Wedding-planning can be the most exciting and fun time. However, a couple may face many difficulties while preparing.  Learn more about wedding day tips and tricks and how to protect yourself from wedding scams.

The wedding is a special day for every woman. Most girls imagine this special day in the dreams and create bright pictures of the future event. So, this happened, you got a proposal. From now on you should start preparing for this most awaited day of your life. And wedding planning is not an easy but rather a monumental task.

According to statistics published on soundvision.com, 2.3 million couples wed every year in the US, and the average wedding budget is $20,000. Thus, you have to be aware of many wedding day tips and tricks and to focus not only on your dreams and vision of a big day but on the whole process of planning as well.

Best Wedding Tips on How to Plan and Arrange the Wedding

You should take into account best wedding planning tips for organizing an unforgettable wedding, especially if you plan it on your own, and they are as follows:

Budget

The primary step in wedding planning is to set up a budget. Everything depends on it. However, it is hard to calculate everything you need if you’re not a wedding professional. To start, create a table with the next column subheadings:

  • Venue
  • Food
  • Catering and officiants
  • Cake
  • Marriage license
  • Photographer
  • Music
  • Decorations and flowers
  • Invitations
  • Wedding dress, rings
  • Honeymoon
  • Unexpected expenses

To make it even easier, use the ready-made wedding-planning budget worksheet. You can download it on https://www.realsimple.com/static/pdfs/budget_worksheet.pdf .

Special wedding planner apps like WeddingHappy , Wedding Planner by The Knot , etc. can also help you with budget estimate.

Time, Date and Deadlines

If you dream of a themed wedding (like a sakura blossom wedding or a snow white one) or an ordinary ceremony, set up a time frame for preparation. Create not only a wedding-planning schedule but also one for a wedding day. This can help you manage everything in time.

Especially, during the most popular months in June, September, and October. However, be ready to pay more for venues, services and to book beforehand. If you want some discounts, you can organize your wedding in January and March. These months are not so popular.

Place: Ceremony, Registry, and Reception

The choice of place depends on whether you would like to have an outdoor or indoor wedding, the budget you have, season, etc. One of the wedding trends for 2018 is industrial space that makes you feel more relaxed. 24 % of couples choose destination weddings – marrying away from home.

It is one of the most memorable types of the wedding that includes planning in advance. The guests are rarely involved in the wedding organization. They just visit the reception. The most popular locations are Las Vegas (as it is fast, fun, and rather affordable), Hawaii (as it provides a couple with heavenly beaches, nature, and resorts), the Caribbean and Mexico (as they are famous for all-inclusive resorts with beach getaways).

However, a destination wedding can sometimes be risky. Best wedding tips for this type are to take into account such factors as potential location, guest mobility, unexpected costs, exchange rates, etc. Reserve a venue in advance and have a backup plan!

Wedding dress reviews

Your Appearance: Wedding Dress, Accessories, Hair, Makeup, etc.

The most important part of your wedding planning is choosing a wedding dress. Give yourself enough time to find the perfect one. And don’t forget about picking up accessories. Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set up trends for 2018. Meghan mentioned before in her interview for Glamour,

“Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.”

According to the Bridal Fashion Week, princess-inspired capes will become 2018 trend.

Good makeup is a must-have. Choose the specialist you trust. Wedding make up is not the time for the experiments. You should trust your make up specialist. It is better to try out several looks to choose the perfect one.

Bridesmaid Dresses and Groomswear

The right choice includes such options as matching color, style, and trends. You should also consider the season. Set up a general color for the wedding and ask your bridesmaids select complementary shades. The groomswear usually includes a suit, a tie, a cravat, and a waistcoat. However, the choice depends on the wedding type: formal or casual.

Guest List

Think of key people you want to invite and prepare a list. The guest manager app (like Guest List Organizer , Wedding Planner by the Knot, Guest List Management & Tracking , Wedding Guest Manager ) can help you with it.

Music List

Decide on the wedding music playlist that will complement the ceremony and stick to the wedding theme.

Photography List

The choice of a photographer is based on many factors that include not only his/her professional skills but also how this person sees the whole picture of your wedding. The picture should suit the wedding style and convey the right mood and atmosphere.

To start, read the reviews about photographers on websites like pissedconsumer.com, meet potential ones who are available on your wedding date, assess their works and choose the professional who has the right vision on your wedding style.

How to choose the best wedding decorations

Decorations

Select all the decoration details according to the style and theme of your wedding. The 2018 wedding decorations trend is to use macramé and crystals in decorating tables, chairs, and bouquet wraps.

Wedding-planning on your own can be very stressful. If the budget allows, it is good to hire professionals who will provide you with wedding planning tips and tricks. To find a good specialist, make a detailed research of wedding planners, read as many reviews as possible. Don’t let the non-professionals spoil your big day.

This person is very dissatisfied with the wedding organization and advises to read and to listen to all the reviews to exclude such situations. In this Your California Beach Wedding review, he/she wrote,

“She stuttered through our ceremony & mispronounced my husband's name. She forgot the sand for the sand ceremony, the rose petals and the decorations didn't look anything like in the pictures. The set up looked like a child threw everything together at the last minute. My bridal bouquet was wilted and she made an excuse about the weather being too hot.

It wasn't even that hot that day in Sept. Then to add insult to injury, we still haven't received our photos, which were taken with a cheap Cannon camera by her friend, not a "Professional Photographer" as promised… “

How to Choose the Best Wedding Planner

To choose the right wedding planner, the best wedding planning tips are as follow:

  • The wedding planner should get to know a couple personally.
  • The wedding coordinator should ask detailed questions about the wedding type you want, date and location for the event, how many guests will attend the venue, the budget per person, the things you don’t want for the wedding, etc.
  • He/she should offer additional services that are not only wedding day coordination but managing budget, vendors, venues. etc.
  • The wedding “manager” should provide potential clients with testimonials from weddings his/her company has already planned and sample budget.

How to Find a Right Wedding Company

When you choose a wedding company:

  • Consider companies that have physical offices. Check out them for a wedding planning certificate (it is given by the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners which is a professional organization for trained or certified wedding planners). View their portfolios.
  • Check the vendors’ rating and read reviews on review platforms like Pissed Consumer, BBB, Yelp etc.
  • Ask whether the deposits are refundable and what the terms are.
  • Pay by credit card with anti-fraud protection or use PayPal. This can help resolve any dispute easier.
  • Check a company with the Check the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's website for a list of all accredited local chambers, the Federal Trade Commission, FBI to make sure that the business is legitimate.

Most Common Wedding Scam Types

When planning your wedding, you are expecting it to be an unforgettable and first-rate event. Unfortunately, the preparation process can be spoilt by the following kinds of wedding fraud:

The Non-existent Vendors

You hire a professional (a photographer, a florist, a DJ, etc.), he/she takes a deposit and then disappears just before the event. This Julie Murphy Events reviewer became a victim of a wedding scam. The person hired a wedding planner who stole money leaving the poster devastated. The pissed consumer wrote,

“...If you happen to come across her, RUN!!!! We served papers on her which was useless as no one was at her house...”.

As a result, the wedding was spoilt. The reviewer didn’t get the refund.

Wedding Photographer Scams

This type should be highlighted as it is one of the most widespread. Wedding photographer scam is the following: you find an ad in the newspaper, look through the portfolio and hire the photographer on the spot. The scammer collects money and takes the pictures. However, when you try to get your pictures, the photographer disappears.

Another wedding photographer scam is when you hire a photographer who is expected to be a professional. However, it turns out that he/she is an amateur. These non-professionals usually ask for entire pre-payment and give generous discounts. What you get in the end are unprofessional wedding shots.

In this Megan Abbott Photography review, a person wrote,

“Horrible, unprofessional, amateur worst wedding shots I have ever seen. Took 130 pictures only 5 were usable. This photographer ruined treasured wedding pictures. No one should use this photographer for their wedding. I paid her in full when I hired her...”.

Three brides from Colorado were scammed by the same photographer.

 

They had paid the photographer but he didn’t show up.

Wedding Dress Scam

You order a low-cost but very nice wedding dress online. However, the gown you get is of bad quality. You send the dress back, ask for the refund but don’t get it. In this review about wedding dress scam, a person purchased a wedding gown. However, the quality was poor and it didn’t look as was described. The Ericdress reviewer wrote,

“...I emailed them to return it and they said I can only get back 50% of what I paid. I told them no where in their policy does it say you don't get a full refund. Also, I asked for their return address five times and have gotten no answer...”

As a result, the person still hasn’t got any refund and filed a lawsuit against the company for wedding dress scam.

Not only the ordered dress can have bad quality, but also the cake can be from the series of “Expectation vs Reality”.

Wedding cake complaints

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Wedding Burglars

They look through the wedding announcements online or in newspapers. And while a couple is on their honeymoon, thieves enter the house and take out presents. Couples also should beware of thieves even the day before the wedding. Caitlin McHugh, John Stamos’ fiancée, became a victim of burglary the day before wedding. Thieves stole jewelry valued at approximately $165,000 total from her hotel room.

Phony Exhibitions

Fraudsters invite a bride to a showcase, bridal show, etc., and announce that the bride won a prize (wedding bands, a vacation package, etc.). This person wrote on WeddingWire.com,

“I went to a bridal show a couple weeks ago and registered my name and phone number. I got a call last night from a company called NHI International saying I won 2 wedding bands, a trip and toasting glasses. All I have to do is go to the hotel they'll be at for a few days and pick up our winnings ...“.

In order to get your prizes you have to pay for coupons that don’t have any value and as a result you got nothing.

Tips on How to Avoid Wedding Scams

There may be lots of wedding scammers but your wedding day deserves to be successful. Thus, learning wedding tips and tricks can help you take the right steps to protect yourself from any fraud:

  • Sign a contract with every professional you hire for preparing your wedding.
  • Pay all your wedding vendors directly.
  • Purchase a wedding insurance like Markel Event Insurance, Wedsure, WedSafe. If you plan a destination wedding, select Travelers Wedding Protector Plan.
  • Search for scams on BBB Scam Tracker.

If you were scammed anyways, you can file a complaint with :

  • the Office of the Attorney General of your state,
  • the Division of Consumer Affairs of your state online or by email.

The wedding is a major life event. It starts a new period of your life and let you become a leading character in your romantic movie. Before this day you are full of happiness, expectations and worries and it’s completely normal. Learn some wedding tips and tricks beforehand and make your wedding planning much easier and your wedding day unforgettable and safe.

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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