5 Wedding Rip-Offs — and How to Avoid Them

Your wedding day is only going to happen once — at least that is the plan — so the instinct can be to ignore the costs and try to make everything just perfect. Indeed, the average 2019 wedding in the U.S. cost $33,900, according to The Knot website.

While stretching the budget might make sense for such a special occasion, you don’t want to get scammed in the process. To avoid such a sad fate, watch out for these rip-offs.

1. Counterfeit dresses

Discovering that a dress is a counterfeit is sure to ruin a bride’s big day. One common scam involves a dress — particularly one ordered online — being passed off as a high-quality designer product. Instead, what arrives is a knock-off made from inferior materials and construction.

So, look at the label. There are federal requirements about what needs to appear on a label. Check out the Federal Trade Commission website for more information.

Also, consider buying at a brick-and-mortar shop, and be sure of the return policy before you order. Use a credit card so you will have some recourse if the shop is shady.

Speaking of wedding attire, you don’t have to pay full price. Check out “How to Pay Less for a Wedding Dress.”

2. Vanishing vendors

People sometimes pose as DJs, photographers, florists — pretty much any of the outside contractors you might employ — then take your deposit and vanish. Make sure you check everyone out. Websites like The Knot, WeddingWire and the Better Business Bureau can help you with reviews for vendors in your area.

Also, don’t forget word of mouth. If you loved the flowers at a friend’s wedding, ask her about the florist and whether there were any behind-the-scenes problems. Also, ask your venue if it has a list of reputable vendors with whom it often does business.

3. Bridal show shenanigans

Bridal shows can be overwhelming, thanks to the variety of different products and services available. Be wary of signing up for giveaways. That honeymoon hotel stay might not include taxes, let alone the airfare to get you there and back.

Remember, once you hand over your name address and phone number, it might become fair game to be sold and resold to other people and businesses. Always read the fine print, understand the privacy policy and be careful about which businesses and people you share your information with.

4. Gift theft

Hopefully, you don’t have to worry about friends and family walking off with a gift. However, there will be a lot of other people around at the wedding and reception.

Some venues — hotels, for instance — will have plenty of people unrelated to the wedding coming and going throughout the day. Avoid losses by placing the gift table far from the doors, and deputize a family member to keep an eye on it.

If you’re attending a wedding, check out “31 Inspired Wedding Gifts That Keep on Giving.”

5. Home burglary

Placing a wedding announcement in your local newspaper is a rite of passage. It’s also a good way to broadcast that you won’t be home that day. And if you include the dates of your honeymoon, you’ve given burglars a nice big window of opportunity.

Don’t be afraid to share the news of your big day, but make sure neighbors will keep an eye on your place for any signs of trouble. And before the honeymoon, remember to do all the usual preparations for taking a long trip, such as stopping the mail, newspaper and other deliveries.

Also, let your credit card companies know when and where you’ll be traveling so your purchases from out-of-the-way places don’t prompt your lenders to shut down your cards.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them
2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

If you commit either of these credit card sins, you are likely losing money every time you use a card. Here’s how to easily right this wrong.

70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question
70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question

Can you answer this fundamental retirement income question?

How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses
How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses

Major expenses are difficult to predict, but there are ways to make sure you’re protected.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

17 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
17 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.