If this happens to you, you do have recourse.
If you haven't begun planning the details of your wedding yet, consider utilizing the following tips:
- Word of mouth is the most effective type of marketing for the business--and the consumer. Talk to other New Jersey brides and grooms about their preferred vendors to find a reliable business.
- Use a wedding planner. Wedding planners are usually 'in the know' and are among the first to get word about a business in trouble.
Check online. Use Yelp andGoogle reviews (they come up when you Google a business) to determine the current professional reality of a bridal business. Check recent reviews. Most Yelp users are also easy to contact and willing to elaborate.
If you find yourself in a tough position (the business has closed or failed to deliver a product), don't panic! You can still find an alternative. Here's how:
- Use the economy to your advantage. Call another vendor immediately and explain your situation. If you've lost a lot of money, attempt to get a date reservation for a small fee until you can get the money back from the original vendor.
- Contact the company who failed you. Remind them about the number of contacts you've made in the bridal industry and the number of people you know looking for wedding vendors. Send this in writing via certified mail and keep a copy.
- File a civil suit against the closed company. You should include legal fees for your suit. Present a log of all letters written and phone calls made to the company when you go to court. Highlight the calls on your phone bill and include copies of all letters as well as the confirmation from the post office.
Once you've resolved the situation, warn other couples. Don't unprofessionally slander them multiple times on every social media site--but do consider posting a review on Yelp and providing the link to your friends. Tell your story honestly and sincerely, but wait until all legal matters are settled.
Remember, most wedding businesses are reliable and stable. Exceptions are unfortunate and they do happen--you can avoid disaster by doing research first.