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11 Clauses You Should Include in Wedding Contracts

11 Clauses You Should Include in Wedding Contracts

Whether you are a florist, a DJ, a wedding planner, a caterer, or some other wedding-related service provider, the wedding industry is one where you especially need a strong contract. In fact, a quick glance online will show you other industry service providers just full of horror stories - many of which could have been prevented or easily resolved with a strong contract in place.


The truth is, when it comes to weddings emotions are high, expectations are high, and the bills are high. Which can often lead to some messy situations. So, as a service provider, what should you be sure to include in wedding contracts?

Clauses to Include in Every Contract

When it comes to having a contract in place, every contract should have three things in order to be considered a legal contract. The offer, the offer acceptance, and each party giving something up. In the case of the wedding industry, you’re giving up your time and services, and the wedding party is giving up money. Having those things outlined, as well as dated signatures, means you’ve got yourself a legal contract. 


However, whether or not you’re fully covered by your contract is dependent on the situation at hand, and the clauses you’ve included. For every contract, we suggest these 7 essential clauses: Scope of Work, Payment Terms, Deliverables, Revisions, Cancellation and Termination, Liability and Indemnification, and Confidentiality. But when it comes to the wedding industry? We have 11 other clauses you should also include in wedding contracts.

Clauses You Should Include in Wedding Contracts

Meals and Breaks

When you work a wedding, your work days are not short. And because you’re a contractor, there aren’t labor laws that protect your breaks. So you need to be sure to include breaks within your contracts to protect yourself. While you’re at it, be sure to include both whether the client will provide a meal for you, as well as when you’ll take breaks and for how long.

 

Weather Contingency Plan

If your weddings are outdoors, there’s always a chance of poor weather. For some wedding industry service providers, a change in weather may not affect your work. But if you’re a service provider that would be affected, be sure to include weather contingency plans within your contract, including any additional costs that will occur or changes to the event setup that would be needed.

Media Rights

You’re a business owner, and because we know that you’re a smart business owner, we know that you want to be able to use images and videos from the wedding for your own marketing purposes. In order to do so you need to ask if you are able to use photographs and videos taken during the wedding for promotional purposes. And then include that in your contract. Be sure to detail the rights and usage permissions to protect yourself.

Event Date and Venue 

Not only do you want to make sure that the event date and venue are specifically outlined in your contract, but you should also include any alternate dates or venues that have been agreed upon in the case of unforeseen circumstances. This one may seem simple and self-evident, but you might be surprised at horror stories of double bookings due to incorrect dates being given by a bride or groom.

Access and Set Up Times

No matter what industry you’re in, when it comes to weddings you probably have some setup involved in what you’re providing. Within your contract, you’ll want the following questions clearly outlined: When are you allowed on-site to set up? How long do you have to teardown? What are your specific setup and removal responsibilities? Do any of those responsibilities fall onto the client?

 

 

Event Timeline

In addition to those access times, you’ll want to include a detailed timeline of the day itself. Including and especially when your specific services will be provided, and when they won’t be. This makes it very clear to both you and your clients when you will be available and “on the clock” and when you won’t be.

Decor and Equipment Usage 

If the venue has any restrictions or guidelines for decorations, equipment, or rental items that affect your service, be sure to include those within your contract. 

Emergency Contact

The last thing you want to do on a wedding day is waste time because you’re unable to contact the bride or groom. Ensure that you have an emergency contact in place, and outline what decisions they can make in place of the wedding party for last-minute changes.

Final Detail Arrangements and Dates

Clarify how and when the client will provide you with the final necessary details. Whether that’s a final guest count, final decisions on rentals, a set list, or whatever else you may need, including a date that those final details are due to you so that you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to finalize your own plans.

 

 

Force Majeure and Postponement

Unless you live in a hurricane-prone area, Force Majeure is something you may not have had in your contract prior to COVID. However, we sincerely hope that everyone has this clause in their contracts now, as it protects you from the need to cancel and lose money due to unforeseen circumstances like a natural disaster or, you know, a public health emergency. 


However, you likely won’t be surprised to hear that you should also include information on postponing or rescheduling due to client circumstances. What does that process look like? What refund can they expect, if any? How far in advance should they cancel to expect a refund? All of these are questions that should be covered in your contract.

Client Responsibilities 

Last, but certainly not least, when it comes to clauses to include in wedding contracts, you’ll want to ensure that you outline the client's responsibilities. Things like obtaining any necessary permits, providing accurate information, and adhering to venue rules and regulations … all of which protect you from any potential issues that may arise.

Want to ensure that your business is fully protected? Our Protect Your Bootie Cutie workbook is 26 pages of in-depth action steps and checklists that will help ensure that your business is set up for (legal) success, your inquiry process is A+, and your client relationships keep your clients screaming about your services from the very rooftops.


Amanda Warfield
Amanda Warfield

Amanda Warfield is a simplicity-focused content marketing and launch strategist, author of the book Chasing Simple Marketing, and host of Chasing Simple - a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicate their marketing and business. She traded in her classroom lesson plans for speaking and educating creative entrepreneurs on sustainably fitting content marketing into their business, without it taking over their business - so that they have time to grow their business.

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