Ah, the contract, the agreement… And the fear of signing on the dotted line… Yes, contracts can be fearful and overwhelming – that is if you don’t know how to read them, understand them, or most importantly – know what questions to ask for clarification.
So first, always ask for some form of written agreement whenever money is involved. It protects both parties and can clearly spell out the details of the financial transaction. So if a vendor ever wants to work with you strictly on a verbal arrangement or handshake, insist on the contract or find a new vendor. It’s just too easy for things to go awry unless it is clearly spelled out.
The contract does not have to be complicated. Just spell out what the agreement is about. One trick is that after you have written it, read it out loud – this will catch grammatical errors. The second would be to have a trusted friend, relative, and/or business associate look it over. Then if there is time, wait on it. Give it a few days and revisit it. You would be surprised what you catch that was missed before. (You can also go on-line and find sample contracts for all kinds of services.)
If it is a contract that is supplied by a vendor, feel free to NOT sign right away – you can request a minimum of 24 hours to review it and still hold their services. If they insist that you sign then and there or the deal is off, find a new vendor. You should feel absolutely no pressure. It’s your hard-earned dollars that you are giving them. Make sure it counts up.
If after reading all of this you are still hesitant, secure the services of an event planner. They are trained to look for items not addressed, challenge inconsistencies, and ensure that your welfare is top priority.