5 Popular Wedding Scams To Avoid…
Wedding scams and bad practices happen everyday and everywhere, especially in a growing industry such as weddings. Everyone wants a piece of your budget and more. Many vendors in the business have been doing it for years, so they know all the crafty areas where they can make a quick buck, especially when they’re dealing with novices.
Not all wedding vendors are crooks though, the majority are fair. But it’s best to be aware of some of the industry’s sneaky wedding scams. So here goes:
1. Pressure booking
Venues, photographers and caterers are terrible for this. You go and see a lovely venue 18 months in advance. You love it but want to go away and think about it with your fiancé. The venue see that you really like it and playing to your emotion, tell you that there’s someone else interested on your chosen day, or that it’s booking up fast. Take your time to think about it well enough if you need to, rather than paying on impulse. Don’t forget, there are plenty of wedding venues out there and it’s very unlikely that someone else is looking on the same date as you, so be mindful of this sort of scam, and don’t fall for it.
2. Non-refundable deposits
This is another scam, usually when you book to secure a particular day, the vendor will request that you put down a deposit which is perfectly acceptable. It ties you in and gives security to the vendor. What I don’t like is when they insist that the deposit is non-refundable. I personally think this is unfair. I think if you’re giving them enough notice that you no longer need the service, then you should get a 100% money back guarantee, like I stated, make sure you give more than enough notice unless you won’t get any money back so be mindful.
3. Who owns the originals?
Make sure your wedding photographer gives you all your photos in high resolution, some don’t because they want you to pay an exorbitant amount for it, which is not cool, so when you’re talking to a photographer, this is a must-ask. Ensure that they’ll hand over the original negatives and digital shots, so you can get reprints done at your leisure and a cost you’re happy with. You could even print them off at home these days!
4. Hidden fees, charges and complicated contracts
Make sure you read contracts before signing, it’s very important. Check that all the elements you’re using are included in the cost. Look out for and ask about surcharges for anything and everything, including car parking, cake cutting, service charge, cutlery hire, napkin hire, crockery, etc. Venues are not the only vendors fond of hidden charges, wedding dress shops are too. Before you buy or even enter the shop, ask about additional charges for delivery, dress bags, storage, alterations, fittings and insurance. Make sure you ask before you buy.
5. Fakes and copies
One of the most disappointing and horrid wedding scams is to be landed with a fake. The discovery that your diamond or your dress is a fake or an ill-made copy can be devastating for some brides, not to mention completely illegal.
Dresses and diamonds are the most common areas for this kind of wedding scam. For dresses, it’s usually only the high-end designers that are copied and the originals virtually always come complete with tags and a certificate. Make sure when you try them on, the designers’ label is inside the garment and looks real.
If you’re after a designer number then see it for real in a wedding dress boutique, that way you can see the workmanship and tags. If you’re buying online, then you’re more likely to get ripped off or duped, so be mindful.
When buying a diamond, do your research on the jeweler. Are they reputable? Do they have a certificate for the diamond? Make sure you look at the loose diamond under a lens with at least 10x magnification. You’ll then be able to see flaws and imperfections to access if you’re getting good value for money. When you’ve bought it, get it verified by another independent jeweler and if you’re not happy, then take it back.
Don’t get ripped up, be wise!