Avoiding the Wedding Bell Blues

From a drunk guest to a gown gone missing, so many things can go wrong when it comes to planning your wedding day.

Couples are shelling out an average of almost $28,000 for the wedding of their dreams. With all that money at stake, though, there's plenty of room for "I do" disasters.

Antonia van der Meer, the editor in chief of Modern Bride magazine, offered several tips on "Good Morning America" to avoid those pitfalls.

Use a vendor who's recommended. Word of mouth is often the best way to protect yourself -- you ideally want to go with someone or something that's been recommended. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints against the vendor.

Don't pay cash. Use a credit card -- if you do, you may be able to get your money back if something goes wrong.

Don't pay in full until you get the product or service. Never pay a vendor who says they need all the money up front or in cash -- that should be a red flag.

Get everything in writing. You should have a contract for every aspect of your wedding. That way, you won't get stuck with something you don't like on the big day and all last-minute costs (like uncorking the champagne or serving the cake) will be spelled out.

Prevent bad guest behavior. You usually know who problem guests will be so identify the risk ahead of time and appoint a person to look out for them. If they get too drunk or rowdy on the dance floor, the point person should step in and take control. That way, the bride doesn't get stuck spending her wedding taking care of guests.

Hire a planner. When things get hectic and emotional, a good planner is still a professional. If a full-time planner isn't in your budget, you can get one for the first few or last few weeks of planning.

Listen to your instincts. If your gut is telling you something's wrong, don't ignore it.

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