4 strategies to manage vendor contracts for your wedding day

November 3, 2015

From the caterer to the band, each provider you contract for your wedding will have different terms. These strategies will help you keep organized, manage your vendors, and ensure there are no surprises on your big day.

4 strategies to manage vendor contracts for your wedding day

1. Keep basic vendor information on hand

Keep a record of the basic information of each of the vendors you work with. Be sure to include the following:

  • Full company name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date and time of vendor’s involvement in the ceremony

2. Note down details about vendor services

Things can get complicated when it comes to the services vendors are contracted to provide. Use this checklist to keep things organized.

  • Note down services or products being provided as specifically as possible. For example, the contract with your florist should describe the products ordered. Instead of "six bridesmaids bouquets," the size, shape and flowers to be included should be written down.
  • List specific times for set-up, start, finish and break-down, where applicable.
  • Identify the person or persons who will be performing the requested service.
  • Record the specific delivery date of any product or service promised after the wedding such as photographs or videos.
  • Delineate special requests. For example, note that a wrist corsage of specific flowers should be made for the grandmothers of the bride and groom.

3. Record prices and payments

The financial side of a wedding is one of the most important to stay on top of. Make sure to keep good records throughout the planning stage and include the information below.

  • Take detailed notes of charges and include refundable amounts, where applicable
  • Itemize elements with separate pricing or package pricing delineation
  • Note details of add-ons and options to be included at a later date if possible, such as photos and videos
  • Include set-up and tear-down fees in the contract and list them separately
  • List gratuities and taxes separately
  • Delineate payment schedules and deposits with exact due dates and acceptable methods of payment
  • Note down extra fees for overtime, late payments, returned checks, and other special circumstances
  • Plan ahead so you can pay agreed-upon deposit in order to make any vendor contract binding

4. Keep an eye out for special vendor policies

Finally, make sure you’re aware of any special policies your vendors may have.

  • Note any cancellation policies and associated fees in the contract, including specifics regarding cancellation by either party
  • Delineate any other vendor policies inherent for the particular industry, such as additional fees for last-minute weather-related changes

Each product or service you choose to include in your wedding likely comes with its own terms. By paying attention to how you manage vendor contracts, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a stress-free wedding with your guests and family.

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