Wedding Planner Contract Guide

wedding_planner_contract

Until you have an executed (i.e. signed) contract in your hands, avoid the temptation to begin working for any bride. Without a wedding planner contract a bride is only a potential client.

No contract, no client!

Review Sample Contracts

The best way to create your own wedding planner contract is to look at several sample contracts. This is a good basis for issues you might not have considered, and reviewing other contracts can provide strong, standard, language for your own wedding planning contract.

**Here’s a sample wedding planner contract you can use as a starting point.

Send your Wedding Planner Contract ASAP!

Once a couple tells you that they want to move ahead and hire you as their wedding planner, send a contract within 24-48 hours. If you wait longer than that it may be too late and the couple may have already made the decision to work with someone else. The key is to have a standard version–Microsoft Word makes sense–of your contract on file. This way you simply fill-in-the-blanks with the details that are specific for each new client.

If you’re emailing the contract, convert into a PDF file before sending. This way there are no concerns about any of the wording being changed in any way. If you are sending the contract to your clients using the regular postal service, it’s helpful to include a self-addressed stamped envelope to make it easy for your clients to return the signed document to you.

Include a Cover Letter

This couple didn’t have to choose you, so express your appreciation to them for selecting you. Include a warm, personalized cover letter with your contract. Print both the contract and the cover letter on your company letterhead.

Wedding Planner Contract Must-Haves

Your contract should include the following items:

  • Today’s Date
  • Wedding Date (and time if you know it)
  • Name of Bride & Groom
  • Bride & Groom’s Contact Info – address, telephone, email, etc.
  • Conditions – your role as wedding planner and restrictions
  • Your Compensation – your total fees, initial deposit and payment schedule
  • Description of Services
  • Terms – include liability and legal issues
  • Cancellation/Change Policy
  • ‘Act of God’ clause
  • Signatures of both clients

Have a Local Lawyer Review (IMPORTANT!)

Once you have created your standard contract that you will use for all of your clients, have your attorney review it. Laws vary by state, and what may apply in one state may not apply in another. A lawyer can also point out the omission of important terms or clauses that protect you.

Remember…

  • A wedding planner contract protects YOU, the wedding planner. As the writer, you have the advantage of shaping things in a favorable way for your business.
  • Deviating from the terms of your contract is risky! Be sure to put any changes along the way in writing.
  • Advise your clients that each vendor they hire for their wedding (caterer, florist, photographer, etc.) should have their own contract.

The best wedding planner contract is one that is signed, filed, and does not have to be pulled out again, because when that happens it usually means there’s a problem.

HAPPY PLANNING!

99 Comments

  • Reply July 6, 2011

    Rick Vasquez

    Thank you for the information, it was helpful!

    • Reply July 11, 2011

      Deb

      Thanks, Rick. Happy to help!

  • Reply July 12, 2011

    Bre

    Very helpful info. Thanks.

  • Reply July 20, 2011

    Kelli

    The pdf file cannot be found. Could you please upload the contract again? This will be very helpful! Thank you!!

    • Reply July 20, 2011

      Deb

      Kelli, you’re absolutely right! Sorry about that. I’ve corrected the link and the file should be available, now. Thanks.

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Marcine Ricketts

    This is awesome information! Thank you so much.

    • Reply August 15, 2011

      Deb

      Really happy to hear that you found it helpful! Thanks.

  • Reply August 19, 2011

    Mari

    Sorry, but the form still cant be uploaded.
    Thanks anyway ;)

  • I just drafted a contract and appreciate the checklist of what the wedding planning contract must stipulate. Thanks so much Debbie,
    Camille-

  • Reply August 29, 2011

    geena

    Hi I am completely new to the wedding business, I want to become a wedding planner but do not know from where to start.

    Secondly,how to i approach caterers,bakery, dress makers etc in order to make a deal with them for my clients and what contract would i have to sign with them and my clients.

    The most important how do i calculate the budget,my fees,commission from the florist,decorators,etc.

    Thank you.

    • Reply October 19, 2011

      Latoya Ferrell

      Hi Geena,

      If you haven’t done so already, you may want to consider taking a course in wedding planning. Penn Foster career school offers a great program that deals with all of the questions you are looking for. I hope this helps!

      • Reply October 24, 2011

        Palesa

        I am in South Africa,Gauteng Province,Johannesburg.Which are is Penn Forster situated?

      • Reply October 25, 2011

        Deb

        Thanks, for the suggestion, Latoya. Are you a former student, instructor or rep for Penn Foster? Would love to hear more about their wedding planning program. What can you tell us? :)

        • Reply August 16, 2014

          Natasha

          Deb,

          I took the Wedding Planner course at Penn Foster back in 2012. I can testify that they have a very good program for anyone who is interested in becoming a Wedding Planner. The program outline is a 12 month course, however you can finish early depending on how fast you progress from one course to the next. The course is cost efficient with low monthly payments. It teaches you the basics of becoming a wedding planner from consulting, budgeting, vendor/client relationship, phone & email etiquette etc. After I finished the course I started my business planning weddings and I love doing it. I have planned three weddings this far and I’m working on my fourth. They have all been very successful and unique. Now I’m looking to draft a contract cause I need to cover myself and my client.

          Thank You

  • Reply October 24, 2011

    Palesa

    Thank you so mnuch,this made my life easy speCial after I lost a lot of money and conflicts between me and clients.much appreciated.Please keep us updating and grow our skills.God bless you.

    • Reply October 25, 2011

      Deb

      Hello Palesa. Sorry to hear about what you’ve experienced in the past. Yes, a written contract is a must when you’re in this industry. Happy to hear things are headed in the right direction, now.

      Love and Success. –Deb

  • Reply November 11, 2011

    Martha

    Hello: Thank you so much for the tips and sharing your expertise. to be able to get mor information on your website, Do I need to pay for the membership? and how much is it?
    Thank you
    Martha

  • Reply November 11, 2011

    Martha

    Hello: Thank you so much for the tips and sharing your expertise. to be able to get more information on your website, Do I need to pay for the membership? and how much is it?
    Thank you
    Martha

    • Reply November 15, 2011

      Debbie

      Martha, great to know that the tips are helping you. The content on this site is free. If you need more hand-holding with getting your wedding planning business off the ground, the Wedding Business Guide provides much more comprehensive info in the form of audio and video tutorials, live monthly teleseminars, etc. There is a fee to access the info, however, I think you’ll agree that it’s really affordable. :) You can learn more here: http://WeddingBusinessGuide.com.

      Also, if you can, join us for the LIVE broadcast of CONFETTI, the wedding planning business talk show, every other Tuesday at 7PM US/Eastern (not sure where you’re located). It’s a great way to ask your wedding planning business question and interact with some great people, around the globe who have the same goal…the desire to plan weddings for a living. I hope this helps.

  • Reply December 13, 2011

    Tara

    Thank you, the contract is very helpful!

    • Reply December 14, 2011

      Debbie

      Tara, my pleasure. Good luck with your wedding biz!! Keep me posted.

  • Reply January 6, 2012

    Toni

    The information was very helpful. Thank you and God Bless.

  • Reply January 6, 2012

    Toni

    Thank you for the sample letter of agreement, I didn’t have any luck finding one until now and had no problem downloading it.

  • Reply January 8, 2012

    Athena

    Appreciate this site … I will be launching my new business by March 2012. Ive been doing alot of research so I’m glad I ran across this website.

    • Reply January 9, 2012

      Debbie

      Really great news, Athena! Looking forward to hearing more about your company. If you can make it, stop by on a Tuesday, and chat live on the wedding planning business talk show, CONFETTI…would love to ‘meet’ you. http://blogtalkradio.com/confetti

  • Reply February 1, 2012

    Lara

    I just started my own wedding planning business and this form is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much!

  • Reply February 10, 2012

    J.D.

    Great Information

  • Reply February 16, 2012

    Katherine S.

    This is fantastic! Very clear and concise for people just starting out and jumping in feet first! Thank you!!

    • Reply February 25, 2012

      Debbie

      Hi Katherine, thanks so much. Happy to help. :)

  • Reply March 1, 2012

    Nita

    This Sample REALLY helped me out. I was getting a little frustrated because I didnt know how I was going to word my contract. I really appreciate you providing a contract that I will be able to utilize for my business. Thanks

  • Reply March 3, 2012

    Felicha Stanley

    Thank you for the sample contract. What I did was visit other wedding venues and took bits and pieces that worked for my business.Both of these businesses have been in business for at least 10 years.However, your sample contract gave me another idea.

  • Reply March 8, 2012

    April Coleman

    Thanks Debbie, these last couple of years I have been saying I need to do a business contract, I have been looking this week for sample event planners contracts but I have been seening wedding contracts instead. Thanks your sample of agreement form has help me

  • Reply March 30, 2012

    Liz Middleton

    Thank you so much for the contract advise, it has helped me to reconstruct my contract!

  • [...] Wedding Planner’s Contract – get a free copy of the wedding planner’s contract/letter of agreement, here. [...]

  • Reply April 16, 2012

    Kimmie

    Thank you!! A wonderful point of reference. Blessings on you and your business.

  • Reply May 4, 2012

    Tasia Jeffery

    Thanks so much for the advice. Im a new to this arena and this information was very helpful.

    • Reply May 14, 2012

      Debbie

      Tasia,

      Welcome to the ‘fold’. Please let me know how things are working out for you.
      –Debbie

  • Reply May 7, 2012

    Doret Jackson

    Thank you ! great pointers, i will follow your advise! and use them to the best of my ability..

    • Reply May 14, 2012

      Debbie

      Doret,

      The key is to try and take some sort of action on a consistent basis. I promise you, you’ll see results! Thanks so much.

      –Debbie

    • Reply May 29, 2012

      Ionut

      couldn’t wait to work with her again! And I did, with one of my favorite brdies Lisa, for her coastal wedding in Maine earlier this summer. I knew that she was the perfect person to help me with my hair when

  • Reply May 10, 2012

    Deborah Gordon

    Thank you so much for the information. I was starting to get a little overwhelmed. Be blessed!

    • Reply May 14, 2012

      Debbie

      Hi Deborah,

      Glad you’re finding the info helpful. Thanks so much.

      –Debbie

  • Reply June 4, 2012

    Danna chevalier

    Thank you so much. I’m on my second wedding and trying to make it a profession. Please if there’s anything you can send via email to keep me on point I would gladly appreciate it.

  • Reply June 13, 2012

    cheryl

    THANK-YOU SO MUCH HAVING ACCESS TO THE CONTRACT MADE EVERYTHING A WHOLE LOT EASIER

    THANK-YOU

  • Reply June 13, 2012

    Sharon Latham

    Hello Debbie,

    I want to say a huge thank you for providing us all with such important information.

    I qualified as a wedding planner in April 2012…And just trying to make sure im doing everything right before i do take on any clients, if theres any information you could provide me with il truly appreciate it.

    Ive help with one wedding already but i was still studying and only provided two contacts to the couple (never charged for my services as was still studying)
    Ive got another two couples interested but havent made up their minds on dates.

    Im slowly getting everything (my logo, stationery, business cards etc) I guess what i am also wanting to know is, am i in the right track?

    Kind Regards

    Sharon

  • Reply June 28, 2012

    Gulnara Saidova

    Hello

    Thank you for the sample it gave me some ideas… i opened a wedding decor business and wrote the agreement by looking at your sample. Do i have to show it to the lawyer so i can star it?

  • Reply August 22, 2012

    isaac

    God bless you, you are more than important. Thank you very much for contract advice.

    • Reply September 17, 2012

      Debbie Quain

      Isaac,

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m happy to help. :)

  • Reply August 28, 2012

    Ebizz Weddings

    Thanks for your information. I’m try to make it a profession.

    • Reply September 17, 2012

      Debbie Quain

      Happy you found the info helpful. Let me know how things progress. :)

      • Reply February 18, 2013

        Dawn Tisdell

        Hello, I was wondering if you could email me the word doc of the example so I can create my own from your version? All my best, Dawn

        • Reply February 20, 2013

          Debbie Quain

          Hello Dawn,

          Thanks for writing. I don’t have a word document that I can share, I’m afraid. However, the sample letter is relatively short and shouldn’t take much time for you to adapt.

          –Debbie

      • Reply February 25, 2013

        Nicole wallace

        I am almost there but the information provided above was very helpful. I am much closer.

  • Reply September 17, 2012

    Gloria Scott

    Do you have samples of contracts, especially the Liability clause.

    • Reply September 17, 2012

      Debbie Quain

      Gloria,

      Within the article (inside the yellow box), there is a link to a sample letter of agreement/contract. Hope this helps. :)

  • Reply September 30, 2012

    theresa daly

    Hi, what is the typical payment schedule, deposit percentage, etc?
    Thanks,
    -Theresa

  • Reply November 4, 2012

    Sylvia

    Debbie, thank you for that information. I am going to uses your example and create my contract.

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Debbie Quain

      Hi Sylvia,

      Happy to help. :)

      –Debbie

  • [...] Have client(s) sign wedding planner contract [...]

  • Reply February 9, 2013

    Faysha

    Thanks debbie, I found your sample to be of great use and I really aprreciate what you done.
    Faysha

    • Reply February 17, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Hello Faysha,

      Thanks for writing. Happy to hear the sample was helpful. :)

      –Debbie

  • Reply March 28, 2013

    k.kornegay

    I think the sample giving was very detail, being a event planning is my passion and viewing this information was very helpful I just added my site to be view and get business now that I have a website up and running. I would love your insight on and email me back. Thanks in advance.
    K.Kornegay

  • Reply March 31, 2013

    Shaton J

    Hi Debbie,

    I too have a very basic and standard web site for others to view. Please review if you have time and give me your feed back. http://www.triumphantevents.vpweb.com.

    Thanks,

  • Reply April 8, 2013

    Audrey Batiste

    Hi Debbie, I just want to thank you for providing this sample contract it’s a great help..is there any way I can contact you to ask you other questions..my business is an Event Designer and I know that a contract for me will fail into other lanes..I would love to ask you more detail questions..I thank you in advance for your time continue blessings to you.

    • Reply April 30, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Hello Audrey,

      Thanks for writing and for such kind words. Feel free to leave a voicemail message on the Confetti Listener Talkback line whenever it’s convenient: 202-681-2126 or join one of the live Confetti shows (ConfettiRadio.com is the wedding planner talkshow that I host on Tuesdays) and ask your questions(s), then. You can find the live broadcast schedule by going to http://ConfettiRadio.com/schedule.

      I hope this helps, Audrey. Thanks.

      –Debbie

  • Reply June 7, 2013

    joann

    Hi; found your contract to be very helpful. Thank you

  • Reply June 10, 2013

    Tina

    Thank you so much for the information. All of it is very helpful in getting my business up and running, especially the sample contract. Events to Remember in the Las Vegas area is my life passion to get started soon. Thank you again.
    Tina

  • Reply June 10, 2013

    Nicole P

    Hello Debbie,

    I truly appreciate your words of wisdom as well as your sample contract. It really helps!

    God Bless,
    Nicole P

  • Reply July 7, 2013

    Carolyn Thornton

    Thank you in advance for your information a contract is very important in any business, thank you once again.

    • Reply July 10, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Hey Carolyn,

      Thanks so much for your feedback. :)

  • Reply July 24, 2013

    Danielle

    So helpful thank you!!

  • Reply August 3, 2013

    Jamie

    Hello Debbie,
    I found your site to be very informative. However I am starting my business as a floral designer and event décor. What type of contract will I need for that? I have searched for many samples to no avail. Any advice or information will help me tremendously. Thank you

    • Reply August 13, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Hi Jamie,

      The key parts of a contract for floral and event design should be fairly similar. The important thing about a contract is that it needs to be as specific as possible–no guessing or misinterpretation.

      So, for example, instead of simply listing ‘centerpieces for wedding reception’, say ‘five centerpieces of red and white roses in square-shaped vases’. List everything that you are contracted to do, in easy-to-understand terms.

  • Reply August 5, 2013

    Marilisa

    This page is really helpful. Thank you Debbie. Excellent website.

  • Reply August 7, 2013

    Dee

    Thanks so much for sharing the sample contract. I am just starting out and this is extremely helpful.

    • Reply August 13, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Thanks for taking the time to write, Dee. Good luck! :)

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Tendai Muchena

    Your work is very helpful. Thank you very much.

    • Reply August 13, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Glad to help, Tendai! :)

      Thanks.

  • Reply August 27, 2013

    Kathy Reynolds

    Hi Debbie – I too (for the most part) provide floral / decor / and some planning for my brides. I have (up until my current bride) been sealing-the-deal with verbal commitments and handshake hugs — my business started out with my son’s best friend getting married, then it was family weddings, friends of family, friends of friends of family and just recently, I have contracted my first two weddings from my website. Indeed a helpful site full of information I have been searching for – I will fine tune this contract to suit my business and I do have a lawyer I can run this by.

    I look forward to keeping up with your blogs and comments and updates !

    Kindest – Kathy

    • Reply September 12, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Kathy – believe me when I say that having a contract for each wedding you plan is a ‘good thing’! It’s the best way to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Good luck with your wedding biz.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write. Keep going! :)

      –Debbie

  • […] consider including a clause in your wedding planner contract that states that all work on the wedding will cease if you’re unable to fulfill your role as […]

  • Reply November 5, 2013

    Brenda Thomas

    do i need a signed agreement from a client if i do weddings but I do not have a building for my buiness I work out of my home

    • Reply November 14, 2013

      Debbie Quain

      Brenda, my answer is a resounding, “yes!”. Absolutely get a signed agreement/contract before you do ANY work for a potential client…whether you’re home-based or working from a retail/commercial location. Remember a contract makes sure that both you and your client understand who is responsible for doing what. Hope this helps. :)

  • Reply December 29, 2013

    Demereo

    First and foremost, I enjoyed reading everyone’s questions and your (DEBBIE QUAIN) expertise in responding to each and every individual.

    Happy Holidays,

    My question is, do you have any sample contracts, in particular, for event coordinators?

    Please say, YES :-)

    Thanks!

    • Reply January 6, 2014

      Debbie Quain

      Happy New Year, Demereo! Thanks for writing.

      The sample contract on this page is all I’ve got right now. Sorry.

      But it’s a good starting point…for event planners/coordinators and wedding planners, alike. If you simply replace the wedding planning description with each of services that you plan on providing as the event coordinator, you should be in good shape. Just remember that you need to have a local attorney review any contract that you create to make sure that it protects you and is acceptable based on wherever you’re located. Hope this helps. :)

  • Reply January 13, 2014

    Live Wedding Planner Chat

    […] a destination wedding.  Although I don’t have a specific destination wedding contract, you can find a sample letter of agreement, here.  Use this to get started and then have a local attorney review and add the specifics that […]

  • Reply January 30, 2014

    Ava

    Debbie
    The information given has been tremendously helpful. Thank you so much and God Bless you.

    • Reply February 1, 2014

      Debbie Quain

      Ava,

      Thanks for taking the time to write and for your kind words. It’s my pleasure. Happy to hear you’re finding the info helpful. Keep going! :)

  • Reply February 4, 2014

    Ken McKean

    Hi Deb.
    Awesome site. I’m just starting my new wedding planning business “Happily Marrying.” To be honest I haven’t planned any weddings yet, but am very keen to do so. I’m not a stranger to organising major events though and am confident I can do a professional job. I read in other areas mainly women are wedding planners, but can’t see any reason why men can’t, so thought I’d do it. My wife and I have been married for 31 years, and would love to help people with their new start in life.
    I’ve done plenty of research into planning weddings though and am currently studying the Graduate Certificate of Arts and Entertainment management.
    What I would like to know is how I might begin to obtain clients? I have a page on facebook and I have a website http://www.happilymarrying.com but haven’t had any response so far.
    I was thinking should I be honest and say I haven’t done any weddings, but assure them I will do a fantastic job, or just tell them if they ask? I’ve also been having trouble getting traffic to my web site, as it doesn’t come up when I search Google, only if I type the whole address in the browser. I’ve done all the verification things in Googles webmasters tools, but still nothing has happened?
    Would you have any advice to get me started please?
    Thank you very much :)
    Cheers
    Ken

  • Reply April 26, 2014

    Vernessa Mayshaw

    Hello i have graduated Penn Foster and set up my on company and ready to go. I do not have a website yet. Need help with that. I already have my first paying client an im looking for a contract. I have noticed most venues have package deals that include coordinators. How do i approach this and my fee. Thank you for any help you can give me.

  • Reply June 23, 2014

    Rhonda

    This is truly interesting and inspiring. I’m so late reading everything. When you find time, please provide any information that would teach, encourage and education Bridal Consultants. I am actually in the process of putting my contract together and I’m appreciative for finding your sample. I too was sharing those anxieties bout fees, so I am learning to compose everything I have to do, and based off being underpaid for the 1st Wedding I ever did and prayfully, I can come up with a suitable fee that’s comfortable.

    • Reply June 26, 2014

      Debbie Quain

      Hello Rhonda,

      Thanks for writing. Take your time to look through the site; there’s a lot of information in the talk-show archives that I think you’ll find helpful.

      Pricing your wedding planner services is a challenge that I think each wedding planner faces. There isn’t a magic formula, but you should take the time to determine what your time is worth as you set-up your wedding business.

      –Debbie

  • Reply July 14, 2014

    Ada Bell

    Thank you, Thank you so much for the information provided on your website Debbie. This has Blessed me in many ways more than one. I’m a NEW Wedding Coordinator and Event Planner here in Florida @ Paramount Weddings & Events Planning and to see you’re so informative about Weddings overall really helps a lot. I didn’t have an contract and I was currently putting one together for a potential client and needed help in doing so. I will continue to visit your website to get more insight from your blogs daily. Once again Thank you and may God continue to Bless you in everything you do :)

    • Reply July 17, 2014

      Debbie Quain

      Hello Ada,

      Thanks so much for writing. Happy to hear that you’re finding the info on the site helpful. Best of luck to you! :)

      –Debbie

  • Reply August 9, 2014

    LaQuila Smith

    Hi is it possible for u to email me this contract .I would love to u it

    • Reply August 11, 2014

      Debbie Quain

      Hello LaQuila,

      A sample wedding planner contract is included in the article. You can find the link in the green box in the second paragraph.

      –Debbie

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