Being a wedding planner is a tough job. Each wedding is unique, and you have just enough time to make it work and please your clients. Working without a contract can be even more difficult, exposing you and your company to hardships, lawsuits, and ugly disputes.
Protect yourself from any issues, and make your fees and expectations clear to your clients. Get organized and upgrade your professionalism with this wedding contract.
You’ll need to do all of the proper research and homework first, but this template will give you a head-start and a good framework. You should always consult a lawyer though before finalizing any contracts.
Weddings today are ever more complex events, which you need to plan to the smallest details in order for everything to go right. Your clients want things to be just right, and in order to deliver on that promise, you’ll need to set their expectations accordingly. Spoken contracts are generally valid in the eyes of the law, and courts can enforce them. But, one of the many problems is agreeing upon what is reasonably part of the contract’s obligations and what isn’t. After just one dispute that ends up in court, a small business can be closed due to bankruptcy. The legal proceedings are expensive, and even simple processes can take a very long time and eat up a lot of lawyer’s fees.
Use a written contract for your next wedding planning project, and negotiate the fine points of what is included in your duties, and agree upon the fees that your client will pay. When both parties sign this contract, it doesn’t mean that changes can’t occur, or that the entire event needs to be planned all at once. Your job is to plan the event, after all, and it might take a considerable amount of time. Spend time planning, but first, write down and agree with your client on the extent of your work, and the ultimate fees that you’ll ask for.
Even though contracts are common for event planners, disputes still happen very often. Use a contract that is fair, reasonable, clear, and concise, and you have a much better chance to avoid disputes, even in the case that something may go wrong with the event.
In any wedding event contract, you need to define the services that are required for the wedding. Wedding photographers, catering, transportation, venues, and performers or tickets, are usually handled in the wedding contract. The planner needs to get paid too, and so it’s extra important that the planner adds up all of the services that will be required, and includes their own fees at the end.
Some wedding planners have a flat fee, and others integrate their fees into the amounts for each package. For example, when adding a venue with performers to a package, the wedding planner may have at cost a particular fee that they need to pay to the performer company and to the venue, but the planner charges in the wedding contract a slightly larger fee, incorporating their slice into the overall amount.
With proportional fees, the planner may charge a percentage of the overall ceremony costs. This percentage can be fixed or on a discounted scale. When it’s fixed, it can be easier to calculate, and it’s more appropriate for planners that generally do smaller ceremonies. Wedding ceremonies can cost well into the tens of thousands of dollars and more, so one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. For larger packages, you probably will want to offer a discount for your clients, also known as a descending commission. At $5000 overall cost, you may offer 5% commission, but at $20,000 you offer 4%, and so on. With this scenario, your fees will increase, but not balloon up to unreasonable figures.
The simplest way, but also arguably the least profitable, is the fixed fee method. When you set your fees as fixed, they aren’t a rate or proportional to the overall amount, they are just fixed. If your goal is to be a higher-volume wedding business, handling many clients with smaller costs, you may want to do things this way. Your business will be more complicated from the perspective of handling several clients at once, but you will have fewer complications when it comes to each individual client.
The fixed method of charging wedding planning fees might be the simplest, and it should be paired with simple charges and costs for other items as well. Use a package price and itemize direct costs, and separate your own cost from the cost of the venues, catering, or other items required for the event.
In wedding contracts, there are often contingencies and additional fees stipulated for common scenarios, and we’ve included a few, such as changes of venue, change of catering, or change of seating arrangements. When clients make changes at the last minute, which is very common, it may be profitable for you to allow these last-minute updates, but you should let your clients know of the fees up-front.
Templates like this one are there to allow you to get started, and to gain experience with official, legally binding agreements between your company and your clients, allowing your business to grow. Use the blank spaces to customize it as much as you can, and this template should allow a wide range of versatility. Last but not least, take advantage of the built-in signature, audit, and document tracking features available with PDF Reader. It’s all designed to make your life easier, and promote growth in your business.