Jan. 4, 2013 — Planning a wedding involves orchestrating a symphony of vendors, and bridal expos can be a great one-stop shop to find everything a bride is looking for. But before making an emotional decision or signing on that dotted line, Better Business Bureau encourages couples to take their time and do their research.
Every year, BBB receives hundreds of complaints against wedding services and suppliers. Most complaints allege contract disputes and failure on the part of the vendor to provide the agreed upon services.
BBB offers these tips to help brides navigate a bridal expo:
- Research exhibitors ahead of time. Visit the bridal expo's website to educate yourself on the various exhibitors that will be in attendance. This can help you narrow down which booths you’d like to go to and which exhibitors you’re interested in speaking to.
- Ask the right questions. Before falling in love with a vendor, first ask if the company is available for your wedding date. Also ask about its various packages and pricing to ensure the company fits within your budget.
- Get all promises in writing. Be sure to document with whom you spoke and all verbal agreements made or mentioned. Obtain a business card before you leave and set a time to follow up after the show. Don’t be pressured to put down a large deposit for fear of losing out.
- Research the vendor before signing a contract. Go to centraltx.bbb.org to see a company’s rating and any history of complaints. Additionally, ask each potential vendor for a list of references so that you can speak to brides who have successfully used the company.
- Create a new email just for the show. Whether you are pre-registering or signing up at the door, it is a good idea to create a new email for wedding vendor communication. This allows the bride to keep track of all of the special offers and promotions she will likely receive after the show. This can also help reduce high volumes of email in your personal inbox.
- Bring someone you trust. Bring someone with you that is not as emotionally or financially connected to the wedding planning. This individual may provide a different, yet helpful, perspective when talking with vendors and visiting booths.