So, what lessons for Kansas City wedding receptions and ceremonies can be learned from rock legend, David Lee Roth, and the legendary story of the brown M&M rider in Van Halen contracts with concert promoters? Actually, there are quite a few. Watch & listen to the tale.
Although it is not likely that Kansas City wedding professionals are going to be bringing concert sized rigging to your wedding or trashing dressing rooms, Mr. Roth’s story reveals the need to thoroughly understand the riders, covenants and/or provisions of each contract Brides and Grooms sign. It also points out the need to get it, what ever “it” is that is important to you, in writing.
10 Tips To Prevent Kansas City Wedding Contract M&M’s (Misunderstandings & Mistakes):
1. It should go without saying…but make sure to get a signed contract from every wedding professional you choose to provide services at your Kansas City wedding ceremony or wedding reception. Without a signed contract, even from your best friend or cousin who has graciously agreed to be your photographer or DJ, the remaining tips won’t matter and you could face tremendous disappointment and suffer a monetary loss. If any wedding service provider tells you that they don’t use or you don’t need a contract, run away!
2. Make certain that the time, date and location(s) for the wedding professional’s services are correct. Ask if there are any penalties should you need to change any of these details. Be clear on when retainers and final payments are due. Some wedding professionals require payment in full, 1-2 weeks in advance of your Kansas City wedding reception. Others may require final payment on the day of your event. Either way, penalties may be assessed if the final payment is not received as scheduled.
3. Some Kansas City wedding venues may allow only a short amount of time for a wedding service provider’s delivery and set-up. Make certain the contract with your wedding venue allows you to add extra time should a wedding service provider require earlier access to be properly set and ready as the first guest arrives at your wedding reception or ceremony. Yes, it may cost a few extra dollars. But, a wedding professional can perform their task far more effectively if not rushed.
4. Review any additional charges that may be assessed if you should unexpectedly require the wedding service provider to work beyond the contracted time. Also determine how and when payment is due in such an eventuality. Some wedding professionals may bill you after your event but others may require cash-only, in advance of extended time. It would be wise to have some emergency cash available at your Kansas City wedding ceremony and reception for any unforseen need.
5. Be sure to get the name, in writing, of the individual(s) who will be performing the contracted services. Some wedding service providers may send employees or sub-contractors to work in their place without advising you first. Some of those individuals may be less experienced or not as well-trained. Ask that a fair and reasonable penalty clause be included in the contract if the person designated on the contract is, for any reason, a “no-show.”
6. Understand and respect all power requirements a wedding professional may have to complete their task. It’s hard to have good time at your Kansas City wedding reception when the power goes off. Make every effort not to have service providers sharing the same power source (i.e.: caterers and wedding DJs). Even some “twinkle” lights and older uplighting can cause breakers to pop, especially when sharing a power source with other electrical equipment.
7. Some Kansas City wedding professionals require a specific location and/or minimal amount of set-up space. They may also require a specific number and size table(s) or other items to complete their task. Find out who is responsible for providing those items and discuss alternate set-up possibilities, if needed. Either way, make sure these details are included in the contract.
8. Get any absolute “must-haves” that the wedding service provider has agreed to provide in writing (ie: special centerpieces, songs, photos, place settings, etc.). Doing so will prevent confusion after the fact.
9. No one wants to think about the need to cancel or postpone their Kansas City wedding reception or ceremony. But, it would still be a very good idea to know what impact these occurrences will have on your contracted agreement with wedding service providers. Depending on the timing, you may only lose your deposit or you could be responsible for the full amount due. Be sure to review this contract clause, even if discreetly.
10. Contracts should be written to protect, both, the consumer and the service provider. They shouldn’t be filled with a lot of hard to understand legalese. Read each contract carefully, regardless of how excited you are to find the ideal wedding professional to serve your needs. If you don’t understand any part of the contract, ask for clarification. You are entering into a binding agreement. Make absolutely certain you know and understand what you are signing.
David Lee Roth may have been something of an innovator for putting the “no brown M&M” rider in Van Halen concert contracts. It was a surprisingly clever way to determine if concert promoters had read them. Wedding couples, however, can avoid hidden surprises by appreciating the need and power of contracts and understanding how careful scrutiny protects them from Misunderstandings & Mistakes.
Enough learning! All this talk of David Lee Roth reminds me that Van Halen will be performing at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on May 22, 2012? Check out their concert video promo below. You can get tickets here!
What additional contract items do you feel are important that I may have overlooked? Do you know of someone or have you had a bad experience caused from not having a signed contract? Your comments are welcome.