It is true that weddings are wonderful affairs and proper preparation requires a great deal of down-to-earth paperwork. The written contracts with all the vendors you hire to carry out the biggest day of your life are so important.
Contracts are legal documents that define specific terms and conditions of the service to be done, keeping misunderstandings to an absolute minimum. A properly prepared contract should protect you and the vendor you hire. Most commonly wedding vendors provide you with formal contracts. Contracts are not fun to read but doing so can save you time and money later.
It is your responsibility to understand everything included in the contract. If you are unsure of something that is included in the contract, have it explained before signing. Most importantly include the exact date of the wedding day. The exact time of your event must also be included. Many reception sites have multiple events, even multiple weddings on the same day. The total cost and itemized rundown of what is included in the prices is important to avoid last minute surprises and expenses. You may assume certain accessories are part of the price until you are told on the big day that it costs extra.
Make sure that accessories such as tables, chairs linens, etc. are included in the price.
What specific decoration is included? What areas are decorated? If you agreed on specific colors, be sure to include it in as much detail as you can.
Insist on including the date and dollar amount of your deposit and the date of when the total amount is due. Include the exact address of the venue. You don’t want to send out invitations without having the exact address in writing. If the company has multiple rooms for events, make sure the name of the room is included in the contract.
Make sure you understand the cancellation and refund policy of the venue. You have to understand you options in case you must change the date or change the venue altogether.
You should be provided with name and phone number of the emergency contact person.
Room capacity, to make sure the site is big enough to accommodate your wedding party.
Contracts are a serious matter, and they require careful attention. They are legal and binding, so you might want an attorney or a wedding professional to review it for you before you sign it. You may save a lot of money by investing a little in some professional help. Before signing the contract, read it over carefully. Don’t allow it to be rushed into signing the contract until you have understood it entirely.
Never pay the entire amount in advance, but many companies will ask you to pay half of the total amount upon closure of the contract. Others may ask only for a down payment. Be prepared to pay with cash, card, or a personal check, and always get a receipt. To protect yourself, try to pay with a credit card. When reading the contract and before signing, find out what your obligations are. If you guests drink a bit too much, find out who would be responsible should anything happen. Make sure the place is insured; get detailed information about their coverage.
Once you made your decision, you have to receive a written contract signed and dated by the person in charge. The contract must include all of your responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees offered by the venue.
Be sure to keep copies of all signed contracts with all of your vendors in safe place until at least 1 year after your wedding, just in case.