Planning a wedding can be one of the most memorable and joyous times of your life, however, it can also be one of the most stressful. A wedding is a huge and expensive undertaking, and unfortunately, scammers are out there just waiting to ruin your perfect day.
“It’s common for brides and grooms to get caught up in the moment and open their wallets without doing any research on the company they’re about to do business with, it’s important to remain focused, organized and not get caught up in the moment.” .
Choosing a Photographer
Interview the photographer
A personal reference is always reassuring. Ask to see past work and get a list of previous clients. Contact them personally and remember to check their company record of customer experience at www.bbb.org.
Know the costs
Make sure you know what everything costs such as albums and reprints. Some photographers offer package deals while others use a la carte pricing. Ask about delivery times and how long it will take to develop your proofs.
Contracts & Payments
Is everything in your contract spelled out for you? Any services that are going to be rendered should always be in writing. Read everything twice before you sign your contract and check for a cancellation clause.
Choosing a Florist
* Word of mouth is always a great place to start choosing a florist, when shopping for a florist be sure to:
* Do research by going to bridal shows and looking at pictures online from the store’s Web site.
* Make appointments to visit at least 3 different florists.
* View pictures of their work and look to see that the pictures are not dated and the arrangements keep pace with current trends.
* Speak with the designer who will be doing your arrangements so there are no surprises on your big day.
* Give yourself a comfortable lead time to reserve your florist.
Save Money On The Caterer
* Ask your caterer to provide you with a time table that outlines when courses will be served. This will help structure events at the reception and help you keep your reception from exceeding the hours you reserved.
* Always ask for a food tasting to be certain you like the desired menu.
* Find out if the caterer offers wedding cakes in their packages, this will save you time and money.
* Be sure that the price includes table linens, napkins, dishes, glassware etc.
Shop for a wedding gown
* A bride should shop for her gown 6-8 months prior to her wedding and allow 2-4 months for her order to arrive
* Always do research beforehand. Check out designer Web sites & bridal magazines.
* Pay with your credit card so that you have documentation of activity on your account if something goes wrong, and remember a debit card will not protect you.
* Only brick and mortar bridal shops are authorized by designers to sell their gowns. They may have online sales too, but a store presence is required.
* Always read and understand the return policy.
What to know before you go on your honeymoon
* If you want to travel to another country be sure to allow time to obtain a passport.
* Book everything in your maiden name until you change your ID, otherwise you will have problems proving your identity.
* Ask your bank if your ATM card will work in your destination country.
* Leave good jewelry at home, maybe even your engagement ring. Consider getting a Safe Deposit Box to store valuables.
* Write down credit card, passport and phone numbers you may need incase they are lost or stolen – and put them somewhere other than your wallet.
Typical Wedding Scams to Avoid
* Bridal shops that pass off cheap gowns as designer gowns or sell used gowns for full price.
* Unprofessional photographers who ransom photos, demanding more money.
* A limousine that never arrives.
* Fewer flowers than promised.
* Musicians who don’t show.
* Jewelers that exaggerate diamond quality.
The bride and groom might even consider obtaining wedding insurance. Aside from the gown, wedding insurance can provide a variety of coverage for many mishaps that might affect a wedding including vendor no-shows, foul weather, military deployment, and health issues affecting key participants.