Unfortunately people are very likely to sue you if the slightest thing goes wrong on their big day, so you have to protect yourself. My contract clearly states that the most they would be entitled to in the event of the wedding not going as planned is a full refund of their monies. I can just imagine if I broke my leg on the way to the venue and they had to cancel their wedding that some people would be expecting me to pay for the whole thing. From experience I know that if the bride is an hour late, I am expected to just take in it my stride, but if I am 5 minutes late it is a major infraction. On one memorable occasion I had to drive from New Hampshire to Rhode Island for a wedding in a park and the couple did not tell me that said park was the hub of the memorial day weekend outings for the whole of Providence. It took me more than an hour to find them in the park amongst the thousands of people and the 7 weddings. I was 10 minutes late and the mother of the bride was mean spirited to say the least. I don’t do wedding there any more.
In my contract I state;
- I am not a wedding planner
- I am not responsible for any damages your guests do to a venue
- I will not give up my house in court for accidentally mispronouncing your 14 syllable name
- I must have a contact phone number and they must keep that phone on until I get there. And ANSWER it!
- No deposit, no final payment = no wedding booking.
- If I contact you 12 times for vows and you still don’t respond, I get to choose.
- If I wrote a custom ceremony and you do not ‘get around’ to looking at it. I do it anyway.
- If the wedding is more than an hour delayed, you must pay me more.
- I wear a robe. I will wear costume, I will not match with the attendants in a fluffy dress.
- I will write you a ceremony to suit your personalities and needs.
- I will include your children.
- I will stand in the rain until the bride finds a spot that won’t damage her dress.
- I will stand in 90 degree sun being eaten by bugs while the bride finishes her makeup
- I will stop the groom from fainting when he is all alone waiting for his bride.
- I will walk the mile through the apple orchard carrying all my equipment to your ‘perfect’ spot.
- I will change the ceremony 10 times because you can’t decide.
- I will run interference of the mothers at the rehearsal to keep the bride sane.
- I will MAKE the men at the rehearsal take it seriously and leave the beer til later.
- I will keep out of the photographers way while his camera is next to my ear.
- I will make sure there are matches, candles, sand, tables and all the things you forgot.
- I will restart the ceremony when the bride forgets her veil, flowers, garter, vows, small children.
- I will only be told to change things by the couple, not everyone else.
- I will remain calm in the face of absolute panic.
- I will give you a day to remember.
- I will smile and fix everything.
- I will ignore the small children looking under my robe during the vows.
- I will treat your wedding as if it were my own.
So, be prepared. Think things through. A wedding does not magically happen, people have to work very hard to make it appear so. Let them do it. If it’s not perfect, think of the stories for years to come. smile, relax and make the day sparkle!