3 Tips on How to Update your Wedding Planner Contract for COVID-19

how to update your wedding planner contract during COVID-19, tips featured by top US attorney for Creatives, Ashlee Hightower

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in industries all around the world and the wedding planning industry is no exception. If you haven’t updated your wedding planner contract to account for unforeseen impacts as a result of the pandemic, now is the time to do so. Here are three tips to help you get started.

3 Wedding Planner Contract Details Made More Important Due to COVID-19 

Cancellations, rescheduling, supplier problems, venue closings…all of this and more can impact a wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic. The best way for wedding planners to protect themselves is by updating their wedding planner contract to account for these types of issues.

1.     Review Contract Wording Re: Unforeseen Situations.

Chances are neither you nor your clients ever imagined a wedding being cancelled due to a months-long pandemic in the United States. As a result, your contract may not have any wording that protects you in these types of situations. Review your contract to make sure it includes specific procedures as to what will happen and who is responsible/not responsible for specific actions when an unforeseen situation arises. You may also want to adjust timelines to account for ordering delays or venue availability.

2.     Clearly Define Cancellation and Rescheduling Policies.

Every wedding planner contract should already have these in place, but it is worth double-checking. Make sure your contract clearly defines these policies and includes a deadline date. Industry standard is 30 days prior to the event to cancel/reschedule, but you may want to adjust that based on your availability and volume of business. Also make sure you have addressed any payment details, especially what payments will be retained by you and what payments will be returned to the client (if any) if the wedding is cancelled or rescheduled.

3.     Add a Force Majeure Clause.

Force Majeure clauses protect you if you or the client wants to cancel, reschedule, or adjust the event due to unforeseen, unavoidable or impossible situations. COVID-19 could very much qualify as a Force Majeure event in certain situations. This clause should delineate your policy and what events or situations would qualify. Many clauses contain wording such as “Acts of God, natural disasters, government orders or laws, or strikes,” but it is best to be as specific as possible for best protection. Your clause should specifically include wording about epidemics and pandemics as qualifying events and address any payment retention and/or refunds.

Are you concerned that your wedding planner contract is lacking or needs to be updated? Contact me at ashlee@ashleehightower.com for a contract review.

ALL OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

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