Many of us have signed numerous contracts during our daily lives; but who really reads them? With increased online technology—it is even easier to choose: “agree to our terms,” “Opt-in,” Opt-out,” and other prompts so that we can just click and get on with our lives! But reading and understanding contracts you may be signing for one of the biggest events in your life—your wedding—is important.
Marta Brown, owner of The Northfork Estate wedding venue says that, “Brides and grooms need to know what they are signing and that they should ask questions—so that things can be clear.”
Consider for a moment the types of contracts you may encounter for your wedding:
• The wedding venue
• DJ (or other wedding music)
• Reception venue (if different from wedding venue)
• Wedding coordinator/Event planning services
• Limousine, horse-drawn carriage, or other transportation services
• Flowers, decorations, etc
• Your wedding gown/veil order, customization, bridal party, and/or fittings
• Your hair stylist (yes—they have one too!)
• Tuxedo rental
• Honeymoon services
• Live animal guests (such as doves)
• Personal legal matters (pertaining to you as a couple)
• Anything else (including a sign trailing behind an airplane above the couple!)
This can be a “mind boggling” trying to sifting through services, terms, and conditions. Here are a few things to look for so that you can navigate through contracts that protect both the wedding couple and the vendor:
√ Know if you are dealing with reputable wedding vendors. The Lansing Bridal Association (LBA) is a group of wedding professionals who abide by a code of ethics. This important distinction—along with the website which groups vendors by specific category can save you time and effort. They also refer each other so that you don’t feel overwhelmed in finding what you need.
√ Bring the contract home to study it, or go online to view it (if you can) before you sign.
√ Most wedding contracts require a deposit. Check to see what happens to it if you have a life-changing event or postpone your wedding.
√ Know the rules about: fireworks, designated parking, smoking, and other things that may or may not be allowed.
√ Above all, contracts are legally binding. Read the fine print!
Chris and Mary Holmes, owners of the Bridge Street Wedding Chapel say, “We want our couples to know exactly what they are signing—and we ask for an initial after each section of our contract for clarity.”
Want more information about contracts and your legal rights? Visit www.willinghamcote.com This group of legal experts with over 50 years of experience—has recently partnered with the Lansing Bridal Association. Look for more articles from them in our future blog posts!
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Choose Excellence – Choose the Lansing Bridal Association
Written by: Cheryl Jiminez