Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Signed What?

I know we keep talking about the wedding budget, but let’s face it - money makes the world go ‘round and the wedding go forward.

Let’s have a few words about contracts before we move onto themes and other more fun posts.

You will be going all over checking out wedding vendors – everything from wedding invitations to planners to flowers, to venues to wedding dresses. And each vendor is going to require a deposit and a contract from you.

Before you put pen to paper, you have to decide one very important thing. Who is signing the wedding contracts?

Seems simple right? Oh dear no.

You are the bride and the groom decides to let YOU be the one who signs the contracts – all of which state that the deposit is non-refundable and if the wedding is canceled within a certain time, you need to pay off all the balances. Nothing could go wrong, you trust the guy, he loves you, so you agree that you, as an independent woman will happily sign the contracts!

Everything is lovely, everyone is getting along, and then poof – 3 days before the wedding, the groom calls it off and runs off to Tahiti on YOUR honeymoon with the ex-girlfriend.

And because it was a family heirloom, demands the engagement ring back. According to law, since you are not in a legally binding marriage, the ring belongs to him if he paid for it (or you if you did) and you can’t sell it to recoup your losses or pay the balances that are due, since the wedding was canceled three days before the event. Yep, he is off the hook, since he didn’t sign a thing.

The best way to avoid this situation is to have BOTH the bride and groom sign the contracts. Just as the marriage will be a 50/50 split (yeah, right) it should start out that the wedding be a shared event. Act as a team from the beginning – it bodes well for your future as well!

Don’t avoid this issue – discuss it point blank from the outset. Even if your parents are paying for the event, make sure that there is an understanding from the very start that this wedding is a shared responsibility between the bride and groom.

A lot of money is going to be spent – even on the smallest of weddings, so make sure that you each know where each dime is going. And should the wedding be called off for any reason and you can’t get the money returned because the vendors can’t find another bride that can take over the day and the expenses, have the party anyway. You paid for it.

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