It's the time of year when soon-to-be brides and grooms start planning their weddings — and when some would-be newlyweds find themselves being taken advantage of by unscrupulous business operators.
Kerry Lepage was planning for her big day when she hired a photographer through a popular website for wedding vendors, weddingful.com.
"It's kind of like a Groupon, but it's for weddings," explains Lepage.
She says she paid $1,400 to the photographer just before the nuptials for photos and a wedding book. Then, for months afterwards, she tried unsuccessfully to contact the photographer.
"She just kept blowing me off. She wouldn't return my voice mails."
Lepage says she didn’t get what she paid for.
'The important thing is to do your comparison shopping and do your homework on the business you're thinking of working with.' - Mark Fernandes, Better Business Bureau
"The one photo that we had stipulated we really wanted, which was our favourite photo, she didn't even include in the book. And this is over a year later that we ended up getting the book."
The Better Business Bureau says that wedding planning can be a very emotional time, and that people aren't as skeptical as they should be when booking wedding services.
Mark Fernandes, spokesperson for Mainland B.C.’s Better Business Bureau, says his organization had 75 complaints last year over botched wedding services.
"The important thing is to do your comparison shopping and do your homework on the business you're thinking of working with," he says.
And most important of all: get everything in writing, the BBB recommends.