By Susan Koeppen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Planning a wedding is an exciting time, but it can also be emotional and stressful.

No one wants any bumps in the road on their big day, so how do you avoid problems?

It may not be the royal wedding, but chances are most brides want to feel like a princess on their special day and it can get stressful trying to make sure things don’t go wrong.

Kaylee Sharkey from Gibsonia said her stress level is already at a 7 out of 10 for her wedding, which isn’t even happening until next year.

“It’s that stress that you want it to be perfect and you want it to be the way that you want it and sometimes it just can’t be,” Sharkey said.

Plan as you may, things can always go wrong.

According to the consumer website Angie’s List, the top three most complained about wedding services involve bridal shops, tuxedo rentals and wedding planners.

“The average wedding these days is over $20,000 so being sure that you are taking your time and documenting well the services you are hiring is very important,” Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

When it comes to wedding gowns and tuxedos, common complaints involve poor customer service, issues with ordering and problems with alterations.

Bridal shop manager Tracy Moore said planning early can help to avoid problems.

“To ensure that you have a positive experience, I would allow yourself plenty of time. Plenty of time for ordering your dress. Plenty for alterations. We are all human and everyone makes mistakes. The more time you allow yourself, the more time we have to correct any problems that might occur,” Moore said.

When hiring someone for your wedding, Angie’s List has these tips:

  • “Work with a reliable company” — Look for references and years of experience.
  • “Read the fine print” — Make sure you understand all policies and conditions.
  • “Document everything”
  • “Do not pay in full”

“So make your down payment as required as according to your contract, but don’t pay everything up front and pay with a credit card and stretch the rest of the payments out as services are rendered,” Hicks said.

Paying by credit card is always a good idea if you can for goods and services. That way if something goes wrong, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company.


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