Denver, CO – January 29, 2013 – Many engaged couples are beginning to plan their wedding this time of year and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that as many contracts are signed and deposits are made, careful vetting of each vendor is crucial.
“Planning a wedding is both a joyful and stressful time, so we want consumers to be informed so the joy outweighs the stress,” said Su Hawk, president and CEO of the BBB of Denver/Boulder. “Every year the BBB receives complaints on wedding vendors such as bridal shops, wedding photographers, disc jockeys, and banquet facilities. Problems often center on delivery, billing and service issues.”
In the summer of 2012, an event center in Commerce City abruptly closed without refunding couples large cash deposits and causing them to scramble for a new wedding site. The company, New Expressions Event Center earned an F rating with the BBB and a felony arrest warrant was issued for the owner, Claudia Delgado Leal. She was charged with theft for keeping deposits but failing to provide services and remains at large.
With a substantial amount of money at stake and big decisions to make, the BBB advises engaged couples and their families to make wise choices when wedding planning, and offers the following tips to avoid heartache on their wedding day:
- 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 pay in cash or in full. It’s customary for wedding vendors to require reasonable deposits to hold your date but do not pay more than half of your total cost up front, and do not pay in cash.
- Don’t be afraid to be frugal. Set a budget for your wedding, and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors.
- Do your homework. Get several bids, check BBB Business Reviews and find BBB Accredited Businesses at www.denver.bbb.org. Use the BBB’s free Request-A-Quote service.
- Vows work for marriage, not business―get it in writing. Get a detailed written contract for everything; don’t just rely on verbal promises. Include the sizes, colors, product descriptions, prices and delivery dates.
- 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 learn wedding best-practices, but don’t make hasty decisions and choose a vendor on-the-spot. And be careful about what prize draws you are entering―you shouldn’t have to provide your credit card info 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 or you may not receive the goods you’ve paid for, such as bridal gowns or a wedding cake. But be sure to check with your vendor first―they might already have you covered.
- 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.
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About the BBB
The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 114 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit www.denver.bbb.org for more information.