Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Importance of Contracts
You're engaged! There's been a whirlwind of emotion surrounding you this past week after your news hit social media. Can you even? I bet you can't. You're probably finding yourself elbows deep in offers of assistance from friends and family, even acquaintances alike. There's something about weddings...everyone wants to be a part of them.
This week, I want to delve into why signing honest-to-goodness contracts with wedding industry professionals for your big day is in everyone's best interest.
Contracts protect you
I know how tempting it is to have your beloved's friend from high school DJ your event for absolutely free, but let's walk through a couple scenarios.
Without a contract, that person that had once promised up one side and down another that they would be there on your wedding day can ultimately decide that "they don't feel like it." If they're sick, or even if they randomly decide that being a part of your day is no longer a priority for them, you could find yourself stranded with a vacant spot for a major puzzle piece of your wedding.
Similarly, there's no way for you to guarantee quality here. While a contract can't save you from a DJ or photographer that doesn't line up with your vision (that is our job in the vetting process to find professionals that mesh with both your personality and your vibe,) it can ultimately give you a clear picture of the type professional you're hiring. Details like contingency plans, deposit and payment schedules show you that your event professional has really put some thought into protecting you as their client, and themselves.
Your guests are just that -- guests
Most people won't offer up themselves without a joyful heart, but I urge you to take this nugget of wisdom into consideration: if you're inviting someone to your wedding, you're inviting someone who helped shape you (or your future spouse) into who you/they are today. You're inviting them because they played a pivotal role in your life, or maybe they even gave advice and helped shape your relationship. Don't make them lift a finger on your wedding day. Let professionals do the work they love to do, and let your guests enjoy getting dressed up and witnessing your vows.
I'm a firm believer that receptions are a thank you to your guests for all of the aforementioned reasons. I'm not saying a reception isn't about the bride and groom -- it totally is! Pieces of you and details that capture your essence as a couple should be delicately placed throughout your party. Guest experience is a large part of this, though. Through timing, temperature, food, drink, and decor, you can really wow the people that came to celebrate with you.
Leave it to the professionals
Speaking of food and drink...let's "dish" for a minute on the topic of catering. When I tell you it's in your best interests to hire a professional caterer, I'm not telling you that you need to have a $150 plate reception to ensure that your guests are happy and well-fed. What I am saying is that a professional caterer will know exactly how much food your guests need (plus a little extra -- caterers are known for preparing 3-5% more just in case you have a last minute increase in headcount), they know what temperature it needs to be at (do YOU want food poisoning on your wedding night?) and they know how to present your selections in a memorable way.
I'm not dissing on your Aunt's potato salad, but again...your guests are guests and should be able to enjoy the wedding (and the food) without fear of botulism.
Because all you have to do on your wedding day...is get married
I cannot stress this item enough. Sure, I'm drawing from my own experience, but all I had to do on my wedding day was wake up, eat breakfast, get my hair and makeup done, get dressed, take some photos, and get married. After that, I just danced my way through the rest of the evening with the occasional bacon-wrapped date and truffle fry.
Do you want to know why?
I hired all professional vendors who had everything locked, loaded, and a contingency plan just in case something went wrong. They were calm, they were collected, and they were working. The thing I love most about the wedding industry is the absolute passion that those who work in it have for their careers. They take pride in their work. Your joy is their joy.
I'm not going to turn the end of this into some kind of sales pitch as to why you should hire me in particular, but I do feel accountable for sharing what can make your wedding day easier, whether you choose to partner with me or not. I hope this advice has helped shed some light on that for you.