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Are you starting your own wedding planning business? Or, are you looking to expand your already existing wedding planning business? If so, it is important that you consider what terms and conditions to include in your contracts. This will ensure that your business has the security it needs to both thrive and prosper. As a wedding planner, you will be acting as both a consultant and a coordinator. As such, your role will vary greatly throughout the course of your contract. This means that it is crucial that your terms and conditions are shaped to cover all eventualities. This article will go through some key clauses that you might need in your business terms and conditions. 

Consultant and Wedding Day Coordinator Roles

What Should I Include in My Role as a Consultant?

As a consultant before the wedding, you will be heavily involved in assisting the bride and groom in planning their wedding. However, this is probably the most ambiguous aspect of the job description, as the bride and groom may either expect you to do everything for them or simply expect you to follow their instructions. As a result, it would be prudent to include a comprehensive description of what your role as a consultant entails. Examples of what you could include in this section include:

  • assisting in creating a budget for the wedding;
  • creating a wedding design by assisting with the colour, theme and style of the wedding;
  • assisting with finding the right wedding professionals to suit the wedding style and budget;
  • a set number of hours you will be willing to engage in professional consultation with the bride and groom; and
  • a set number of consultations you are willing to do via telephone or email.

How you perform many of these terms and conditions will be at your discretion. Perhaps you are willing to engage in more hours of consultation than you were originally contracted for. However, the terms and conditions of your contract should always protect you from the bride and groom’s often unrealistic expectations of having your complete and total devotion to the wedding at any hour of the day.

What Should I Include in My Role as a Wedding Day Coordinator?

On the wedding day, your role may change from that of a consultant to a coordinator. Therefore, your contract terms and conditions should reflect the description of the services you will be performing as a coordinator. Examples of what to include in this part of your contract include:

  • visiting both the wedding site and the site of the reception prior to the wedding;
  • being in charge of the wedding timeline and ensuring it is followed;
  • supervising the wedding rehearsal;
  • coordinating with the site owners at both the wedding and reception; and
  • acting as an events manager on-site on the day of the wedding.

You may wish to include a term in this part of your contract that prevents the bride and groom from placing additional requests upon you on the wedding day. This will allow you to complete the previously agreed services in a professional manner and to the best of your ability, without having to worry about picking up additional tasks, for example, extra flowers the bride and groom have ordered the night before.

Important Terms 

Payment 

How will clients pay you for the work that you do? When should they pay you? Ultimately, your payment terms are up to you. Often, event planners will take an initial deposit and require payment for the remaining balance after the event has occurred. Another approach may be that the event planner takes a deposit and requires clients to pay in intervals for different ‘milestones’ in the event planning process. As such, it is important to:

  • set due dates or time frames for payments; and
  • clearly state that you will not provide certain services until this payment is received.

You should also include the method of payment and how you will charge taxes.

Cancellations 

It may be that although a contract has been signed, the client later wishes to cancel or postpone an event. This can mean that your business suffers monetary losses. Your terms and conditions should set out: 

  • the basis for which the contract can be cancelled or postponed; and 
  • what your obligations are regarding refunds. 

To ensure you are compensated for your work prior to cancellation, you may put in your contract that certain payments are non-refundable, such as the initial deposit or payments before the cancellation.

Force Majeure

Sometimes events occur that are beyond anyone’s control, such as a fire, flood, earthquake or natural disaster, and these are commonly called force majeure events. Ideally, your contract should address what would happen if one of these events were to occur. For example, it could state that your obligations under the contract may be suspended during this period or that either party may terminate the contract. 

If the contract can be terminated, you should have a clause stating that you must be paid for work you have provided prior to the termination. This ensures that all your hard work will at least be compensated to some degree. Additionally, it protects your business from the potential of the bride and groom withholding payment after a force majeure event.

Intellectual Property 

When working in the event industry, it is common to include a provision in your terms and conditions that allows you to retain all intellectual property rights in what you create. For example, if you have drawn up any designs or plans for a certain event, you should have a clause that prevents others from using this without your permission. In addition, this may include preventing commercial uses or reproductions of your proposals by clients. 

Photo Release

Having a photo release clause is not essential, but it can be useful to protect your business. If you are planning to use photos of the wedding to promote your business, your terms and conditions should include a photo release clause that allows you to use those event photos to promote your business.

Key Takeaways 

If you are starting your own wedding planning business or looking to expand your existing business, then including the terms and conditions above in your contracts is an important first step. It will ensure that your business is protected and runs smoothly for years to come. However, without prior legal experience, it can be difficult to know how to word these terms and conditions or what terms and conditions to include in your contracts. Therefore, to assist with this, LegalVision has created a comprehensive guide on how to write terms and conditions, which can be found here.

If you need further assistance in writing terms and conditions to best suit your wedding planning business, contact LegalVision’s contract lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my contract need to include cancellation terms?

Yes, in your terms and conditions you should include the basis for which the contract can be cancelled or postponed as well as what your obligations are regarding refunds. 

What is a force majeure event?

It is an event that occurs that is beyond anyone’s control, such as a fire, flood, earthquake or natural disaster. Your contract should address what will happen if one of these events were to occur to prevent the risk of a dispute.

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