Let’s start with the basics. No matter what type of service you are booking for your wedding, whether it is a photographer, cinematographer, event stylist, hair and make-up artist or DJ, having a formal contract, in writing is an absolute must. Without a contract you have no guarantee or agreement of the services provided, along with the big question of whether the vendor will hold the date of your wedding. Without a contract, and some sort of initial payment, you can highly assume that the vendor may not provide services on the day of your wedding.
Here are a few key components of a legitimate contract:
1. The Basics:
- Name of the Bride and Groom
- Contact information of the Bride and Groom
- Date of service(s)/wedding
- Contact information of the vendor
- Location of venue(s)- some contracts allow this to be confirmed at a later date
- Start and end times – some contracts allow this to be confirmed at a later date
- Deposits and final payment amounts
- Signature of all involved parties
When you create a contract with a vendor, it is essential to clearly indicate the service you are contracting for and the details associated with that service. It could be a few bullet points or complete sentences, but it should confirm in writing the services agreed upon. This will assist in avoiding confusion when confirming details of what is expected a few weeks prior to the wedding. For example, if you are signing a AV/Lighting contract, it should list exactly what type of lighting you are receiving ie. pin-lighting, spot lighting, intelligent lighting etc. Review the contract before signing it to ensure all details are outlined correctly and as per your wishes.
Every contract should include a clause that outlines the cancellation and refund policy. Make sure to read through the cancellation and refund policy very carefully as some tend to be very complex. Understand the amounts you’ll be refunded and the cut-off dates for cancellations. Sometimes unforeseeable situations occur that can cause the wedding to be cancelled or delayed. It’s crucial to know what the cancellation and refund policy entails.
If a vendor refuses to provide a contract or is missing essential information, ask to have it included. Always think twice if a contract does not include key details.
Protect yourself and your wedding by always signing a contract with each vendor.