The Beginners Guide to Wedding Contracts

April 3, 2019

Rule No. 1


Protect your booty!


Here are the 17 most important things to make sure you cover in your wedding contracts.


1) Provide a rundown of what the package selection includes, like:

    • 8 Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage
    • Online Image Gallery + Print Release
    • Professionally Edited Images- 375+
    • 1 Hour Pre-Planning Consultation
    • Travel Fee

2) The Cost + Payment Structure

50% of the total due 1 weeks after the invoice , in the amount of $1133.00

25% of the total due Midway, in the amount of $566.50

25% of the total due 14 days before the wedding, in the amount of $566.50

3) List both the bride + groom on the contract, not just one!

4) Provide the date and location/s.


Now for the Nitty Gritty…The Terms.

Add these elements:


5) Hours you are contracted to work + hourly rate if extra hours are added

Wedding Photography services are contracted for 8 hours​. Clients may add more time at a rate of $200/hour with a minimum notification period of 72 hours. Max 12 hours per event day.

6) Non-refundable Retainer Policy

A non-refundable retainer of 50% of the total cost is due within 1 week of invoice to hold date.

7) Late Payment Policy

Late payments are charged $10 per day late within 7 days of the original due date and after that at a rate of $15 per day, up to 30 days late.

8) Travel expenses and policies

$1 per mile outside of the first 15 miles round trip from my house


Destination:  Client is required to purchase a round trip plane ticket and rental car if deemed destination, over 120 miles round trip. If destination is within driving distance, less than 2 hours driving time, round trip, then client will be billed for mileage of $1/one way over 15 miles one way or 30 miles round trip. Client is required to provide two nights accommodation, with private room and bathroom or provide approved home stay with clients.

9) Client responsibilities clause

This section goes over the client responsibility to obtain a written list of required family and group shots delivered 1 week before the wedding. On the day of, if more shots are required, they will be considered if extra time allows. It is also the client responsibility to provide a finished itinerary to you 1 week before the wedding. They should also provide you with all the event addresses, emergency numbers, and family contacts.

10) Liability

This section will save your booty the most. It goes over things like, in the event that you are unable to attend due to sickness or forces out of your control, you will mend the situation to the best of your ability. It also goes over technical malfunction and loss of images on the wedding day and how you will refund the couple.

11) Exclusivity

This is gently saying, “Hey, I expect to be the only photographer at the event, do not hire any one else for this without my consultation and permission!”

12) Sexual Harassment and Guest Behavior

I think this is self explanatory, but it just goes over that if inappropriate situations occur regarding harassment, you have the right to leave the wedding and only deliver what you completed. You also will not refund the portion of the day that was not captured due to the inappropriate behavior.

13) Delivery

Images will be delivered in an online gallery 6-8 weeks after the wedding date. They will remain online for 6 months. Please save the images immediately. If extra time is needed to view, a fee of $45 a month will accrue.

14) Creative Control and Retouching

Here, I mention that I retain the rights to creative control and any choices for the gallery and final image delivery are solely mine. If the client is unhappy, they can request retouching at a rate of $200/hour.

15) Permitted Uses and Copyright

If ya don’t want your photos stolen and re-sold as not your own, then this part is important. It also tells your client how the images may be used, and to never re-edit your images because that is a form of stealing.

16) Miscellaneous

Misc. can be whatever you want, but for me, wedding food is THE BEST. I make sure to mention that a meal must be provided to me and any hired associate of mine, or they must allow for an hour paid lunch break where photo opportunities may be missed.

17) Cancellation or Postponement Policy

If their is a cancellation and the final total has been paid, I reserve the right to retain all payments to make up for loss of wages from another potential wedding client for that date. If the wedding is rescheduled, a new date is to be scheduled within six months of original date or retainer and any other amounts paid become the cancellation charge. In the case of rescheduling, a fee of $300 will applied regardless of retainer amount held. If the rescheduled date is over 6 months from the original scheduled date, an additional 50% non-refundable retainer of the remaining balance will be charged in addition to the $300 rescheduling fee.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!


If you need more help, check out these contract templates:

India Earl Contracts

Laurken Kendall Contracts

Do you have any other elements you can think of to add? Comment below!