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  • Welcome to Wedding Industry Law Online!

    Wedding Industry Law is your online resource for legal news and education on running a wedding business. We hope you find the articles, videos, and information helpful. If you have any comments, news tips, or areas that you would like to see covered, please let us know!

    Wedding Industry Law is edited by Wedding Lawyer and Trial Attorney Rob Schenk. Contributing blogger Ayisha Lawrence also kicks out some of the jams, too.


Does Wedding DJ Contract Need to Be Notarized?

Question Originally Appearing on AVVO

“Bread. Milk. Eggs. Wedding DJ Agreement…..”

Question (from anonymous in Oregon):

“I have a dj business. to make a contract legit what do i need to do?: need to know if both parties have to sign in front of a notary?”

Response (from Attorney Rob Schenk):

Contracts do not need to be notarized to be legally enforceable.

A well written contract will set forth the material terms of service that you will perform, and the terms of price and payment. I highly recommend that you contact an attorney in order to have a contract that does the job.

With DJs, there will be issues of playlists, announcements, hours per set, etc., so I recommend you retain an entertainment or business attorney that has drafted these types of contracts before.

Moral of the Story: Attorneys help make contracts legit.

Can Contract with Wedding Planner be Enforceable if not in Writing? Yes.

Question Originally Appearing on AVVO

“Has anyone heard from our planner?” – John and Marsha O’Reilly

Question (from anonymous in Massachusetts):

“How much of a refund can I receive after partial payment to an event planner when a contract has not been signed?: I made a partial payment 6 weeks prior to an event to a full event planner in Maryland . I am in Massachusetts. I have been waiting for the invoice to be corrected prior to signing the contract. Due to lack of planning, I would like to cancel the event planner. At 3 weeks prior to the event: no corrected invoice and no signing of contract, no invitations selected and sent to guest, caterer/menu & centerpieces not selected or finalized, no contract for photographer/videographer. No deposits to vendors should have been made because no contract was signed and no final decisions made. I plan to request receipts of any deposits. The deposits may have been made after I asked about a refund. The planner has been difficult to contact to plan the event since I made the partial payment. Thank you.”

Response (from Attorney Rob Schenk):

Has the planner been performing, at least in some fashion, since having received the first installment? It sounds like it, as the planner has selected vendors and made various deposits to them.

It’s hard to tell from the question, but you have an argument that there was no contract because there was no true mutual assent to the material terms (sounds like you disagreed on price? Is that why you requested a new invoice? ).

More likely though, is that there is an enforceable contract that was executed when the planner offered his/her services and you accepted by sending the money. Upon receipt of that cash, the planner reserved your date and began coordinating vendors. It is not relevant that there was not a written contract, as the conduct of the parties clearly indicates you guys intended to be bound in some way.

Ok, so if there is a contract, what now? If the planner has utterly dropped the ball (I.e. not fully performed the material duties and is unresponsive) then the planner has materially breached and you may be entitled to damages. I would be careful though, as what you consider a major breach, the court, or the planner, may not. Further, the law allows parties in breach to cure their misconduct. For example, if the planner is supposed to have the invitations out at least by 30 days prior, he/she may cure by sending them a couple days later.

In your situation, I would contact the planner ASAP and let them know that you are concerned that they are not performing, and that unless you hear back from them on a date certain with an affirmation that he/she intends to perform, then you will consider them in breach and find someone else.

Good luck.

Moral of the Story: Because of the nature of the Wedding Business, vendors cannot afford to hide the ball. Communicate with your clients!