Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wedding Vendors & Contracts: What You Should Know Before You Sign

Read your contracts carefully. Read every word. Ask questions if something is unclear. Ask to change wording in the contract if you are uncomfortable with any of the language. Don’t just assume it’s a "standard" contract and that everything will be alright.

If the contract is lengthy, ask to take it home to review. Or, ask the vendor to fax you a copy of the contract before you meet with them.

Before you give a vendor a deposit, always get a written contract which includes all important information such as the date, time and what the wedding vendor is expected to perform.

Be as specific as possible in the description. For example, don’t just say flowers to be delivered – put the number of bouquets, the type of flowers and the date, time and location for the delivery.

As you make changes throughout the planning process, be sure to update your contract – even if you just hand write the changes and sign and date it.

Think carefully about your choices before placing deposits with vendors. Most deposits are nonrefundable.

Most vendors will require a deposit to hold your date. Try to pay as small of a deposit as possible and never pay the full amount up front when booking several months ahead. You never know if a vendor may go out of business and take your deposit with them. Avoid any vendor who insists on being paid in full up front!

Whenever possible, use credit cards for all payments to vendors. If there is a problem or dispute, you will have a much better chance of getting a refund than if you pay by cash or check -- even if it is several months later.

When paying your wedding vendors and making purchases for your wedding, use a credit card that "gives you something back". There are credit cards that will earn points for everything now – air miles, gifts, long distance calling – you name it!

If you have any questions or doubts about doing business with a wedding vendor, call the Better Business Bureau in your area. And, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check RECENT references! Don’t rely on someone who used their services a few years ago.

No comments: