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How to protect your big day from difficult wedding vendors

With proper planning, good communication, and comprehensive service contracts, you can avoid most issues that may occur with wedding vendors. Your wedding planner will likely handle most problems with your vendors, but if you are doing your own planning, we can help you with your contractual agreements.

Wedding vendor contracts protect you and your vendors from common misunderstandings like payment issues, liability concerns, scheduling conflicts, performance expectations, and more. Here are few ways that contracts can help to protect you and your spouse-to-be from difficult situations:

Tying the knot?

Ask a lawyer about your wedding vendor contracts and find other legal resources.

Venue rentals

A Facilities Rental Agreement locks in your date and time, defines your agreements, protects both parties from liability, and outlines cancellation terms. The contract also relates what type of insurance, security, cleaning services and medical staff is required. Renting a venue is often one of your larger expenses and well-worth making sure that you have an agreeable contract.

Entertainment: DJ or band

Music Performance and DJ Contracts protect you in numerous ways. These contracts lock-in your dates and times and outline your expectations. They also relate what types of equipment the vendor will supply, what power you may need to provide, and more, to make everything run smoothly. You can also stipulate what type of insurance they are required to have to protect you from liability and their equipment from theft or damage.

Catering & bartending

Catering Contracts and Bartending Agreements provide you and the vendor protection and define your terms of engagement. Catering Agreements outline the menu and what is expected of the catering company. It also outlines payment information and cancellation terms. Bartending Contracts outline what is expected of the liquor service, how much they will be paid, and more.

Wedding planner

Your wedding planner is the most important person you’ll hire to help you with your wedding. In many cases, they may be the one directly working with your vendors, as well. A comprehensive Wedding Planner Agreement can help you clearly define what you expect of your wedding planner from day one.

Photographer & video

Like your wedding planner, your photographer is one of the most important services you’ll hire for your wedding. Your photographer only has one chance to capture your wedding, so you’ll want to hire the best (and most professional) photographer you can afford. Photography Contracts outline your expectations, payment arrangements, lock-in time and date, and more. If you are hiring a separate provider to make your wedding video, you’ll need a Videography Contract, as well.  

Liability insurance & alcohol indemnity

Your vendors should carry their own insurance and you may need to acquire event insurance, as well. Event insurance helps protect you from liability should an incident occur. Your venue may also request that they be named in the event insurance, as well. Most event insurance companies will allow you to add alcohol indemnity coverage to your insurance plan. Alcohol indemnity protects you should an incident occur due to overconsumption of alcohol or inebriated reckless behavior. Event and alcohol indemnity insurance is not costly and is not an expense that you should skip without serious consideration. Ask a lawyer to learn what might be right for you.

Working with wedding vendors can be challenging and stressful, but remember that you are the client and payer of their fees. You have every right to dictate how they will provide their services and manage your expectations. Good contracts help start the client-vendor relationship on good terms and can be referenced later if there is a misunderstanding. If you end up having legal issues with your vendors, our network of On Call attorneys, can help you with low-cost legal advice.

If you have other questions or hesitations about your wedding contracts, be sure to ask a lawyer before signing.

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