Planning a wedding can be fun and exciting, but it can also be a monumental task. Hiring a photographer, booking a reception hall, arranging for entertainment, making hotel arrangements for overnight guests – these may all be elements in making the day a success.
With wedding season approaching, the state Division of Consumer Affairs is offering a two-page brochure, “Planning Your Wedding: Tips to Avoid Scams”.
“At the Division of Consumer Affairs, our top priority is to empower New Jersey consumers,” state Acting Consumer Affairs Director Thomas R. Calcagni said. “Couples put enormous amounts of time and effort into planning the perfect wedding. Consumer Affairs is reminding them to take precautions to help ensure they create a day they’ll remember as one of the best in their lives – a memory that will not be marred by shoddy services or outright fraud.”
Calcagni said these tips are included in the brochure:
Contact the Division of Consumer Affairs to find out whether any potential vendor – such as a photographer, videographer, DH, band or caterer – has a history of consumer complaints, or has been cited for violating any consumer protection laws.
Take the time to carefully review every contract before signing. Note the terms of cancellation.
Remember that paying by credit card, as opposed to cash or other means, can generally help you resolve any future disputes.
Beware of wedding scams, such as phony exhibitions. Before paying to attend a bridal show, try to verify that the event is real by checking the organizer’s credentials or checking with the owners of the venue.
Before buying engagement or wedding rings, conduct your own research to learn about precious gem quality and ring settings. This will help you find the best deal to match your budget and your style.
Before buying a wedding gown, learn whether the seller is following Federal Trade Commission requirements on providing information about the garment’s fiber content and country of origin.
For more information, view the full Consumer Brief at http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/brief/wedding.pdf.
More information designed to help consumers protect themselves is offered free of charge at the State Division of Consumer Affairs NCPW website at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.
–TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM