How to Avoid Falling for Wedding Scams

A young woman holding her phone and looking sadly out of the window.

The world is constantly changing and, unfortunately, in today’s world, there are so many scams out there. It’s becoming harder and harder to spot these, from hackers on the internet to spam calls and everything in between. With that being said, there is no industry that’s safe from bad actors looking to scam innocent people. When planning your wedding, you should be diligent in ensuring you’re warding off scams that could end up costing a lot of money and frustration. Below, learn what you should look out for and how to avoid these scary scams that are unfortunately a threat to any couple getting ready to walk down the aisle.

Fraudulent Wedding Gown Sellers

A bride shopping for a wedding dress.

The first scam to be on the lookout for is fraudulent wedding dress sellers. Wedding dresses are in high demand, and with so many on the market, shopping for one can feel overwhelming. However, the internet is chock full of scams and there are many fraudulent sellers online. While you may see a beautiful gown at a steal, it just might be too good to be true. Whenever you see a gown for sale under $200, operate with caution. Low prices like these should be a major red flag.

It’s a best practice to go into a wedding salon to shop for a dress. Even if you end up ordering virtually, a salon will be able to help you do so through their portal so you can ensure that you’re not being scammed. In these scams, you may end up having your credit card hacked and never actually receive a product in exchange for what you paid.

Wedding Planner Fraud

Another scam to be on the lookout for is wedding planner fraud. Hiring a wedding planner can cost a pretty penny (and with good reason!). But being duped into hiring a fraudulent planner can cost you a lot of money and can even ruin your big day.

People posing as wedding planners charge you for their “services,” claiming to book vendors, venues, and other services on behalf of you and your future spouse. However, they are not actually booking anything and are just taking your money. Couples have experienced this and then, sometimes days before their wedding, the “planner” will flake out or say they are filing bankruptcy and can no longer carry out the big day.

To avoid this happening to you, make sure to research a planner that you’re considering hiring and vet them properly. Read reviews and ensure they have a professional website—not just a Facebook page. You can even ask to visit their office in person as an added security measure. Using wedding websites that are meant to review vendors is another surefire way to ward off a fraudulent wedding planner.

Counterfeit Wedding Gowns

A bride wearing a wedding dress with a sheer back decorated with flower appliques.

On the other hand, if you believe you’re purchasing a designer gown, you may end up with a counterfeit dress. An astounding 600,000 knock-off gowns are shipped from China to the United States annually (source). Websites that sell these typically use the original designer’s photos and trademarks, which misleads shoppers to believe they’re buying the real deal. When shopping for a dress online, make sure you know where the dress is shipping from by checking the “contact us” page to ensure there is a US-based address or telephone number present. Also ensure that there is a sales agreement with terms and conditions on the site before purchasing. Finally, try to shop directly with a designer or reputable seller.

Doing your due diligence and being aware of the existence of these scams is the best way to avoid falling victim to them. It’s not a secret that weddings in general are quite costly, so don’t add to that by participating in a scam and letting a bad actor take your money. Remember: there’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to the scams that exist in the world today!

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