HOUSTON - Every girl pictures the perfect wedding day, but what she does not picture is the flowers coming too late, the dress not fitting, or just plain bad service. Those are three things returning to the top 10 list of complaints.
Angie Hicks, the creator of the website Angie's List, told Local 2 those are just a few examples of what made their list of complaints in 2011.
"When it came to tuxedo rental shops and bridal shops, it came to orders not coming in on time, problems with alterations and general customer service. When we looked at the reviews for wedding planners, it came down to things not being completed according to the contract as well as missed deadlines," said Hicks.
Bridal shop manager Tracy Moore told Local 2 sometimes the bride needs to take some of the blame, especially when it comes to time management.
"We are all human everyone makes mistakes. The more time you allow yourself and us, the more time we have to correct any problems that might occur," said Moore.
Pre-wedding day preparation is about more than just being on time. Moore said brides can also save a lot of time searching for that dress to wear down the aisle.
"There are just about five or six actual silhouettes of gowns, whether it is a ball gown or trumpet style," said Moore. "I like to help her narrow down her silhouette first, that eliminates the need to continue to try on ball gowns when what she is really looking for is a slim trumpet shape."
Hicks told us the key to a smooth day is found in the details.
"Contracts that are very detailed explicitly say when things are going to be performed and what you are going to pay. Document phone calls and that will be your best line of defense if something happens to go wrong, " said Hicks.
Contracts are also a good way to make sure you and the people you hire are on the same page, and you can manage your expectations along the way.
Hicks said the average wedding is roughly $20,000, so it is important to be picky when you pick the companies for your wedding day. After all, it is your day.
Tips to avoid wedding complaints:
· Work with a reliable company: Look for someone with experience in providing services for numerous weddings. Is the company helpful and professional?
·Check review sites such as Angie's List and ask for recommendations from family and friends.
· Develop a budget: Weddings can be costly. It is important to develop a budget before you talk with vendors. A good reputable company will map out a plan to meet your price point. In addition, you will get better customer service if you are upfront about your budget, rather than wasting time trying on dresses or visiting venues you can not possibly afford.
· Read the fine print: Before you sign anything, ask and make sure you understand deposits, fees, terms, conditions, store policies, etc.
· Do not pay in full: Put down the minimum deposit on a credit card and stretch out the rest of the payments until your order is complete. Pay with a credit card, so you can file a claim dispute if necessary.
· Document everything: Your best defense in case something goes wrong is documentation. From phone calls to e-mails, keep a record of who you talked to and when.
· Don't delay: Do not wait until the last minute to hire vendors. Once you have researched and found reputable companies to work with, make an effort to communicate to them about your plans. The best professionals typically book up far in advance.
Common complaints with bridal shops/tuxedo rental:
· Issues with ordering
· Poor customer service
· Problems with alterations/measurements
Common complaints with wedding planners:
· Contract disputes. Agreed upon services were not honored
· Planner was unresponsive
· Deadlines were not met
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