This post is inspired by a bride I had a conversation with earlier this week who is in the middle of what some may consider to be a bride’s worst nightmare. Imagine having booked your wedding venue, and having a coordinator assigned to you who says they are taking care of everything with regards to setting up the décor and the buffet. You have out of town guests attending your wedding that is less than 6 months away, invitations are in preparation, your DJ, photographer, florals and cake have all been taken care of. Even your wedding dress and bridesmaid’s dresses have been chosen and paid for! All seems to be going well…until you can’t get a hold of your venue coordinator. Panic starts to set in as you stare at your empty inbox, you call the venue and get voice-mail, no one returns your calls until…you call one final time to be informed that your coordinator no longer works for the venue!
And that my fellow brides, is how you spell disaster. At this point, panic sets in and you have a million questions going through your mind. All of which are leading you into a downward spiral towards bridezilla on steroids at the corner of “you’ve got to be kidding me”. I felt so terrible for her; she was baffled, angry and worried about what she was going to do considering her wedding is 6 months away!
So the question is; could this situation have been avoided? Well in a perfect world, we would all love to be able to control everything…ok ok, maybe in MY perfect world. Reality is we can’t control whether or not someone keeps their job or decides to leave it, but we can take measures to ensure our best interests are protected. When sealing the deal with any venue, they will want an initial deposit to hold the wedding date for the venue, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk away empty handed.
First, before you sign anything, ensure both you and your fiancée read over the contract and make note of any revisions you would like. If there is no contract, there’s no deal, no deposit…you need a contract! Verbal agreements don’t protect anyone’s interests, having a contract makes all terms legal, binding and will protect you if anything should go wrong.
Secondly, if you are assigned a coordinator from the venue, sit down with them and discuss the terms of the contract and make certain you have the contact information of another coordinator or their assistant if they have one. Discuss, in the event that something happens and your coordinator can’t be there or leaves, whatever the case- who will take over the planning of your day. You can even go as far as asking that something be put into the contract before you sign it. It’s important that you think ahead and have a backup plan if plan “A” falls through.
One last thing for you to do in the event that something like this occurs is keep all of your email correspondence between you and your coordinator. This way, if someone else needs to take over, you have everything on file and can easily forward them everything they need to take over quickly. This will save time in meetings, phone calls and you can clarify any questions they may have and move forward.
Here is hoping this never happens to you, make sure you plan ahead and plan strategically, leaving nothing to chance. Your wedding day is one of the most important days you want to remember…not the stress you went through to get there!