June is here and with it, wedding season. According to consumer inquiries, many brides-to-be are busy planning their dream wedding. When preparing for the day of your dreams, your Better Business Bureau advises couples to proceed with caution when selecting wedding vendors such as caterers, florists, disc jockeys, jewelers, photographers, bridal and formal shops, etc. Don’t allow excitement and emotions for planning a wedding obstruct your judgment. Doing proper research on wedding vendors can go a long way in helping your special day go as smoothly as possible.
Your BBB recommends you consider the following tips when planning your wedding:
Start with referrals. Seek recommendations from friends and family for businesses providing the products and services you need for the big day. Ask to see the products or pictures if possible. Once you have narrowed your list, be sure to check their BBB business review for any unresolved complaints.
Research online vendors. Many are opting to buy from online retailers due to convenience. When choosing an online retailer, start with a trusted site rather than relying on the results of a search engine. Check out vendors, whether online or not, by visiting www.bbb.org.
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Don’t be afraid to be frugal. Set a wedding budget, and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors and don’t be pressured into purchasing more than you can afford.
Get it in writing. Get a detailed written contract for everything — don’t rely on verbal promises. Contracts should include sizes, colors, product descriptions, prices and delivery dates. Cancellation policies should also be included.
Beware of deeply discounted wedding gowns. Several online companies offer bridal gowns at extremely low prices, but beware of offers seeming too good to be true. Many of these dresses are advertised as authentic designer dresses but are actually poorly-made replicas.
Use restraint at wedding expos. Wedding shows are a great way to learn about trends and options, but don’t let the show’s glamor and excitement allow you to make hasty decisions or commit to a vendor on the spot.
Consider wedding insurance. Wedding insurance can cover a range of possible problems, including vendor no-shows, cancellations, inclement weather, military deployment, medical emergencies, travel delays and more.
Get confirmation. Confirm all services one or two weeks prior to the event and verify all of the details agreed on to prevent unpleasant surprises on your wedding day.
Make purchases with credit cards. Credit cards offer added protection in the event of a problem.
A little preplanning can help ensure that the day of your dreams does not turn into a nightmare. To assist in your planning, your BBB is developing a wedding resource page that should offer some timely tips and advice To see the latest updates, visit www.bbb.org/central-georgia/bbb-bridal-resource-center.
Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving the Fall Line Corridor including 83 counties in portions of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The column is provided by the local BBB and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior, monitors compliance and helps consumers identify trustworthy businesses. Questions or complaints about a company or charity should be referred to the BBB at 1-800-763-4222, www.bbb.org or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.