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Don't Be a Victim of Wedding Scam Artists

Aug 17, 2007
The most wonderful day in a person's life should be his or her wedding day. As a child you dreamt of the perfect day and for many it includes soft music, beautiful weather, gorgeous flowers, the best clothes, the best food, fantastic pictures and an unforgettable video. After a romantic ceremony and lots of love from friends and family, dancing, gifts, bouquet-tossing and the honeymoon of your dreams, the bills start to really add up.

Without appropriate research and planning, many young couples are shocked when they add up everything they spent. Receptions are notorious for being the proverbial atomic bomb to your financial situation. Consider just a few of the common expenses. Renting the venue, decorating the venue, paying for food, hired help to cook and serve and clean up the food, a band or DJ, photographer, cake, planner or consultant fees, cake, favors, clothing rental, and videographers.

All of these services are sold at a premium to brides. Unless a bride is well prepared to defend her pocketbook, it will become a target for these service providers. How can you be prepared?

First, always have more than one option for every service you want at your wedding before you talk price. Just as in real estate, the first person to name price loses. Always know common price ranges for the service you seek and it usually pays to resist the seller once price has been declared.

An example conversation might go something like this:

Bride: "I like the services you provide, how much do you charge for it?"

Seller: "This particular service is specially prepared for your wedding and in order to customize it the way you've requested, it will cost (X) amount of dollars."

Bride: "That certainly doesn't feel very fair to me. I asked ABC seller who showed me services very similar to yours for (No more than 90% of X). I like your services better, but your price is beyond what I am able to afford. If you would be willing to match ABC's price, I'll be happy to pay today."

Seller: "Well, it's certainly unusual for me to make this kind of exception, but since I want to make your wedding day special for you, I'll go ahead and give it to you for (lower price)."

Bride: "That sounds reasonable, I appreciate your willingness to help us. Let's just get a written agreement for what we've discussed and we'd be happy to pay a down payment."

In this example, the bride was prepared with exactly the price she asked for. It is usually not effective to simply ask for a discount or a lower price and be specific. Secondly, always get the agreement in writing and be specific as to exactly how, where, and when you will be making payment and keep that agreement. This kind of document protects you as the consumer as well as the seller. Make sure the written agreement is very specific as to the services the seller will be providing and include a contingency clause that says something to the effect of "buyer's obligation to pay X is contingent upon seller's completion of Y (the exact service offered) at (time and place of service). If under any circumstances the seller fails to render the services declared herein, buyer is released from all obligation to pay X unless a new agreement in writing is entered into by both buyer and seller rendering this agreement void."

That was a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that basically says that if they don't deliver, you can't be forced to pay no matter what, unless you make a new agreement. This protects you as long as you are specific about just what you expect from the seller.

Don't be a victim, and ask for referrals from friends before looking to the marketplace.
About the Author
WasatchBride.com teaches brides to be smart and prepared to make their wedding the way they dream is should be. Utah Wedding Planning
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