Police have issued a warning about fraudulent services cashing in on wedding season.
The average wedding now costs more than £30,000 and families are paying for a range of services, including: photographers, caterers, florists, reception venues and travel companies.
Many of these will be booked months in advance, with customers having to pay a deposit or even the full balance at the time.
The police have published the following advice to help keep yourself safe from scammers:
• Paying by credit card will provide you with protection for purchases above £100 and below £30,000. This means even if a company goes into liquidation before your big day, you could claim a refund through your credit card.
• Some companies run entirely via social media. Many are genuine, but to make sure, always get a physical address and contact details and verify this information. If you experience any problems, you can make a complaint to Trading Standards or consider pursuing via the Small Claims Court.
• Always get a contract before paying money for services – and make sure you read it! Pay particular attention to cancellation policies.
• Consider buying wedding insurance. Policies vary in cover and can be bought up to two years in advance.
• Check for reviews and ratings of services you’re considering. A reputable company will want to show off happy customers!
• Beware of photographers using fake images. Meet the photographer in person and ask to view sample albums. If you like an image from a wedding, ask to see photographs of the whole event so you can check the overall quality.
Remember – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!