BBB offers wedding planning do's and don'ts

February 19, 2013

Vancouver – February 19, 2013 - If you are planning to take the plunge, now is the time many engaged couples are beginning to plan their wedding. Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that as many contracts are signed and deposits are made, careful vetting of each vendor is crucial.

BBB received 88 wedding-related complaints in 2012. The typical complaints involved issues with wedding clothes, flowers, photography, reception halls, catering, music, transportation, and travel packages.

Since the average wedding costs more than $15,000 the Better Business Bureau advises engaged couples and their families to make wise consumer decisions when planning a wedding, as at other times. The following suggestions can prevent problems before, after, or during your wedding:

If you are attending a bridal show, don’t get swept off your feet by a vendor.

• Before falling in love with a vendor and their services, ask if the company is available for your wedding date.

• Ask whether the special packages and pricing being offered at the bridal event are available after the show as well.

• Be careful of high-pressure sales tactics to make you commit to a product or service on the spot.

Vows work for marriage, but when hiring a vendor, get all sales promises in writing.

• Get all sales promises in writing, including specific dates, products, prices, name brands, etc. Make sure all oral agreements are included in the written contract. Cancellation policies should also be included.

• Research the vendor before signing a contract. Check out wedding vendors’ reputations in the industry and can start by reading the vendor’s BBB Business Review at

• Avoid paying in cash up-front for services. If you pay by credit cards you have protection in the event of a problem. Cheques and cash don’t offer this protection.

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.

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.