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WHAT BRIDES AND GROOMS SHOULD BE AWARE OF WHEN SIGNING VENDOR AGREEMENTS

‘Tis the season for wedding planning! We asked Attorney DeAnn Farthing, who spends countless hours researching, reviewing and revising all types of contracts to offer some important advice to brides and grooms.

In an attempt to help our overwhelmed, over-booked, frazzled, vendor-agreement-signing couples, DeAnn has devised a short list of the most important provisions you need to READ, UNDERSTAND and potentially NEGOTIATE before signing vendor agreements.

  1. The TERMINATION provision:  Can you terminate the agreement at all?  If so, what are the stipulations? Do you have a time limit and/or is a fee required? What if someone dies or another catastrophic event occurs? When signing a vendor agreement for the wedding of your dreams — you (the bride and groom) normally never even consider the termination provision.  However, IT HAPPENS!  Therefore, make sure your vendor agreement has a termination provision and that it is reasonable…. meaning that you don’t have to pay the total fee if the wedding ends up not so happily ever after.
  1. The WEATHER provision:  Outside wedding? Destination wedding? Winter wedding? Don’t even consider signing a vendor agreement without a weather provision.  Make sure that the agreement takes into consideration how unfortunate weather will be handled.  This can be accomplished with rescheduling within a certain time frame or other particulars to accommodate.  Ultimately, you can’t control the weather but you can certainly control how it impacts your bottom line when signing vendor agreements.
  1. The PAYMENT provision: All vendors want to be paid and it is your obligation to pay them.  If you sign the agreement, YOU are the one on the hook for payment. Therefore, know HOW and WHEN your vendors expect to be paid.  Is the total amount due prior to the event date?  Does the agreement contain any “additional fees / extra charges” that could dramatically change the agreed price? Remember, once you sign you are agreeing to what is contained in the agreement.  Take the time to read through the payment provision and negotiate.  All the vendor can say is no.

Although this list is certainly not exhaustive it should provide a starting point in reading and reviewing vendor agreements.  The keys are to actually read what you are signing and ask questions.  Don’t assume that all agreements are the same and also don’t assume they aren’t up for negotiation.  Educate yourself, know your obligations and keep a copy of everything you sign.

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The information on this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed in the user’s state. No attorney-client relationship is created with DeAnn Farthing or Farthing Legal absent an express agreement between the two parties.  

DeAnn L. Farthing is an attorney licensed in the State of Indiana and is the owner of Farthing Legal, LLC.  She focuses her practice on estate planning, probate, guardianship, small business general counsel and civil litigation.  She practices with a heart for helping individuals and businesses and prides herself on offering common-sense solutions. www.farthinglegal.com

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