**How to get through the fine print of your Wedding Contracts**
I have been planning weddings for over 10 years now and as the years have gone by the contracts that I have to review and negotiate have gotten longer and more complicated! So as a new bride I know this part of your planning can be overwhelming.
One thing I can’t stress enough is how important contracts are when planning your wedding. My motto is “No Contract, No Business.”
Read my tips to get through the legalese of Wedding Contracts and Negotiations!
Unfortunately not everything is pretty and fun when planning your wedding. Sometimes you encounter more of the business side then you might want to. However, wedding contracts are vital to your planning as well as the success of your wedding day!
We live in a very litigious state and contracts are they only thing that can bring resolve and justice to a bad situation.
Tip #1 - You MUST have a written contract with EVERY Vendor you decide to hire for your wedding, even if they are family or friends (trust me on this). I would recommend hiring professionals and let your friends and family actually just be a guest at your wedding.
Tip #2 - Even if your vendor has just a simple one page contract or a 10 pager, make sure it details everything they are offering and what your responsibilities are and make sure your contract lists out the Payment schedule, and total cost for services provided.
Tip #3 - READ the fine print. Slow down, stop, and take the time to read every detail on your contracts. Do Not sign a contract until you have done this. Ask questions. If you’re not comfortable signing on the spot ask if you can take a copy of the contract and review it in more detail.
Tip #4 – All of your contracts should have the Full company name, address and phone number of the vendor and Names of the bride and groom.
Tip #5 - Contracts should have the date and time of the wedding and reception (if you don’t have this information at the time of signing, it should be noted that the information will be added at a later date). Once it has been decided make sure you get an updated contract.
Tip #6 – Services or products being provided should be specified, with as much detail listed as possible. Make sure it includes Set up and Remove times.
Tip #7 - Last, be sure you receive a fully executed copy of the contract. You should be presented with an original copy of the contract, with two sets of original signatures-yours (or the person responsible for paying) and a legal representative for the vendor. In order to make the contract binding, you will need to present compensation at the time of signing.
I know this was a long one from me and not really fun information, but I really hope that this helps. I have heard of so many mishaps with vendors and brides before and after their wedding.
If you hire a Wedding Planner she will review, negotiate and be your advocate in all of your vendor contracts. This is a valuable asset to having a wedding planner by your side.
LaDawn Williams Bailey-PBC
Professional Bridal ConsultantTM/Certified Wedding Coordinator & Designer