HERE DOESN’T COME THE BRIDE
I have known a bride or two, and I am counsel to many a business owners in the industry. It is these very business owners that find themselves at the center of the uncertainty universe during this pandemic.
But first, I would be remiss if I did not mention the couples affected: I am sorry. I know it is your big day. However, there is a pandemic, you cannot go through with your wedding right now, and you cannot put your guests at risk. You also cannot put your Wedding Businesspeople at risk. This is not a political statement. This is a lawyer statement. You may think they are one in the same, but this is a monotone busines lawyer statement with no agenda except boring contracts. Trust me, I hate that I cannot go to any Indian weddings this summer. They involve like 6 days and 42 outfit changes per wedding, and they are what I live for.
Wedding Businesspeople: one of you put this to me perfectly: “we are so bride-centric, we are not used to thinking about ourselves. This is a business of empathy.” This is why I am not in the wedding business. I mean if you want to hire me to do the electric slide or the running man at your wedding, I am DEFINITELY your woman, but that is where my wedding services end. I am also not your person for prenups, as you want a family attorney for that (or Jamie Foxx and Kanye (“We want prenup! We want prenup!”).
So, what is a Wedding Businessperson to do if your current contract does not cover the pandemic? Here are some solutions:
1. Create a “Government Advisory” Sheet: that lists your state’s advisories and mandates, as well as those of WHO, CDC or any other official-sounding government agency. This gives you the “it’s not me it’s the government” out.
2. Create a Liability Release That Covers COVID: This is not just for your client to sign, but for her entourage (“It is for your and my safety”).
3. Create a Policies and Procedures: This is how you are your people will be safe, this is how you expect them to be safe.
4. Create a Limited Amendment to the original Agreement: This is for those clients who have changed their dates, covering the new dates, timelines, costs, etc.
5. Amend your Agreement with a very air-tight Cancellation, Termination and Refund Policy AND Force Majeure Clause: In exchange for them signing the new agreement, you will knock 5% or not charge them a reschedule fee or throw in the running man act (there has to be additional consideration, and it does not have to be money).
6. Draft a Client Letter: “Dear Client we love you and your people, but we want to be six feet away from you and them and preferably not near any of you at all. Here are some things we would like you to know….”
In case anyone is wondering, my Running Man and Electric Slide One-Woman Show is booking up so you better reserve me now (boogie woogie woogie)!