Updated November 5, 2020:

What Is a Wedding Planner Agreement?

Contracts for wedding planners are essentially agreements between the wedding planner and the bride and groom. It should include all of the important aspects of the relationship in writing and should be executed as soon as possible. Having a written agreement from the onset makes things a lot easier for the bride and groom, but also for the wedding planner. The agreement can ensure that the wedding planner gets paid on time as well as explicitly state the planner’s responsibilities leading up to the wedding day.

If you are the wedding planner, it is advised that you have a standard contract template that you can easily customize for each client. Once you are ready to send it to your client, be sure to send it as a pdf to ensure that no wording is subsequently changed.

What Details Should the Wedding Agreement Include?

On the very first page, before the actual contract, should be a cover letter. A cover letter is a great opportunity for the wedding planner to personally thank the bride and groom for hiring them and to convey any information as part of the introduction to the working relationship.

After the cover letter will be the actual contract. The contract should be printed as officially as possible, which means that if the wedding planner has their own business or letterhead, the contract should include both. There should also be clear instructions for what you want the bride and groom to do with the contract, such as read it thoroughly and sign at the end.

The wedding contract should include information such as:

  • Wedding date and time
  • Location
  • Bride and groom’s name and contact information
  • Responsibilities of wedding planner
  • Expectations of bride and groom

The most important part of contracts for wedding planners is the section that describes the planner’s responsibilities and services leading up to the wedding day. Nothing should be left out, as this will only lead to confusion. This section should include duties such as flower arrangements, music, catering, photography, ceremony, reception, and decorations.

The wedding contract also needs to state how much the wedding planner charges for their services. It should stipulate in what form (cash, check, credit) the wedding planner gets paid, how much, and when. If the wedding planner requires a deposit or a nonrefundable payment, it should include that information as well.

It is always a good idea to include a section that covers what happens in the event any part of the wedding is canceled. While most clients do not expect this to happen, it is always better to be prepared. If you are the wedding planner, you need to protect yourself and your business in the event the wedding is called off.

Finally, the bride and groom must sign the contract in order for it to be valid.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

To create the most effective wedding contract, the bride, groom, and wedding planner all must try to include every detail about the wedding. One of the most important things to establish before the actual wedding is the logistics. It is critical to know things such as the date, time and location of the cocktail party, ceremony, reception, and send off. This information not only helps keep the event on schedule, but it also helps with preparing and setting up.

In addition to logistics, the wedding planner should know exactly what they are responsible for supplying and what is being supplied by someone else. This not only helps create a budget, but it also avoids confusion and ensures that the wedding day goes smoothly.

If you need help drafting contracts for wedding planners, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.