Wedding season is in full swing with bridal shops, wedding photographers, wedding consultants, event centers, disc jockeys and limousine companies servicing couples all throughout Colorado. Unfortunately, the BBB receives a variety of complaints on the wedding industry. Problems often center on delivery, billing and service.
Of course, every bride or groom’s worst fear is being left at the alter – but what’s the next worst thing that could happen? Being stood up or ripped off by one of your vendors. And this actually happens! One of the worst types of complaints the BBB receives is from couples who pay thousands of dollars up front to have their wedding at a certain facility, only to find that facility closed down shortly thereafter leaving them helpless to get their money back.
This has happened too often in the last couple of years. In 2012, an event planner based in Commerce City allegedly took several cash deposits for weddings and quinceañeras, and then could not be reached. Her facility, New Expressions Event Center became deserted and the Adams County District Attorney’s office issued a warrant for her arrest on theft charges.
This summer, yet another wedding facility seems to have suddenly closed without warning to its customers called Copper Fields Events Chateau in Wheat Ridge. One bride complained to the BBB that she’s out $3200 and cannot reach the company.
When you’re planning a wedding, you must put your consumer hat on and remember that a wedding is a cluster of contracts and transactions with multiple businesses. Each vendor has a responsibility to make a certain aspect of your wedding go well and all of these vendors are relied upon for this one, big day! That’s why trust is so especially important.
For my own wedding, trusting the people and companies I hired was more important to me than ANYTHING. Some people put quality, price, desire, prestige, etc. at the top of their list when it comes to making choices for their wedding day but trust me, trust is the most important! Follow these BBB tips to avoid being disappointed or even stood up on your wedding day:
BBB wedding advice:
- Plan ahead. Begin planning as far ahead as possible. Many services―like florists, caterers and photographers―require six to nine months advance booking.
- Don’t be afraid to be a frugal bride. Set a budget for your wedding, and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors.
- Do your homework. Get several bids by using the BBB’s free Request-A-Quote service and check the BBB Business Review of any business you consider hiring at denver.bbb.org. Find BBB Accredited wedding vendors by using our Accredited Business Directory.
- Pay with a credit card. Pay deposits with a credit card in case the company suddenly goes out of business or doesn’t provide their product or service. You should be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company in these situations. Never pay in cash.
- Vows work for marriage, not business―get it in writing. Get a detailed written contract for everything; don’t rely only on verbal promises. Include the sizes, colors, product and service descriptions, prices, delivery dates and cancellation policies.
- Beware of deeply discounted wedding gowns. There are several online companies that offer bridal gowns at extremely low prices but try to avoid offers that are too good to be true. You may likely end up with a dress that is of poor quality or fit, or the dress may get delivered late or never at all.
- Don’t get swept off your feet at wedding expos. Wedding shows are a great way to get ideas, but don’t make hasty decisions and choose a vendor on-the-spot. And be careful about what drawing you enter―you shouldn’t have to provide your credit card information to complete an entry form for a ‘free’ trip.
- Consider wedding insurance. Wedding insurance can help take the stress out of any possible wedding mishaps. A wedding vendor might go out of business, you may need to cancel due to bad weather, etc. But be sure to check with your vendor first―they might already have you covered.
Don’t get stuck with cold feet – get confirmation from everyone. Confirm all services one or two weeks prior to the event and verify all of the details agreed upon. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises on your wedding day.