Why You Need A Contract As A Bridal Artist



In online forums all the time I see common questions that start with "what should I do?" and go on to list everything that has gone wrong in a booking between the service provider and a bride.


My first question is always: What does your contract say to do?


Your contract is there to set a standard of expectation for how the interaction is going to go. It answers all the If/Then questions.


What the hell is an If/Then question? It's actually exactly as it sounds;


If X situation happens, Then Y solution takes effect.


That's basically what a contract is. It's saying if the bride or service provider does X, then Y will be the outcome.


For example:

If the bride changes the number of people getting hair done, Then she still owes the full balance due on the contract.


The contract should have a stipulation stating how cancellations in headcount will be handled. That way if the situation occurs, you can say to your bride, "As per your contract, we can change the number of services being performed, but the amount you owe will not be reduced.”


You now have an If/Then precaution in place to protect your time and money, and the bride has the details of how you will handle things already laid out in her contract. If she were to take you to court and demand a refund because you performed less services than she paid for, your contract will clearly lay out that the terms of payment would not change and she agreed to that when she signed.


Your brides will also be able to work with you with the peace of mind that they already know the answer to many of their If/Then questions.  She will trust that you are a legitimate business worth investing in for such an important event in her life.  She will have that much more respect for you moving forward, and the relationship will have a more stable ground.


Do not be afraid of bride's saying they will sue you. That's not the point of a contract. It's a by-product of it, yes. The legal protection should they actually go through with taking you to court is nice, but we have contracts in place to set expectations more than anything. It's to prevent problems on the wedding day or leading up to the wedding day should anything change on her end or yours.


More often than not, a threat of legal action is just that: a threat.  It’s meant to bully or scare you into doing something outside of what your normal terms are.


You can avoid being bullied into changing your policies for a particular bride and going against your gut instinct if you have a strong contract in place to protect you.  


Sidenote:  I highly recommend* in this situation that you cease all communication with the bride directly once they threaten to bring a lawyer into it.  Let them know that since they have decided to seek legal counsel that for documentation purposes all communication should be between their lawyer and yourself from here on out.  



You’re basically calling them out and telling them to put their money where their mouth is.  It’s often not financially worth it to seek out a lawyer for a relatively small amount of money in a hair or makeup service, and they will end up paying more in court fees than they would receive should they win the lawsuit in a few months.


I know this sounds super scary.  Trust me, the feeling in your stomach will go away after a bit once you send that email.  But part of being a successful business owner is understanding how to stand up for yourself in a professional way.  


By choosing not to continue to engage with the bride who is trying to bully you or threaten you, you are taking action to protect your mental health as well as your policies.  Lawyers are there to protect us and deal with these situations on our behalf.  Let them do their job so you can do yours for your other brides to the best of your ability.  And clear mental health is a high priority of functioning at your best!


However, if she backs down and you can continue the conversation, do so.  But make sure that you are keeping a copy of all communication with every bride from beginning to end in case she changes her mind, and you need to prove that she had full understanding of the situation.  Do not engage in verbal or written arguments with a bride under any circumstances.  You may feel like you're just defending your actions, but it can come across as unprofessional and escalate the situation.


And don’t be afraid to change your contract as new situations arise that warrant an update.  You will run into situations over time that will shift the way you conduct business, or you will run into situations where your contract did not lay out the terms clearly enough and need to have the verbiage updated.  


Your contract will be an ever-evolving document, as your business should be ever-evolving as you grow.  While you cannot change the terms of a previously signed contract, you may be able to request that the booked brides sign an addendum to update their contract and provide clarification or protection for both parties.  However, always make sure that any brides moving forward are signing your most up to date contract!


Are you looking for contract templates for your hair or makeup business?  The Legal Paige has you covered!  Check out the easy to use templates on her website.  You can purchase**, download, and then adjust to fit your business right here.


*Please note:  The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal advice from a licensed professional in your jurisdiction.


** Beauty Business Collective is a proud affiliate of The Legal Paige, and as a result products purchased will earn a small commission to help support this blog and the content brought to you.  If you are looking for legal templates to build your bridal business and want to support other female entrepreneurs like yourself, your purchase is greatly appreciated by TLP and BBC alike!