Just when it seems like you have enough to worry about when planning a wedding, another thing gets added to the list. In a perfect world we would never have to worry about this, but unfortunately there are people willing to ruin your perfect day for a quick buck.
Here are the 5 biggest wedding scams in 2016 and how to protect yourself from them:
1. Photographer Scams
One of the most common scams to fall prey to is a simple photographer scam. Basically a wedding photographer promises to take photos for your wedding and asks for payment upfront. Then the photographer will either never show, or show up but never actually deliver photos. It’s a tough scam to fight because many legitimate photographers will ask for at least some portion of the payment upfront.
2. Fake Wedding Planners
Fake wedding planners also sometimes called anti-planners are arguably the worst form of wedding scam to fall prey to. In this scam, a “wedding planner” may set up a fake website complete with fake testimonials and more, they may seem legit and will promise to hire all of the vendors for you, but will disappear on the day of your wedding without hiring any vendors. Your perfect day will be ruined and you’ll be left in an empty venue robbed of your money and dream wedding.
3. Online Wedding Dresses
Purchasing wedding dresses can save you a pretty penny, but some online retailers will send cheap knock off dresses that don’t posses the same quality or beauty as the original. They often have poor or nonexistent customer service to top it off making it near impossible to return the dress or charging you a steep restocking fee.
4. Gift Theft
While not necessarily a scam, this happens often enough that you need to be aware. Wedding gift theft is when one of your wedding gifts is stolen either at the wedding (or bridal shower) or while its being sent to your house. One of the saddest parts about this is that it may go unnoticed until much later when a friend or relative is wondering how your fancy new blender is working and you respond by saying “What blender!?”
5. Honeymoon Burglary
There are plenty of scams and cons that you can fall prey to while on your honeymoon, but this one takes place at home – literally. Many burglars will watch social media, news, and more to find local weddings. then while the couple is away on their honeymoon the thief breaks into their home and steals all of their valuables. Thieves also watch for piled up mail, old news papers and lights being in houses.
How to Protect Yourself from Wedding Scams:
There are 3 simple steps you can take to keep yourself from falling prey to a wedding scam:
- When possible, make purchases on your credit card. This allows you to easily dispute fraudulent charges and offers you some protection from these types of scams
- Purchase wedding insurance. The insurance will reimburse you if some of these scams occur
- Use your gut, and check all vendors/planners/venues online to see if they are legitimate. Asking for past clients whom you may speak with will also help protect you.