Before I even begin on this topic let me first say that I am not talking about a prenuptial agreement. Okay now that I’ve said that. 🙂 I’m talking about the planning of your BIG DAY. So you’ve said yes, you’ve flaunted your engagement ring around for several weeks now. Excitement is at an all time high. By now you have sat down with a few vendors, learned about services, pricing, and in the midst of the excitement you make a payment get a receipt and you are on your way. Smiling all the way back home you feel like you have already accomplished something in your wedding planning process and eliminated something off your To Do List.
Let’s rewind for just a moment. I didn’t mention anything about you signing a contract. That’s because you didn’t sign one. This particular vendor does not give contracts. He says you have his word that you’ll have the wedding of your dreams and you were sold. In fact all you have is a receipt showing how much you paid, the date you paid. There is no service description, no event details, no contact information, nothing at all. While the vendor was very polite, knowledgeable, and professional in your opinion. Why doesn’t he give a contract? Its been my experience that vendors who work without a written agreement do so for several reasons:
1. They do not know how to properly draft a contract so they avoid it all together.
2. Fear that clients will not want to abide by the conditions set within the contract, hence causing them to loose a sale. So they prefer to work on verbal agreements.
3. They are in the business to rip people off. Yes these evil people are out there.
Rule number one. NEVER HIRE A VENDOR WHO DOES NOT HAVE A CONTRACT!!!!!!
When you do this you may set yourself up for failure. There is no guarantee that you will receive the services you discussed and paid for. The only way you can be assured is to have a written agreement. Having a contract will also serve as an aid in the event a vendor not abide by it. God forbid you have to take a vendor to court for not abiding by the agreement you had with them. But, should this happen you will have a contract to enforce particular actions.
As a Wedding Planner, I ALWAYS tell my clients to have contracts. Do they all listen, no not all the time. Have I seen some of them pay for it, YES I HAVE. The reality is things happen but with a contract at least you’ll have back up in the event something is not done according to the agreement. So in closing, the moral is, if it’s not in written in a binding contract, do not think you can enforce it.