Why EVERY Bride Should Have a Contract With Vendors!
I know there are soooo many things going on in your mind right now. You're trying to check off all of the boxes, determine every little detail, all while making sure you try to enjoy the process!
Well, I want to encourage you to make sure you're working with vendors who have a contract put in place. I promise you, girl... this will be BEST in the long run! It's so important to have a clear contract with each vendor, and I know it may seem like one more thing to worry about, but it will make your special day go so much more smoothly.
When I first started doing weddings, I had a bride call me in tears, asking me if I was available for her wedding in one month. She told me she went to have a final meeting with her florist and unfortunately found out they were permanently closed. They took her money and didn't provide what they promised her, and I was so heartbroken for her. Luckily, we were available that day, and we were able to help her create some GORGEOUS flowers for her wedding day.
This is just one reason why it's so important to sign a contract. It protects you, and it protects them! If you're working with a vendor who doesn't have a contract, you should either insist they make one for you or find a vendor who does have one. Not only does it provide protection, but it shows that the vendor is serious about their business, and they're keeping it professional.
While every contract is a little bit different, they should all mention the payment terms/schedule, rental rules, possible cancellations, possible substitutions, and protocol for any unforeseen issues.
The first part of my contract talks about the compensation terms and the payment
schedule, just so you know exactly what's due, when. It also outlines what payment types are accepted.
The second part talks about cancellations, either by the bride or myself, and how to go about that process.
The third part of the contract talks about possible substitutions, which is extremely important since we are working with fresh, perishable product.
The fourth part talks about rental terms - when items need to be returned by, the condition they have to be returned in, etc.
And the last part of the contract talks about the right of termination and liability of failure to fulfill.
Sure, the contract outlines many "possibilities" like cancellations or adjustments that we hope to never have to use. However, the information is there in the agreement if we should ever need to explore that. I encourage you to work with ONLY vendors who supply a contract. Just remember, it protects you and eliminates any avoidable problems on your wedding day.