According to Connecticut BBB President, Paulette Scarpetti, bridal expos can save couples a lot of time.
“Bridal expos are convenient for the two common categories of brides who attend – the ones who know exactly what they are looking for and those who are shopping around not knowing where to start. Perhaps the most important advice we can offer, is create a budget and stick to it.”
Create a new email address just for the show - Whether you are pre-registering or signing up at the door, it is a good idea to create a new email address for wedding vendor communication. This allows the bride to keep track of all of the special offers and electronic newsletters she will likely receive after attending the show. This can also help reduce high volumes of email in your personal inbox.
Take a notebook or pad and pen - As you walk around the show, you may see something you hadn’t thought of or you may want the name of the designer of a wedding gown during the fashion show.
Ask the right questions - Before falling in love with a vendor and their services, ask if the company is available for your wedding date and whether the special packages and pricing being offered are available after the show. Remember to get a list of references.
Bring someone you trust - BBB recommends taking someone to the expo that is not as emotionally and financially connected to the wedding planning as the bride. They may provide a helpful perspective when talking with vendors and visiting booths.
Get all sales promises in writing - Written contracts should include specific dates, products, prices, name brands, etc. and be signed by all parties involved. Cancellation policies should also be included in the contracts.
Pay with a credit card - They offer added protection in the event of a problem, because you can dispute the charges. Checks and cash don’t offer this protection.
Research the vendor before signing a contract – It is crucial to know the company’s track record by taking the time to do follow up research on its reputation in the industry. Every year Better Business Bureau receives complaints about problems with late delivery of gowns or photographers or videographers who don’t show up, or take many months to deliver the final product.
Seek references from other couples, family and friends, and always check the marketplace experience of other consumers at http://ct.bbb.org/
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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.