Sometimes I get asked by friends that are wanting to book me why they need a contract. "I'm good for the money, you know that!" is the general issue they have with me asking for a signed contract. Every once in a while I'll sense some hesitation from a client who feels uneasy about signing a contract as well, as if they're signing their life away.
First of all, yes, the contract covers my butt. Secondly, the contract covers YOUR butt!
I don't care if your my friend's friend, aunt, cousin, bff, or coworker, we are DOING a contract. I don't care if you are booking me 1 day before your event in a last minute situation, we are DOING a contract.
Why is a contract a good thing?
Well, in short, it establishes boundaries. We all need them. It's going to let you know what to expect out of your services. It's going to give you the peace of mind that I'll be at your event, on time, and if I'm not, you've got legal grounds to take me to court! It also confirms your booking, so that you can rest knowing that I'm not going to take another job during the same time frame. Consider me YOURS on date and time frame listed in the contract. It assures you that I will arrive looking professional, clean, and hygienic.
On my end, it does many things for me as well. Mainly sets the boundaries again between us. Gives ME the peace of mind that you will not be changing up details every week. Gives me peace of mind that you won't leave me high and dry on the payment.
Every wedding vendor should be operating with a contract. If they don't have one, you should be scared. I can't think of a single vendor in the wedding industry that shouldn't be using a contract. Again, EVERY vendor should have a contract of some sort, otherwise it's a red flag that either they're very new to the scene, or are out to screw you.