The Wynning Experience | Legal Contracts in Event Planning 101
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Legal Contracts in Event Planning 101

Legal Contracts in Event Planning 101

Contracts are the groundwork to any event. They are a way to encompass every aspect of the event including budget, deadlines, scope of work, and many other important details. Contracts are a way for you, as the Event Planner, to cover your rear end, just in case the unthinkable happens. You don’t have to have a law degree to know what your event contracts should include and today, I invite you to take this crash course in Legal Contracts in Event Planning 101.

Legal Contract Must-Haves

How will you be paid?

Usually this is one of the first thing you want to include in your contract. It should include schedule of payment if paid by the completion of the phases of the event. Make sure you are clear and concise.


This piggybacks on the previous must-have. You always want to be paid for any time or effort your put into a project for a client. One way to ensure payment of some sort is to include a Non-Refundable Deposit clause. Make it crystal clear in the contract that no work will begin without the deposit. This will protect you just in case your client decides to dip out before you completed the project.

What happens if your client doesn’t pay?

Make no doubt about it, there are clients that stiff Event Planners. It doesn’t feel good to not be paid for the awesome event planning services you have rendered. Event Planners, as are all other types of business owners are in the business of making money and not taking losses. Have a clause that details the legal action you shall take if the client refuses to pay for any services rendered.

Cancellation Policy

So what happens if your client wants to cancel in the middle of the project? This part of the contract addresses just that. You will want to clearly express that all previous payments (including the deposit) up to the point of cancellation, are non-refundable.


Setting the parameters of liability is something that should not be taken lightly. Determining who will be liable for what in the contract will save you tons of trouble and money in the future.

Terms of Termination

Better known as the termination clause, covers your toosh just in case Mother Nature has different plans for the event. Unforeseeable happenings such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, ice, and heavy rain are all under this umbrella of protection. Being that the event would be canceled as a result of a situation completely out of the hands of the Event Planner and the client, leaving both parties free from liability.

Protecting your Intellectual Property

This may not apply to all Event Planners, but if you produce any intellectual property during the planning and executing of events, you will want to include this section in your contract. Whether you provide graphic designs, photos, video, or original content, you will want to get your ducks in a row when it comes to protecting your work.

Indemnification Clause

This is a part of the contract that will protect you in the rare instance that a third party sues you because of the action of your client. With this coverage, you will not be held responsible for any damages, expenses, liabilities, or losses of any kind.

What components of legal contracts do you include in your Event Planning Contract? Do you have a lawyer to write your contracts or do you use tools such as LegalZoom to provide you with templates for your Event Planning business? Spill that tea, I say! I hope you have enjoyed today’s lesson and…

DON’T FORGET to Download a copy of my new eBook titled, So You Want to Be an Event Planner; It’s Not All Glitz and Glamour on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s a must have for those who are curious about this industry and want to know if this career is indeed the one for them.

As always, WE would like to wish you the best in all that you do! This is Allyson Wynn signing off and may all your events be a “Wynning Experience”!

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