Getting Hitched – without a hitch!

When you are organising your wedding, the last thing you
need are worries. Most of the time wedding preparations run pretty smoothly but
how would you cope with the unexpected hitch?

Our commercial sales manager Beks Chapman has had first-hand
experience of her wedding plans not quite
going to plan
, so she decided to share her story with us:

“There have been some really awful cases of wedding
suppliers going out of business just lately, and couples being left without the
products or services that they have paid for.
Sadly, these aren’t the first cases and they certainly won’t be the

“I lost my deposit on my original wedding dress. The warning
signs were there, but I ignored them because the dress was gorgeous, within
budget and – more than anything – I wanted to have my dress SORTED – off the
list, another stress out of the way. I
remember travelling back from my fitting, drinking fizz on the train with my
bridesmaids – thinking the rest would be easy. I was so wrong!

“I found the dressmaker on Facebook – her photos were
amazing and after a cursory glance I saw she had plenty of likes and no visible
complaints. I called, made an appointment…and did nothing else. I didn’t look
for her website, I didn’t take out insurance. And I like to think of myself as
a savvy individual – but Bride Fever had me in its grasp and I ploughed ahead,

“We got to the showroom and it was a lock-up behind a train
station. I asked some men who were working nearby if the dressmaker had been
here long, and was told that “girls have been sewing in there for years” so
despite a niggling worry I pressed on, blinded by the image of the 50’s style
dress I had dreamed of. Oh – that dress. It was perfect. The fitting was
business-like and efficient and I knew I was getting a great deal so I handed
over a hefty deposit, and booked a date in for a fitting 4 weeks before the
wedding. And I promptly went back to ticking more things off my list.

“2 months before the wedding (nerves were jangling, stomach
in daily knots, and the to-do list getting LONGER if anything) I stumbled
across an article online about a woman who had been left in the lurch in
circumstances much the same as mine. So I went back to the Facebook page – and
it had vanished. I searched online – nothing. After some Miss Marple detective
work I tracked down a number for the MOT centre next door who told me that the
dressmaker had done a midnight flit and there had been customers coming, going
and crying outside for the last few weeks.
Loads of girls left with no prom dresses, and several distraught
Brides-to-Be. The unit had been used by a reputable dressmaker for many years,
and then taken over by a scam artist after she retired – an unscrupulous woman
with no intention of providing the dresses and with the ability to sleep at
night knowing she was wrecking another person’s dreams.

“I could have done a lot more to protect myself – hindsight
is wonderful thing! There are things you can do to protect yourself against
scam artists, or from a dreadful situation when a genuine wedding supplier
unexpectedly goes out of business.
Wedding Insurance is far more affordable than I had assumed, take a look
– their policy prices start at £51. I could have purchased 6 policies with what
I lost!

“Our checklist below can help you to make wise choices, but
a policy will cover you even if you do everything right and (god forbid) the
worst happens;

  • Do your
    research – look across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and for
    dedicated websites – is there a testimonials or reviews page?
  • Dig a bit
    deeper – are there lots of comments or reviews from people based outside the
    UK? For example if it’s a bridal wear supplier they are unlikely to have lots
    of male followers – do the ‘likes’ appear authentic?
  • Insist on
    full contact details and a receipt before parting with cash if you’re meeting
    the supplier in person, and keep a copy of all payments both online and hard
  • Avoid cash
    payments – most transactions via credit card carry additional insurance
  • “So the moral of the story is don’t be blinded by the
    product or service – no matter how much you want it! Do your research and take
    out insurance. After a fantastic holiday you never bemoan the travel insurance
    payment if you didn’t fall ill, and you’ll be too caught up in gifts,
    honeymoons and getting your pics back from your photographer to pine for the
    policy cost if all goes smoothly on your big day. Just think it over. I wish I had!”

    Beks xx

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