Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – July 20, 2012 – Getting engaged is an exciting and usually overwhelming time for couples. While some brides know exactly what they want on their big day, many others may not quite have everything figured out just yet. Upcoming bridal expos scheduled throughout the region, including one taking place in the Pittsburgh area this Sunday, can be a great way for future brides and their bridesmaids to kick-off the planning process.
“A bridal expo can be an excellent resource for brides to discover the latest wedding trends, gather ideas for their big day and meet vendors who offer the services they are interested in,” says Caitlin Vancas, Public Relations Director of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “It is important for brides to do their research and communicate with vendors to ensure they make the most out of their wedding expo experience.”
Your Better Business Bureau recommends the following tips for future brides and their bridesmaids or family members planning to attend an upcoming bridal expo:
Ask the right questions. Before falling in love with a vendor and their services, ask if the company is available for your wedding date. Also inquire whether any special packages and pricing being offered are available after the show and remember to obtain a list of references.
Get all sales promises in writing. Be sure to document with whom you spoke, by obtaining their business card, and agree upon a time to follow-up after the show. Find out whether the vendor has insurance, a cancellation policy and back-up plan in case of unfortunate circumstances. Get all of this information in writing.
Research the vendor before signing a contract. The goal of a bridal expo vendor is to make connections, get exposure and attract the right brides for their services. However, it is crucial to know the company’s track record by doing research on their reputation in the industry. Start by reading the vendor’s BBB Business Review or by downloading the BBB iPhone app.
Create a new email 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 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.
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. This individual may provide a different, yet helpful, perspective when talking with vendors and visiting booths.
Make any down payments with a credit card. Because you can dispute the charges, credit cards offer consumers added protection in the event of a problem. Checks and cash don’t offer this protection. If you do decide to book a vendor on the spot, pay with a credit card.
Finding the right vendors and ideas for the big day is an exciting step in the wedding planning process. Taking a little extra time to be prepared for your upcoming bridal fair may help to alleviate some of your concerns and give you more time to focus on the day you say, I do! To find a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in the wedding industry or to view a company’s Business Review, visit www.bbb.org.
About the BBB System
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 115 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.