Nigerian Wedding Contracts: Everything you should know
THE NIGERIAN WEDDING CONTRACT
It’s important to remember that while this is your special day, wedding planning is also a business and should be treated as such.
As you plan your wedding, you will be faced with numerous decisions and working with different wedding professionals.
You will have some expectations of your wedding vendors and expect a level of Professionalism from your vendors, as they would of you as well.
To ensure a wedding day success, be sure to have detailed contracts drafted out with each wedding professional.
Wedding professionals should offer wedding contracts, as they not only protect the bride, but they also protect the vendor.
As a Wedding Planner, I have a wedding contract between myself and the client and also between the planner and wedding vendors.
NOTE: Let me warn you, it’s a tedious process, so be prepared. Especially in an industry where vendors are very busy with other less stressful bookings.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A WEDDING CONTRACT
Some benefits of having an official agreement such as the contract with your wedding planner, includes the following:
It forces the wedding planner to stick to important deadlines. The wedding planner knows that a successful wedding is planned way in advance.
Thus, being the professional, the planner will ensure that they reach all of the important deadlines in planning your special day.
These deadlines may include things like reaching out to wedding vendors, handling of payments (if permitted), booking the venue or important appointments for you.
The contract helps you, the bride, to understand what services you are actually receiving upon booking the wedding planner.
The contract outlines all of the important details of services provided by your wedding planner, as well as the limitations.
It also secures the agreement of contact hours between you and the wedding planner.
Communication hours may include physical meetings, meetings with suppliers, e-mail times, telephone meeting times, WhatsApp messages or other methods of instant messaging.
The terms of the contact between you and the wedding planner are normally set out to suit both your needs. This also includes virtual meetings for international clients.
In the contract, the wedding planner also agrees to the services provided as stipulated in the package chosen by you.
This means that after the contract is signed, the planner or vendor cannot suddenly decide to not offer you a certain service anymore.
Let’s say “venue scouting” is included in the package. The planner has to find you a venue. They must, otherwise it can be seen as breaching of the contract.
There are many other benefits of the contract, but you get the idea. And just like it protects you, the bride, it also protects the wedding planner and vendors.
A contract works both ways…
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A WEDDING CONTRACT
1. Something needs to be offered. What are you offering to your client?
2. Something needs to be exchanged for it, usually money, otherwise it is a gift or a promise rather than a contract.
3. Both sides need to accept the terms of the contract. And signing a contract means acceptance.
4. Both sides need to agree to the conditions and understand that they have entered into a contract mutuality.
Related: Is It Advisable To Pay Nigerian Wedding Vendors Fully Before The Event Day?
A GOOD WEDDING CONTRACT SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
– The date the contract begins and when it expires.
– The names of all the parties involved in the transaction
– Key terms and definitions
– The services and any other complimentary services that the service you are offering comes with.
– Terms of Services, be sure to explain explicitly your terms of service
– Payment terms, due dates, the amount, deadlines.
– How to handle a breach of contract, terminations and damages
– Liability requirements
– Any other special requirements. As a matter of fact, I edit my contract after every quarter.
This is due to the fact that every event comes with a new experience that you just may find necessary to protect yourself against next time.
SIGNING THE WEDDING CONTRACT
It is very important to read a wedding contract carefully and thoroughly.
Ask questions if you do not understand anything written in the contract.
Also ask for modifications where you may feel the need to.
Ensure that you look for all spaces you need to sign as well.
Also make sure that all parties sign where need be and a copy of the contract is sent to all the parties involved.
WHY YOU NEED A WEDDING CONTRACT IN NIGERIA
1. Many wedding service providers have mastered the art of using social media to attract potential couples.
What this means is that, they know exactly what to post on their social media pages to attract the kind of clients they want.
They may not have what it takes to deliver on the promises made and this can cause a lot of issues later on.
To avoid this, you need a contract to be able to have evidences in case you want to take it up after your wedding is over.
2. While some verbal agreements can be enforced in court, a written contract shows what both parties had agreed to.
If you are going to go without a contract, you will need to keep as much evidence as possible about what you both had agreed to and what actually happened.
Keep your emails, any quotes or invoices, notes from discussions, logs of phone calls, and copies of any documents to help prove your case.
With all that work, you will be better off getting it all down in a written contract to begin with.
Using a contract will give you peace of mind that what you agreed to what actually happen.
3. It gives you at least 80% assurance that both parties will deliver on the deliverables promised. All things being equal.
4. The Nigerian Wedding industry does not have an event professional Body, that can help fight unprofessional vendors. It is an ‘all-man-for-himself’ kinda industry.
The worst you can probably do if a vendor fails to deliver, is to call out the vendor on social media and after a couple of days or weeks, the incident is forgotten and everybody moves on.
WHEN DO YOU NEED A NIGERIAN WEDDING CONTRACT?
You may need a Nigerian Wedding Contract if the following applies to you:
– You want to prevent misunderstandings between you and your client by making things clear from the start.
– Your work or the product you are receiving needs to be of a specific quality, size, material or design.
– You aren’t sure the client will pay you after you have done the job.
– You have to purchase materials, or hire staff to complete the job before getting paid.
– You are working with a timeline where payments are made at certain times.
– You or your client has to keep certain information confidential, such as a non-disclosure agreement, business information or personal information.
– You want proof in writing for the court to enforce, or to at least consider, if there is a dispute.
When To Send Out A Nigerian Wedding Contract
I have been a little confused myself, as to when exactly the right time is to send a wedding contract.
After some years in the Nigerian wedding planning business, I finally settled to sending out my wedding contracts just before the couple pays a reservation fee for our services.
What does this mean, you may ask:
What this means is that, once we reach an agreement on the package and price to be paid, I draft out a contract with our terms of service and send to the client.
This enables the client to read and agree to your terms and to have a better understanding of what they are entitled to and also to make corrections where necessary, before signing and paying a down payment for our services.
Note: Dear Nigerian Planners, if you feel comfortable sending your contracts after a deposit payment has been made, then do just that. As long as you send a binding contract to your client and all parties agree to the terms of the contract, then you should be good to go.
You Know I Love You
X.O.X.O Your Integrity Planner
Olamide~ The Heiress
La’ Heiress Weddings