What should be included in my contract with the photographer?
Reception venue? Agreement with the church? Should everything
that was agreed upon be included in the contract? Are there
As you begin the process of negotiating with vendors on price,
date and time of event, always read between the lines and on
the dotted lines of your agreements. Make sure your agreements
are comprehensive, include everything that was agreed upon
during your conversations, and include any and all "freebies"
and "rebates" and the representative of the company
that you speak with is authorized to draft, sign and negotiate
agreements on behalf of the company.
The basic contents of a contract should include:
- Client Information: Includes your full name, address and
contact information (alternative contact person, i.e., your
fiancé or wedding planner), type of event, and date,
time and location of wedding. Also provide a map and driving
directions if the vendor has to deliver items and is not
familiar with the venue.
- Vendor Information: Includes the name, business address,
contact information and emergency name and contact person
for the day of the event. Make sure that the name of the
vendor that you have selected is indicated in your agreement.
For instance, if you like a particular photographer's work
and this person is one of many photographers working for
a company, make sure that his/her name is indicated as the
photographer that will take pictures for you on your wedding
- Services: Outline the nature and description of services
that are being provided. This section of the agreement should
provide as many details as possible. For example, an agreement
with a catering hall would indicate the date, time and type
of event, time of cocktail hour and/or reception, type and
color of the table linen, napkins, type of utensils, glassware,
and color scheme for the event, etc. This section will also
include the day of the expected delivery of service. (If
you decide on additional services and once the vendor has
agreed to same, you can attach such services as an addendum
to your contract provided that both parties signatures are
- Payment Information: Includes deposit information, payment
schedule for balance due, form of payments (including form
of final payment), and cancellation, postponement and refund
- Set-up: If you are renting an open space for your reception,
you will need to know the first day and time of day when
you will have access to the venue for set-up and whether
or not the rental company can store items one day prior to
the event and can retrieve items the first business day after
the event (provided that the items will be safe at the venue).
With respect to entertainment, florist, caterer, etc., your
agreement with them should specify the date and time that
they can come to set-up for their services. It is also in
your best interest, especially if the vendors are not familiar
with the venue, to schedule a tour prior to your wedding
so that they will be able to determine the best scenario
to accomplish your vision.
- Rental Items: If you are renting items, you will need to
know the exact time and date for the receipt of the rental
items, how they should be returned and the return mailing
address. If there is a rebate involved, you will need to
know if the rebate is instantaneous (upon receipt of their
rental item, you are given your rebate) or if you have to
wait a period of time to receive such rebate.
- Deadlines: Deadlines in the contract should be specified.
You need to know the last day you can give the guaranteed
number of guests to your vendors and the last day for payment,
cancellation of agreement, etc.
The aforementioned items should be included in your agreements
with all vendors, however, they are not inclusive. The items
listed in your agreements are exclusive to the type of wedding
that you are having. The more complex and detailed your wedding
is, the more detailed your agreement should be. Remember, if
the price sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If the
vendor does not want to give you his license number or proof
of insurance, find another vendor. If the vendor is reluctant
to meet with you or to entertain your questions, find a friendlier
more receptive vendor. If you find a vendor that is a bit more
expensive but you have a good rapport with them and you like
their work product, spend the extra money for a peace of mind.
There are no guarantees in life; however, if you work with
reputable vendors and you feel comfortable with what the vendor
has to offer and both parties are satisfied with their contract,
there is a likelihood that the preparation and day of activities
for your wedding will be designed especially for you.
Written By: Ms. Tye Robertson, a Certified Wedding Specialist,
is the owner of Especially For You Planners, LLC, a party,
wedding and event planning company.
© 2005 Especially For You Planners, LLC | www.efyp.com|516.616.5053