Wedding planning | How to avoid the pitfalls
Weddings are a big investment. They often take months to plan and a great deal of money to fund and as with any big investment, you want to be sure you are protected. Your wedding is likely the biggest party you will plan and host in your life, so we have our three top tips to avoid the pitfalls of wedding planning.
While the goal is to create a magical experience for your guests, lasting memories for your family and stay within a budget, things can go wrong without proper planning. These three tips can’t guarantee your wedding will be problem-free but they can protect you if problems do arise.
#1. Sign a contract…with everyone!
Having a contract in place protects you and them and outlines all the expectations.
creates grounds to stand on in case of undelivered goods or if there is a misunderstanding of what was included in our costs.
defines the parameters of the work and should list costs for extra hours, work and upgrades so there will be no surprises in your final bill.
should also include your payment schedule so you can avoid missed payments and late fees as well as it should include deadlines by which products or services are delivered so if they are not, you are able to take necessary action.
#2. Get insurance & ask your vendors if they are insured.
Most venues require that you hold day-of liability insurance. As we explain to our clients, this protects you in case something happens at the venue and you are deemed responsible. Whether the damage is create by you or your guest, in the end, damage created during your rental of the property is your responsibility. Like we tell everyone, weddings are expensive enough, we do not want you to have huge bills after the party.
Some things that the insurance can protect you against and below are a few quick examples, some of which we have experienced first hand are:
Fire damage. A guest puts a cigarette out on the grounds instead of a container and a fire is started. If that fire causes damage to a building or equipment, you’d be responsible.
Drunk drivers & alcohol related accidents. If one of your guests leaves your party drunk and gets into an accident, the victim of the accident could claim you liable and sue you. We recommend having liquor liability insurance if you are having alcohol at any part of your day because you never know what can happen and to be 100% honest, there is almost always at least one guest that doesn’t think the rules apply to them. If they were to do something stupid, you have the protection of the insurance.
Damage to the property. If a guest drives through a fence and refused to pay for damages, you can be held responsible.
Day of Event insurance with liquor liability will protect you against claims such as these. In addition, depending on the level of insurance you purchase, it can protect you in case of cancellation, a vendor no-showing, a missing or ruined dress and weather-related issues.
We recommend using WedSafe. Life is unpredictable. Even more so when you are planning a wedding that involves hundreds of people and many different vendors. Check out the list of just some of the things that can happen and how much insurance covered. Warning: you may want a glass of wine when you are done but trust us, the $200-$400 you spend on insurance will give you so much peace of mind and protection against potential financial ruin.
Are your vendors insured?
Making sure your vendors are insured alway protects you in two ways. First, if a vendor were to create inadvertent harm to a guest of yours, their insurance would cover a claim and you would not be financially responsible or liable. An example of this is, say someone chokes on a foreign item in food and had to call 911 or go to the hospital, the caterer’s insurance would cover all costs that they were held liable for—that would not fall to you.
Say a photographer leaves a camera bag near the dance floor and someone trips, falls and breaks a wrist. The responsibility is on the person that left the bag there and they could be sued for medical expenses, again, their insurance would cover the claim not you.
On the flip side, say a vendor does not hold up their end of the contract or a situation occurs out of their control and your product or service is non-deliverable, their insurance can cover the cost of replacement or reimbursement. An example, if your seamstress’ house catches on fire and your dress is in it, their insurance can replace or refund the value of the dress.
#3. Hire professionals!
Professional vendors are almost guaranteed to have our first two tips covered. If they are a legitimate business then they are required by law to hold insurance and they will always operate with a contract. Not only will they have business insurance to protect them against claims of damage, accidents or non-delivered goods, they may also have worker’s comp insurance to protect themselves and their employees against any harm, accidents or injury. If they get hurt on the job, their insurance covers the cost, not you.
They are legally bound by the contract you sign so if you had to file a claim against them, you have legal ground to stand on if they don’t deliver goods, leave early or don’t show up at all. Of course we hope your wedding day never comes to that but the reality is, it’s always a possibility and hiring professional vendors greatly reduces the risk of that happening and reduces the potential of your loss.
Professional wedding vendors have experience so they are more familiar with wedding day operations, potential problems and how to navigate bumps and changes in the day. As we’ve discussed in our other two blogs in this series, there are always more pros than cons to hiring a professional. Debating on who to officiate your wedding or if you should hire a friend as a vendor, our most recent blogs can you give some insight on those debates.
Glamorous, no. Essential, yes!
We totally get that this is not the glamorous side of wedding planning. Points brought up here could possibly have you lose a little sleep or make you feel stressed but if you follow these three essential tips: sign a contract, get insurance and hire a pro when hiring your vendors, we are confident you will sleep well, have a beautiful wedding and not incur any unnecessary risk or cost to your wedding day.
With over 100 events hosted at Pepper Sprout Barn, we have learned a lot through our experiences and want to help as many couples as we can navigate the wedding planning process with as little stress as possible.
Tell us, what’s the one piece of wedding planning that causes you the most stress? We’d be happy to help lend some insight!