The Business of Getting Married


On average the wedding industry pulls in more than $57 billion a year, according to Couples typically spend an estimated $26,000 on their big day. This includes, gowns, music, venue, invitations and favors. With so many options out there for couples it can be easy to fall prey to scammers wanting to cash in on your big day. And while tears are expected at weddings, the Better Business Bureau wants to ensure those are tears of joy and not of frustration.

Before saying ‘I do,’ Better Business Bureau encourages couples to use caution when planning for their nuptials.

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In the past year BBB serving the Northwest has received nearly 35,000 wedding industry inquiries. The majority of the complaints made in the wedding industry are on businesses who handle wedding supplies and services.

Scammers often target engaged couples because of their willingness to spend big bucks on their weddings. And for those who forgo a wedding planner it can get difficult when hiring vendors, finding a venue and buying a gown.

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BBB offers the following tips before saying “I do:”

  • Beware of fake vendors. Every year, brides shell out cash to DJs, photographers and bakers who don’t show up. Before deciding whom to hire, research companies by reading reviews on
  • Wedding Insurance. You might consider purchasing insurance to cover unexpected financial losses related to your wedding.
  • Watch out for home burglars. Wedding announcements in newspapers and on wedding websites give would-be thieves information on when couples won’t be home, and sometimes even their addresses. Couples can limit the risk by locking up valuables before leaving for their honeymoon and asking a neighbor to stop by regularly.
  • Don’t get conned into buying a counterfeit gown. Imitation dresses often look exactly like the designer ones online, but are actually made of cheap materials, less elaborate and poorly constructed. Sometimes, the dress never even arrives. To avoid fakes, look for authorized retailers on the designer’s website and buy from BBB Accredited bridal shops.