Post # 1
We’re getting married on Martha’s Vineyard at a private farm. The contract that was sent to us is very short and limited (we have the place on this date, we are responsible for tent, catering, etc., we have to pay xx deposit on these dates). Since we are just getting the land and have to do everything else separately – tent, catering, etc., I’m not too worried about the briefness of the contract. My biggest question is whether or not these contracts usually include a cancellation clause? Is just having the contract enough to ensure they can’t cancel on us? Or do we need specific language? I keep hearing horror stories about vendors cancelling right before the wedding. I want to make sure we’re protected. Thanks hive!
Post # 3
It would be rare for a venue to cancel on you, especially in peak wedding months like May and June. However, there is nothing wrong with asking them about it. If they cancel on you, I would ask for all monies back minus the deposit. However, the bigger concern is what happens to your money should you cancel or change dates (let’s hope that’s not you, but it happens). You need to know what will happen with your money. If you are working with a vendor who is new to the industry or working out of their home, there is nothing wrong with politely expressing your concerns and seeing if you and the vendor can come to an agreement in writing about it.
Post # 4
I would suggest adding a cancellation provision explicitly detailing the specific scenarios under which the vendor may cancel (destruction of the property by fire, act of god, etc.) and detailing your remedies if the vendor does cancel, including the return of all monies to you as well as any obligation on the vendor’s part to find you another “acceptable” venue (say, if the vendor cancels within a certain timeframe before your wedding). But be aware that cancellation policies go both ways – i.e., if you cancel, the venue is entitled to retain a portion (if not all of your deposit) unless they can rebook for the same date or something along those lines (mitigation of loss on behalf of the vendor). Also, your contract should be clear as to who is carrying the liability insurance (in case you or one of your guests is injured while on the premises (your other vendors – like phototog, band, etc. may have their own policies but if not, you might require them to obtain a one-day policy to protect you in the event they get hurt or hurt someone else (they are fairly cheap).
Sorry, I’m an attorney so I can’t help myself. Hope it helps.
Post # 5
I’m no lawyer, but, currently going through venue contract drama myself, I think what should be in your contract is everything, every detail, you expect from your vendor (if all you get is the land, that should be pretty easy) and rules or regs surrounding your venue and anything you think they might try and charge you for.
I think a cancellation clause should definitely be in the contract. If they cancel the event, you should be entitled to a full refund. If you cancel, then it could be prorated based on the amount of time before the event.
Since you are at a private farm, you might also want to check on liability if someone is injured. Does that fall under your insurance or the farm’s?
Are there any noise restrictions? What about electricity and water usage for the event?
Just a few thoughts.