By the time you’ve hired all of your wedding pros, you may feel like you could be a bonafide lawyer. True life, every contract is different and they each have certain clauses to protect themselves and their clients. It’s important that you understand the print and what you are agreeing to before signing you name on the dotted line. In this post, we are breaking down the most common occurrences you’re likely to run into.
SCOPE OF SERVICE
Each contract should specify the scope of service for the package you are booking with them. Remember, small changes and adjustments happen, but when any major change occurs, you don’t want to be caught unaware if the pricing changes due to that. For example, if you start working with a wedding planner on an intimate wedding for 35 guests at a local winery and a few months into the planning decide that you’d instead like to have a destination wedding for 150 guests, your wedding planner’s workload just changed significantly and you’ll likely need to revisit the contract terms.
You should always understand the terms and conditions of missing or damaged items when working with rental companies and venues. Make sure you fully understand what is covered and what is not. You don’t want to stress over a wine stain or broken glass during your special day!
Each vendor will have their own approach on how they handle cancellations. Most likely, it will depend on how much work has already been completed and how much time they have already spent working on your event. The contract should explicitly state which deposits are and are not refundable and what happens in the event of a cancellation.
Many hotels allow couples to block groups of rooms but include attrition rates if they are not reserved by a particular date. As every hotel has its own policy around cancellations and unbooked rooms, it’s very important that you understand this process prior to signing these contracts.
Force majeure is a term that covers unforeseen emergencies; say a natural disaster, medical emergency, or something tragic that could cause either party to cancel the services agreed upon in the contract. Pay close attention to the terminology with force majeure, as this policy should protect both parties mutually.
FAILURE TO COMPLY
Similar to force majeure, some vendors may include a failure to comply clause that states that they’ll do their best to find a replacement, return deposits, and give as much notice as possible if they’re not able to hold up their end of the contract. This is common with photography contracts especially, as a photographer can be so hard to replace.
An indemnity clause is a way of your vendor or venue dictating responsibility in case something unexpectedly goes awry. Let’s say a guest slips and breaks their arm during your wedding. It’s likely that your venue contract will have terminology that keeps them from being liable for such an event.