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wedding vendor contracts

Wedding contracts 101: Key clauses and terms to understand

If you are planning a wedding, you may be required to sign many wedding service contracts. You’ll need to sign a contract with your wedding planner, photographer, caterer, entertainment, venue owners, and more. Many of these contracts use similar legal terms that you’ll want to understand before you sign.

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Common wedding service contract legal terms:

Force majeure

This is what is commonly referred to as an “act of God.” An act of God includes unforeseen circumstances such as a natural disaster, fire, or medical emergency. In some cases, one or both parties may be released from their responsibilities. For example, if a fire at the venue prevents a wedding from taking place there, the couple may be released from their contractual obligation without penalty.

Indemnity and hold harmless

Usually, this means that you will not hold the vendor liable if something out of their control goes wrong. For example, if a patron hurts themselves at your wedding, you agree to not sue the venue for damage. You may want to obtain your own event insurance to protect you and the venue from liability. Ask a lawyer what is right for your situation.

Performance of services

This is a description of services to be performed. A photography contract may describe when and where photographs and video will be taken and what is expected as the product such as digital copies of final proofs. For entertainers, it may include when they are expected to set up, how long they will play, what they will play, and when they are expected to load out.

Cancellation policy

The cancellation policy often includes information about the deposit and when the contract needs to be cancelled to receive a full or partial refund.


How long the contract is active and when payment needs to be made. You should generally plan on paying as soon as services are rendered. In some cases, you may be offered terms of 15 or 30 days.

Confidentiality agreement

This section of the contract shows that the service provider agrees to keep private information, including the guest list or wedding location confidential. This agreement usually extends to employees such as servers or video assistants.


This means that one party agrees to pay the losses incurred by them. In most cases, the contract prevents indemnification or holds harmless one or both parties.


Reasons the contract may be cancelled. Examples may include non-payment or bankruptcy of either party.


How a potential default can be fixed. For example, the contract may say the service provider has ten days to remedy the situation before the contract defaults.

Dispute resolution

This section of a contract describes how problems should be solved. Often the parties are required to mediate out of court before pursuing legal action.

Even though you may feel overwhelmed with the details of planning your wedding, you should take the time to fully understand your wedding contracts. If you do not understand the terms of your agreements, ask a lawyer.

With a low-cost Premium membership, Rocket Lawyer can help. We provide affordable attorney services and legal vendor agreements including those for hiring a wedding planner or photographer, and contracts for renting out a venue. Get started for free today!

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