Post # 1
So I found a DJ that I absolutely love.
Pros: He’s been a wedding DJ for almost 25 years. Very friendly, professional, and charasmatic. Excellent online reviews. Provides all inlusive package at reasonable price. Super organized (has backup plans for his backup plans) so I am not worried about anything going wrong on the day.
Cons: Can be very long winded when speaking to me on the phone/through email. He’s reassured me that is not his style when he is DJ’ing but still…
Red Flag?: When I requested a contract he sent me a very easy to read one page contract. The only thing that wasn’t on there was a Force Majure clause which would say in the event of a weather emergency we can cancel and try and find another date. If we can’t find another date that is mutally agreeable we would get a full refund. I’m getting married in February so a snow storm is about just as likely as a 60 degree day, but when I asked him to include it on the contract he said he didn’t want to make changes to his contract.
When we discussed it further, I told him that I would be uncomfortable signing for services and if it snowed or something happens then I’m screwed. He told me that is why he set up his contract so I just pay a deposit (~$500) upon signing and then pay him the remainder after the wedding is over so if we cancel then we don’t have to pay the rest. He also mentioned (verbally) that if there were a weather emergency and we couldn’t decide on another date, he would still give us our deposit back because he works on referrals and reviews and wouldn’t want me to be unhappy with the service I recieved.
Would you agree to a contract like that?
Post # 2
Is this part in the contract?
He also mentioned (verbally) that if there were a weather emergency and we couldn’t decide on another date, he would still give us our deposit back because he works on referrals and reviews and wouldn’t want me to be unhappy with the service I recieved.
If not I would be skeptical about signing a contract. I also think that being in the business for 25+ years and knowing the type of weather in your area; I dont see why he couldn’t add the weather clause in your agreement (especially with a Feb. wedding). I would think that each event he is contracted for would be different and sometimes adjustments need to be made to contracts. Maybe you should get a few more quotes from DJ’s before making a decision and see if they have some sort of clause like this in their contract and see if that is something that you would be more comfortable with.
Post # 3
Why doesn’t he just add it to the contract? Especially since you brought it up to him? Seems like it should be easy enough to do.
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
honeybee16 : I would definitely want that in writing from him.
Post # 5
You need to draft the entire understanding into the document you both sign. No ifs ands or buts. If you have to completely re-type the agreement (since it’s one page), do so. He should be willing to physically sign in writing anything he has told you verbally or in email, and if he says he wont, you need to press him as to why.
Post # 6
beverly579 : Very well said. He’s said he has literally used this contract for every event that he’s done which I’m finding hard to believe. It seems like a nonissue to me to just add something at the bottom saying if there is a weather emergency “as defined by the county” then we would try and reschedule. It’s not like I’m saying oh we’re expecting 3″-4″ of snow I want to postpone.
Post # 7
I don’t think it’s that unusual of a contract. All the vendors I contacted have to have a deposit, then the rest paid before the day, and no refunds for any reason including any kind of weather of natural disaster. Only losing $500 in the event of cancellation sounds great! Having said that, if you want a clause saying you will get it back, it has to be in the contract, verbal means nothing. But it might be hard to find a DJ who would put this in the contract.
Post # 8
It’s weird that he would seem to agree to your terms but not want to sign a different contract. BUT Some people who aren’t legal types but work in a contract-based business (and don’t want to pay ongoing legal fees) use form contracts and are afraid that if they change them, the magic legal fairy dust of their form contract is somehow tarnished. It’s my suspicion that this is what his deal is, although I admit to having no real idea. Still, if you don’t have it in writing, it’s worthless. If it is a necessity, I would alter the contract myself and send it back, telling him this is the only version I will agree to. I’m assuming (or hoping) you have some sort of similar clause in one of your other vendor contracts? If so, copy and paste. Easy.
Post # 9
I am a musician and have played at many weddings. I think when you bring up bad weather, it can mean different things. Outdoor vs indoor weddings… Broadway shows don’t get canceled unless almost like the end of the world is coming. I have traveled in countless snow storms for gigs.
anyway, can you describe more what it means to you what force majauer means? It may ease his mind a little.
Also you may want to think about when the cancelation happens. 3 days before and the day of are very different to musicians.
Post # 10
I don’t find it that unusual.
I also wouldn’t include a snowstorm as force majeure, so if that’s what you’re considering the “most likely” scenario as to why you would need it, you’ll probably be pretty disappointed. Force majeure is an unforeseeable chance occurance. Volcanic eruption, earthquake, etc. that damages the venue to the extent that it would be hazardous to hold the event there or an act of war or terrorism. When you plan a wedding for February in the northern hemisphere, you can’t very well say there was no possible way you could foresee a snowstorm. You yourself are saying now that it is possible – you are foreseeing it as a very real and likely possibility. That’s not what force majeure is intended for. It’s also saying that one or both parties would would be completely prevented from fulfilling their end of the contract on that day – so are you prepared for your vendor to make the call of whether the weather is bad enough that they can’t fulfill their end of the contract and be completely absolved even if you yourself could get yourself to your wedding? We had snow where I am earlier this week. Within the same metro area friends of mine who live 10 miles north got three inches of snow and I only got a little frost on my windshield. We had a storm hit earlier this winter where I live and we got 14 inches of snow and friends who live five miles northwest of here only got 2. Depending on my venue and what direction I was coming from, I could very easily have gotten to a wedding and I just as easily could have said “Nope, not chancing it with these 14 inches” with just a five mile difference.
So if you’re planning on anything weather related in your contract you better not rely on force majeure to cover you and you better be VERY SPECIFIC as to what entails inclement weather bad enough that it absolves you from paying on this contract (and hopefully they will agree). What temperature? How many inches of snow? In what location – Your home? Your vendor’s home? The location of the venue only? Does an official watch and/or warning have to be declared and by whom? At what time must it be actively snowing in order for it to be cause for cancellation? If it’s not snowing now, but the weather channel predicts it will start snowing three hours from now during your ceremony resulting in potentially X inches of snow, is that sufficient? As for “weather emergency” our cities will call a “snow emergency” meaning you can’t park on certain sides of the street for snowplows and emergency vehicle purposes but people can still travel – so does this mean your government has literally said every business MUST shut down due to snow when you say emergency? Some counties have levels of emergencies where they advise against travel, but only the very most severe can get you arrested if you are traveling and not trying to drive yourself to the hospital due to a medical emergency. You need to be very specific in your meaning.
Make sure anything you agree to that is not in the written contract as it currently stands is added and a written addendum and be as specific as possible.
Post # 11
His contract seems pretty standard. The deposit is there to hold your date and protect the vendor. This is your wedding day but it is his business. If you cancel day-of he loses his opportunity to make that money elsewhere. If you choose to cancel for a snowstorm, I think he deserves to keep that money. If he were to cancel on you because he can’t get to the venue in a snowstorm, then you deserve a refund. If you want 100% protection for any circumstance, you may have to shop around for someone else.
Maybe you should talk to some of his previous customers. They may be able to give you some insight on what he is really like to work with. That could help you address the long winded issue as well.
Post # 12
I completely agree.
He has no obligation to change his contract, if he does not want to, and force majeure has pretty rigid guidelines for what it entails.
If you are uncomfortable with the terms of his contract, you should look elsewhere, but you will probably run into the same issue with whatever vendor you try to use. A snow storm is not always grounds for force majeure.
Post # 13
Hello! Wedding musician here!
if you’d like, you could email me the contract and I could take a look (and email you back the contract that I usually use)!
i usually DO include a clause about weather, I think…I have several different types of contracts and can’t remember right now. I need to read my contract again lololol. I haven’t updated it in awhile. On that note, I can’t imagine not updating my contract for 25 years?!?! I feel like every few years I tend to change a couple things based on my experiences. My deposit percentage has grown over the years, as has my nonrefundable cancellation period (for example, when I was first trying to get clients you could cancel up to like 2 weeks before your event and not owe me the balance. Now it’s like 60 days or something.) Anyway, if a client was super uncomfortable with something, I would revise the contract for them, just as long as it was still fair to me.
Let me know if you want me to take a look at it and I’ll message you my email address.
ETA: I do agree with some pp that force majeur is different than just “bad weather”. And it can affect both parties differently… one time we had ice storms in my area where I literally couldn’t get to the gig but the rest of my band living a few miles away COULD make it, so they had to hire someone from their side of town to take my place (this is a situation where I was sub contracted, not the actually contractor himself, so it didn’t break any clauses). The event went on as planned. Also had MANY circumstances where the there was bad weather and the client decided to cancel even though we said we could still make the event and play. In that instance, we received 100% of our balance. So the weather thing is not always cut and dry, and IMO it usually behooves the vendor to explain each circumstance in the contract so there is never confusion.
Never take someone’s word for it. Always put it in writing.
Post # 14
None of the contracts I signed said anything about weather. If you’re that concerned I’d recommend wedding insurance to CYA in the event of something like that. Otherwise yes I’d just sign the contract as is.
Post # 15
I think he is wise not to change his contract. He has to protect himself. If this contract has worked for him for 25 years he would be loath to change it without being extremely clear on the implications. What exactly is a weather emergency? Does he decide or you? If it’s you, why should he have to be at the mercy of your judgment? As it stands it sounds like a quite generous contract already as you could cancel right up to the wedding day and not owe him any balance. Contracts have to benefit both parties and small business owners can’t just give the customer all the power, that’s the whole point of deposits! You could ask other people but I doubt any would have a clause like that.