Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Marriage is give and take- don’t let a wedding scam take you by surprise. From bogus bridal shows to fake dress labels and no-show vendors, scam artists are out to cash in on the big day.

Planning a wedding is stressful enough without the added financial strain of getting ripped off by a phony vendor.

The most common scams come from service-based vendors such as photographers, bands and disc jockeys, florists and wedding planners. When that little voice says “that seems too good to be true,” it’s time to ask questions.  Don’t be afraid or intimidated—and don’t ignore those little red flags.

So what can we do in an era where just about anyone can get an email address and create a professional-looking Web site or social media site? How do we protect ourselves?

The Better Business Bureau offered its Top 10 tips on hiring wedding professionals today. Here are just a few:

  • First off, while Google may seem like your friend, make sure to request a meeting with the vendors in person.
  • Check a company or professional’s credentials. Are they who they say they are? What’s their reputation like in the industry? Word-of-mouth goes a long way. Ask a family, friend or coworker for a recommendation.
  • You can also check for complaints and see if a vendor registered with your local better business bureau at www.bbb.org.
  • Once you’ve selected a vendor, ask to see exactly what you are paying for. How many times have you bought an item off the internet only to be disappointed?  The internet is a scammers’ paradise. It is all too easy to create a fake Web site or business and then disappear with your money.
  • And finally, remember when your mom told you to always read the fine print? This can save a lot of heartache. Make sure to understand the payment and cancellation policies.

Lots of decisions and planning go into a wedding. Don’t let a scammer turn your big day into your biggest nightmare.

-Tia Osborne-

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