3 Things to Pay Attention to When Navigating Vendor Contracts
Vendor contracts. When you are planning your wedding, you will meet with what feels like a million different vendors, and you will read what feels like a million different contracts. While the bulk of vendor contracts is pretty repetitive, here are three things you should pay attention to when navigating the stormy seas of contracts.
1) Does their contract state a strategy for a plan b?
If it's an outdoor venue contract you are looking at, the vendor in question should state in their contract that there is a specified plan b in case of weather or other circumstance. Also check for mention of back up generators because if it turns out you have to provide those, that can be costly and a real big pain (like no power, lights, bathroom, music, or food for you or your guests if those blow during a storm...it has happened).
For DJs, photographers, videographers, outside caterers, florists...pretty much any vendor you are bringing IN to a space, check the contract and see what their plan b is in case of emergency or the unfortunate circumstance that they cannot make it. Each vendor may have a different plan b, and that is something you can ask them about in your consultation, but just make sure their plan b quells your anxiety and then trust that they know what they are doing.
2) Do they bring in back up equipment?
I mentioned back up generators with an outdoor venue, but for other vendors such as DJ, videographers, and photographers, does their contract state anything about bringing back up equipment? Or does it state anything about their equipment at all? DJ/band should definitely have another set of equipment in case their speakers don't work (if they are responsible for providing speakers), microphones, laptops, etc. etc. You get the picture. Photographers and videographers need back up cameras, SD/CF cards, lighting, etc. Basically, make sure that these vendors have you covered and you won't end up listening to your Spotify playlist on a Beats Pill and watching your videographer take footage on his iPhone.
3) Does the venue have or require insurance?
Something you probably don't think about when looking for venues, but some venues require that YOU have a Wedding & Event Liability Insurance policy to rent their space. And it's not just the super offbeat venues that require this either. Lots of museums, historic mansions, and private estates will require that you have a policy in place in case anything at the venue gets damaged. This is definitely an added cost and something you want to look into because you do NOT want to sign a contract and have drunk uncle at your wedding smash a 1,000 year old African vase and then be on the hook for that.
Other than that, the bulk of the contract should be pretty straightforward (and boring). If you have any concerns about the contract, or the wording is confusing, be sure to clear up your confusion with the vendor before signing anything. They should be able to address your concerns pretty easily, and you will walk away feeling confident in your vendors, and there is nothing more valuable than that on your wedding day.
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