I own a boutique invitation design studio. When I book a new client I usually require 50% of the total cost due after I create 3 design proof PDFs and send to the client. The remaining 50% is due before going to print. I have found that this process works well and have never had any problems, but I have heard other wedding vendors who have had many issues with collecting deposits and keeping clients.

 

I am thinking of creating a cotnract for clients to sign when providing their deposit. Does anyone else require a contract? Does anyone have any recommendations?

 

Thanks!

Melissa

Blush Notes

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Absolutely! Brides should not hire Vendors without as one of my Brides had her photographer dissapear into the ether and never got her pictures.
I second that, "Absolutely!"

Having a contract makes the terms of your agreement crystal clear. There's no confusion about what's expected and what is being promised. It protects you and it protects the bride as well.

Without a contract, neither of you has anything but hearsay to rely upon.
I hope that I don't sound insensitive as a male giving my opinion, but in my experiences, and my opinion, I see weddings as a very emotional experience for most brides, and because of this it can sometimes be challenging for some brides planning their weddings because they are mixing business with pleasure during an emotional time. You come across many indecisive brides who change their mind quite often about many details of their wedding, and because of this I feel that any and all wedding vendors, of any kind should require a contract to be signed. A contract is simply to protect your rights, as well as the brides rights, and if you explain it to them this way, they won't have a problem with it, just as you have been fortunate with your payment requirements. I'm the same way with payments, except I'm a wedding photographer, I expect 50% at the signing of the contract and the remaning 50% at least 30 days prior to their wedding day. So, my answer to you is yes... draft a contract and require all NEW clients to sign it for you to work with them because you need to protect yourself and your business interests. Good luck to you!

Phillip Brunelle
Phillip Brunelle Photography
Having a contract does make things crystal clear so that there are no confusions later down the road. You should always have one no matter what business you're in.
Yes! You should have a contract. A contract allows both sides to know what is expected and when it is expected. Even if all you have is an acknowledgement of Terms of Service that allows you to have some legal coverage for the inevitable.
Yes! we always use contracts. it holds all parties accountable.
cathie
Hi Melissa!

Contracts are a must! I think both parties benefit from this. I would be wary of anyone who didn't want to sign one, as well as brides should be wary of companies who don't provide them. I have found that the word "contract" has such a negative feeling to it. At Memento Photo Booth we refer to our document as a "service agreement" We feel like it just has a better vibe. Something you might want to consider. :)
NEVER work without one~ you will only get in trouble..
Yes, a contract is a must for both sides.
Contracts are a must. They should give a clear understanding of expectations on both sides. Contacts should include a detailed synopsis of services provided and a timeline. It is much better when you have everything outlined and agreed upon in writing. I required a 50% deposit with signing of contract and balance due 30 days before the event.
Contracts are utilized by most businesses. Even within simple everyday activities we (the general public) are essentially contracting or reaching a mutual agreement with another. For example, just visit an ATM, buy clothing at a department store, dine at a restaurant, buy a car, rent an apartment, have a company provide you with TV, Internet and telephone services, buy a airline ticket, etc. To some degree I guess I'm not a big fan of contracts; however, they are essential for any business to be successful. To some degree they of course protect the consumer as well.

As far as wedding services go I think it's very important to have a contract. For the most part a bride and/or groom are requesting one's services far in advance. That of course means that any vendor they select for services must reserve their time, product and services for a particular party. In doing so, chances are they will have to deny others their services for that day or given time slot.

As the General Manager of The Inn At Fox Hollow the sales team and I require one to guarantee (contract) a certain percentage of the suites one blocks with us. I believe we try very hard to have both brides and grooms or their parents at times commit to a conservative amount of room nights, or to take time to think about it carefully before they actually sign a contract with us. We are not in the business of trying to make money for a service or product we won't or did not provide. We want our suites to be occupied and our guests to enjoy our services and amenities.

We at times have brides and grooms that don't want or like to sign contracts and we at times have to tell them that we can not be of service to them. We have too much to lose in not having a contract signed and I believe a bridal party would as well. Ultimately I think that if a contract is explained clearly to a bridal party, the too will see why it is important and overall fair.

I am always more suspicious of those that do not offer a contract or that do not want to sign one. You have to think what one's intentions may be.
Yes. I have a standard contract that is signed at the time that the deposit is due. This contract can be ammended with riders depending what my client need.

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