Five wedding scams for brides to worry about
5) Fake couples
It's not just brides and grooms who risk getting scammed. Vendors have encountered their share of problems, too, from criminals posing as engaged couples.
Stephanie Martin, owner of One Fine Day Events, says it's not unusual for her to hear from couples planning a destination wedding--her firm coordinates events in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. But when she exchanged emails a few years ago with a British groom offering to send her $45,000 up front to make all the wedding decisions on behalf of him and his bride, it rang alarm bells.
"They said they didn't have time to do [the planning]," she said. "My clients generally want to be involved, and make decisions."
A web search for the would-be client's name turned up pages about email scams. "They promise to wire money, but they really want your bank account information," Martin said. In a variation, the "clients" send a too-large check and ask the vendor to wire back the excess, only to disappear with that cash before their check bounces. Vendors' best recourse is to leave such fishy missives unanswered.
—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant. Follow her on Twitter