Written by attorney Sebastian Gibson

Do You Need A Wedding Lawyer to Plan Your Wedding? Without One, You May Have Problems.

Do you need a wedding lawyer to help you plan your wedding? Many couples find in planing their Wedding, that without a California Wedding Lawyer, or a wedding lawyer in the state where the wedding is to be held, they become overwhelmed in legal contracts with vendors and other legal issues. When the happy event is less than perfect, they then find themselves in disputes with those same vendors over the costs, the food, the photography or the location. A California Wedding Attorney can help to alleviate those issues. The average Wedding in California or elsewhere can require a Wedding couple (or any family members paying for the Wedding) to sign up to twenty contracts and a high budget Wedding as many as forty contracts with vendors ranging from the florist, the photographer, the Wedding venue or church, the caterer, the cake maker, the bridal gown maker, the bridesmaids and mother of the bride dress maker, the jeweler, the makeup artist, the hair stylist, the band, orchestra or DJ, the videographer, the party rental company, the lighting specialist, the reception venue, the officiant, the limousine company, providers of wedding favors, the stationer providing invitations, programs, save-the-date cards and other stationery and paper goods, and the event designer. If your Wedding in California has a large budget, you may also have contracts with the providers of ice sculptures, horse-drawn carriages, sound engineers, a recording studio, reception furniture suppliers, professional entertainers, personal trainers, providers of fine wine and alcohol, the groom's tuxedo and groomsmen's apparel designer, accessories makers, floral design specialists, specialty linen providers, personal or celebrity chefs, a mixologist, and a pyrotechnics supplier and pyrotechnician. And this doesn't even take into consideration the contract with the California Wedding Planner, Wedding Consultant or Wedding Coordinator. Items often forgotten in the initial stages of planning your California Wedding and which you may or may not need to have supplied, include after-party tents, aisle runners, amenity baskets, arches, candies, draping, chair covers, children areas and staff to watch them, head pieces, ribbons, ring boxes or ring pillows, tree lighting, teeth-whitening, security, dancing instructors, passports, travel agents, wedding documents for weddings in foreign countries, wedding insurance, specialty candles and fire permits. If you are planning a Destination Wedding in a foreign country, the legalities become even more complex with contracts with foreign vendors, and legal requirements for marriage in foreign countries and disputes that often can only be resolved in the foreign country itself. Destination Wedding requirements in foreign countries can include (or not) residency requirements of as long as thirty days, and ten days or more required for publishing the marriage banns. A foreign country may also require you to obtain a certified document stating you are free to marry that can only be obtained at an embassy or consulate in the destination country, or a document legalizing your papers, and translations of these or other documents. There are also other legal consequences of destination Weddings in foreign countries. Without a California Wedding Lawyer to advise you, you may not be made aware that when you marry in another country, you are often bound by that country's laws should ever decide to divorce. It may therefore behoove you to just consider the possibility that if you ever decide to divorce (which we hope you won't) whether you want to get married in a country where divorce is practically impossible or in a country where you simply have to step over a furry yak three times, and kiss it on the nose to be divorced. You may also decide to have a private civil ceremony in the U.S. a few days before flying to your Destination and ceremonial Wedding. If you are hoping that your California Wedding Consultant, Wedding Coordinator or your California Wedding Planner will be able to provide you with legal advice as to these matters, that simply is not the case. We only know of one Wedding lawyer for California or elsewhere who is also a Wedding Planner (Sebastian Gibson). Wedding Planners who are not lawyers are not trained in the law and know little of how to resolve legal disputes or what can hurt you or protect you in how a contract or agreement is written. On top of that, it is illegal for a non-lawyer to provide you with legal advice. Of all the contracts you sign, the agreement with your California Coordinator or Wedding Consultant may be the most complex and important of all, and it is not advisable to rely on the legal advice of a Wedding Planner in California or anywhere else who is not a lawyer in regards to the legal obligations of the parties to the Wedding Planner's own contact, a contract you are about to sign. Without the proper legal advice and planning for your Wedding from a Wedding Attorney in California, you can find your entire event shut down by fire marshals for not having the proper permits, fire-retardant draping fabrics or disallowed candles, and you may be unclear as to your rights if the band doesn't show up, the cake maker drops the cake or the caterer is drunk and ruins the reception dinner. Worse, you may have legal questions of what portions of your deposits you can have returned to you if you cancel the Wedding entirely. You need to know before the Wedding just how long the photographer is obligated to be working and what you must pay if you want him or her to stay past the agreed-upon length of hours. You need to know how long you will be able to have control of the Wedding venue and you want the venue to promise in writing not to hold another Wedding immediately after yours, at the same location and on the same day. Finally, all of these legal issues do not even take into consideration whether you need to have a prenuptial agreement prepared. These are just some of the areas in which having a California Wedding Lawyer on retainer to advise you, can provide you with the peace of mind so that when your Wedding does take place, you can simply focus on having the best day of your lives. Keep in mind that nearly every Wedding has hiccups. Whether those things that go wrong are large or small, whether they are never noticed by your Wedding guests or they ruin the entire event, can sometimes depend on having the proper legal advice. We want your Wedding to run as smoothly as possible. When vendors know exactly what their obligations include and those obligations are in writing, there is less chance they will fail to provide the services you were expecting.

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