BBB presents six steps to help couples commit to wedding vendors
Whether you're newly engaged or about to say your vows, it is never too early (or late) to plan your wedding. With the Calgary Bridal Expo happening this weekend, BBB has tips for eager brides-and-grooms-to-be when it comes to saying "I do" to wedding vendors.
President and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, Mary O'Sullivan-Andersen, says as with any major financial commitment it's crucial to not only budget your finances realistically but start your research as early as possible.
"It can be easy to get caught-up in the excitement of planning your wedding, but it's important for couples to know what their vision is," she says.
"Attending wedding expos and fairs is a great way to meet with multiple vendors in person, but be sure to come prepared with questions, a budget and a clear vision in mind."
Get the most out of your wedding expo experience with these BBB tips:
- Set a budget. It is important to set a budget early on in the planning process and stick to it. A good way to estimate how costly the wedding will be is to start with a guest list. By finalizing the guest list, it will be easier to choose the venue, caterer, photographer and other services.
- Research the businesses. Visit the official website of the bridal expo ahead of time to see the list of vendors that will be in attendance. Research the businesses online at bbb.org to check out their rating, complaint history, verified customer reviews and other important information to help you make a confident decision.
- Ask for references and follow up. If you're interested in doing business with a certain vendor, ask them for references of past customers and contact them directly. Ask them how they were satisfied with the service and how problems were handled. If a vendor isn't willing to provide references, it could be a red flag.
- Get everything in writing. Ask for written documentation or policies outlining refund, cancellation or exchange procedures, full costs including special promotions, deals or discounts and payment timelines.
- Always pay with a credit card. Come prepared to pay a deposit for a (or some) vendors you are interested in doing business with. Vendors usually offer discounted prices that are exclusive to the bridal expo. Use a credit card to pay for all costs, including deposits, rather than cash or cheque. In case there is a problem, a credit card offers security and allows you to withhold the charge to investigate the issue. Deposits are usually non-refundable so it is important to keep them as low as possible.
- Don't give into pressure. Legitimate businesses shouldn't rely on using high-pressure sales tactics to push you into making hasty, and costly decisions. Ask for reading material that you can take home to read at your leisure and thoroughly research before making a financial decision.
For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.
Leah Brownridge, Media and Corporate Communications Specialist
Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually.
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