Consumers planning to tie the knot may be searching for that one special wedding coordinator, caterer, photographer, disc jockey, limo service, venue, florist or decorator. Better Business Bureau is here to help take some of the guesswork out of deciding who to trust on the big day.
BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers 10 tips on hiring wedding professionals:
- Ask family members, friends and coworkers for recommendations.
- Look up businesses at www.bbb.org. Start your search with BBB's Accredited Business Directory.
- Comparison shop. Check for date availability first and interview at least three prospects over the phone. Ask questions about costs and service fees.
- Request references.
- Before booking, try meeting in-person to discuss the plan. Some wedding professionals, planners and photographers work closely with the bride and groom on the wedding day; ensure the hired person's personality is a comfortable fit for the couple.
- See if they can supply an event portfolio, if applicable. Ask to see showrooms or product samples if they're advertising items such as flowers or decorations.
- Get an itemized breakdown of costs to expect including products, services and labor. Find out if they charge a flat fee, hourly rates or have time-based packages. Review the agreement in full before making a decision and make sure all verbal agreements are in writing.
- If the business will be physically working at the wedding, find out what to expect. How many people will work at the event? Ask for names and roles before they arrive.
- A deposit may be required to book a business, but don't pay for the entire service up-front.
- Make plans... in case things don't go as planned. Find out about cancellation policies and if there are any protections in place if the business can't fulfill their end of the deal.
For more guidance, please visit www.bbb.org.