It is Wedding Wednesday, Vendor Contracts

Weddings are a magical affair; their planning involves plenty of details and paper work-namely the contract with vendors you will hire to carry out your vision.
A contract also known as agreement is very important. It is our recommendation that you work with vendor that uses a contract or a signed agreement. They will explicitly state the terms and conditions of the work to be done, keeping misunderstanding to a minimum.
Don’t be put off by the confusing language. A contract is meant to protect the vendor however it also can protect you. It helps create a detailed list of important points from your perspective (for the band, for example, arrival and break times, transportation costs, and attire) to compare to the contract provided by the vendor. Then you can request appropriate changes to the document.
Every contract should cover basic points, including the most obvious: the date and time of the wedding. In fact, you’ll probably see the phrase “time is of the essence,” signifying that the date of the contracted service is an essential part of the agreement. The contract must also list the vendor’s fee and a breakdown of the costs. The contract should also record the terms of payment; typically, vendors ask for a 50 percent deposit upon signing, with the balance due shortly before or on the day of the wedding.
Once you have agreed on a contract, both you and the vendor need to sign it. You’ll want a copy for your files with both signatures, too, because otherwise the document can be challenged should there be a disagreement later.
A contract should detail the refund policy if the company doesn’t fulfill its end of the bargain. A contract can also describe the circumstances under which you get a refund if you cancel the plans. While it’s unlikely you’ll get your full deposit back, you may not have to pay the entire bill if you have an agreement. The more you can anticipate, the more peace of mind you’ll have as the wedding approaches.
So be sure you work with a vendor that does have a contract or agreement. You will be glad you did.
Happy Wedding!
(Notes taken from Martha Stewart Weddings)