So you are finally there, ready to sign the dotted line, tying that bond between wedding photographer and couple, about to be married. Do you know what your wedding photography contract should include? Have you crossed all of your t’s, dotted your i’s, and made sure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for? Here are things to remember when reviewing your wedding photography contract.
Outline the Day’s Details
Make sure that your wedding photography contract is very specific about the details of your wedding day. It should include the exact length of time that the photographer will be there, if the photographer is coming alone, has a second photographer coming with, or is bringing an assistant. Making sure that the hourly commitment is crystal clear in the contract will make sure you have your wedding photographer there to cover ALL of your memories, and not one minute less.
Right Place, Right Time
If you know where you are getting married at the time of booking with your wedding photographer, make sure to include the specific details of when and where inside the contract. This way, the wedding photographer is clear about what venue the ceremony is taking place at, where the location of the reception is, and any in-between pit stops there might be during your day. Are you getting married outside, in a church, at the courthouse, or in mom and dad’s back yard? Make sure the wedding photography contract has the details, including addresses, telephone numbers, and a possible contact name and number for someone coordinating at the venue.
What Your Wedding Photography Package Includes
If any place at all, this is the place within the wedding photography contract where there should be NO questions or confusion! Be sure that the contract states exactly what is included in your agreement. This includes the length of time the wedding photographer is committed to, the number of people the photographer is bringing, how many final wedding photos you are expected to receive, the length of time it will take for you to receive your wedding pictures, and your rights as the bride and groom to republish and distribute your wedding pictures. Will there be a photographer logo on every picture? If you do not wish to have one, make sure this agreement is in the contract.
When To Pull Out Your Pocketbook
Most wedding photographers have a specific timeline for when they expect payment for their services. Some require a 50% deposit and the rest upon the date of the event. Some wedding photographers want the full payment up front. Others may set up a payment plan with you. Be sure you are aware of specific payment due dates in your wedding photography contract. Read the fine print. Some wedding photographers may book someone else for your wedding date if you do not pay on time.
In addition, because a wedding photographer is committing an entire day to shooting your wedding and your events, the photographer and his or her assistants will need to be fed! Most wedding photography contracts include an agreement of what a photographer is fed at your wedding. In most cases, there is time allotted for the photographer and assistants to eat during the wedding reception. They need to keep their energy up to shoot the most quality wedding pictures possible!
Must-Have Wedding Photos
If there are specific shots you want during your wedding day, throw them into the contract so that there is no confusion or misstep. Many photographers will work with you before your day to add the photos you want to the master shot list. However, it is always a good idea to cover your tracks and put these into the wedding photography contract as well, making sure you get your favorite photos.
Cover Your Bases
Know what will happen in case your wedding photographer has an emergency or becomes ill the time of your wedding. Will he or she hire someone else to shoot? Will he or she come shoot your wedding anyway? Who will be there to capture your memories? The wedding photography contract should have a clause in it stating the alternatives in case an emergency should arise.
Think It Over
Spend time carefully reading the wedding photography contract, discussing it with your fiancé, and making sure that you understand and accept each and every bit of what is on that paper. This will give you the reassurance you deserve when booking your wedding photographer, knowing that this person will be there to catch every tear, every laugh, every hug, and every kiss of your wedding day.