You are floating on air that your engaged, now comes the stress… choosing a date, a location, and your vendors. Of course, we recommend hiring a wedding planner or coordinator to help you through this. However, even with your wedding planner/coordinator, you will need a contract from them as well.
Here is what you need to look for on your contracts.
1 – If a wedding vendor does not have a contract. They are not a legitimate wedding vendor as you should have a contract from each of your vendors.
2 – Verify your wedding information. Is your name spelled correctly? Is the location, time and date correct. I know it sounds like a simple thing, but there was a case where the contract had a different date than the bride had wanted. We were able to catch it in time, and make adjustments.
3 – What services is the vendor providing? It should be spelled out. For example, is the rehearsal included? Or if a wedding photographer, engagement photos? If cake or caterer, is a tasting included? Make sure you are receiving the services you want.
4 – Is the deposit refundable? Industry standard is that the deposit is non-refundable. For clarity in relation to planners/coordinators, a full refund is not possible because the majority of the Wedding Services (e.g., planning, timelines, bookings and visitations with third-party vendors, etc.) will be performed prior to the wedding date and the company must be compensated for Services that are rendered prior to the cancellation.
5 – What is the cancellation policy? If you need to cancel or postpone your wedding, what are your options with this vendor.
6 – Is there an “act of nature” clause? What are your options in the event of a hurricane or other act of nature? If an outdoor wedding, what are your options if it rains?
7 – What if a vendor cancels? Life happens, if the vendor suddenly has a death in the family the day before your wedding, what is the plan? We get a least 1 call a month asking for last minute officiant or coordination due to the vendor backing out at last minute due to life situations.
8 – How is your balance treated? When is it due? Can you pay it off early? What happens if your late in paying?
9 – Are there time limits? Are there exact times on the contract, such as a photographer saying their service is 2 hours, 5-7 pm. What if the wedding starts late?
10 – Do you understand everything in the contract? If not, ask the vendor for clarification! The best method of this is email so you have a hard copy of the answers that you can file with the contract.
Wedding vendors are not out to trick you. Their contract should be set up to protect both you and them for the services you are needing. By making sure you understand the answers to these questions for each vendor, it will prevent stress and worry later. As with any contract, you should read all of it before signing.