MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Planning a wedding can be stressful and expensive. But there a lot of things you can do to be proactive and increase your chances of things going right. Consumer experts say before you book anything, you need to come up with a plan.
"It's very important that consumers spend within their means, and create the kind of wedding and memories for the bride and groom are pleased with, but it doesn't bankrupt the family,” said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau.
Once you establish a realistic budget you need to do some research to make sure these companies can deliver on their promises.
“We’ve had well publicized stories of major bridal gown companies that just shut down and go out of business quickly, often times leaving the bride literally without a dress.” Smitherman said.
When you’re thinking about DJs, photographers, flower shops, and all that stuff, you need to do some homework.
“If you’ve heard that a photographer is good, get references on who did he do photography for. Call those people and see if they were pleased.” Smitherman said.
Once you start booking vendors, get everything in writing. Make sure you're aware of the full price and cancellation policy. Never pay cash up front, it's easier to get your money back if you use a credit card. And two weeks before the big day, check back with all your vendors to make sure everything is still good.
If you have questions about a specific company, you can always look them up on the Better Business Bureau website to make sure they don’t have a history of complaints.