I run into this all the time, a bride wants to just get a "quote" and they are not ready to set up a meeting as of yet.
It can be aggravating at times, but what can you do? I always tell my brides that I would like to set up a face to face meeting so I can better explain in person how I can make their ceremony as special and unique to them as possible, and so they can better see if I am someone who fits into their vision of their wedding.
Most of the time I am able to book a face to face meeting from that, and then there are those who still just want to just "look".
But, Honestly why should a bride book a face to face meeting with an officiant if all she really wants is just a price quote? I'm gonna tell you why...
1. The bride can see for herself if this Officiant is someone who can speak eloquently, and convey her ideas for her ceremony.
2. The Officiant can communicate exactly what services are included with their price quotes.
- what the difference is in price packages
- why the packages are priced as such
- what type of "extras" are included
- how much a rehearsal would cost
- what type of ceremonies they will perform
- Answer any questions regarding the ceremony
At this meeting, this not only give the Bride and Groom a chance to see how this Officiant fits into their vision, but it also give the Officiant a chance to get to know the couple on a more personal level so they can perform their job more sufficiently and even put little nuances of the couple into their ceremony. I always asks a list of questions so that I can see the couples' responses to each others answers, it gives me insight to what kind of couple they are.
I just recently had the mishap of dealing with a Bride and Groom who actually was booked by a 3rd party-the Bride's Mother. This couple lives out of state and the bride is in the service, so communication has been strictly through the mother. Difficult to say the least but not impossible. I sent out my contract and all my wonderful paper work that I usually go over in a face to face meeting to the Mom and to the bride, I never got any response back from the bride, but always from the Mom...She sent a signed contract back to me with out the cover page of the contract. She sent along my required deposit, and circled my Silver package, stating that it was just going to be the Bride and Groom, no witnesses. Not a problem. Simple enough...
Well I got a phone call from Mom asking me to do a rehearsal the day before the wedding, and I explained it would not be a problem but there is an extra fee...She was under the understanding that the rehearsal would be free...
Now if there had been a face to face meeting, even a skype meeting if at all possible, this issue would have been discussed and taken care of. So as I explained to Mom, that No it is not free, what is free is the initial face to face meeting with the couple prior to signing a contract. Ok Mom was understanding of the rehearsal fee and agreed to it, then Mom explains that since there are 6 nephews and nieces involved in the wedding we want to make sure everything runs smoothly. Again, My ears perk up and I realize they think that because it's family involved, they aren't considered Bridesmaids or groomsmen...Not true!
Again, I explained to Mom that if we had had this meeting face to face, all of this would have been a non-issue. I had to explain that it doesn't matter the age, relation, or title by which the bride and groom wants to call anyone, if they are participating in the wedding ceremony, (standing up, reading a poem, singing, etc...) they are included in the wedding party. I price my packages based on time and amount of participants...
Needless to say I had to refer Mom back to my front page of the contract and remind her to please re-read it and get back with me if that seems alright by her.
The 1st contact I got from the bride was in response to this misunderstanding and she totally understood and had no issues since she knew she was out of state and it has been somewhat difficult to get together....Problem solved, but the misunderstanding and confusion is still left hanging over everyone's heads.
This is just one of the many reasons for a bride to schedule a face to face meeting even if they are just price shopping.
You have to consider it a Job interview, you are hiring someone who will help you make your wedding ceremony as memorable as possible. Think of it this way, You wouldn't just call a dress shop and ask them to send you a white dress in a certain size and make sure it is pretty. You have to see for yourself and try it on! Nor would you call a bakery and ask them to just send you a pretty cake in what ever flavor they have with out looking and tasting it 1st.
So why would you want to price shop on something that is the most important part of the wedding....The actual CEREMONY!