It's supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, so the last thing you want to think about is getting ripped off by a down and dirty wedding vendor. But it does happen (just check out the vendor reviews on OneWed to see the good, bad & ugly)... so today, we share three prevalent scams crooked vendors pull on nearlyweds:
1. The Anti-Planner: You hire a wedding planner to help lighten your load, and he or she books all the biggie vendors, with your approval of course, so you don't have to. When the big day arrives, the limo is late (or so you think), so your groom and his groomsmen find another way to the ceremony. But at the ceremony venue, the photographer and videographer are MIA, and now there is serious cause for concern. Turns out, the planner never hired the limo, photographer, or videographer as promised. He or she took your money and left you in the lurch. This happened to one Kansas City couple, and you can read the full story here.
2. The No Show Photographer (and the case of the disappearing photos): You find an amazing wedding photographer, and can't wait to see how he or she captures your big day. The photog insists on a hefty deposit or the full amount up front (and seems to have a valid reason for requesting this), but when it's time for the 'getting ready' shots on your wedding day, your photographer is no where to be found. You call and call, text and email frantically, but to no avail. The photographer took your money and ran like the wind. Another scam scenario is when the photographer does show up, takes photos (and your money), but goes undercover when it's time to deliver the pictures. This scam is potentially worse, because you don't have the opportunity to find a stand-in photographer to take the shady photog's place.
3. Wedding Dress Nightmares: You can save a ton of money ordering your wedding dress online, but it's a scary world and you must be careful! Hundreds of brides are conned by online bridal boutiques each year; they purchase a dress and when it's delivered to their door, it looks worse than a poor man's version of the dream dress they were promised. As one bride put it- "It was a mish mash of unglued lace, a floppy corset with missing supports and a rusty pin left in the fabric." So obviously, the bride sends the dress back for a full refund, but weeks (then months) pass, and the refund never arrives. In some cases, the dress is never even delivered in the first place.
Wondering how to avoid these scams? Here are three tips to help you along the way:
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, if someone promises you the $1,500 designer dress of your dreams for $400, think long and hard before saying I Do. Otherwise, you may end up with no dress at all.
- Do your research, read any and all fine print, and ask questions if something doesn't sound right. Use friends who've recently tied the knot as resources and sounding boards, and when in doubt, go with your gut!
- Consider wedding insurance. It protects you against vendors who fail to deliver, and costs just $150-$400 (a drop in the bucket, considering the average cost of a wedding in the US is ~$29,000).
Have you had an encounter with a shady wedding vendor? Any red flags nearlyweds should look for? Dish it below, or send us a tweet!