Posted by jade on 06 Mar, 2007
Bridezillas, here are some truly insidious wedding rip-offs, culled from a canniest observer, “The Bridal Bargains Book”. You will not believe these devious tactics and hidden costs revealed here, worse than a telemarketer’s offer and a time share scam put together. Read on to make sure you are not taken in by this so-wretched wedding fraud.
1. Strange and senseless service fees. For example, some hotels or restaurants have ludicrous charges like “plate splitting,” “cake cutting” and “cork fees.” Some fees are as high as $20-$200, just for slicing a cake or putting a peice of salmon on two plates. It is ridiculous. We just got used to the automatic group gratuity, but these new service charges make you wonder exactly what is included in this so-called service. Our advice: BYO-knife and corkscrew to save yourself a bundle.
2. Designer imposter demo tapes. Do you hear what we hear? Some shady wedding bands now use studio musicians to record their demo tracks. This means you happily pay for a band you think sounds like Mozart on tape, and are then horrified when they show up at your reception sounding like Michael Bolton on meds. Our advice: make sure to audition your bands in person.
3. Tear-away bridesmaid’s dresses. Though priced at $100-$200, the cost of bridesmaid dresses often does not reflect their poor quality. Many ateliers cut corners when creating these “special occasion” dresses, so cheap fabric, stubborn zippers and unfinished seams are common. As such, the hideous styles aren’t the only reasons these dresses can only be worn once. Most bridesmaids are lucky to make it through the night with their gowns in tact. Our advice: give your girls the best bridesmaid gift by choosing dresses that are worth the price!
4. 24 Karat Kool-Aid. Another sneaky cost that seeps into your wedding budget is none other than the punch. The irony is, you may think you are saving money by serving punch instead of just alcohol, but this is not necessarily the case. Some reception halls charge as much as $35 per gallon for simple fruit punch-a manic mark-up indeed! Our advice: bring your own elegant serving bowl and have granny whip you up some of the signature kool-aid she made you as kids.
5.Pimping your ride. You may think driving to impress will help you achieve the worldly air that will make wedding vendors less likely to try and pull the wool over your eyes, but the opposite is actually true. Some wedding vendors hike up their prices based on how nice your car is. We have even heard of the bridesmaid’s fancy cars serving as justification for them footing a costly wedding shower. The bottom line: when it comes to weddings, your stylish wheels can work against you. Our advice: Leave the Beamer in the garage, borrow your nephew’s ten speed and get great bargains!
6. Kitsch Overkill. When it comes to wedding, too much sentiment can get expensive. You can’t fall for every monogrammed napkin or heart shaped swizzle stick you see. Also, don’t let your ardor cloud your eye for authenticity. We have heard of vendors substituting faux pearls for the real thing, or selling “lucky” pennies for $5. Our advice: raid your local piggy bank and demand a certificate of authenticity for all jewels purchased. Especially if those pearls are doubling as bridesmaid gifts, you don’t want your girls to think you were trying to con them while they are wearing crinoline. That would just be too low.
7. The most expensive cardboard ever. This one’s unbelievable! Be wary of any companies that offer “cleaning and preservation” for your wedding gown. You might end up with a dress-sized cardboard box – to the tune of $250. Our advice: get specifics. You don’t want to picture some exotic European bleach and end up with an armful of bubble-wrap.
8. A picture’s worth a thousand cuss words. This one’s similar to the wedding band scam. If you hire a professional photo studio, make sure the veteran you interviewed is the one doing the actual wedding photo shoot. You don’t want to end up with the photo intern and his Polaroid camera on the most important day of your life! Our advice: make sure what you see is what you get! You don’t want your grand kids snickering fifty years from now.
SOURCE: Bridal Bargains Book
Scams originally printed in AM New York Newspaper “Top Eight Wedding Rip-Offs”