Your Money: Don't get tripped up on that walk down the aisle

Spring is close and, according to consumer inquiries, many brides-to-be are busy planning their wedding. When preparing for the day of your dreams, proceed with caution when selecting wedding vendors such as caterers, florists, disc jockeys, jewelers, photographers, bridal and formal shops, etc.


Don’t allow excitement and emotions for planning a wedding obstruct your judgment. Doing proper research on wedding vendors can go a long way in helping your special day go as smoothly as possible.

When planning your wedding:

• Start with referrals. Seek recommendations from friends and family for businesses providing the products and services you need for the big day. Ask to see the products or pictures if possible. Once you have narrowed your list, be sure to check their BBB Business Review for any unresolved complaints.

• Research online vendors. Many are opting to buy from online retailers because of convenience. When choosing an online retailer, start with a trusted site rather than relying on the results of a search engine. Check out vendors, whether online or not, by visiting

• Don’t be afraid to be frugal. Set a wedding budget and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors and don’t be pressured into purchasing more than you can afford.

• Get it in writing. Get a detailed written contract for everything; don’t rely on verbal promises. Contracts should include sizes, colors, product descriptions, prices and delivery dates. Cancellation policies should also be included.

• Beware of deeply discounted wedding gowns. Several online companies offer bridal gowns at extremely low prices, but beware of offers seeming too good to be true. Many of these dresses are advertised as authentic designer dresses, but are actually poorly-made replicas.

• Use restraint at wedding expos. Wedding shows are a great way to learn about trends and options, but don’t let the show’s glamour and excitement allow you to make hasty decisions or commit to a vendor on the spot.

• Consider wedding insurance. Wedding insurance can cover a range of possible problems, including vendor no-shows, cancellations, inclement weather, military deployment, medical emergencies, travel delays and more.

• Get confirmation. Confirm all services one or two weeks prior to the event and verify all of the details agreed upon to prevent unpleasant surprises on your wedding day.

• Make purchases with credit cards. Credit cards offer protection in the event of a problem. Planning can help ensure that the day of your dreams doesn’t become a nightmare.