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What is a wedding planner contract?

A wedding planner contract represents a legally binding agreement between a wedding planner and the betrothed.

Weddings are an exciting time, but one that’s going to be full of unexpected surprises and changes. This type of agreement is going to benefit both parties and protect their interests should any changes need to be made. To keep up with these unforeseen circumstances, a wedding planner contract will have to be both detailed and flexible. Your entire agreement will represent that and will complement both the needs of the lucky couple and the wedding planner.

Sign-up now to start creating your wedding planner contract. It has all the basic elements you’ll need to get going, and it’s been written and reviewed by top lawyers, so you’ll be totally covered.

Why you need a wedding planner contract

A professional wedding planner contract is going to outline exactly what the wedding planner’s duties are, the payment terms, the desires of both parties and more. Most importantly, it offers legal protection and assurances around these clauses.

Having a pre-establishment template for a wedding planner contract is a quick and easy solution for drafting up all your requirements in one place. Templates are easily editable without much disruption to the entire agreement.

Clarifies roles and expectations

Remember that the more detailed you are in your wedding planner contract, the better each party will understand their responsibilities and be able to manage their expectations.

For the wedding planner, responsibilities would include things like their working hours, if they will be present on the day, whether or not they’ll organize guest transportation, and other services for the day.

For the client, this would be things like payment, giving notice, updating the wedding planner about additional guests, offering reimbursement for expenses, and anything else relevant to the planning of the day.

Protects both parties

A contract is going to protect both parties, simple as that. As you can imagine, a legally binding contract is going to hold up in a court should there ever be serious discrepancies (but hopefully it won’t ever get that far).

You may think a contract for a wedding planner isn’t necessary, but at the end of the day it’s a job, and that job should be professionally represented with a contract.

Sets out payment conditions and work hours

All wedding planners will require their payment conditions to be met and have confirmed work hours. Both can depend on whether the wedding planner is there on the wedding day or not.

Other details to include in a wedding planner contract are:

  • The payment dates
  • Additional charges for staying longer
  • A non-refundable deposit
  • Cancellation fees
  • Expenses and reimbursements
  • Working hours

What should be included in a wedding planner contract?

Every wedding planner contract and template should include at least the following details:

  • Contact details of both parties
  • Deliverables and their costs
  • Venue details
  • Date and times of service
  • Cancellation policy
  • Force majeure and liability
  • Copyright
  • Travel and expenses
  • Termination of the contract
  • Other elements to consider

Contact details of both parties

Always remember to include the contact details of both parties, which will include both your names, the job description, and the preferred method of contact. You’ll want to contact each other with ease, so an exchange in mobile numbers is a safe bet.

Deliverables and their costs

Outline what the wedding planner will do, such as organizing guest transportation, finding a ceremony location, finding a reception location, and any other wedding planner services. Each service will have a cost assigned to it, you can neatly sum up how much each deliverable will cost.

Venue details

This should clarify the venue details for the client and outline where it is, where the reception is located, as well as the location of the ceremony. There may be non-refundable deposits associated with the venue hire, which both parties should acknowledge.

Date and times of service

The event date should have a detailed timeline, this way the wedding planner can organize exactly what happens on the day.

Cancellation policy

The cancellation policy will outline what happens if the client cancels, if there is a non-refundable deposit, and details on a full refund if the wedding planner cancels.

Force majeure and liability

Meaning ‘Force Superior’ in French, this clause will waive any liability should a natural or unavoidable catastrophe stop the wedding day or the planning of the wedding. This can affect wedding planner services and should always be included.

Copyright

Quickly outline if there is anything that comes under copyright law for either of the parties.

Travel and expenses

Wedding planners will most likely have to travel (whether or not they’re there on the wedding day), hire clothing, book a hotel, pay deposits, or anything else that requires them to get the job done. Make a statement about reimbursement of expenses.

Termination of contract

Every wedding planner contract should include termination conditions. This can be on a specific date or for any other reason.

Other elements to consider

Exclusivity

Some wedding planners can have multiple clients at the same time, so there should be an exclusivity agreement. Wedding planners may also want an agreement on the exclusivity of their services.

Guest rules

It’s a good idea to outline what the wedding planner should expect from the guests and guest responsibilities.

Dress code

Almost every wedding has a dress code and the wedding planner (as well as guests) should acknowledge and abide by that code.

Punitive damages

You can never be too careful and by having a clause around punitive damages, you’ll have some peace of mind should any outrageous conduct come from either party.

Finding a replacement wedding planner

Sometimes a wedding planner's availability will mean they have to cancel. Detail who should find a suitable replacement planner if they cannot perform their duties.

Wedding planner contract example

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Wedding planner contract FAQs

Wedding planner rates

Wedding planners can offer a whole range of different services that will affect their rates. However, a full-time planner can cost anywhere from $3000 to over $10,000. This can depend on the type of wedding planning business it is, what state and country you’re in, as well as the personal reputation and demand of the wedding planner.

Cancelling a wedding planner

Sometimes the unexpected can happen or the wedding planner overbooks themselves, which means that either party has to cancel. It’s important to outline any refunds involved should this happen or if another replacement planner is needed.

How to write my own wedding planner contract?

The easiest way to write your own contract is to start with a free wedding planner contract template from Bonsai.

By following this guide, you’ll know what should be included in a professional wedding planner contract and be able to edit the template as you see fit.

Use this template
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The simplest way to create a legally sound contract. Check out an example below

Wedding Planner Contract Template

This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Wedding Planner").

The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1. WORK AND PAYMENT.

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Wedding Planner to do the following: The Wedding Planner will assist the Client with wedding planning services.

1.2 Schedule. The Wedding Planner will begin work on November 06, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Wedding Planner at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Wedding Planner a rate of $70.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Wedding Planner $2,000.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Wedding Planner's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Wedding Planner will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Wedding Planner will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

2. OWNERSHIP AND LICENSES.

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Wedding Planner is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Wedding Planner works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Wedding Planner hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Wedding Planner is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.

2.2 Wedding Planner's Use Of Work Product. Once the Wedding Planner gives the work product to the Client, the Wedding Planner does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Wedding Planner here. The Client gives the Wedding Planner permission to use the work product as part of the Wedding Planner's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Wedding Planner's work and not for any other purpose. The Wedding Planner is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.

2.3 Wedding Planner's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Wedding Planner's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Wedding Planner agrees to help with that. For example, the Wedding Planner may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Wedding Planner, the Wedding Planner agrees that the Client can act on the Wedding Planner's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Wedding Planner after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Wedding Planner hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Wedding Planner's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Wedding Planner and on the Wedding Planner's behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).

2.4 Wedding Planner's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Wedding Planner might use intellectual property that the Wedding Planner owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Wedding Planner is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Wedding Planner is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Wedding Planner cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

2.5 Wedding Planner's Right To Use Client IP. The Wedding Planner may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Wedding Planner to build a website, the Wedding Planner may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Wedding Planner use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Wedding Planner's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Wedding Planner any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.

3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Wedding Planner won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Wedding Planner asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Wedding Planner uses employees or subcontractors, the Wedding Planner must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.

4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Wedding Planner won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Wedding Planner puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Wedding Planner may hire that candidate. The Wedding Planner promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.

5. REPRESENTATIONS.

5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

5.3 Wedding Planner Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Wedding Planner promises that it owns the work product, that the Wedding Planner is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Wedding Planner uses employees or subcontractors, the Wedding Planner also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Wedding Planner giving the Wedding Planner any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Wedding Planner's background IP and work product.

5.4 Wedding Planner Will Comply With Laws. The Wedding Planner promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Wedding Planner promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Wedding Planner has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Wedding Planner has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Wedding Planner if the Wedding Planner has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Wedding Planner with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Wedding Planner. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The Wedding Planner must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Wedding Planner for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Wedding Planner for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).

7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Wedding Planner as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Wedding Planner will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Wedding Planner is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Wedding Planner with any training.- The Client and the Wedding Planner do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Wedding Planner cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Wedding Planner is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Wedding Planner is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Wedding Planner or any of the Wedding Planner's employees or subcontractors.

8. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Wedding Planner must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Wedding Planner may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Wedding Planner promises to treat this information as if it is the Wedding Planner's own confidential information. The Wedding Planner may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Wedding Planner use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Wedding Planner cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Wedding Planner written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Wedding Planner may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Wedding Planner must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Wedding Planner promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Wedding Planner written permission first. The Wedding Planner must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Wedding Planner's responsibilities only stop if the Wedding Planner can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Wedding Planner came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Wedding Planner came across it, but not because of anything the Wedding Planner did or didn’t do; (iii) the Wedding Planner already knew the information when the Wedding Planner came across it and the Wedding Planner didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Wedding Planner with the information without requiring that the Wedding Planner keep it a secret; or (v) the Wedding Planner created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Wedding Planner each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Wedding Planner each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Wedding Planner is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.

9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.

10. INDEMNITY.

10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Wedding Planner or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Wedding Planner did, then the Wedding Planner may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Wedding Planner agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Wedding Planner has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Wedding Planner of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Wedding Planner of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).

10.3 Wedding Planner Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Wedding Planner (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.

11. GENERAL.

11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Wedding Planner. The Wedding Planner cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Wedding Planner's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.

11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Wedding Planner must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

11.4 Notices.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Wedding Planner must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Michigan govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Wedding Planner under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.

11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.

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