(ARA) -- You spend your life dreaming about your wedding day, so imagining it going any other way than perfect is not easy to think about. However, it doesn't hurt to do a little planning for potential setbacks as you continue to invest precious time and money into your big day.
Not only do you have a lot of emotions riding on your wedding, but likely a lot of money, too.
For most couples, the cost of a wedding ranks right up there with other major investments like a car purchase or a down payment on a home.
The level of investment alone makes planning for the worst a necessary part of preparing for your nuptials.
Purchasing wedding insurance can give you financial protection and peace of mind as you plan your wedding. With wedding insurance policies from providers like WedSafe, you can obtain coverage for up to the full cost of your wedding if your event is forced to be canceled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances such as an extreme weather event or an issue with the venue.
Wedding insurance can also cover items such as the cost of restaging the photos if your photographer doesn't show up, or reimburse expenses to repair or replace your wedding dress or other special attire that could get stained or damaged. You can also purchase liability insurance to protect yourself from claims of legal liability for injuries, alcohol-related incidents or property damage.
In addition to buying insurance, here are a few more suggestions for covering all your bases as you plan your big day:
-- Pay by credit card instead of check in the event a business you were working with would not be able to provide the service you asked of them. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have the right to dispute charges on your credit card you didn't make, are incorrect, or for goods or services you didn't receive. That same protection may not be available if you pay by cash or check.
-- Read and understand all contracts, including any insurance policies. If you aren't positive that you understand an agreement, it makes sense to get some help wading through the legal wording, especially any obligations on your part, how fees, deposits or penalties are addressed, and your rights if a vendor does not perform its contracted responsibilities.
"Those of us who work in the insurance industry and specialty markets such as wedding insurance can share their experience and explain the risks and benefits of an insurance policy contract, what coverage it can provide, and just as importantly what it cannot provide," says Steve Lauro, vice president of Aon Affinity, the company that administers the WedSafe wedding insurance program.
-- Consider working with a professional, accredited wedding planner. Often the cost of hiring a planner can pay for itself. If you choose not to hire out a pro, try to learn as much as possible about the best practices that event planners use in their daily course of business.
"Hiring a wedding planner can mitigate your risk of wedding-day snafus," says Christine Dyer, founder of BridalTweet. It takes experience to know exactly how to prepare for a large-scale event that has so many moving parts.
And brides can sleep better at night knowing that an experienced wedding planner can refer them to other trustworthy vendors (i.e. florists, cake artists, photographers, etc.) with whom they have built relationships."
-- Research your venue and vendors. Select established vendors that have good reputations. Browsing wedding-focused guides like WeddingWire Bride's Choice Awards is a good place to start. Visit the Facebook and Twitter page of your vendors and see what they say outside of the sales process.
-- Ask for advice from other couples. In addition to talking with couples close to you, browse forums on sites like the TheKnot, Project Wedding and many others that are readily available.
For the vast majority of couples, their wedding day goes according to plan and their dreams become reality. Thinking ahead can ensure that your day will be as perfect as you have always imagined, and you will be protected even if an unforeseen glitch does find a way into your special day.