We’ve all seen it on People’s Court or Judge Judy or read about it on some news website; a bride suing the caterer, DJ, florist from their wedding. The vegetarian entrée was forgotten, the flowers were dying, or they forgot to play the predetermined songs at the predetermined times. In these cases the brides win some and they lose some. So how do you end up on the win side if something like this happens to you? You get it in writing.
One of the major issues that results in these types of lawsuits is that the happy couple didn’t get everything in writing. Your cousin’s neighbor has a cake business and she is going to do you a favor and bake your wedding cake for half the price. That’s very generous. You don’t feel you need to be formal with your cousin’s neighbor so there is no contract drawn up. You pay for the cake and on your wedding day you cut into your cake and find that it is chocolate with raspberry filling instead of vanilla with Meyer lemon buttercream. You’re upset; and rightfully so but when you get in front of Judge Judy and she asks “what did the contract say?” You regretfully tell her you didn’t have one.
Why is having a contract so important? Besides laying out what is expected, it gives you recourse if something goes wrong. It also holds all parties involved to the terms of the contract. No matter who the vendor is, a well-established company or someone just starting out, get a contract. The well-established company will expect it and the person starting out won’t mind because they realize that is how business works, and while they are new they are still a business. No one will be offended if you ask for contract and if they are, you should go somewhere else.
What should have been in the contract with your cousin’s neighbor? For starters what kind of cake you are wanting, including fillings. Will there be fondant or only buttercream? How many tiers will the cake be? How many people will the cake serve? Is there going to be a cake cutting fee (yes that is a real thing)? What happens if you get the wrong cake? These are just a few of the important items that should go into a contract.
Having a contract does not just apply to the cake it applies to every vendor you plan to work with for your wedding. The bottom line is, get it ALL in writing.