Unfortunately, the worst sometimes does happen. You wedding dress the store ordered comes in wrong or not at all, the cake gets knocked over at the reception, the photographers camera breaks and the film is ruined. Here are some ways to protect your wedding:

Wedding Attire:

Order the wedding gown and bridesmaids gowns six months or more in advance of the wedding date.

Provide the shop a date that is a week or two before your actual wedding date.

Pay with credit cards when ordering bridal gown or bridesmaids dresses.

Inspect and try-on all gowns when they arrive. Any defects or incorrectness should be corrected with right away.

Make sure tuxedos are ordered no less then six weeks before the wedding date.

Engagement/Wedding Rings:

Work with a reputable jeweler.

Have all major purchases appraised by an independent appraiser and insured.


Make sure contracts list dates and times the service is to be performed.

Specify the name(s) of DJ, bandleader, soloists or musicians that will perform in your contract.

Reception Site:

Pay special attention to cancellation clauses in the contract. If you cancel, are you still responsible for certain fees?

Are you locked in to using only Reception site staff such as: Caterer, bakery, etc. Check the prices if you are and make sure the prices are realistic and not over-inflated.


Specify any photographs you want or special poses.

Make sure your contract has a clause that in the event the photographs do not turn out, you will receive all monies back in full.


Make sure the contract spells out the flowers and colors to be used in your arrangements. Have substitutes chosen if flowers you want are unavailable.

If service providers do not follow through with their contracts, you have several options. Hopefully you have paid the bills with a credit card, this will give you an upper hand when it comes to negotiation.

Renegotiate your final bill. Many service providers would be happy to reduce the balance due if they are in the wrong or on the end of a mishap.

Write a letter to them, express your unhappiness and complaints.

If the service provider will not negotiate, consider small claims court.

File a complaint against the company through the Better Business Bureau.

If the complaint is a valid one, and the service provider overstepped the contract, consider talking with a lawyer. In this stage of the game, money may need to be spent before you are able to collect your loss.