Organizing your wedding involves orchestrating a symphony of vendors, and bridal expos can be a great one-stop shop to find all of the service providers you would need. However, there is much to consider, so couples should take their time and do their research before signing on the dotted line.
Every year, BBB receives hundreds of complaints about wedding services and suppliers. Typical complaints concern contract disputes and failure on the part of the vendor to provide products or even show up for the wedding.
BBB offers these tips to help couples navigate a bridal expo:
- Consider timing, packages and expertise — Ask about vendors’ various package and pricing options to ensure their services fit within your budget. In the case of a photographer or videographer, ask whether the work will be done by the owner or an employee. Make sure you know what it would cost to have the photographer, DJ or limousine stay longer than is specified in the contract.
- Bring along a friend — Take someone with you who is not as emotionally or financially connected to the wedding planning as you are. They may provide a different perspective when talking with vendors and visiting booths.
- Create a new email address just for the show — Whether you are pre-registering or signing-up at the door, it is a good idea to create a new email account for wedding vendor communications. This allows you to keep track of special offers. This also can help reduce high volumes of email in your personal inbox.
- Research the vendor thoroughly before signing a contract — It is crucial to know the company’s track record by taking the time to research its reputation in the industry and community. Seek references from other couples, family and friends, and always check the marketplace experience of other consumers at bbb.org.
- Get all sales promises in writing — Written contracts should include specific dates, times, products, prices, name brands, etc. and signed by all parties involved. Cancellation policies should also be included in the contracts. Plan a delivery date well in advance for wedding gowns to allow for delays on the part of the supplier.
- Pay with a credit card — They offer added protection in the event of a problem if a dispute arises.
To check out a business or charity, or select a BBB Accredited Business, visit bbb.org.