Your big day is coming up and the planning has begun. The process can be overwhelming for something that is such a joyous occasion – your wedding day. Many brides make the decision to hire a wedding planner, and if you do – don’t forget the contract.

Sam and Maria were very excited about their upcoming wedding. In fact, they were so thrilled that Sam was actually taking a big part in the planning, which is not something for which many grooms-to-be sign up. Very early on, the two decided that hiring a wedding planner would let them enjoy the process more and things would go more smoothly.

They both agreed on a planner after interviewing several prospects. They felt confident that Patty would do a wonderful job after having looked at her promotional book, and she was recommended by a good friend. They even signed a contract with her, so what could go wrong?

Ideally, the contract should be very specific; this is where Sam and Maria made their first mistake. Because Patty was recommended by their friend, they overlooked small things that would come back to bite them.

Some wedding planners get paid a percentage of the total cost to put together the event. Others get paid by the businesses they promote. Make sure you ask the consultant how they structure their fees, including whether or not they accept compensation from vendors.

Just remember, all questions are fair game when you’re spending thousands of dollars on a wedding and reception.

Sam and Maria ended up in court, suing their wedding planner because she made a huge mess of things, and they actually had to push back a planned June wedding to late August. They won their case and the $5,000 that the consultant had charged them, but it shouldn’t have happened.

When you hire a wedding planner, you need to get a punch list in the contract. This lets everyone involved know when things will be done during the process. The more specific you are the better. And make sure you attach financial penalties if they don’t meet deadlines.

If you’ve had issues with your wedding planner and think you may end up in court, consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.


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