Say “I don’t” to bad habits that could ruin your special day

    by Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Alberta & East Kootenay

    Did you know Canadians spend on average nearly $30,000 on their wedding? With January marking the start of wedding-planning season, bridal fairs and expos, like the upcoming Bridal Fantasy Show this weekend, are helping eager brides-and-grooms-to-be say yes to the dress (and the venue, caterer, band, etc). BBB says early and realistic planning are key to ensure the big day goes off without a hitch.

    “It can be easy to get caught-up in the excitement of planning your wedding, but it’s important for couples to know what their vision is based on a realistic budget, planning and research,” says Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. “Save yourself time and money by starting your search with trust by checking with BBB for reliable businesses that you will feel confident about including in your special day.”

    So, what could possibly go wrong?                    

    Besides mix-ups when it comes to dress fittings and alterations, unruly bridesmaids, technical difficulties with music or the baby picture slideshow, there are a number of setbacks that can quickly derail the big day.

    BBB encourages careful planning to avoid these wedding crashers:

    • Budget Busters: The most expensive decorations, venue, dress won’t make or break your special day.  It is important to set a budget early on in the planning process and stick to it along the way. A good way to estimate how costly the wedding will be is to start with a guest list. By finalizing the guest list, it will be easier to choose the venue, caterer, photographer and other services.
    • Corrupt Caterers (and other devious dealers): Be sure to meet with caterers, DJs, photographers and other service providers in person to discuss your wishes in detail. Those who demand payment upfront or only do business over the phone could be a red flag.  Check out wedding service providers at before doing business with them.
    • Runaway References: Ask the venue owner, caterer, photographer and any other service provider required for your wedding for references from previous customers. Call the references and ask if they were satisfied with the products or services. If they refuse to provide you with references, or you can’t reach the ones they give, keep looking.
    • Internet Interlopers: If you’re looking to cut costs by shopping online, never wire money or mail a cheque or email money to someone you haven’t met. It’s best to use a credit card rather than cash or cheque so that you have some recourse if you are ripped off.
    • Pushy Providers: Don’t give into high pressure planners or salespeople urging you to make your decisions quickly. Insist on written contracts that include timelines, prices and cancellation policies. Account for some delays in the process. It is better to schedule extra time than have something be delivered too late.

    *Wedding planning by the numbers: how much couples spend and on what

    For tips you can trust, visit


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