You need a contract for two main reasons: It outlines exactly what you will pay and what you will receive, and it specifies the terms of the agreement, such as what happens if you cancel, if the vendor can't do the wedding, and whether there are additional fees or provisions. A good contract serves both you and vendor.
Most of the disputes I've seen reported were in situations where there was no contract. It's rare to see a disagreement where terms were agreed to and signed, and even in those cases at least there's something written to refer to for help. Without a contract, you're never safe.
Once you get a contract, don't forget to actually read it and ask questions. Understand exactly what you're getting and what's expected of you. If you sign the contract without reading it and don't like the results, it will be difficult to get any help.
Look for vendors who have electronic contracts and a variety of online payment options to make your experience even easier. Electronic contracts are legal and enforceable in Wisconsin, if you wish you can learn more about them at the Wisconsin State Legislature.
To recap, here are three steps to take before hiring your vendor, guaranteed to minimize any problems with your experience:
Joel Nisleit is a Fond du Lac wedding photographer with designer flair. He specializes in helping brides who value a high end photography experience. Contact Joel for services and pricing information.