Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rejection Bites

The least favorite task related to wedding planning for me is rejecting vendors. I know some people would rather just avoid the confrontation at all, but that didn't feel right. I know I wouldn't want to be keeping a date open only for a few months to go by.
The problem is though, rejection sucks. There is no easy way to deal with it. Having received a large number of "I'm sorry, I've chosen another clerk" letters in the past few months, all of which very nicely tell me that it was a pleasure to meet with me and wish me the best of luck in the future, I know that nice words do nothing to ease the sting. Even during a process during which I experience a lot of rejection, it doesn't get much easier. The only thing that would be worse is NEVER hearing back from the person I interviewed with.

So I sat down to do the impossible - write a rejection note that was friendly and appreciative, and that made it clear that our decision wasn't personal, that we could use for all of our vendors. (Except that it was. It always is. It's ultimately going to come down to, "I liked somebody else more than you." No matter the reason - they had more experience so you liked them more. They understood your vision, so you liked them more. You're friends with them, so you liked them more. They were cheaper, so you liked them more.)

The language I finally found was something along the lines of: Hello Vendor, Thank you so much for meeting with us. We both liked your work and found it beautiful/delicious. We have decided to use Bob Jones as our Vendor [if applicable or necessary, say why]. Thank you again for taking the time to meet/speak with us and we will be sure to recommend your services to our friends and readers! Thanks, Us.

So please, don't leave your vendors hanging - just write a quick rejection letter and get on with your planning. Have you come up with a form letter for rejection?


  1. Oh, I hated this too! The worst was our catering decision -- we'd consulted with two great people at two great companies, but in the end one just worked a bit better with our budget.

    I felt particularly awkward about these conversations because the reason we usually had for rejecting someone was cost. I felt like I was telling vendors I didn't value their work when I explained that we couldn't make their prices work with our budget. (It's why I also loved vendors who actually put prices on their websites -- that way I knew I was contacting someone whose prices I could work with.)

  2. Oh I hated this part! I had found two catering companies that I was really excited about and several others that were backups. But I ended up choosing a venue that required the use of their in-house caterer so at least I had a reason I didn't have to feel too horrible about, but I still felt bad. The only other vendor we've had to reject so far was a DJ but that was handled by the MOB since she is the local contact.

  3. I would not put the name of the chosen firm (or law clerk) in the "rejection letter" . It can only cause problems and hard feelings.