Sunday, February 6, 2011

Specifics Are Key

This weekend we signed with our lighting company after a little back-and-forth with him about what exactly we wanted and how it would be documented in the contract.  All-in-all it was a really painless process, which I tend to think will bode well for our working relationship with him.  Awesomeness!  Yet even in these really easy transactions, I still think that the process of navigating a contract is pretty stressful.  In my ideal world, people could be really informal about contracts because everyone would just trust each other to do what they say they're going to do. 


Thankfully I've had enough experience on this planet to know that wonderful trustworthy extraordinary professional relationships might be the ideal, but you can't just assume it will happen.  And that's why I've been extra cautious about contracts when it comes to this wedding - for several reasons.  First, I want to minimize potential miscommunications that could result in a vendor executing their job differently than I think we agreed on.  Second, if something does go wrong I want to know we're legally protected because we "dotted the i's and crossed the t's," as they say. 


This healthy abudance of caution resulted in Mr. NM and I requesting some changes be made to the lighting contract.  Sometimes it's difficult to ask for changes because I don't want to offend people or seem like I'm not giving them the benefit of the doubt, and I don't want them to think I'm nitpicky nor do I want them to see me as a b-word (either the b**** word or the b-zilla one - both equally as bad).  Luckily for us, our lighting guy was amazingly understanding and was A-OK changing the contract from this:

"We will begin the design by uplighting the entire main ballroom (approx 45 uplights) and the entry hallway (approx. 15 uplights) in dramatic shades of blue. All bars and buffet tables will be highlighted with a soft wash, and the head table will have accent lighting on the floral centerpieces. We will also install a soft dappled pattern wash over the dance floor to add depth and drama. Two strands of clear globe string lights will be installed over the head table for decorative and functional lighting. For sound, we will provide two mackie powered speakers as well as a mixer to receive an ipod or laptop signal. A microphone will be provided for speeches. All cables and fixtures will be masked to minimize appearance."

To this:

"We will begin the design by uplighting the entire main ballroom (approx 45 uplights) and the entry hallway (approx. 15 uplights) in dramatic shades of blue. One bar and two buffet tables will be highlighted with a soft wash. We will also install a soft dappled pattern wash over the dance floor to add depth and drama. One strand of clear globe string lights will be installed over each of the 40-48ft long Kings tables for decorative and functional lighting. (VERY light paper decor items may be placed on these strands by client). For sound, we will provide two mackie powered speakers on stands, as well as a mixer to receive an ipod or laptop signal. A microphone will be provided for speeches. All cables and fixtures will be masked to minimize appearance."

The changes aren't huge - just a few words here and there - and all of it was stuff we'd previously clarified over email.  Of course I would love to trust that in 9 months the lighting company would remember everything from the emails and would know exactly how to implement those agreements.  But just in case, for their sake and for ours, it's important to have these specifics in writing. 

How have your vendors reacted to changes you've made to their contracts?  And go you! for protecting yourself by making those changes!!

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