How to Avoid Scams When Planning a Wedding

Getting married and having a wedding is exciting. However, planning a wedding can be hectic and costly. And, it can become costlier and more hectic if you fall victim to a wedding scam or fraud.

Each step of the wedding planning is vulnerable to scammers ranging from fake wedding planners, shady venues, unreliable vendors to fake gowns. This is evidenced by the numerous negative reviews about various wedding vendors on review websites such as Pissedconsumer.com. Therefore, you need to be cautious and on the lookout for red flags of scammers and fraudsters when hiring vendors and service providers.

Below is a look at the top 3 wedding scams and how to avoid them.

Wedding Planner Scams

The right wedding planner takes up the bulk of the responsibilities and tasks involved with the wedding planning and ensures that the D-day goes smoothly. They save you time and keep you stress-free. They also tap on their expertise, knowledge, experience, and networks to ensure that you get the most out of your budget and make vital decisions.

Conversely, a wedding planner who is a con artist will cost you your wedding budget, cause you stress, and you may end up canceling your wedding altogether. While there is no fool-proof way to avoid scammers, there are measures you can take to minimize the chances of falling victim to one.

Some red flags to look out for when hiring a wedding planner include:

  • no physical location;
  • use of free mail service;
  • the demand of a significant percentage of deposit payment on the onset;
  • hesitation to provide receipts for various purchases;
  • communication breakdown;
  • insistence on virtual meetings and avoidance of physical meetings.

Seek referrals for a wedding planner from your close family and friends. Do thorough due diligence to establish the credibility of prospective wedding planners. Check their previous consumer reviews and request referees who you can contact to confirm the planner’s track record. 

Wedding Venue Scams

Beware of wedding venues that offer deals that are too good to be true. Chances are, their rate is much cheaper than other similar places. Some scammers show you a property, take your deposit, but cancel your reservation a few days before the wedding or on the day of the wedding.

A wedding venue may be a scam if:

  • There isn’t much information about the venue on the internet. 
  • There are no online reviews or most reviews are negative.
  • They insist that you make a deposit before you see the venue.
  • It takes a long time to respond to emails and calls.
  • They often change property name and management.

To avoid being scammed, insist on visiting the venue and touring it. Ask as many questions as possible about the venue and its management. If they are legit, they should be able to answer most of your questions without hesitance. You can also counter-check the property ownership against county records. 

If you are satisfied with the venue, have the management make an official offer in the form of a contract. Carefully read the contract terms to ensure they are as per your agreement.  

Agree on a deposit amount and pay via credit card. Avoid paying by check, as it provides scammers with a lot of your personal details. While paying by cash does not allow you a way to follow up in case of an incident.

Request a face-to-face interview and initial consultation at their physical office. Make all your payments using a credit card, as it would be easier to follow up with the bank if the wedding planner ends up being a fraudster.

Wedding Dress Scam

Although most wedding dress scams happen when buying online, they can also happen for physical purchases. 

Most online shops selling designer gowns at very cheap prices are located in China and sell subpar products. Most do not allow returns for a refund in case you are dissatisfied with your product, and you cannot sue the seller as they are not within the U.S legal jurisdiction. 

As such, it is best to find a reputable gown seller locally, who you can do in-person design consultation and fittings before the wedding. 

Conclusion

Wedding planning can be cumbersome. However, with the right team of service providers and suppliers, your wedding day will be hassle-free and turn out better than you envisioned. Do your due diligence to hire the right team. Be on the lookout for red flags to prevent being scammed.


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