Must I Sign Contracts With Wedding Vendors?

A Contract Outlines Exactly What You Are Purchasing

Are you requesting something out of the ordinary from your venue (upgraded linens instead of standard linens for example)? Your contract outlines specifically what you are expecting your wedding vendor to provide. Look for these items in your contracts:

  • Date of event
  • Arrival Time
  • Specific package/service/product (should be very descriptive)
  • Amount of deposit needed to book services and whether or not it is non-refundable
  • Payment schedule
  • Cancellation policy
  • Whether the vendor should be provided a hot meal on wedding day
  • Date the final product (such as wedding videos) will be completed
  • Any special requests (even if your vendor has verbally agreed to do something special for you, if it’s not in writing, it may as well not exist!)

Pay special attention to the cancellation clause of your contract. In many cases, it will state that the initial deposit is non-refundable if the event is cancelled. This is to protect the vendor from loss and to compensate them for work performed to date. Keep in mind that once you booked your date with a vendor, they are probably turning down other business for the same date.

A Contract is a Means of Protecting Oneself

Because the contract is clear on what products and services are being provided, it is a reference in case you have an issue or concern with what has been received. If your florist agreed to provide calla lilies for your bouquets, and they are delivered with roses, you have recourse to request new bouquets! Because there are so many details to remember regarding your wedding, contracts are a great way to keep up with the specifics.

A Contract Should Be Read Carefully!

Don’t just gloss over the language and rush to sign! Read each clause of the contract carefully, and if you have questions, ask! A professional should be happy to explain each clause to you, so you fully understand what you are signing. Be leery of a contract that requires an extremely large payment upfront or of a vendor who cannot (or will not) address your concerns.

Read and ask questions! I can’t emphasize this enough! And make sure your contracts contain all of the specifics and special items requested before you sign. Don’t allow a vendor to intimidate you into signing something you don’t understand or something that is incomplete.

Happy Planning!

Brenna Taylor has been planning weddings, special events and conferences for several years. She combines her love for event planning, particularly weddings, with her almost 18 years of corporate project management experience, to assist clients in planning the important events of their lives.

To receive a copy of Brenna’s free wedding planning resource, please visit her website at

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