Post # 1
So…this is the first vendor contract negotiation that has me tempted to walk away.
It’s with an officiant who includes a consultation package as part of his services, which we love. The contract has two things that bother me that I asked him to change:
1) The contract does not specifically state that he must legally be able to perform the wedding at the time of the wedding. I know he’s ordained and I saw the paperwork hanging in his office, but I would just feel better if it’s in the contract.
2) He mentioned to us that he is currently available for our rehearsal (wedding is on a Sunday, so rehearsal is Saturday night) but that there’s a chance that would change if he was booked for another wedding. I wanted him to include in the contract that we would not be charged the rehearsal fee if he could not make it and that if we had already paid, that it would be refunded.
He emailed me back and told me that both of my requests “went without saying” and did not attach a changed contract. A part of me just wants to book him, get it over with, and keep the email as proof in case anything goes wrong. Another part of me doesn’t understand that if they “go without saying” and all I want is for them to be said, what the big damn deal is.
Post # 3
that would make me uneasy…just let him know you would be more comfortable if the contract was amended to include those things
Post # 4
I would just write back and say something like “I agree that these should be obvious assumptions, but I would feel more comfortable if they were included in the signed contract. I’m sure you understand. Please send an updated contract at your convenience”
Post # 5
I agree with Moose, you can even add something like I’ve had situations in the past that make me uncomfortable not having something in writing, and then let him know that if he doesn’t want to make the changes you’re going to have to find someone else.
Post # 6
I would ask to either have him solidly and officially save the date and time for your rehearsal, or have the payment for the rehearsal due with the final payment or AT the rehearsal itself, if you are really concerned about his availability.
As for the legality – maybe just get him to put in writing anywhere, even if it is just an email, stating that, to the best of his knowledge, he is able to legally solemnize your marriage on the agreed upon date?
Post # 7
as someone who has had an officiant double book us , our venue burnt down, and i discovered extra “phantom’ charges on my credit card when trying to set up a room block, i would get him to put it in the contract. i wouldn’t sign it until it’s written properly.
Post # 8
I would strongly insist that those things be put in the contract. Just tell him that you want everything to be squared away before the big day, and would appreciate it if he would add these items to the contract.
Post # 9
I would either type up or hand write on the contract what you want added to the contract. Then email/fax it back to him and have the officiant acknowledge it by signature and then send it back to you. “It goes without saying” …no – nothing goes without saying when it comes to hiring someone! You never know what circumstances could lead to a problem etc, and if you have something in writing acknowledged by the both of you, at least you have some power if a disagreement does arise.
They should not have a problem signing something if it goes without saying!
Post # 10
The point of contracts is so that things aren’t misunderstood. I like Moose1209’s wording. I do think everything will be ‘fine’ – but because it will give you the peace of mind you are looking for, there’s nothing wrong with insisting it be in writing.
Post # 11
I’m thinking he probably doesn’t know how to word your additions to the contract. If you write it for him, it will be easy for him to cut/paste and send you an updated version. It is a pain for you but it is you who is asking for the additions.
Post # 12
Get it in writing! I’d answer differently if you knew your officiant or if they were associated with your church or something, but it sounds like this is a paid vendor, and the details should all be on the contract.
Post # 13
I would attach an Addendum to the contract stating what you wanted and put on the Addendum the contract is only valid with the attached fully executed addendum.
Sign both and send it to him.
Write on the Contract “Addendum attached”
Post # 14
Depending on the laws where you live, having the email would probably be sufficient to convince a judge that he was under these obligations. But with that said, who wants to end up in court over this kinda thing? The whole purpose of having a contract is to clearly state each parties obligations so you don’t end up in a dispute over it later!
He probably just uses a standard form contract, and is hesitant to add these clauses because he’s not sure how to word them, or is unsure the effect they will have on the rest of the contract. Your best bet is probably to draft up an Addendum, as Aspargus previous suggested. Its not hard to do, here are some easy to follow notes I found:
Sign both, and send them to him to be signed. You can let him know that it’s nothing personal, but that you just want to ensure that all your bases are covered.
Post # 15
You’re right that he should just add them to the contract if they “go without saying.” It’s weird that he won’t. I’d push the issue.
Post # 16
Is it standard to have an officiant not at the rehearsal? To me, they are one of the key players as they’re actively involved in the flow of the whole thing. My bigger issue is that he might not be there. But, maybe that’s normal and I’m just not aware of that…