Today, we want to get real and talk about something that may or may not be what you want to hear. But here’s the thing – we’ve been around the block a few times, with well over a hundred weddings under our collective belts, so we’re asking you to trust us on this! We want to talk about…
… “Friendors” (aka, using friends as vendors).
We get it – we really do – you want to save money where you can, and plus, you definitely don’t want to hurt Uncle Dan’s feelings, so if he wants to be your photographer, what’s the harm in that?
And hey, we’ll admit, there’s a chance it’ll work out just perfectly. BUT – and this is a big BUT – in our experience, at least 8/10 it doesn’t work out perfectly… or at all.
Below are our 10 reasons why you should hire a wedding professional (and not your friends). Ready? Let’s do this!
1: You won’t have to worry about straining your relationship
This is often an unfortunate by-product of relying on your friends or family to “work” at your wedding – when things don’t go as planned, it can put some strain on the relationship. In fact, we’ve actually seen friendships end because of broken promises or misunderstandings that stemmed from expectations not being met by “Friendors”. This is heartbreaking, and totally not worth the money saved. Truly.
2: A wedding pro has experience with weddings
Weddings are unlike any other event, and that’s something that isn’t always understood by non-wedding peeps. The stress is far higher, the timelines are tight, and emotion in general is an integral part of the day. So when your brother-in-law tells you that he’s a photographer but he’s never shot a wedding before, that should give you pause. Wedding pros are specialists who have a lot of experience and are therefore trained to manage all of the craziness that weddings can bring. They understand the unique details that go into a wedding, and as a result, you don’t have to worry about things being overlooked.
3: Wedding pros have insurance
Sometimes, things go wrong at weddings. And sometimes – rarely, but sometimes – things go REALLY wrong. Because of that risk, it’s really important that all of your wedding team have insurance. If you hire a friend, and they aren’t insured, and something goes wrong – for example, imagine you hire a friend to be your DJ, and he brings his laptop to play music off of. During the dance, a guest trips over his power cord, falls, and breaks his leg. He decides to sue, but guess what? Because you hired a friend who doesn’t have an actual business and therefore has no insurance, he’s going to sue your friend personally, and likely you, as well. Ugh! RIGHT? You may be thinking, “none of my guests would sue anyone” which is fair…but what if it’s not a guest? What if it’s one of the catering staff, or just a random guest at the hotel you’re having your wedding at? It’s just not worth the risk.
4: A wedding pro has a backup plan
I have a sad story for you. When I got married (wayyyy long before I was a wedding planner!), my cousin offered to be my photographer. I was thrilled – he had a keen eye, and yup, he was free. It was the perfect arrangement! But guess what? The morning of my wedding, he was in an accident (he was fine, don’t worry!) but couldn’t make it to the wedding. End result? I have no wedding photos. Zilch. Zero. And while at first I didn’t think that was a big deal, now, many many years later, it breaks my heart. My kids ask to see photos all the time, and all I have are photos that some of the guests sent me, and a lot of regret. Every wedding pro worth their salt will have a backup plan – in case something happens to them, they have a network that they can reach out to in order to ensure that you aren’t left standing there on your wedding day, wondering where your florist/DJ/wedding planner/photographer is.
5: Your guests will enjoy being guests
Ask yourself this: how often in life do you get to throw a party like this? The answer is… pretty much only on your wedding day. It’s a BIG DEAL! So why oh why would you want to put some of your favorite people in the world to work on such a big day? Your role on that day is dual: host, and guest of honor. As a host, the last thing you want to do is invite guests and then have them work instead of being able to relax and enjoy themselves. Of course your friends and family will offer and/or agree to helping you if you ask – but the fact is, they will have a far better time if they can just be guests.
When all is said and done, the money you spend on professionals is money well spent – and in fact, often less expensive than trying to fix problems that arise from hiring non-professionals. You’ll be able to rest easier, and enjoy your day without any added stress. It’s well worth it, we promise! And if you’re working with a wedding planner, you have the additional advantage of knowing that the team of wedding pros that will be working for you are the best of the best – because a wedding planner is truly only as good as the team they put together, and we make sure we are only working with fabulous people!