In 2008, the average cost for a wedding in Australia was $33,349. With so much money to be spent, it’s hardly surprising there’s a growing number of wedding suppliers eager for a piece of the action.
Glenn Findlay, managing director of Australian Bridal Service, which runs bridal expos and provides an accreditation service for industry providers, says his office receives up to 30 complaints a week from unhappy brides.
“There are a lot of new players in the industry who have appeared over the past two years who don’t have a professional approach. Generally, these businesses aren’t accredited by our business so we can’t help the people who call to complain. And unfortunately there is no governing body for the industry.”
He says car hire companies, photographers and make-up artists are typically the most complained-about services, many of whom are start-up amateurs hoping to cash in on couples ready to spend up on their big day.
So how can you make sure you don’t get ripped off by dodgy suppliers?
CHOICE and some of Australia’s most influential wedding suppliers and lifestyle, food and consumer bloggers came up with these tips.
• Come prepared with a budget outline
• Ask as many questions as you can of your supplier so that you receive the level of service you’re expecting
• Ask exactly what you get for your money and what are the extra charges, if any
• Be transparent and say it’s for a wedding. This will help the supplier to understand what extra work is going to be required
• Research supplier reputation: Websites, forums, social media and through word of mouth
• Always have a one-on-one consultation with your supplier to make sure you get along with them
• Don’t be pressured into packages and when offered, make sure you ask about flexibility
• You might be working with these people for 18 months or longer, so make sure the relationship remains healthy and open
Think you’ve been taken for a ride? There’s no governing body for the wedding industry in Australia, but you can take complaints to the Office of Fair Trading in your state or territory.
Have you been scammed? Tell us about your experience!