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by Emma Hla

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Image by Real Simple Photography.

Over the years that I’ve been collaborating with Katrina Otter on our Wedding Planning Series we’ve pretty much covered everything from where to start, to what to actually do on the day itself… and everything in between!

The common theme throughout is that each and every element covered is an integral and essential step in your wedding planning journey.

Whilst today’s guide isn’t going to win any awards for being the most glamorous or romantic of topics, it is however going to cover some of the most essential BUT often most misunderstood, overlooked, side-lined or simply ignored areas of wedding planning.

Over to the planning guru herself…

notes from katrina

Before you switch off at the mere mention of legalities and paperwork please STOP… and take a moment to consider the “what ifs”, the potential consequences and the added layer of stress as a result of not reading, understanding or even having a written contract with your wedding venue or suppliers.

The “what ifs”, the potential consequences and the added layer of stress as a result of not securing your venue or suppliers by paying a deposit.

And especially the “what ifs”, the potential consequences and the added layer of stress as a result of not having the adequate level of insurance cover OR any Wedding Insurance at all.

For example…

  • WHAT IF you’re forced to cancel or postpone your wedding due to illness..?
  • WHAT IF your wedding venue goes out of business..?
  • WHAT IF one of your suppliers has to cancel or doesn’t show up..?
  • WHAT IF one of your suppliers takes another booking on the same day as your wedding..?
  • WHAT IF your wedding photos or video gets damaged..?
  • WHAT IF there’s a personal accident on your wedding day..?

You get the drift!

If you want to reduce or eliminate the risk of those “what ifs” and remove that added layer of potential stress then you absolutely need to take the time to research, understand and include the following as part of your wedding preparations…

Contracts and Terms & Conditions

Contracts and Terms & Conditions with your wedding venue and suppliers are there to help protect you and your wedding.

If you DO receive a contract or written agreement from your wedding venue and suppliers then before you sign on the dotted line or pay a deposit you should ideally do the following:

  • Take the time to read and fully understand what you’re signing.
  • Check that the contract / written agreement contains all of the relevant information regarding your wedding, including services provided.
  • Make sure that you’re happy with the contract / written agreement, including cancellation policies, payment terms and the small print!
  • If you’re not happy then don’t be afraid to ask questions or query terms.

If you DON’T receive a contract or written agreement then the safest option is to ask and insist on one, even if it’s just an outline email. If something should happen, questions arise or those “what ifs” crop up then you absolutely need some form of paperwork as without written proof you have absolutely no security or guarantees.

Deposits

I’m going to spell this out to you in black and white.

PAYING A DEPOSIT = SECURITY & PEACE OF MIND.

And sometimes it’s even the difference between having a supplier OR having a no-show on your wedding day.

Paying a deposit to ALL of your wedding suppliers is an absolute necessity because if you don’t (because you want to help your cash flow, the supplier didn’t ask for one etc.) where’s the guarantee that that supplier won’t take another booking or as I’ve just mentioned, will even turn up on your wedding day..?

As with Contracts and Terms & Conditions, if your supplier doesn’t ask for a deposit then insist on paying one because there’ll be significantly fewer “what ifs” as a result.

Personal Insurance

Personal Wedding Insurance is the easiest and ultimate way to minimise multiple “what ifs”.

However, more often than not, Wedding Insurance is either seen as one of those extra expenses that can be easily cut from the budget (if things are looking tight) OR is overlooked entirely.

The truth of the matter is that such a small investment (between £39 – £300) can actually save you multiple times more than its own cost if things do go wrong.

No matter how organised you are and how much planning has gone into your wedding, you can’t control everything and things can and DO go wrong.

So what kind of thing could go wrong..?

Well, some of the most frequent claims to wedding insurers range from lost or damaged wedding attire to cancellations due to illness or bereavement. There are lots of potential scenarios – big and small – for you to insure yourself against and to give you ultimate peace of mind.

Many policies will also give you the option of insuring your honeymoon too. If flights are delayed, luggage stolen or your hotel burns to the ground before you get there (dramatic, but it paints a picture) you’ll be covered for the cost of reimbursement.

Taking all of this into consideration, the best piece of advice I can give you is to GET WEDDING INSURANCE as soon as you possibly can.

Once you have your venue and / or marquee booked and have drawn up a guideline budget, your Wedding Insurance should be the next thing on your to-do list… so shop around for the right level, check the excess and check what’s included to ensure that you’ve put the ultimate fail-safe plan into place.

Supplier / Venue Insurance

In addition to your own Wedding Insurance it’s also critical that you check that your venue AND suppliers have their own insurance to cover their operations, the work / services they’re providing and any errors they may make or accidents they or their staff may cause.

Once again you’ll be reducing those “what ifs” if you take the time to double-check that your venue and suppliers are covered for all eventualities.

Have you caught glimpses of yourself in this feature at all..? And is there anything else you’d like some advice or further assistance on..? If so, I’d love to hear from you (www.katrinaotterweddings.co.uk) and hopefully I can offer you some reassurance, guidance and one-to-one planning assistance.

wedding-contracts-and-insurance-poster

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