Getting Ripped Off by Con Artists - Advice for Brides from CNBC !

Use Reputable Vendors!

When it comes time to decide which vendors to use for your wedding, choose carefully. How long has the company been in business?  Have you asked others for an opinion about their service?  Beware of deals 
that are too good to be true.  Stay away from companies that don't have a website or web presence.  
CNBC  reports

Five wedding scams for brides to worry about

 By:  | Personal Finance and Consumer Spending Reporter

Getting married isn't cheap, but it can break the bank in more ways than one—especially if brides and grooms fall prey to scams.

Experts say engaged couples and newlyweds are often targets for thieves and con artists. In part, it's because they're spending big bucks. Last year, the average couple spent $25,656, according to The Wedding Report a market research firm. And many couples are receiving nearly as much in gifts from friends and family.More than that, most couples are in unfamiliar waters—they've never hired a DJ or bought a wedding dress, said Alan Fields, co-author of "Bridal Bargains." They don't have a go-to provider or maybe even people to ask for referrals, which makes it easy for less scrupulous individuals to take advantage."There's always a new group of customers, and some people don't do their research," he said. What to watch out for?

1) Faux vendors

Couples, you can say what you will about a caterer's dry cake or a DJ's bad song choices. But gripes about a legit vendor who failed to meet expectations pale in comparison to (happily, rarer) complaints about vendors who take your cash but don't do anything at all. Period. 

Earlier this year, police in Little Falls, NJ, charged photographer Michael De Rubeis with theft by deception and impersonation, alleging that he—while operating under the name Michael J. Distasio—accepted $140,000 from clients and did not deliver their photos. The New York Attorney General's office made similar allegations when it sued De Rubeis in 2003 for photography and video work contracted under a number of business names. (De Rubeis could not be reached for comment.) 
In all, nearly a quarter of wedding insurance claims last year pertained to problems with a vendor, according to Travelers. That tally comprises a range of issues, but one of the biggest is non-delivery and no-shows, including vendors who go out of business, said Ed Charlebois, vice president of personal insurance for Travelers. "I would hesitate to call them scams, but that, to me is troubling," he said.

"It's obviously something pretty important to be checking references," said Anja Winikka, site director for Couples should check ratings on review sites such as The Knot's and, and ask the vendor for recently married couples to speak with. 

If you'd like to read the rest of the article with 4 other ways brides are getting scammed or ripped off, go here. 

And Baby makes THREE !

Andrea and Cory were married at the Grand Wailea Resort in 2011. And now there are three, with the addition of Ethan. How did that happen? Life is pretty miraculous to behold when we take the time to appreciate the things so often taken for granted. I find it immensely rewarding when year after year people seek me out to photograph their families, having photographed their wedding years prior. Ethan was a really terrific and mellow fellow. He was totally unruffled, quiet and cool throughout the shoot. Big thanks to the three of them for a really enjoyable time. Andrea says, "Thank you! That was beautifully written! We had a great time with you during our shoot and look forward to seeing you again when we return to Maui next !"  photo 377_zpsece8b57b.jpg  photo 169_zps5299f193.jpg  photo 170_zps0e32af67.jpg  photo 173_zps680ee368.jpg  photo 177_zpsbc9bd9c1.jpg  photo 202_zps5af3ce30.jpg  photo 210_zpsba114e07.jpg  photo 213_zps473b5e0c.jpg  photo 211_zpsde296d9d.jpg

A wedding I photographed at Maria Lanakila church in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Lisa and Jeff married at Maria Lanakila church in Lahaina, Maui. Following the ceremony we strolled scenic and quaint Front St., enjoying great photo ops including their favorite yogurt shop. We had an awesome time, as can be seen from the images. I firmly believe that wedding photography should be fun and that those genuine moment are reflected in the photographs. The reception took place at the Plantation House Restaurant in Kapalua, where everyone thoroughly enjoyed both the food and the ambience.
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