I’m a member of a few wedding groups on Facebook and the one post you’ll see time and time again is ‘Where can I find a cheap dress/jewellery/cake/photographer. Surely a better idea would be ‘Where can I find a good quality dress/jewellery/cake/photographer ?

I understand that most brides are on a budget, and of course you want to get the most value for money, but some things need to be judged on how good the supplier is …not just what they charge.

Unfortunately over the last couple of weeks there seems to be a lot of brides being scammed by ruthless suppliers who target them through these groups offering great prices, taking their money and then disappearing with it. Some brides are being left a couple of days before their wedding with no bridesmaid dresses, cake or venue decoration.

I think some of these suppliers may well have started off as genuine but then realised that for the prices they charge they can’t deliver the promised products. There are people out there who make and sell wedding accessories for a hobby (this is illegal – please check that the supplier you use is registered as a business, the hobbyists won’t be insured and if something goes wrong you will have no come back) they try and undercut each other to the point you can see some threads on these forums that just turn into a massive link-fest of suppliers outbidding each other for custom.

One of the most worrying trends is people turning their backs on professional wedding photographers and instead relying on the friend of a friend down the road that has a new camera or worse…’we don’t need a photographer coz everyone will have their mobiles’ Do you really want the biggest day of your life captured by an amateur who has no idea what shots you want and how to get the best out of your venue/location…or have your ceremony interrupted by a sea of mobile phone and Ipad owners trying to get photos instead of watching your vows? Please ask to see previous weddings shot by anyone you are considering using for your own photos, by all means use the friend of a friend for extra shots but don’t risk the main memories you’ll have of your wedding being blurry pics of Auntie Mabels feathery hat.

I saw one bride to be post the other day saying ‘ I can’t understand why I was quoted £20 for a garter when I’ve made one myself for a pound’ Yes, that’s what the materials may have cost, but how long did it take you to make it? Do you expect the supplier to spend two hours sewing without being paid for it? What about tax, insurances, postage, packaging etc, etc, etc

You can find bargains if you shop around, just please be wary! I’ve seen pictures of dresses bought from China which are beautiful! BUT I’ve also seen some complete horrors…if you want to go down that route then make sure you leave plenty of time before your wedding to order, be prepared to have to buy another dress if it turns out to be one of the horrors, and also bear in mind that you won’t be getting the fitting service that a bridal shop provides so you will have to find your own dressmaker for alterations.

Basically , it’s the old adage ‘Buyer Beware’ Doing your research is one of the best ways to save money and avoid any potential disasters.

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