Wedding Planner Contract – Samples, Tips & Templates

It should go without saying that having a wedding planner contract helps to protect you, your business, and your clients. While it’s quick and easy to book a client and start working without all the extra “paperwork”. Having your policies and expectations laid out and agreed upon, can protect everyone involved if an issue arises.

In this post, we’ll be sharing some of the things to think about when developing a wedding planner contract. As well as samples and templates that you can use in your business right now.

Must-Have Clauses for your Wedding Planner Contract

Your wedding planner contract should include all the clauses most important to you and your business. But it should also include the standard ones that will protect your business no matter the client.

Contact Information & Event Details:

This is where you will include information about you, your business, and the client. This is pretty standard in most agreements and will usually be your names, contact information, and specifics about the event, such as the date, time, location, and any additional events that are included, for example, a rehearsal dinner.

Services Provided:

Your wedding planner contract should also include the services that are being provided. Make no assumptions here. Include a detailed breakdown of what is being agreed upon and clearly outline expectations. What services are you responsible for providing as the planner? and what are the client’s responsibilities? This could also include miscellaneous items such as travel expenses etc.

Fees and Payment Schedule:

In this section of your wedding planner contract, you want to outline the agreed-upon fees, packages, and payments. This is also where you should articulate any payment schedules—specifically payment dates, amounts, deposits, and any late fee policies. See a sample page from a wedding planner contract below for your reference.

Sample Wedding Planner Contract Page (source)
Sample Wedding Planner Contract Page (source)

Cancellation Policy:

In the case of unforeseen circumstances, what are the options available to you and your client? Your cancellation policy is the area in your agreement where you will make this clear. Be sure to include information on the process for cancellation by either party, timelines for canceling, as well as any associated fees.

This is also where you’ll often hear the term “force majeure”. But what is the force majeure clause for weddings? The force majeure clause essentially outlines what happens in the case of unforeseen circumstances, for example, a natural disaster. Meaning, will the wedding and related events be canceled or rescheduled? Will deposits be returned? Will the deposits be returned in full or partial? All of these questions and more should be outlined here.

Limitations of Liability:

The limitations of the liability clause are another standard and important component of your wedding planner contract. It outlines the extent of the planner’s liability in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather, vendor issues, and other damages. Essentially this is aimed at protecting (aka limiting) the planner from being responsible for expenses or damages outside of their control.

Dispute Resolution:

While all clauses are important, this one might be one of our favorites because it outlines the process for resolving any disagreements that could arise. This is especially important if you’re even at an impasse with a client or just cannot agree on how to move forward on a specific issue.

These are just some of the standard clauses that should be included in your wedding planner contract. There are many more that might apply to your business not discussed here such as privacy, confidentiality, publicity and/or photo releases, communication, and indemnification, to name a few. This is one of the reasons why we usually recommend having a contract that is drafted and/or reviewed by a Lawyer.

The Importance of a Lawyer-Reviewed Wedding Planner Contract

Contracts often include legalese and clauses that can at times be confusing or misunderstood. For this reason, having a lawyer review your wedding planner contract will ensure that the wording in your contract is clear and protects your business. Depending on your location, there might also be laws specific to your city or state, which a Lawyer would be familiar with. If your services are niche, a Lawyer can also include non-standard clauses specific to your business. But most importantly, a Lawyer can identify any potential issues or loopholes in your current wedding planner contract and suggest ways to avoid these.

Also read: How to Find the Best Lawyer for your Event Planning Business

Wedding Planner Contract Templates

If you don’t have the budget to hire a Lawyer, there are many places online where you can purchase wedding planner contract templates. One that we recommend is The Contract Shop. The templates there are drafted by Lawyers and customized for Event and Wedding Planners. Here are some examples:

Event or Wedding Planner Contract Template

With this template, you can make a strong first impression with your new clients while protecting your interests with a well-written contract. This template is attorney-drafted and reviewed and is written in easy-to-understand language so you can feel confident in understanding your new contract and explaining it to clients.

Assistant Planner Contract Template

If you also hire assistants to work with you on events, then this contract is recommended. It outlines roles, responsibilities, expectations, and liabilities to name a few. This is highly recommended when working with any employee or contractor to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

To recap, here is a quick checklist of clauses that could be included in your wedding planner contract:

  • Contact Information: Names and contact details of both the couple and the wedding planner.
  • Event Details: Specific date, time, and location of the wedding. Indicate if additional events (engagement party, rehearsal dinner) are included.
  • Services Provided: Detailed breakdown of the planning services offered by the planner (venue selection, vendor management, etc.).
  • Fees and Payment Schedule: Outline of the total fee for your services. Breakdown of payment schedule (deposit, installments, final payment and late fees).
  • Cancellation Policy: Clear terms for cancellation by either party, including timelines and any fees. Outline what happens in case of force majeure.
  • Responsibilities: Define the responsibilities of both the couple and the planner. This could include communication, decision-making processes, and budget.
  • Vendor Management: Specify who is responsible for contracting, approving and managing vendors (planner or couple).
  • Limitations of Liability: Define the planner’s liability in case of unforeseen circumstances (bad weather, vendor issues, etc.)
  • Confidentiality Clause: Protects sensitive information shared between the couple and the planner.
  • Dispute Resolution: Outline the process for resolving any disagreements that may arise (mediation, arbitration, etc.)

Conclusion: Event and Wedding Planner Contract

When a client relationship is good it feels like a contract might not even be needed. But take it from us, we’ve seen the cases where a contract was not in place and disputes had to be taken to court. It is important to have a well-written wedding planner contract in place to ensure that you and your business are protected. Most importantly, wedding planning is stressful enough and this is one additional item you can check off your list and not have to think about.

One of the best ways to ensure that your contracts are doing their job is to encourage your clients to review them before signing. Also be open to questions from your clients about your contract, to ensure that terms are clear and everyone is on the same page.

If you are currently building your wedding planning business and have questions, don’t hesitate to schedule a session to pick our brain!

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