Everyone share some sample wedding contract wording

Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' ItRegistered Users Posts: 6,524 Major grins
edited March 28, 2013 in Weddings
Heather (Shudderz) had what I thought was a good idea, "Everyone pitch in with selected sample contract wording." So, OK, I'll play. Here are a couple of clauses from mine that I think might be useful to others.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. These clauses have not been reviewed by a lawyer. You use at your own risk...
House Rules – The PHOTOGRAPHER is limited by the guidelines and policies of the ceremony official and the reception site management. The CLIENT agrees to accept the technical results of the imposition of these house rules on the PHOTOGRAPHER. Negotiation with the officials for moderation of guidelines/policies is the sole responsibility of the CLIENT; the PHOTOGRAPHER will offer technical recommendations only.
Missed photographic opportunity – The CLIENT agrees to hold the PHOTOGRAPHER not liable for any missed photographic opportunities due to key individuals’ failure to be present or to cooperate during photography sessions, or due to details not revealed to the PHOTOGRAPHER. Every possible care will be taken to produce photographs of all important and special events during the wedding. However, and as the event is an uncontrolled environment, the PHOTOGRAPHER can not place an unconditional guarantee on the above. The PHOTOGRAHER will not be held responsible for any unsatisfactory photographs due to guest’s (or any other) flash or other photographic equipment interference; or any other unsatisfactory photographs due to any other cause within or outside of the PHOTOGRAPHER’s control.

I've not needed this one yet, but there's always a first time:
The PHOTOGRAHPER will not tolerate verbally or physically abusive behavior, nor will he share time or compete with guest photographers for the attention of the subjects. Unchecked guest conduct that interferes with photography may seriously affect the quality of the photographs taken, increase the number of time photos must be re-taken, and/or completely eliminate the possibility to capture the moment. If, after discussing the situation with the CLIENT, and the CLIENT is unable to control the conduct of their guests, and such conduct results in an unacceptable measure of interference, or if guest conduct results in the PHOTOGRAPHER suffering equipment loss or damage, the PHOTOGRAPHER may be forced to terminate services. The CLIENT understands that in such an event, no refund will be provided. In the event of equipment loss or damage resulting from guest misconduct, the CLIENT further understands they may be held liable for recovery of any costs incurred as a result of such equipment loss or damage.

Comments

  • ShudderzShudderz Major grins Registered Users Posts: 346 Major grins
    edited August 15, 2008
    While at WPPI this past year, my language changed from "deposit" to "retainer." I was informed that in court a deposit could be forced to be returned, because there were no services provided for it. However, a "retainer" is used specifically to hold a date.....and would hold up better in court when the couple cancels and surrenders such fee.
    Retainers and Other Payments: Initial wedding retainers to reserve date and time are nonrefundable. If for any reason a wedding time and date are changed after submittal of the original retainer, the studio will do its best to accommodate those changes; however, any such accommodations are based on the availability of photographers for the new time and date and a new reservation fee will be required. In the rare event of a wedding cancellation, the initially required wedding retainer cannot be refunded. The balance of the wedding package is due two weeks before the wedding day. Upon signature, Heather Dunn Photography shall reserve the time and date agreed upon, and will not make other reservations for this time and date. For this reason, unless the Studio is able to fully replace the cancelled reservation, all deposits and reservation fees are non-refundable.
    Heather
    www.heatherdunnphotography.com
    My Blog My Facebook Page
    GIVING BACK - How will you give?
    "I look at life outside of the lens and capture the world through it." -Thomas Robinson
  • heatherfeatherheatherfeather Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,739 Major grins
    edited August 15, 2008
    Shudderz wrote:
    While at WPPI this past year, my language changed from "deposit" to "retainer." I was informed that in court a deposit could be forced to be returned, because there were no services provided for it. However, a "retainer" is used specifically to hold a date.....and would hold up better in court when the couple cancels and surrenders such fee.

    I have that basically. In my contract it says booking fee. I wonder if that would hold up. I bet it would. Also, I noticed that in your quoted stuff of your contract that there are several sentances that are not finished. It could be just a result of a copy/paste problem, but I wanted to make sure.

    Here is a bit from mine:

    This goes in under the cancellation and date change stuff:
    Date changes will result in a charge of $___ and may be unavailable due to scheduling conflicts. If the new date conflicts with our schedule, we reserve the right to treat the date change as a cancellation.


    Our damages against you for breach of this contract are limited to these amounts. Conversely, damages for a breach of this contract by us are limited to a refund of any monies paid. Neither party shall be entitled to any damages for breach of contract beyond these amounts. These damages shall be deemed to include all consequential, incidental and any other damages.
  • ShudderzShudderz Major grins Registered Users Posts: 346 Major grins
    edited August 15, 2008
    Also, I noticed that in your quoted stuff of your contract that there are several sentances that are not finished. It could be just a result of a copy/paste problem, but I wanted to make sure.

    Yep.....copy/paste issue, should be fixed now, thanks!
    Heather
    www.heatherdunnphotography.com
    My Blog My Facebook Page
    GIVING BACK - How will you give?
    "I look at life outside of the lens and capture the world through it." -Thomas Robinson
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Registered Users Posts: 6,524 Major grins
    edited August 15, 2008
    Shudderz wrote:
    While at WPPI this past year, my language changed from "deposit" to "retainer." I was informed that in court a deposit could be forced to be returned, because there were no services provided for it. However, a "retainer" is used specifically to hold a date.....and would hold up better in court when the couple cancels and surrenders such fee.
    Yup - no deposits. Deposits imply possibility of a refund for "whatever" reason. I use the term "Reservation Fee" and it, also, is non-refundable.
  • bhambham Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,296 Major grins
    edited August 15, 2008
    Shudderz wrote:
    While at WPPI this past year, my language changed from "deposit" to "retainer." I was informed that in court a deposit could be forced to be returned, because there were no services provided for it. However, a "retainer" is used specifically to hold a date.....and would hold up better in court when the couple cancels and surrenders such fee.

    Shudderz in the last line
    For this reason, unless the Studio is able to fully replace the cancelled reservation, all deposits and reservation fees are non-refundable.
    you may want to change the word deposits to retainers. I think you just overlooked that one.
    "A photo is like a hamburger. You can get one from McDonalds for $1, one from Chili's for $5, or one from Ruth's Chris for $15. You usually get what you pay for, but don't expect a Ruth's Chris burger at a McDonalds price, if you want that, go cook it yourself." - me
  • ShudderzShudderz Major grins Registered Users Posts: 346 Major grins
    edited August 15, 2008
    bham wrote:
    Shudderz in the last line you may want to change the word deposits to retainers. I think you just overlooked that one.

    Yep, I guess so. It thought I'd got them all......lol
    Heather
    www.heatherdunnphotography.com
    My Blog My Facebook Page
    GIVING BACK - How will you give?
    "I look at life outside of the lens and capture the world through it." -Thomas Robinson
  • Ed911Ed911 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,306 Major grins
    edited March 17, 2009
    Sample Wedding Contracts
    Shudderz wrote:
    Yep, I guess so. It thought I'd got them all......lol

    Looks like this thread has died because it only talks about errors or omissions and a few paragraphs and not sample contracts. So, here's a site that has some sample wedding contracts. Let's get this thread up and running...it has the potential to be a real benefit to new and up and coming wedding photographers.

    These contracts are free and printable. The first link doesn't work. Checkout number 4 and 9.

    Below is from their website.

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Wedding Photography Contractscome in all shapes and flavors.
    Here are some contracts provided by real photographers who are members of The Professional Wedding Photographers Collective.

    http://wedding-photographers-directory.com/contracts.aspx

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    In this thread, forum members, if you will, please look at and comment on the wording, terminology, and legal aspects as well as the presentation of the material...as your knowledge allows.

    I offered four and nine for review, because they look professional, list most, if not all of the concerns that I've heard on the wedding forum, and may be useful as is...substituting your personals of course. I didn't read the sample contracts word for word...and did notice that on some sample contracts that there appeared to be wording errors for one reason or another.

    End users...please review these and all sample contracts to see how they fit in with your state's idea of what is contractually allowed. You, the end users, are responsible for the use of any contract/s that you choose to copy, produce, and use as your own.

    One caveat. Many of the provisions listed in sample contracts only serve to document both parties awareness of certain obligations, agreements, and required financial transactions between the parties, and are not statements of law, and may not be legally binding in your state. What is legal binding contractually in one state is not necessarily legally binding in another. The only way to be sure if your contract will serve your needs and protect you in your state, is to have it reviewed by an attorney familiar with your state's contractual law. Consumer rights vary from state to state.
    Remember, no one may want you to take pictures, but they all want to see them.
    Educate yourself like you'll live forever and live like you'll die tomorrow.

    Ed
  • ShimaShima k3npo Austin, TXRegistered Users Posts: 2,546 Major grins
    edited March 17, 2009
    Regardless of whether it is a deposit, retainer, holding fee, reservation holder, etc... the only time a deposit should be refunded (in my opinion) is if the date can't be maintained due to the photographer's fault, not the client's fault. That is why the stressing of the fact that it is non-refundable is so important, so they can't think they can book you 2 years in advance, change their mind 1 year 10 months in advance, and think they're getting their money back.
  • FlyNavyFlyNavy John L Registered Users Posts: 1,350 Major grins
    edited March 18, 2009
    "Missed photographic opportunity – The CLIENT agrees to hold the PHOTOGRAPHER not liable for any missed photographic opportunities due to key individuals’ failure to be present or to cooperate during photography sessions, or due to details not revealed to the PHOTOGRAPHER. Every possible care will be taken to produce photographs of all important and special events during the wedding. However, and as the event is an uncontrolled environment, the PHOTOGRAPHER can not place an unconditional guarantee on the above. The PHOTOGRAHER will not be held responsible for any unsatisfactory photographs due to guest’s (or any other) flash or other photographic equipment interference; or any other unsatisfactory photographs due to any other cause within or outside of the PHOTOGRAPHER’s control."

    Scott, this is my favorite.
    Thanks,
    John
  • Moogle PepperMoogle Pepper Big picture in the sky Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited March 18, 2009
    What are your words in the contract for client's usage? I have pondering this as I am rewriting my own contract and engagement contract verbatim.
    Food & Culture.
    www.tednghiem.com
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited March 19, 2009
    Do you guys have them initial each paragraph or simply sign the bottom hoping that they read and understood it?
    The reason I ask is that my lawyer has changed my contracts to include initials for the main points. Granted my contracts are for commercial uses, but it seems that it would translate into weddings or other personal contracts.
    Steve

    Website
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 21,934 moderator
    edited March 21, 2009
    Just a few notes:

    I prefer the term "retainer", as opposed to any other term for the non-refundable portion of payment, simply because that is the common legal parlance and what an attorney would use in their own contract. Any attorney or judge will instantly recognize the term and the meaning. Any other term is open to interpretation and misunderstanding. (Look up "retainer" in any legal dictionary.) You may elaborate and explain the ramifications to further the understanding of the client.


    If you do any work away from your own city it's a good idea to include a paragraph stipulation that the client agrees to either arbitration or mediation in "your" town (and you should state which town that is). That forces them to come into your playground instead of forcing you to have to go to their town (and all the costs that might incur) should there be any problems.


    I suggest that it is a good idea, and usually enough, for the client to initial and date each page and then have a conclusive statement which states that the client has read and understood the preceding pages, and "that" paragraph should have the full written signature and date. If the client tries to later say that they didn't understand something I think most judges have little patience after seeing that signed paragraph and initialed pages, unless the client is otherwise deemed incompetent.

    If the contract is changed for any reason then it is a good idea to have any changes initialed as well as all of the above.

    The concept is to eliminate ambiguity for the client and for a judge.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • fredjclausfredjclaus Concierge Photographer Registered Users Posts: 759 Major grins
    edited September 7, 2009
    Would anyone care to share with me either privately or here on the board a complete contract? I had one years ago, but would like to see what's being used now.
    Fred J Claus
    Commercial Photographer
    http://www.FredJClaus.com
    http://www.Fredjclaus.com/originals

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  • heatherfeatherheatherfeather Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,739 Major grins
    edited March 1, 2010
    Had to resurrect this thread...

    Anyone have any contracts that are used between the second photographer and the primary? How about between associate photographers and the primary? I have been googling for quite a while and can't find anything.
  • digger2digger2 Big grins Registered Users Posts: 91 Big grins
    edited March 3, 2010
    Court Jurisdiction
    'Insert Your County here" will be the venue for any dispute arising from this contract
  • digger2digger2 Big grins Registered Users Posts: 91 Big grins
    edited March 3, 2010
    Legal Zoom
    Has a downloadable contract for about $15.00deal.gif
  • KinkajouKinkajou Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,240 Major grins
    edited March 11, 2010
    Had to resurrect this thread...

    Anyone have any contracts that are used between the second photographer and the primary? How about between associate photographers and the primary? I have been googling for quite a while and can't find anything.

    I agree, this would be pretty useful if anyone has some language floating around...
    Webpage

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  • JohnBiggsJohnBiggs General grins Registered Users Posts: 841 Major grins
    edited March 11, 2010
    Kinkajou wrote:
    I agree, this would be pretty useful if anyone has some language floating around...

    I'd start with a subcontract agreement then add some words that covers the copyright of the work if it's not already there.
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  • DarrylDSmithDarrylDSmith Big grins Registered Users Posts: 15 Big grins
    edited June 8, 2010
    Very good thread! Readjusted my contract accordingly. Luckily, I've only used the contract I had once. It was full of -- how do you say -- loopholes.
  • KinkajouKinkajou Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,240 Major grins
    edited January 3, 2011
    Resurrecting the thread...

    Question about language regarding photog cancellation of services... do you guys have any or specific thoughts on that? I have a limit of liability section relating to what happens if I'm sick and can't find a replacement, but feel like the language might need some cleaning up.
    Webpage

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  • jarboedoggartjarboedoggart Major grins Registered Users Posts: 270 Major grins
    edited April 6, 2012
    Been working on this and browsing this thread and links all morning...here is what I came up with. Thoughts?

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47005311/J%26D%20Wedding%20Contract.pdf
    -Nate
    Jarboe Doggart Photography - jarboedoggart.com
  • avangardphotoavangardphoto Big grins Registered Users Posts: 66 Big grins
    edited April 6, 2012
  • Gary752Gary752 Major grins Central PARegistered Users Posts: 934 Major grins
    edited March 24, 2013
    Resurrecting this thread due to some questions. Does anyone include some sort of check list of what coverage that the client(s) want? Like 1. Getting Ready (both bride & groom) 2. Formals (before or after ceremony) 3. Ceremony 4. Reception and what have you. I am thinking about adding something like this to my contract as a separate page. If anyone has something like this in their contract, could you share how you have your's worded?

    GaryB
    GaryB
    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” - Ansel Adams
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,352 Major grins
    edited March 25, 2013
    Gary752 wrote: »
    Resurrecting this thread due to some questions. Does anyone include some sort of check list of what coverage that the client(s) want? Like 1. Getting Ready (both bride & groom) 2. Formals (before or after ceremony) 3. Ceremony 4. Reception and what have you. I am thinking about adding something like this to my contract as a separate page. If anyone has something like this in their contract, could you share how you have your's worded?

    GaryB

    I would hesitate to go in the direction of putting a "shot list" in your contract. We do, however, have a page on our public site that helps brides plan their day and decide how much coverage they need.

    http://www.linandjirsa.com/wedding-photography-timeline-ideal-times-for-your-photography/

    If anything, do this sort of "check list" before the client even books, just to get an idea of how many hours they'll need. But in the package and contract, simply state the hours of coverage, with the start time and end time.

    Of course, you'll want to get a full itinerary from them a week or two before the wedding, but that is not something you want to try and finalize in the contract, IMO. (~9 years experience)

    Take care!
    =Matt=
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  • Gary752Gary752 Major grins Central PARegistered Users Posts: 934 Major grins
    edited March 28, 2013
    I would hesitate to go in the direction of putting a "shot list" in your contract. We do, however, have a page on our public site that helps brides plan their day and decide how much coverage they need.

    http://www.linandjirsa.com/wedding-photography-timeline-ideal-times-for-your-photography/

    If anything, do this sort of "check list" before the client even books, just to get an idea of how many hours they'll need. But in the package and contract, simply state the hours of coverage, with the start time and end time.

    Of course, you'll want to get a full itinerary from them a week or two before the wedding, but that is not something you want to try and finalize in the contract, IMO. (~9 years experience)

    Take care!
    =Matt=

    That is basically what I am looking for. I want to have a form that I can show them that lists every aspect of a wedding from getting ready to the reception. I seen a contract a while back that had this as a part of the contract. The client checked what coverage they wanted and initialed each selection. Then you filled in the price based on what they wanted. I guess you could consider it an estimate form. I had a friend contact me about doing their wedding, and she wants everything from getting ready to the reception. I agreed to do it for the cost of the album, and when I told her what that costs, she asked me if I could do it any cheaper. I said sure, but then you won't get an album. You'll just get a cd with the images on it, and she still thinks it's too much. I told her to shop around with other photographers, and I can guarantee you that their prices will be a couple thousand dollars more than my price. So if she calls me back, I'd like to have some sort of form that lists everything related to a wedding, and how much time is allotted for each item. I'd also like to add different print options to this, for them to select what they want. I'd then staple it to the official contract so they know what they are getting. I hope this makes sense!

    GaryB
    GaryB
    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” - Ansel Adams
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