::The Biggest Mistake That Any Bride Makes::
According to Bobby Bones, like 3% of people actually read things before they sign them. And because I was driving early one morning when I heard that, I can’t make promises on the stat there. But it was something super small. As a fellow B-teamer, it doesn’t surprise you that Bobby reads everything.
And so should you.
You know your gym membership and all those fun adventures you take on vacation are completely void of any liability- even through their own gross negligence, right?. You need to be crossing that shit out. I do. Sometimes they aren't paying attention, other times they are and I have to decide if I do the activity or not. Give it a shot, though. Because I’m sorry Mr. Sky Diving Man, but if you didn’t pack the backpack properly for the tandem, um yeah, you’re going to be held responsible by my grieving mother that rolls up with some paperwork of her own.
Not reading a vendor contract is the biggest mistake any bride makes.
When it comes to your wedding, it’s not life and death, but reading your contracts before signing them is a matter of money money money. And last I checked, you’re all ‘on a budget’ so let’s help you stay in that budget by avoiding assumptions, which lead to mistakes. The best way to avoid assumptions and mistakes is to read your vendor contracts.
Let's look at some things that can otherwise be assumed if you skim over your contracts.
- Your venue will specify all of the things you need to plan around: no staples in their walls, no confetti, no open flames, trash removal, sound restrictions, rental hours and so on. Just the few things I mentioned here involve communication with your florist, caterer, band/dj, and planner. And that was one simple line out of several pages.
- Contracts are also important to understand what everyone includes. Who is providing the lapel mic for the officiant: the dj, the band, the officiant… maybe the venue? Okay you have a lapel mic, what about speakers?
- Who is cutting the cake? Does your caterer include that or is it an added service?
- Who is chilling the alcohol? Is it being delivered pre-chilled, will it go in the fridge when it arrives, does the venue even have a fridge, who is bringing coolers and ice if not?
- Does your band require a green room, case of water, bowl of only red M&Ms and 17 steak dinners? (A little industry humor there.) What size stage do they need? Do they even require a stage? If they are outside, do they require shade or protection from the elements- if raining, do they require side walls on the tent you rent? Are they available to learn songs and how much does that cost?
- Do the hours they convey in their package fit the needs of the timeline we created?
All of these little details are on your contract or in the resources they provide you. I promise they haven’t spent hours and hours on resource kits for them to go unread. In fact, the value of many of those resources is in the thousands of dollars range. Vendors invest in their systems and processes. Our ultimate goal is streamline and easy going and the more we communicate, the better things go. We travel to workshops and conferences learning all we can about what we provide to you as our client. So please read the documents we give you.
I had a client last year that wanted to DIY several pretty big and challenging categories. Great, go for it. But doing that takes up so.much.more.of.my.time and you bet I’m going to charge for that. Just because you can’t touch and feel my product on a retail shelf doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. My time and my knowledge comes with years of trial and error and investing in coaches and continued education. So when I presented options for the added scope of service…. and she acted like I was the bad guy…. it was super disappointing. My contract is very very clear about hiring professional vendors. My policy was created with a lot of thought and again trial and error and mentoring. And even still, I was making an exception so long as she agreed to pay me for my extra time… but no, I was still the bad guy. I don’t ask my clients to hire professionals for the fun of it. I ask that of you because it’s best for you. I’m not a florist and as much as I can coach you on handling and preparing flowers for heat, I just don’t know all there is to know. I can’t tell you if it will take two hours or four hours to install your arbor.
Read your contracts, our guidelines aren’t out to get you. They are there so that your day is a success. Your contracts are designed in order to keep the peace. They ensure your happiness. You see, had the DIY client paid attention to the detail in my contract, she likely wouldn't have hired me in the first place seeing that my policies conflicted with her vision. When we talk for a mere 30-60 minutes prior to jumping into a year long relationship, its impossible to cover everything so reviewing the nitty gritty on paper is important. And it's okay if after reading we decide it's not the right pairing. I would have been more than happy to refer her to a better fit. We would have both been happier.
And ask questions. Ask them all. Sometimes industry language is a turn off or simply confusing. We are here to help. Promise.