You did it! The long venue search has finally come to an end and you signed on the dotted line.
But did you read what you signed? Most often, the answer is no.
You've all signed one and most likely, didn't even read a word. But today, I am going to tell you why it is absolutely imperative that you read every inch, small print and large, front and back, cover to cover.
A contract is what protects you. A contract is what makes a company liable. A contract is what ensures your wedding is exactly as planned.
While the wedding industry is filled with amazing vendors who are honest, reliable, and will truly put their heart and soul into making your wedding day perfect, there are still those that lie, cheat, and don't give you what you are promised. I am not trying to scare you because believe me, most wedding professionals are absolutely fabulous so the odds of running into a not-so-great person are slim, but I will tell you this, it does happen. And even with vendors who are amazing, companies get sold, people forget what they said two years earlier, and things change. But a contract always remains.
And I want to prevent anything bad from happening to you...you're overwhelmed as it is so a faulty contract is the LAST thing you need just weeks before your wedding.
So before you sign on the dotted line, make sure all of the following are included, correct, and written twice! Just kidding, once is plenty, but you know what I mean :)
You may have chuckled at how simple this tip is, but you'd be surprised! You're beyond excited to book your vendor so meticulously checking even the biggest details of your wedding can be forgotten!
Wouldn't it just be the worst if a vendor accidentally double-booked a wedding, because you forgot to check the date??
Yes, you should have the time on there too! Although you may not know it at the time of booking, I would give your very best estimate, on the earlier side, just in case! Two things can go wrong if you don't make sure this is on there:
1. Two weddings may be booked in one day and if you decide to push it earlier, it may overlap with another wedding!
2. Your photographer, for example, checks the contract for the start time, making sure not to bother you just weeks before the wedding, and shows up an hour late!
It's so simple, yet so forgotten.
Wedding packages and pricing change all of the time. And from year to year, they tend to go up rather than down. So if you are promised your package at $1,000 but it goes up to $1,250 the following year, your vendor is going to have no idea what you were promised, unless the agreed upon price is written in the contract!
Not just the package name...
Many wedding professionals will include just the package in their contract to ensure it doesn't overwhelm you. But I would advise you to attach and sign what is included in that specific package in addition to the package name. What if you book your photographer two years in advance and he decides to change his packages the following year, changing the size of the album that is offered at that price? Well because it is not in the contract specifically, he may not remember, and you're out of luck!
Don't just include the item, but exactly what the item is. If you just have to have peonies in your bouquet, then make sure your florist writes that in! If you are dying for the large wedding album, then make sure the exact size, number of photos, and type of album is written in there. I know it sounds nit-picky, but if you have to have it, write it in there to be sure!
EVERYTHING you are promised!
No matter what it is that is meaningful to you and you just have to have on your wedding day, make sure it is written in the contract. And here is why...
A bride absolutely had to have her dog as her ring bearer and when booking a venue, this was the first question she asked. She and her fiance found a venue that was just perfect AND allowed dogs so she signed on the dotted line without hesitation. Booking her venue two years in advance, the company who owned the venue was taken over by a larger company within that two years. And that larger company that now owned her venue at the time of her wedding did not allow dogs anywhere on the premises.
And what could've avoided this problem? If the words "Dog is allowed at ceremony" were written in the contract, there wouldn't have been any problem. The contract would have carried over to the new company along with the prices and what was offered in the package, and that cute little puppy would've been there for her big day!
So not matter how nit picky you think you are being or how annoying you feel, make sure every tiny detail is written in each and every one of your contracts to ensure your day is absolutely perfect, the way it was planned from the beginning!