Tag

Contract Review

Browsing

Read this before contracting with a photographer or videography – 8 step guide

Last year, The Wedding Lawyer received a record number of disputes arising from the photography and videography contracts. Disputes partly arose due to the supplier not keeping to their side of the agreement.

Whilst photography and videography contracts differ depending on supplier, here is our six-step checklist to assist you when checking your photography or videography contract.

Step 1 – Does your supplier know the venue, timings and duration of coverage?           

As the consumer, it is your responsibility to check that the contract correctly states the date, venue and timings of your photo and videography shoot. Some suppliers will indicate the time at which they arrive and leave (e.g. arrive 9am and leave at 5pm) and others will simply state how many hours they will be providing coverage for (e.g. 8 hours coverage). Remember, wedding days do not always run on time, therefore, you are advised to go through your itinerary and ensure the timings stipulated on the contract as realistic. You may find it useful to negotiate an hourly rate with the supplier in advance of your wedding day, in the event of the day over running by one or two hours. This will prevent any nasty surprise bills for overtime after the event.

Step 2 – Who owns the copyright in the photos?

Do not be alarmed when a clause in the contract states “copyright of the photographic material” belongs to the supplier. This clause is often found in photography contracts. As the consumer, you should take care with how you use photos that are taken from your wedding day by your photographer. Whilst it may be tempting to stick photos/videos onto social media sites you are advised to check with you photographer before you use such photos/videos in this way.

Step 3 – How much do you need to pay upfront?

Many photographers and videographers want to be paid the entirety of their fees in full before your big day. Whilst, this provides the supplier with security that they have got the full payment, it also means you have little bargaining power once you have departed with your hard earned money. Whilst, suppliers can set their own terms as to how and when payments are due, it is worth choosing a supplier who is willing to accept part payment prior to the big day and the balance on completion of the job. This will provide an incentive for the supplier to deliver your photos and videos in a timely fashion.

According to the UK Competition and Markets Authority – as a guide:

  1. A deposit is just to reserve the goods and services and should be no more than a small percentage of the total price.
  1. Advance payments reflect the supplier’s expenses in carrying out the contract and should leave the customer with a reasonable amount to pay on completion of the job.

Step 4 – Do you need to provide your supplier with a meal or a break?

Photographers and Videographers are usually required to be fully alert and present throughout all aspects of the wedding day. However, they are only human beings are often stipulate break times and meal arrangements in their contract. Ensure you understand what the hospitality arrangements are for the supplier and if possible ensure this is factored into the itinerary. A failure to make provision to allow your supplier to take breaks for meals could mean they end up taking it at a time when they are most needed during the course of the day. It is not unusual for a photographer and videographer to request a hot meal in their contract. If this is the case, ensure you have made provision for this with your caterer.

Step 5 – Does your supplier understand the timetable for the day?

Contracts often contain a clause along the lines of

“The supplier x will endeavour to capture all the relevant moments throughout the day as they occur. However, some unforeseen moments might not be captured”

To minimise the risk of not capturing a special moment, ensure you have given your supplier a full briefing as close to the day as possible. This should also be supplemented with a printed timetable so there is no confusion as to where the photo and video team should be on the day.

Step 6 – Do you know when the final photos and videos will be delivered?

An often-disputed point is that a videographer or photographer is taking too long to deliver the photos or videos. Carefully check each clause of the contract to see that it mentions how long it will take the supplier is likely to deliver the final version of the photos and videos. Should this not be included in the contract, ensure you get written confirmation about how long this is likely to take.

Step 7 – Is there more than one photographer or videographer?

Both the bride and groom have wanted to instruct their own photographer and videographer on a separate basis to cover the wedding day. If this is the case, check the contract to ensure there are no limitations to allowing this. Some suppliers include a exclusivity clause which states “no other professional photography crew will be hired to cover the same event”.

Step 8 – Do you understand the cancellation clause in the contract?

Unfortunately, there are times where wedding days cannot go ahead, therefore ensure you are clear of what your financial liability is when you have to cancel a booking with a photographer or videographer. Remember, wedding insurance is always a good idea to protect you to cover any expenses in the event of cancellation.

If the photographer or videographer cancels the booking, check to ensure you are clear on your rights. The supplier should provide an alternative supplier of the same quality and experience or a full refund.

Should you need assistance with reviewing a contract or dealing with dispute, please contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

Be your own lawyer: How to review your supplier contracts – a general guide

Before we begin, it is important to stress how important it is for you to make sure there is a contract in place between you and your wedding supplier. Irrespective of how well you may know your supplier, a written agreement is crucial as it will ensure both you and your supplier are clear on the obligations that need to be met prior, during and after the big day.

It is advisable to insist on a contract being given to you and to ensure you understand each of the terms before signing it. Once you have signed the contract, make sure you keep all your supplier contracts somewhere safe, so you can refer to it should you need to.

4 important things to look out for before signing a contract:

Contracts will vary depending on who the supplier is. However, here are our recommendations on what to look out for prior to signing a contract:

  1. Length of the contract – contracts vary in length depending on the services being supplied. Whilst there is no general rule as to how long a contract should be, if you are given a contract that is no longer than a page or two, particularly where the value of the contract is considerable (i.e. the price you are paying for the services), carefully check to ensure there is nothing of real importance left out.
  1. When reading the contract, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Are the names of the parties correct?
  • Is the venue(s) and date(s) correct?
  • Has the supplier listed in sufficient detail exactly what services they will be supplying?
  • Is there clear guidance as to what time the supplier should arrive and finish?
  • Does the contract state who will be the point of contact in the provision of the services and if so, what the best contact number is for the point of contact?
  • Has the supplier clearly stated how much the total amount will be for the services? If so, does the price include VAT?
  • Is there clear guidance as to when the deposits and balance of payment is due? Quite often, there will be an option to pay in instalments, if this is the case, are you sure you can pay on the dates provided?
  • Is there guidance as to what the penalties are if the wedding day overruns and doesn’t comply with agreed timings?
  • Is there guidance on what happens in the event of you having to cancel the booking?
  • If your wedding supplier is attending the ceremony or reception, have they stipulated any requirements they may require on the day? E.g. a meal, certain number of rest breaks, accommodation. If so, are you in a position to make provision for this?
  • Is there a provision for what happens in the event of your chosen supplier not being able to attend your event? Can the supplier substitute the services? If so, would the substitution be to someone of the same or higher quality?
  • Is there a requirement that you carry out a wedding insurance in the event of cancellation?
  1. Cancellation issues

There are times when due to unforeseen circumstances wedding days have to be cancelled. A well drafted supply contract should include guidance as to what happens in the event of cancellation and what the financial implications are for both the consumer and supplier. In other words, what refund will you receive if you cancel and what penalty the supplier will pay if they cancel. Quite often, the closer the cancellation is to the date of the wedding, the less of a refund you are likely to receive. Similarly, it is important to be clear on what the supplier will give you if they cancel. Unfortunately some supplier contracts leave fail to mention what will happen in the event of them cancelling, therefore, it is important you check this before signing.

4.    If you are not clear, do not commit

Contracts are there to protect you as a consumer but are also there to protect the business interests of the wedding supplier. Therefore, it is just as important that you are able to meet each of the contractual obligations as it is for your supplier. Before signing the supplier contract, ensure you can meet each of your obligations. If you feel, you need more information or clarity about your obligations, you are encouraged to obtain these first before signing anything. For example, prior to signing a catering contract, you may need to obtain information about the venue (e.g. the kitchen specification or loading points). Ensure you have all the information you need from your other suppliers before you sign the agreement in case you find you are unable to commit.

Should you require any guidance on interpreting or analysing a supplier contract, contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

15 questions to ask a referee before booking your wedding supplier

In our blog “3 easy ways to carrying out your own supplier due diligencewe emphasised the importance of obtaining at least three independent supplier references as one of the three ways to carry out your own supplier due diligence.

Who is a referee?

A referee will be someone who is a previous client to your potential supplier. Therefore, the referee would have used the services of the supplier so as to be in a position to evaluate the services they received.

What is the purpose of obtaining a reference?

To ensure your wedding supplier can deliver to the standard that you expect for your wedding day. To obtain as much information as possible about the supplier so you can make an informed choice as to whether you should sign a contract and pay a deposit.

How to obtain a reference?

Ideally obtain the phone number of a referee who used your potential supplier but failing this an email address will suffice. The aim is for your to make direct contact with the referee without interference from anyone else.

15 questions to ask a referee?

General questions:

  1. When did you last use the supplier?
  2. What was the nature of the event?
  3. How many guests did you have at your event?
  4. How easy was it to work with the supplier during the lead up to your event?
  5. What were the supplier’s strengths and weaknesses in assisting you with the preparation for your event?
  6. Did the supplier meet deadlines and attend/set up at your event at the time stipulated?
  7. How well did the supplier interact with the other suppliers when setting up for the event?
  8. How well did the supplier interact with guests who attended the event?
  9. Did the supplier meet your expectations?
  10. If yes, how? If no, where did the supplier fall short?
  11. How was the supplier’s interaction with you after the event? Was there any communication or correspondence? Were there any delays in delivery of products (e.g. if your supplier is a photographer or videographer)?
  12. Were there any unexpected payments that the supplier requested to be made?
  13. Do you feel you received value for money in using the supplier?
  14. Would you recommend we use the supplier for our event?
  15. Is there anything else we should know about the supplier that you would like to add?

5 steps to follow before booking a supplier for your wedding?

 

Ladies and Gents, with the wedding season nearly upon us, this can only mean one thing! Happy couples are well into the process of what we like to call “WedMin” or Wedding Admin. Among the many important WedMin tasks include sourcing and securing wedding suppliers in preparation for one of the biggest days of their life. These are exciting times but caution should be adopted before one decides to depart with their hard earned cash.

What is a wedding supplier?

A wedding supplier is anyone providing goods and services for the wedding festivities including the pre wedding day events, the wedding day and the wedding reception. Wedding suppliers may include photographers, videographers, caterers, wedding venue representatives, beauticians, DJs, bands, dress designers, chauffeurs – just to name a few!

Your team of wedding suppliers are essentially the people responsible for ensuring your wedding festivities go according to plan. The number of wedding suppliers entering the industry is growing at a significant rate. Whilst, some suppliers are more established and reputable than others, it is important consumers are diligent before proceeding with making a booking. 

The Wedding Lawyer recommends you follow the following steps before booking a supplier:

Step 1

Complete a full supplier due diligence check

Do not underestimate the importance of completing a full supplier due diligence check. Recommendations to use a particular wedding supplier from friends and family are all very well but there is no substitute to carrying out your own checks for your own piece of mind. It is important that you are equipped with as much information as possible about any supplier who will be providing goods and services at your wedding events. After all, it will be these people who may be interacting with your nears and dears and will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that your wedding day goes according to plan.

Click here to understand how you can carry out your own due diligence checks.

Step 2

Obtain a copy of the supply contract

Ensure you have a thorough understanding of what each clause means in the contract. The number of consumers who choose to sign contracts without fully understanding exactly what they have signed is surprising. Consumers are encouraged not to rush into signing anything until they have fully appreciated what it is that they are signing. A tactic that is sometimes adopted by wedding suppliers is to apply a degree of pressure on consumers to sign a contract within tight time scales with the threat that the consumer may lose their booking. Click here to carry out your own contract review.

The Wedding Lawyer has noticed that consumers overwhelmed with panic and excitement end up contracts that at best they do not fully understand and at worst they completely disagree with.

Step 3

Ensure the scope of the services are clearly set out

Within the body of the contract or a document called the ‘Schedule’ or ‘Particulars’ which is a document usually found at the back of the contract, you should expect to see exactly what services your supplier should be supplying you with. It is important to pay attention to both what is stipulated as well as what isn’t stipulated in the contract. If a contract does not clearly list exactly what is going to be supplied, it is our strong recommendation that you go back to the supplier to ensure this is included. We advise you spend some time carefully going through the services you are being supplied. As well as thinking about what services are being provided, also consider what services are not being provided. This will minimise the chances of any disputes about the provision of the services and prevent any unexpected surprises on your big day.

Step 4

Get to grips with the payment schedule

Ensure you have grasped a thorough understanding of when payment instalments are due. Ensure these are inserted into your diaries as soon as possible. An electronic diary (on your phone or computer) is often useful in this regard. Quite often, setting a reminder a week before the payment deadline is due will assist you in ensuring all steps are taking to have the funds ready for transfer by the day of the deadline. If you can negotiate a final payment to occur after your wedding day, that would be ideal. However, in the event of a supplier not allowing this, try to ensure you can pay as much as possible as close to the big day. Click here to see how to save on your wedding expenditure. 

Step 5

If the price is too good to be true, it probably is!

Weddings are expensive and it is easy to be lured to book a supplier purely based on their price tag. Whilst, this is an important factor to consider when booking a supplier for your big day, it is a common tendency to focus more on the price tag rather than on the ability of a supplier to deliver the services for the big day. An impressive price tag doesn’t always equate to an impressive service. Consumers are advised to make an informed decision before booking a supplier with price being but one of the factor to consider along with the steps listed above.

For more information contact: info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk