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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, May 23, 2013

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Searching for a wedding dress on a budget in Atlanta photo
Bob Andres / AJC
Carrie suggests Yvonne adjust her heel height for this gown to avoid hemming the bottom. It’s another way to save on dress alterations.

By Clark Howard


Approximately a third of people who get engaged never make it to the altar. Now there’s a new way to help them recoup money they’ve already laid out to book photographers, florists, facilities, and more.

The most tense time in a relationship can often be the period from the engagement to the day of the wedding. Sometimes there can be a real breakdown in communication between the bride and groom at this trying time.

Enter a new website called BridalBrokerage.com. If you’re a couple that’s no longer tying the knot, you have all these things you paid deposits on for a ceremony that won’t take place. So the whole idea is a match game. Other brides and grooms come in and buy your contracts for services at a discount.

As a buyer, these packages go for sale and you can buy them for around 60 cents on a dollar. The vendors win, you win, and another (former) couple wins too.

As a seller, it’s a real way to reduce your losses and make lemonade out of lemons. That’s particularly important with the average wedding being around nearly $26,000.

Finally, how do I say this with sensitivity? When an engagement doesn’t make it to the altar, it’s often for the best. This is the kind of thing that it’s better to figure out before a wedding rather than after.