Wedding Business Law with Rob Schenk

By Paul Santiago

Welcome to the wedding bossness podcast, I’m your host Paul Santiago. We’re at episode 12 and it’s going to be a doozy because THE wedding lawyer is here and he answered all my questions about wedding contracts, the difference between employees & freelancers and we did a little bit of your questions as well. No need to worry anymore because now you can relax and listen to this episode that I should’ve called… I rest my case…

Rob Schenk is  a United States trial attorney  and editor of, an online resource of news, information, and legal materials for North American wedding professionals. Since 2012, Rob has become one of his country’s most prominent “Wedding Lawyers,”  a  special designation for  lawyers  representing  wedding and event industry professionals. He is the founder of, a database of downloadable contract templates for wedding and event businesses. Rob’s expertise has been featured in  Time,  Huffington Post Weddings, Petapixel,  and Yahoo News, and he’s spoken at WPPI, Wedding MBA, and Destination Wedding Planner’s Congress, among others.  Friends, let’s welcome, Rob Schenk…

Audience questions:

  • What is the legal thing to do once someone backs out of a their booking after signing a contract and paying a deposit, are they entitled to a full refund of the deposit?
    How do you deal with clients who sign your contract, in which they agree to have their footage released publicly (i.e. in the form of a trailer, for marketing purposes), but then suddenly change their minds after the wedding day? Specifically, I’m thinking of clients who ask you to remove footage from all areas of your online presence, like your website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

  • My other question is about clients who let you know before signing the contract that they want to keep the content private. Do you charge them extra for that?

  • I’m booking clients for any where between $500-$1200. I don’t currently carry insurance, I ask for a non-refundable “deposit” instead of a “retainer,” and I have yet to run into an unruly client, or someone who is unhappy with my work. What steps should I take to make a bullet proof contract that isn’t so wordy that it scares away my clients?
    Can making your client sign a limited liability agreement up to the amount paid, actually protect the vendor from someone else at the wedding suing for say, an accident with camera gear? (tripod fell on foot for example).

  • The client has already paid the full amount up front. Your contract says you will deliver the final video in 3 weeks, but you deliver it late on the 4th week. Do you owe them some money? Could they sue you for a full refund? What is a fair way to go about it for both parties?

What’s the difference between a deposit and down payment. Which has to be refunded and if it is a nonrefundable deposit vs a security deposit does it have to be refunded?

There you have it! I hope we answered your questions and made everything clearer. Contracts can be a pain, just make sure you communicate the terms and conditions properly. Managing your client’s expectations allows you to provide them with good service and turn them into raving fans.

I’d love to know how this episode was for you so feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions. I’m throwing all these information goldness for free so I’d really appreciate if you help me by subscribing, rating or leaving a review, Thanks so much to those who already did it, thanks for listening it means the world to me, watch out for next episode the Wedding Video Boss podcast. Till then, play nice if you can’t win, be nice especially if you’re good looking. Bossman out.



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