For the first couple years of business I did not have a contract. I didn't understand the need for one. You have booked me, I am there, no questions! If for some reason I woke up on your wedding day too sick to work, I would not abandon you I would pull all my connections and make sure you had an artist. However after a couple years I realized why artists have them; for protection.
At first I realized I had waited many times (like over an hour) for a bride to get to her appointment with me. (usually coming from their hairdressers). Now, in these circumstances I only had personal things I missed but as I become busier with my business and summer Saturdays get double booked, I cannot wait over an hour.
The other reason I realized I needed a contract is when services get cancelled. I am sympathetic to the costs of weddings (it is one of the reasons I have kept my own prices reasonable). However I have to budget and live on my earnings (particularly in the summer) so I need to know what those are. The other reason is I may have had to say, "No, I am booked," to some other bride...then weeks go by and some of the original services get canceled and I miss out on all the work.
For you the bride, the contract protects you as well. All services are spelled out, what is included, how many, how much. what is required. Added to this, if for some reason I wouldn't be making your wedding day (extreme illness or accident-knock on wood) I have stated I would pay you back 110% of your deposit back. I have done this to you let know that if I ever did cancel on you it would be for extremely extenuated circumstances. This has never happened to me but I wanted to let all my brides know I take their booking really seriously.
I love working with you all and get so excited to make you feel special. If you have booked with me and signed the contract, always ask me questions and never feel you cannot talk to me about it. Or if you are thinking of booking with me, ask me questions. I am never too busy.