Module 9: Making It All Legal
If you are a newer wedding consultant, you might be wondering if getting wedding planner insurance is really necessary. There are no standards in this business yet, so no one will be breathing down your neck and asking you for proof of insurance. But as a rule, and in my professional opinion, it is necessary and you should have it. I have used Hiscox in the past, so I recommend checking them out.
Just imagine with me for a sec—you’re setting up a wedding. Boxes of stuff are all around you. A guest (who is trying to be helpful) isn’t paying attention and trips over your boxes. She falls and lands on her wrist, trying to catch herself. She is in pain, and you get her some ice. Days later you find out her wrist is broken when you’re served with papers. She’s decided to sue you. Are you aware of the cost of medical bills these days? My son broke his leg last year and the ER visit was $24,000! $24,000!!! He never even had surgery or a cast, y’all. He spent a whole six hours there. Thank goodness for insurance! Having insurance can help you defray the cost if Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head during your event.
Property damage is a little bit more likely than bodily injury at a wedding. I once heard about a florist who hung decor on the ceiling of a venue and when she took it down the next day, it had totally destroyed the custom crown molding. It was so bad she had to file a claim through her insurance company. Make sure you’re covered so you don’t have to pay for damages out of pocket if something like that happens.
Most venues require $1 million in general liability coverage. Sometimes you’ll need a certificate with the venue’s name on it. Requirements will vary from venue to venue, so be sure to find out exactly what you need for each one you work with.
If you want to get paid without it messing up your books (for taxes proposes and all that jazz), you need to set up a business bank account. But there are other benefits to opening up a business bank account too.
Accepting Online Payments
Did you know that you will book a bride faster if you have an online payment option available? It’s true. To receive online payments from brides, you will need to register your banking information with PayPal or Stripe.
Bank or Credit Union
Depending on the bank you decide to go with, opening up a business account should be free. I recommend going with a credit union if at all possible. Credit unions seem to treat their patrons a little better.
Open an Account
To open up an account, you’ll need to complete some paperwork. For example, a printout of your business entity will probably be required. Go to your bank’s website and search “business account.” It should show you what documents you’ll need and explain the process for opening an account.
Amendment to Contract
Extra services get added all the time. When this happens, you need to create an amendment to the contract. This way, there is a record and paper trail if anything ever gets disputed. Here is an example of an amendment contract (I’m not a lawyer and therefore all contracts should be checked with a local attorney).
1. This amendment (the “Amendment”) is made by [client name] and [your company], parties to the agreement dated [days date].
2. The Agreement is amended as follows:
[New services added] has been added to the service agreement. Payment for this service is due [due date].
3. Except as set forth in this Amendment, the Agreement is unaffected and shall continue in full force and effect in accordance with its terms. If there is conflict between this amendment and the Agreement or any earlier amendment, the terms of this amendment will prevail.
If a client decides to cancel your services (maybe the wedding was called off) or you decide to fire them, you should have them sign a cancellation contract. This is just a nice way of officially ending things. Here is an example of an cancellation contract (I’m not a lawyer and therefore all contracts should be checked with a local attorney).
This Cancellation of Contract entered into this day [The Effective Day] by and between [client name] and [company name](collectively the “parties”).
Whereas the parties entered into a Wedding Contract for wedding services on [original contract].
Whereas the parties hereby acknowledge that neither party has fully performed its duties or obligations pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in the original contract.
Whereas the parties to the Original Contract and to the cancellation hereby mutually agree to rescind the Original Contract thereby returning the parties to their respective positions before the Original Contract’s effective Date;
Now therefore, for the reasons set forth above, and in the consideration of the mutual covenants of the Parties hereto, the parties agree as follows:
1. Per the original contract the retainer is non-refundable. The other party is released from the obligation of the remaining balance.
2. The Original Contract is hereby terminated and deemed null and void as of the effective date and neither party shall have any further rights or legal obligations thereunder.
3. The Parties release and forever discharge any and all liabilities that have arisen or may arise from the Original Contract, and the Parties waive any and all claims to assert any claim which has arisen or may arise from the Original Contract prior to the effective date of this agreement.
4. [client] agrees now, and after not to disparage or defame [your company] in any respect or to make any derogatory comments, whether written or oral, regarding [your company] or its current or former officers,directors, employees, agents, or contracting parties, or its business or operations.