There is this giddy feeling that comes with weddings. The colors on display, the crescendoing music, a bridesmaid train that exudes elegance and glamour, luxurious embellishments on attendees’ dresses, the big jackpot-like smiles of the couple, and the subtle ‘I do’ reply, and whatnot makes this a dream ceremony for many young individuals.
However, bad planning can make this dream day a nightmare. Sometimes wedding planners are not enough to get everything working as planned. Wedding contracts are instead, the key to keeping the couple, their photographers, caterers, DJ, and even wedding planners on the same page. It is even more important for you if you are the one offering these services. Asides setting boundaries and stating the expectations for you and your clients from the get-go, it makes the client see you as a professional and an organized individual.
In this article, we will be taking a look at what a wedding contract is, its contents, its importance, and the consequences of not drawing up one.
Part 1: What Is a Wedding Contract?
A wedding contract is a legal document that spells out in precise details the payment terms, schedules, responsibilities, and expectations of both parties. After reading the contract document and signing accordingly, both parties should understand each other’s stance regarding agreed price, work terms, and output expectations.
Most wedding planners understand the importance of a wedding contract and would usually craft one. The same cannot be said of photographers, DJs, or caterers who just want to show their craft, satisfy their clients, and get paid. If you fit into this shoe, we understand that the legal part of weddings is not exactly your thing. They can be boring and a tad too technical. That is why CocoSign has designed some free wedding contract templates you can use.
Wedding contracts are a necessary evil if you want a hitch-free relationship with your clients. If you put yourself in their shoes, you’d realize that it is possible for them to miss many things while planning for possibly the most important day of their lives. A wedding contract simplifies the entire process and even keeps their mind at rest. It is an opportunity to write down your work terms, price, and schedules in black and white.
Part 2: What to Include in a Wedding Contract?
As the groom or the bride, it can be fascinating to gather a wedding vendor team finally. What’s left? Appending your signature on the wedding contract, right? That should be easy, isn’t it? Not particularly! It is important you fully understand what you are agreeing to before appending your signature.
Wedding contracts are written with varying protections for both the wedding vendors and the clients. Although most of your vendors would want you to trust them and hence develop documents that will protect your interest as well. Still, it is important you understand what should be contained in a wedding contract so you know what terms and conditions you are agreeing to. The following are a few things that should be contained in a sample wedding contract
Date of Contract Writing:
This might seem insignificant, but it matters a lot. The contract document must include what date the contract document is signed.
Date and Time of the Event:
Also important is the date and time of the wedding ceremony.
Name of Couple:
It should include the names of the couple and their contact information.
Mode of Compensation:
It should contain in black and white what dates payments are due, the mode of payment and the deposit amount to be made before the start of the event.
Cancellation Terms/Force Majeure Clause:
What happens when ‘acts of God’ or situations beyond our control happens.
It outlines what party is responsible for paying legal counsel bills in case there is ever a need to take any legal action.
It profiles all that the client can additionally ask from their service provider as the event ensues or the project begins.
The contract document must contain the signatures of all parties involved.
Part 3: Why is a wedding contract necessary?
Weddings can seem like it's all butterflies and romance, but it involves a lot more. Wedding planning is a business transaction and should be treated as such. A wedding contract agreement is written to avoid any strain in the relationship between the client and the wedding vendor or wedding service provider. It protects both parties from potential disputes and problems.
Misunderstandings are a common feature of any planning, especially when it is done over the phone, email, or text messages. A written contract is the only way to ensure that all terms were understood fully by all the parties involved.
For best results, be as specific as possible. This means avoiding generic terms like the caterer, interior decorator, and client. Since you will be employing specific individuals and brands, make sure the contract contains their particular names, event locations, and dates.
Part 4: Consequences of Not Using Wedding Contracts
As earlier highlighted, not using a wedding contract can lead to a lot of problems. It is what validates an agreement between both parties.
Starting out a project without a clearly written contract means that your position or that of the other party isn’t clear or, worse still, is very weak. Not using a contract means that the agreement is not legally binding. Hence, either party can do as they please and will not be responsible for anything that goes wrong.
As a wedding vendor, not signing a wedding contract can leave you vulnerable in case of a wedding cancellation. Imagine putting all your time and resources into planning and not getting paid because the event is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. A wedding contract states what happens in this case and might be the only way to get out of such mess unscathed.
Wedding contracts are essential. However, crafting one isn’t exactly straightforward. This is where you might find the services of CocoSign very helpful. CocoSign has a lot of free contract samples you might want to try. These wedding contract samples are very easy to understand by both parties and super-detailed.
WEDDING CONTRACT INSTRUCTIONS
This Wedding Contract shall be filled after completion of a _________________. And before _________________, and before the start of work performed. It constitutes a pro forma Contract between __________________________ [Wedding Planning Company], hereafter “Wedding Planner” and __________________________ [client], hereafter “Client”, at the location defined as the Venue. All sections of this Form are mandatory unless specified otherwise, and non-applicable fields must be filled with “N/A”. Failure to fill and sign this form may result in nullification of terms, compensation, or replacement with another Form.
The following terms, including abbreviations, legal phraseology, acronyms, and specific words or phrases are sometimes used in this Contract, and carry specific meanings as defined in this section. Terms used within this Contract will be presumed to be understood, and Parties agree to look up or consult with legal counsel to obtain full understanding of all terms, even terms not listed in this section.
_______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________
The Wedding Planner and the Client, defined below, and sometimes referred to in this document as “Parties”, intend to enter into this legally binding Painting Contract, hereafter sometimes referred to as “Contract”, on this ________ day of __________________, 20 ____, sometimes referred to in this document as “Effective Date.”
The party consisting of ________________________________________________[company name], with residence address _____________________________, with phone number ____________________ and email address or other contact information: _______________________________________________________________________________
Shall be known within this Contract as “Client,” and is the party issuing liquid and other considerations in exchange for promises made by the other Party.
The party consisting of ________________________________________________[full name], with address of residence _____________________________, with phone number ____________________ and email address or other contact information: ______________________________________________________________________
Shall be known within this Contract as “Wedding Planner,” and is the party issuing covenants, promises, and performing or causing to be performed acts, beneficial to the other Party in exchange for liquid and other considerations.
The primary location where the acts of work are to be performed is
hereafter sometimes referred to as the “Venue”.
And the description of specific sub-locations, including but not limited to: buildings, walls, floors, or rooms included or excluded, or specific areas which warrant further description in order to further refine the defined Venue with regards to the scope of this Contract, is as follows:
_______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ Security Access to the Venue is provided via the following protocol and procedure: _______________________________________________________________________________ And the Schedule of Allowed Access of the Wedding Planner to the Venue is: _______________________________________________________________________________
FULL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
The Parties acknowledge that by signing this Contract, they form a legally binding contract which stipulates that each party has read and understands fully all clauses within this Contract. To foster complete understanding, all reasonable measures are taken:
Time to Review
This Contract, signed by the Wedding Planner on the Date indicated by the signature, shall remain ready to sign by the other Party, without changes, for a Review Period of _______ days after the Offer Date, for the Parties to have time to fully consider the contract. During this time, it is encouraged for the Client to seek legal advice and fully read and understand the contract, as well as all rights and privileges that are available to the Client in the absence of this Contract.
During the Review Period, the Client may Accept this Contract by signing and returning a copy of the duly signed Contract to the Wedding Planner, either through paper or electronic means.
After 11:59 PM on the last day of the Review Period, if Acceptance is not received by the Wedding Planner, this Contract will automatically be considered voided.
Time to Revoke
A period of _____ days “Revocation Period” after Acceptance by the Wedding Planner is designated for the unconditional revocation of this Contract. During this period, the Wedding Planner may, at any time, and for any reason, at their own discretion, nullify this Contract by notification of the Client in writing by paper or electronic means. The expiration of this Revocation Period is after 11:59 PM on the last day of the period.
This Contract is the entire Contract as of the Effective Date, between Parties, and supersedes and replaces any prior Contracts, representations, and or warranties, express or implied, written, or oral, and such other Contracts are voided, with the exception of the attached addendums listed below:
The Contract will be effective starting on this “Effective Date” of the _________ th/rd of ____________, 20 ___, and continue its effect until the “Expiration Date” of the
_________ th/rd of ____________, 20 ___, or if stricken out, the effect will remain in perpetuity, until nullified by a separate binding act of nullification.
The Wedding date is set for the ________th/rd day of _____________, 20 _____.
WORK TO BE PERFORMED
On the Work Venue and Principal Place of Business defined as __________________________________ ___________________________[address and specific location], the Wedding Planner agrees to perform the scope of work for the Client, defined within the Wedding titled herein, with consideration for such work defined below, “Consideration,” and milestones and deadlines for the start of work term ___________________[date] and end of work term ______________________ [date]
Wedding Planner agrees to cause or perform the following acts of work, in exchange for Consideration given by the Customer, subject to each act and considerations’ respective terms and conditions, which are described within this Article, and are sometimes referred to in this Contract as “Wedding.”
The Wedding description and/or package selection is as follows: _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________
Changes made to ______________________ shall be subject to a fee of _________________ if made less than ________ days before the wedding date.
Changes made to ______________________ shall be subject to a fee of _________________ if made less than ________ days before the wedding date.
A booking retainer of _____________________ shall be paid by the Client to the Wedding planner, no later than ________________. After payment, the Booking Retainer will be used to pay for expenses required to arrange the venue, catering, and other planning tasks. The Booking Retainer shall be refundable until a time of _______________________, after which, it shall not be refundable.
Client will be responsible for the payment of all travel expenses, including increases in ticket fares, package rates, changes in accommodation costs, and any other third-party expenses.
Failure of Parties to insist upon strict performance of the terms, covenants, and conditions herein contained, or to exercise rights implied or expressed within this Contract shall not be deemed a waiver of any Parties’ rights or remedies herein, or any prior or subsequent rights or remedies.
[ ] If elected, Parties agree that Wedding Planner may assign and/or subcontract work and acts defined in Wedding parts within this Contract, including:
And excluding: _______________________________________________________________________________
And if NOT ELECTED, Wedding Planner may not assign and/or subcontract any work and acts defined in Wedding Articles within this Contract.
PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRACT ATTACHED
[ ] Attached is a child contract for photography services, with fees that have been included in the consideration for this Wedding Contract.
[ ] No Photography Service Attached. Photography services are not included in the fees, or duties expected of the Wedding Planner, as per this contract. If Photography Services are desired, the Client must request separately.
The venue for any disputes relating to or arising from the contract will be in the local jurisdiction where the Work is created. When a legal action arises from the Contract, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees and court costs from the non-prevailing party.
If a dispute arises from this Contract and parties are unable to resolve their dispute, then both parties hereby agree to seek mediation prior to filing a lawsuit. Mediator(s) should be a neutral third party which is mutually agreed upon and chosen between both parties.
If either party initiates a lawsuit without attending mediation, then that party shall not be entitled to recovering attorney fees and court costs even when otherwise entitled parties agreed to seek first mediation as a solution for any disputes.
If both parties attend mediation and are unsuccessful in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution, then both parties agree to attend legally binding arbitration. In this case, the arbitrator shall be mutually agreed upon by both parties and be experienced in residential real estate law and shall include a written record of the arbitration hearing. By initialing the spaces provided in both parties agree to attend arbitration if mediation is not successful. If both parties elect this arbitration clause and one party initiates a lawsuit without attending arbitration, then that party shall not be entitled to recovering attorney’s fees and court costs even when otherwise entitled.
INITIALS _______ [Client] _______ [Wedding Planner]
Parties will NOT be deemed in breach, or to have liability, or need to perform services, if the reason of the breach, liability, or failure to perform services, is due in whole or part to: acts of God, worker strike, supplier delay or lack of availability, regulation or regulation changes, war, epidemic, weather, unavoidable accidents or any other cause outside of the control of the Wedding Planner or Client.
This Contract is subject to the law of ________________________________, and specific statutes:
Any terms, covenants, promises, and provisions, whether express or implied, are voided if contradicted by governing law. Parties are not obliged to comply with any terms that violate any Governing law or cause any illegal action. If any terms are voided due to governing law, this does