brides via email about 8 weeks before the wedding to schedule the final consultation. A routine system, something I can do with a blindfold on and my hands tied behind my back. And standing on my head. Talented, I know.
So we sent the normal template email with a list of the dates and times available for her to come in and finalize, with the option to finalize via email if none of those work.
A day goes by. We hear nothing.
A week lapses. Crickets.
I pick up the phone. This isn’t usual!! We always hear back from a bride within a week.
Her phone number has been disconnected.
Great Scott! I have my first MIA bride!!!! (Cue the cheesey Dun, Dun, DUUUNNNN! music).
So I quickly go to my next favorite tool to find people, the internet. In particular, Facebook. I look her up.
EUREKA! I FOUND HER!!!!
At least I THINK it’s her (it was, just for the record). So I sent her a message. Since we are not friends on Facebook, my message goes to her “other folder” but since I used Messenger, she sees it. She accepts my messenger request three days after I sent it and read the message. BUT NO RESPONSE.
“Maybe it’s not really her” I thought, “Maybe it’s a look-a-like that lives in the same area.” Hmmmm……
Okay, on to the next idea!!
Unfortunately, this bride wasn’t getting married at a venue where I could just call the coordinator and say, hey, I can’t get ahold of Betsy, can you help me out!! Oh no, she was getting married on a farm about 45 minutes from my flower shop that was privately owned.
So my husband, being the savvy snooper that he is, does a property search on the county auditor’s site and finds the owner of the property. We look him up on Facebook, sent a friend request, a message AND we found his phone number online and called and left a message.
Where’s the hidden cameras?!?!? Seriously, this is a taping of a reality TV show and I just don’t know it, right????
The bride is now a week past her due-date to finalize, and I’m thinking, “WOW! My first MIA bride in 13 years.”
Suddenly, the phone rings at the flower shop. There is a very, VERY frantic bride on the other end– “You are doing my wedding in less than two weeks and I need to finalize!!!!!!!!” Ahhh….there she is!
After chatting (aka, calming her down), we realized that she had neglected to update me with her new phone number, and the coordiantor who entered her info typed her email address wrong! No explanation for why she didn’t message me back on Facebook, or why the owner of the property never got back with us, BUT the mystery was solved! The MIA bride had been found. We quickly reviewed her order with a fine tooth comb, she accepted it and paid and I ordered the flowers with no issues.
The wedding was beautiful…here is a pic of her tuscan-style guest tables!!
LESSON LEARNED: Exhaust your options when you can’t get ahold of a bride. Find her online. On Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter…try to find where she works and contact her employer. Contact the venue and any other wedding pros you know she is working with. Our last resort, which we didn’t have to do, was to mail her a certified letter explaining we had been trying to reach her and how, because in the contract she signed, there is a clause that if we don’t hear from you by 14 days before the wedding, the contract is voided (basically, we will assume you have disappeared for a reason); no flowers will be ordered and we will not be showing up the day of the wedding.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Create a policy of how you will handle and the exact steps you will follow if you ever can’t get ahold of a bride. Want a cheat sheet? A pre-written template for the first step of chasing down an MIA bride? Check out the $29, 30+ page eBook full of scripts and templates you can use for just about every situation (like this one) with your brides! CLICK HERE and go to the “Scripts and Templates eBook” section to check it out!
Ever have this or something similar happen to you? How did you handle it? Let’s share in the comment section below!