Protect yourself—and your budget—by being diligent about the contract.

By Jenn Sinrich
January 28, 2020

One thing nearly all wedding planners are in total agreement on is that you should get every single detail, both those big and small, in writing when corresponding with your wedding venue—or any wedding professional, for that matter. "Even though this is the most important day of your life, your venue is likely working with another 50 or more couples, so the process is routine for them, and many times they are answering the same questions over and over again for different clients," explains Kelly Heyn, wedding planner and owner of SociaLife Event Planning. "It's very easy to confuse clients or forget key conversations, especially when these meetings sometimes take place months, and even a year, before the wedding date."

Like event planning of any kind, be it a baby shower or graduation party, the devil is in the details. Getting everything in writing allows you the accessibility to refer back to it if a situation should a misunderstanding arise. "Having all of your details in written form will not only help keep you organized as you continue your planning, but it will also come in handy if there is ever an employee change over at your venue," adds Heyn. "Sometimes the person that you started working with when you booked the venue is not the person who you end up discussing your final details with, and a lot of details can be missed in the transition of employee personnel."

Related: How to Deal with Unusual Wedding Venue Rules

During your initial tour of a venue, Sarah Quinlivan of Quintessential Events, recommends that couples ask any and all questions they have. "Anything said or promised during that time, needs to be confirmed in writing with the venue," she says. "Once a couple receives a written contract, they should carefully read through it to see what is and is not included in the space. If one of their questions or concerns is not addressed, it is best to communicate that to the venue." Before booking, Quinlivan also suggests resolving all discrepancies, and doing so via email. "If something is verbally promised, make sure to confirm that via email, as written proof is everything and builds a solid foundation," she explains. "It is always better to understand from the beginning what you are getting, then be surprised at the end."

Heyn suggests creating a special wedding email account to handle all of these back-and-forths. "Once you start reaching out to vendors, you will receive countless emails with pricing and proposals," she says. "It is easy for important information to get lost when using a work email or personal account that might receive a lot of daily emails or spam, but keeping all of your wedding information separate will make it easier for you to correspond with vendors look back to find information as needed."

Lastly, you should always have in-person final meeting with your venue to go over the agreed-upon logistics of the wedding. "Ask if you can have this meeting with the same maitre d'or venue coordinator that will be working at your actual wedding," suggests Heyn. "This meeting is very important because it brings together all of the details that were previously discussed in the months leading up to your wedding, and it's the last opportunity to go over all of the details to make sure that everyone is on the same page." Once the meeting has concluded, she suggests following up again with an email discussing all of the final details and ask for confirmation on their ends that the information is correct.

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