The short answer is YES! YES! YES!!!!!
I want to try to turn a negative into a positive for others. We recently had a client that I met with to discuss decor for their wedding. Meeting at the event site was pleasant and informative. I listened to what their needs were, quoted a price and went back to the office. The client stopped by a couple of days later to look at colors but did not place an order with our sales staff. Most event professionals meet with multiple clients every week. A typical week for us is to quote 15 - 20 persons what the items or services would cost. Of these, we probably hear back from 5-6, the rest are price shopping or just getting ideas. So when I did not hear back from this client, I assumed that they had decided to go another route.
3 months later, I get an email asking, "when we are delivering the decor items for the wedding?" My response back to the day of planner was, "what wedding?" She replied back with a name. I replied back with a "I don't have anything on the schedule for that person or event location." Next email is "I will have the client contact you." I say, "OK, great."
This email discussion happens on Monday- the same week as the wedding, the Sunday of a holiday weekend. I have no deposit, no contract, and I really don't remember what the client wants. So, I put in a partial order for the item I can remember so we can get it scheduled on the calendar for delivery on a Sunday of a holiday weekend, in hopes that the client will contact us before the week is over.
The client calls on Saturday to make payment for the items. Our sales staff person goes over the order with the client, who then disagrees with the amount but pays for the items anyway. At this point we are set up for failure as a vendor. We brought exactly the items on the invoice to the venue and set up, then get a call 15 minutes before the wedding from the day of planner that the setup was wrong. DO NOT pay for something without knowing exactly what you are getting!! The client had expected many specialty items that we were not aware of because no mention was made of it while discussing the order and paying the day before. Now we have a client that is unhappy, a planner that is unhappy, and no time to install what they truly wanted.
We want clients and planners to be happy with our work. Without an agreed to contract, nobody within this scenario can be assured of what is being delivered. Talk to you vendors early and often, work out all details prior to the event, settle on the price and exactly what you want. Make sure it is spelled out on the contract that lights are added, ties are added, personalizations are added etc. so there are no surprises on you wedding day.