Tip of the Day #81: How to Protect Yourself from Wedding Disasters
Let’s face it – legal jargon and discussing wedding snafus can take the romance out of wedding planning. As more reports of wedding nightmares have been exposed in the media, it has become vital to explore options for protecting your wedding (and bank account) against any wedding liabilities. Here are our top tips for preparing for a stress-free wedding.
Sign and Counter-sign a Written Contract with Each and Every Vendor
This is a no-brainer. Make sure that each of your vendor provides a binding contract detailing the agreed upon product/service price. Other points to make sure are discussed and included are:
-Whether or not a vendor meal/vendor meals will be provided if the vendor is staying thru the duration of your wedding
-Whether or not you agree to letting your wedding vendor publish your wedding in other media outlets
-Payment terms including cancellations and any applicable fees
-If there is not a Force Majeure clause, inquire about what happens in the case of an illness, emergency or natural disaster
-Detailed hours of service with a firm start and end time
-Detailed line items of products/services including taxes (particularly important for venues & caterers)
-Deliverable items and an estimated delivery date, particularly if the vendor is providing additional a la carte services
-Failure to comply clause is designed to protect the vendor but is an important detail
Inquire about Force Majeure/Inclement Weather Plans
My dear friend (and fellow event pro) Marissa can tell tales of woe from her August 28, 2011 wedding – the very same weekend Hurricane Irene made her grand entrance on the east coast. Let’s face it – weather happens. Whether a torrential downpour or snow storm is imminent, make sure you keep clear communication with vendors and guests and discuss inclement weather plans ahead of time.
Make Sure the Vendor You Hired Will be Overseeing Your Event
There are times when a vendor will send associates to manage your wedding in his or her place. Make sure you clearly discuss your expectations for your wedding day so you aren’t faced with surprises on yoru wedding day.
Make Payments Via Credit Card
For weddings, the term “Cash is king” should be reserved for on-site vendor tips only. When hiring vendors, try to pay via credit card as often as possible just in case there are any discrepancies with products or services rendered.
Beware of Contracts with Phrase “Nonrefundable Deposit”
Any mention of a “Nonrefundable deposit” should be a red flag. Seasoned vendors will typically be flexible with payments if they are unable to perform the service they were contracted to perform.
Keep a Rainy Day Wedding Fund
Let’s face it, stuff happens. Make sure you set aside an additional wedding fund that is supplemental to your wedding budget just in case of last minute emergencies or unforeseen expenses.
Keep Communication Clear
If your wedding has to change at the last minute, keep in communication with your guests clear and concise. Mark the email as Urgent, keep your subject line clear and provide directions to the new site.
Buy Wedding Insurance
This is a no-brainer! Services like WedSafe provide a liability policy that covers a $50,000 wedding for a mere $350. You will be covered if you have to move to another venue, a vendor flakes on you or you end up incurring costs when things happen that are beyond your control (hello extreme weather). Don’t take any chances, protect your wedding day!