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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

BBB Tip of the Week: Take precautions when planning wedding

Marketplace Manager

Valentine’s Day isn’t the only occasion when love is in the air this month. February is recognized as National Wedding Month. However, planning a wedding isn’t always all bells.

Weddings are expensive, and they can break the bank in more ways than one, especially if brides and grooms fall prey to schemes. Better Business Bureau encourages couples to be on the lookout for con artists when it comes to planning their nuptials.

To avoid financial heartache and begin married life in bliss, soon-to-be newlyweds are encouraged to follow these tips:

Beware of fake vendors. Every year, couples shell out cash to deejays, photographers and bakers who don’t show up. Before deciding whom to hire, research companies by reading reviews at

Be on the lookout for gift theft. Brides and grooms have reported having wedding crashers steal thousands of dollars’ worth of cash, checks and gift cards. Assign a friend or family member to oversee securing gifts.

Watch out for home burglars. Wedding announcements in newspapers and on wedding websites give would-be thieves information on when couples won’t be home, and sometimes provide their addresses. Couples can limit the risk by locking up valuables before leaving for their honeymoon and asking a neighbor to stop by regularly.

Don’t get conned into buying a counterfeit gown. Imitation dresses often look exactly like the designer ones online but are actually made of cheap materials, less elaborate and poorly constructed. Sometimes, the dress never even arrives. To avoid fakes, look for authorized retailers on the designer’s website and buy from BBB Accredited bridal shops.

Get it 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. Be sure to read all agreements in full before signing.

Pay with a credit card. Avoid paying for services up-front in cash. If you pay by credit card, you have protection not available with other forms of payment in the event of a problem.