Or is this just an unnecessary added step?

guests gather for cocktail hour at the gardens at Fifield manor
Credit: Katie Julia

It's easy to get through the negotiation and contract process and not realize until a few days or weeks later that your vendor never countersigned a copy of the final contract for your own records. Was this intentional? Probably not. Should you get it fixed as soon as you notice? Absolutely. Here's what you need to know about this extra step.

You need the countersigned copy for your records.

In order for a written contract to be considered legally binding and finalized, it needs to be signed by both parties. Wedding planner Kathryn Kalabokes, owner of Dream a Little Dream Events, says, "One hundred percent of the time, always request a countersigned copy."

Not asking for this is a common mistake-and there's a reason why it happens often.

Kalabokes says, "We see about half of all vendors are still sending their contracts via email, and a small few are still sending via snail mail. This can cause a long delay in receiving the countersigned copy back, if at all. My advice is for vendors to always use a document-signing program-like Adobe Sign, DocuSign, or Honeybook-that can keep a trail of the contract from the time it's sent to the client to when it's signed."

Getting a countersigned contract will help you avoid future mishaps.

If you don't get a countersigned copy, you may run the risk of your vendor not reserving your wedding date. What if they didn't countersign because they never received your signed copy? You need to know if there was a mistake along the way. Kalabokes says, "Using a document tracking program also helps vendors set expiration dates on their contracts." The expiration date can be set as a reminder for both parties to finalize their contract copies so you can start working together in an official capacity.


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