Wedding Planner Scams

These days it seems you can’t go very far before attracting the eagle eyes of a fraudster. Sadly, the wedding planning industry is no exception and there are rafts of individuals attempting to con planners into handing over their hard-earned cash.

The ways these scams work is that you will receive an enquiry (usually via email but I have had one by phone) from an individual interested in your services. The wedding will only be a few weeks away so the fraudster will be keen to get things moving and eager to sign a contract and send a deposit. They will then inform you that they have accidentally paid too much and would you mind refunding them the difference immediately. Once you do this, you discover that their initial payment never cleared, leaving you hundreds of pounds out of pocket. The fraudsters will use both bank transfers and cheques (some of which will even temporarily clear) and in some cases ask you to pay the ‘extra’ money to a ‘supplier’.

This is a despicable practise that can be especially hard to swallow when you’re starting out, desperate to get the first few weddings on your portfolio.

Things to look out for are:

Particularly bad spelling and grammar
Unrealistic names and non-existing places e.g. Kings Larry, Westertharm
Very short lead times
An overly detailed initial email, containing menu preferences, accommodation details, names of attendants etc
A fixed date (nothing is booked but they have confirmed a date)
No questions about how you work, your fees or experience

Below is a typical example of a scam:

“Hello,??I am contacting your property so that you can help in organising  my daughter’s wedding in your location which will be coming up in July,2009 and i have decided to solely sponsor the event as a gift to the couple.Kindly see below the wedding details;??Wedding Arrangement: Dates will be July 23rd to July 27th 2009.But we will appreciate if there will be availabilty on the 25th July,2009.??Total Number of Guests: 60-70 Adults.??The reception will be a total of 60 to 70 Adults And food arrangement will be Buffet Style.??Please be informed that you will take care of the whole event including reception venue,catering, accommodation…ect excluding the transportation & civil matters that will been taken care of.??We have already made arrangements as regards our Flight and automobile needs for the event the with a transportation Logistics Agent.  I hope to have informed you enough to get started,Kindly get back to me with a proposal for the entire arrangements so that i can advise payment details.. Be advised that i shall be making payment via my Credit Card.
Dr. Collin Small.
40 Lothian Road
EH3 9BY,

To help stamp out this practise we’ll be posting any scams we hear of here and would love for you to drop us an email if any come your way.

Zoë Lingard owns Weddings by Zoë Lingard, operating throughout South East England.


  1. Elaine on 9th August 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Here’s another email I received

    I’m looking for an experienced wedding planner or coordinator that can handle my wedding as i have promised my fiancee that it will be a memorable one and i have budgeted $25,000 for the wedding so, What can your establishment offer with regards to the request above?
    I would like to know what is required cost implication and any other thing that will be require for a successful wedding for the month of October 10th 2009 is the date for the wedding.
    Kindly get back with your budget via this email ( details.
    Best Regards,
    Paul Atkinson

  2. florange on 9th September 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Here’s another email I received

    Message: My Name is Allen Clark, I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.we would be arriving seven days before the wedding day.
    > The wedding is expected to hold second week of November, guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks.
    > You are to arrange for a Videography,Music Entertainment,Photography,Officiant/Priest & Church,cake,flowers and hall.If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don’t have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.Payment Option Credit card? If you have a credit card Machine
    > Best Regards,
    > Allen Clark

    With reply,

    Thanks. I’m really very glad to hear from you.. It’s nice of you to respond to my inquiry. It is the wish of my finance to get married in your area and I have to give in to her wish and due to the fact I do not have any one there, you will be responsible for all arrangements. I will be arriving with my Fiance 7 days before the wedding and I need you to also make arrangement for our accommodation. I will need you to book 2 double rooms for us for 7 nights and one honeymoon suite for the night of the wedding 14th of November, 2009.

    We have a budget of about $57,000 USD which includes payment for your fees, all the other vendors you will be working with and that of our logistic agent aside us, I am also expecting 35 to 45 other guest from Asia, USA, UK. My fiance decided that the color for the wedding should be white and gold. For flowers, pink and red roses should be fine. She loves red roses and we’ll want lots of them at the wedding. Please feel free to introduce any nice flower of your choice to make the venue more beautiful. For music, a DJ will be fine. For food, a buffet will be perfect. If there be any more information needed from me, do let me know. The wedding is a civil wedding… I need you to get back to me with a total estimate that will cover this arrangement so that I can make a deposit payment to enable you start arrangements as time is not on our side.
    Get back to me as soon as you have the estimate so that we can start of all preparation for my wedding.

    I await your response.

    Allen/Roxanie Clark
    12-14 high street Dundee ANgus DD11SD
    +44 703 596 9593

  3. Larry on 19th November 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Here is one we recieved today…..

    I am Col. Owen Fletcher, from London England. I am writing to get information
    on wedding/reception venues and also so in need of the services of a wedding planner.

    Mary and I are planning to have a wedding in March 2010 (any date in March will be fine) and will require more information on this as we plan also to have the wedding in your region. We are looking for a venue and planner to help us plan our wedding/reception.

    40 to 50 guests are expected to attend. Please advise on weather conditions and the possibilities of rain.

    Please note that you (wedding planner) is to arrange for a food, Videography, Music Entertainment, Photography, Officiant, cake and flowers, decoration etc.

    Please do confirm this date and get back to me.

    Thanks for your anticipated response
    Best regards,
    Col. Owen.

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