JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The average cost of getting married in 2014 is around $25,000 dollars; it is not cheap but for the bride, it is a very big day.
Cassandra Cherneski said it is a day for the bride to enjoy with her husband. Cherneski, who started her consulting business months after her marriage, said unfortunately, the road to the altar is sometimes paved with scams.
"If someone says 'give me $50,000 and I'll plan your entire wedding' and you don't hear from them again, I will be nervous about that," said Cherneski.
The type of scams that can ruined the big day include everything from a counterfeit dress to a bad vendor.
"You should definitely do your due diligence," she said, "Check into the company."
Patricia, who would like to keep last name anonymous, is getting married in March,
"I'm doing it myself and it has been stressful," she said.
Now it has gotten painful; what happened to this college grad has left her hurt and worried.
"It is embarrassing I thought I did everything right," said Patricia, "I want my day to be perfect and it is kind of messed up now."
Last year she booked a venue, Brooklyn Royal, paid her deposit and then the venue closed abruptly. She said no notice, no refund.
"Now I don't know if I can trust my other vendors," she said.
She is now looking for a new location, but is more concerned that her big day is on the path to disaster.
"I'm a little behind on sending invitations because of what this guy has done," she said.
Here are three wedding scams to avoid:
1. The fake vendor: Always check the vendors credentials, check references
2. The counterfeit wedding dress: The American Bridal and Prom Industry Association says as many as 600,000 counterfeit wedding dresses were purchased in 2012.
"You should never buy a wedding dresses on the internet, particularly from international vendors," said Cherneski.
3. Read the fine print of your contract: Make sure it includes what happens if a vendor fails to meet his end of the contract
Cherenski said remember it is your big day, do your homework before you get to where you can say I do.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true," she said.
Rock Letinger, the owner of Patricia's venue, said via email that it was not possible to keep the place open.
"Patricia, along with all events booked, will have their deposits refunded," wrote Letinger, "as soon as funds are available."
Take this page from the On Your Side Wedding guide:
-Consider wedding insurance. Get a policy that covers a wide range of problems, including vendor no-shows, cancellations, inclement weather and medical emergencies.
-Whenever possible, you should pay with a credit card instead of cash.
-Review these websites for more references and possible sources.