Very few days can hold a candle to your wedding day. When planning a wedding, brides and grooms typically focus on details such as the wedding party, who they’re going to invite, how many people are attending, what venue to book, what sort of food or decorations they should have, etc.
While all elements of a successful wedding, you also don’t want to forget your wedding contract.
While a document full of legal jargon isn’t as glamorous as a long, flowing wedding dress or choosing between Hawaii or Jamaica for your honeymoon, it’s still something that you should carefully review, inside and out.
This city hall marriage guide in San Francisco will break down what you should check in your wedding contract.
Why Is a Wedding Contract Crucial?
From major details like choosing your wedding dress to more minor details like choosing what type of napkins to serve your guests, a wedding often feels like a magical experience.
However, besides all the romance and enchantment, it’s important to remember that a wedding is still a business transaction. When you work with wedding vendors and/or an event planner, you’re conducting business. To ensure everyone’s on the same page, you’ll want a carefully laid-out wedding contract for each vendor.
Anything you want from a vendor should be detailed inside their contract. Whether it’s payment installments for your wedding dress, you should write out your wedding forms, detailing any services provided such as photography and food and drinks provided by a catering service, etc.
Clauses of a Wedding Contract
Depending upon the size and scope of your wedding, there may be a lot of elements to the point where the whole process can seem overwhelming. However, weddings – small or large – typically include all the same clauses in their wedding contracts. Clauses include:
- Provided services
- Any travel expenses
- Payment methods
- Postponement/cancellations/rescheduling for vendors
- Vendor termination
- Force Majeure – a clause that frees a party from liability in the case of an unforeseen/unpreventable event
What to Do Before Signing a Wedding Contract
There are important steps to take before signing your wedding contract. Doing so can help you understand your contract more, make adjustments, and keep everyone on the same page.
Read the Contract at Least Twice
Sometimes we don’t read the entire contract. However, for your wedding contract, you’ll want to read through all the terms and conditions at least twice.
Not only should you read through your contract, but you sure also have other parties read through it as well. This may include your fiancé, parents, and your wedding planner. If a section, in particular, seems to be confusing and filled with legal jargon, you may want a lawyer to clarify any unclear section.
Make Sure Everything’s Included
Weddings can have a lot of moving elements. As such, it’s understandable that a certain service from a vendor may have been accidentally excluded. One way to avoid this is by having a well-structured plan or itinerary that includes everything you want. If something fails to make the contract, ensure you include it before signing.
Make Sure the Total Fee Is Truly Total
The total fee of your wedding may not account for expenses such as labor or gratuity, which can sometimes rack up to be an additional 20% or more. That’s why you should have a breakdown in writing of how every single cent will be spent on the wedding.
Carefully Review the Breach of Contract Statement
It’s important to remember that wedding vendors are humans too, and sometimes things happen. That’s why you’ll want to carefully review the breach of contract statement to see if it accounts for worst-case situations, including a vendor canceling or not properly fulfilling the services they agreed to.
What’s the Cancellation/Rescheduling Policy?
You may have the perfect day and time picked for your wedding. However, life happens, and there’s always the chance that you may need to cancel/reschedule your wedding. You may even need to postpone until an indefinite time.
Having your contract lay out what happens in the case of a cancellation/reschedule is vital. Questions to ask may include:
- Am I allowed to cancel at any time?
- Is there a specific period where I can no longer cancel?
- Are there any cancellation fees?
- If I cancel, will I get my deposit back or a portion of it?
How Does Payment Work?
Every vendor has a preferred method of payment. Some vendors you can/want to pay upfront, while other vendors might request a payment option broken into different installments. Whatever the case is, you’ll want to know how payment works, including the total fees and payment due dates.
Confirm the Hours
You may have your wedding and wedding party delineated for a set amount of hours. However, that doesn’t mean that every vendor will be complying with those set hours. Making sure the wedding contract designates the number of hours each vendor has can help you avoid any additional fees.
For example, your photographer may only request to be there for the ceremony and the first couple hours of the wedding party. Dragging them to take pictures for an additional hour or two may result in a few more hundred bucks.
Be Clear on the Due Date
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you know the due date to sign your wedding contract for each vendor. Planning and getting ready for a wedding can be a chaotic time, but you don’t want to lose a wedding venue or an awesome DJ for your party just because you were off by a day or two.
Contact City Hall Today
Planning your wedding should be a magical experience. However, with so many moving parts and expenses, weddings can be extremely stressful. Knowing the ins and outs of your wedding contract can make the process easier.
Additionally, choosing the right venue can make the process easier. By getting married in San Francisco City Hall, you can eliminate some stress, maximize savings, and have a magical experience.
Contact San Francisco City Hall today and learn more about wedding invitations!