Recently, I met with a potential bride for my initial consultation for wedding coordinating. She pulled out her Ipad and showed me 38 questions she had for me. I was pretty impressed that she was being so thorough with her vendor selections. I spoke about all my services and what I had to offer and at the end I asked her if she had any additional questions. I had pretty much covered all her questions except for a few. So, after all the questions have been answered and you feel confident this vendor is a perfect fit for you what’s next? You’ll sign a contract. Your wedding is going to be one of the most important days of your life. It is very important that you pay great attention to all the legalities of all your wedding purchases…the contracts!
Make sure you get every business transaction in writing. This is very crucial! I had a bride, in the past, that hired a mariachi band for her ceremony and cocktail hour. I asked her for the contract so I could review it and she hadn’t signed one. They said they were good for it. WRONG! I insisted she get something in writing from them. They put together a vague one page sheet and guess what….they couldn’t do the ceremony at the last minute. It ended up working out after she said she wouldn’t use them at all if they didn’t come to the ceremony. However, their contract didn’t outline each and every location of service. She asked for a more detailed contract and could never get one from them. Be sure all specifics are laid out in the contract in writing! If they don’t offer you a contract then walk away!
Write everything down. This includes:
- When deposits and payments are made (write it at the top of the contracts to keep track of it).
- When you arrange for a service (write down the name of the person you spoke to and the date along with the order plans). You would hate to be charged double!
Read the fine print. Inquire about additional fees they might be trying to sneak in. If you do not agree with them then ask that they be taken off. Most vendors will want your business and be open to this. Also be sure that all the details of their service and what was agreed upon is stated in the contract. I had a bride attend a bridal show and sign a lengthy & well drawn out contract that day so she would receive the show special, a free keg. The day of the wedding there was no keg and I asked where it was. They were not aware of the keg because they had failed to mention the show special on the contract and had forgotten it. They ended up running to the store and bought canned beer instead.
Don’t rush into signing a contract before you can take the time to thoroughly read it. Ask if you can take the contract home with you so you can review it at your leisure.
Just like the bride who came prepared with 38 questions for me, do the same with every vendor. Look online for, “Questions to ask your caterer, venue, cake vendor, etc.” You want to make sure the vendor you work with has experience, a good contract, shows professionalism and can answer your questions. Here’s a link to my Wedding Tools page on my website. If you have any additional questions about what to look for in your contract, contact Trudy Scott, Professional Wedding Consultant, 210-595-9263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.