Friend or Pro? – hiring friends & family to work your wedding

You start your wedding planning and it’s time to find your wedding suppliers. You might have an old school friend who’s a celebrant, a cousin who’s a florist, or a work colleague with a great camera or GoPro; out of the blue ‘friends’ who ‘do weddings’ pop up and want to help you with your big day. At the time it will seem tempting, you are likely to receive a decent discount, and your friend, family member or acquaintance gets some business, but there are many things that need to be taken into consideration when making a decision between a friend and a wedding professional.

Let’s weigh it up….

Pros of hiring a friend:

  • You feel comfortable with them and they know you – personalised service and someone that will go above and beyond for you!
  • You are helping a loved one build their business – providing the opportunity for them to build their portfolio, show off their skills, and do a job that they love. You can also provide them a great review if you they do a good job.
  • The discount – if you are hiring a friend or relative they are likely to offer a heavy discount, or gift their services, very much helping with your wedding budget!
  • Involving those who want to contribute – not everyone can be a bridesmaid, groomsman, witness or make a speech. It is a good way to spend time and involve someone you might not see very often!

So, hiring your bestie is now looking like a great idea… but let’s check out the pros of hiring pros…

Pros of hiring a professional:

  • Hiring a pro means that they are committed to YOU and YOUR wedding day. They are guaranteed to show up on the day and perform the duties they are contractually hired to do, and they will perform it at their highest ability… the reputation of their business depends on it!!
  • Pros have experience – Weddings are their job, their business and their livelihood. They are committed to delivering the best service and will also know how to deal with any mishaps or changes on the day, taking care of you and making sure your day is as easy and enjoyable as possible, and they will have the reviews and testimonials to back them up!
  • They will deliver awesome results – once again, their business relies on it! It is what they do! They are sure to have the highest quality equipment, are up to date with current trends and developments in the industry, and will know how to give you the best results before, on and after your big day!
  • Less chance of hurting anyone’s feelings or upsetting personal relationships – when working with a professional, you are a part of a business partnership, not a personal relationship. You can assert your expectations and feelings about the details of your day, if something is just not quite right, without worrying about upsetting a friend or stretching relationships. With a friend or family member, you are less likely to have a contract to fall back on, where obligations and expectations are outlined in black and white, and emotions are more likely to get involved. There is also the chance of hurting feelings of other relatives or friends who offer the same services and didn’t get hired.
  • No one will feel taken advantage of – even though happy to be involved, and happy to give you a discount, your friend may feel obligated to go above and beyond to meet your requests, and may not feel able to speak up if there are costs or requests that are outside original plans!
  • Your friends and family can relax and enjoy the wedding – everyone will want to be a part of your celebration to the fullest, to relax, enjoy the wedding, and not be working! Even if their part in the planning is done before the wedding, they will still be at the wedding as the ‘stylist’, ‘florist’ or ‘invitation designer’, rather than your friend from school, or second cousin.

If you DO decide to hire a friend or loved one, a few tips…

  1. Get it in writing!

It’s not very romantic, it might seem untrusting, impersonal, or uncomfortable, but sign a contract! Even if there is no money changing hands be sure to outline the roles, responsibilities and expectations of all parties, whether it be details about deadlines, equipment, materials, or legal responsibilities, and make sure that everyone is one the same page!!

  1. Follow their business and check their reviews

If your friend or loved one does run a wedding business be sure to check them out on social media (even help them out by liking, commenting and sharing their posts!) and check their reviews. Friend or not, you don’t want to take a big risk by relying on someone to help with your big day who isn’t up to the task! They also need to coordinate with your suppliers, so make sure they play well with others! 

  1. Pay them something… even if it’s just a little

Once the contract and details are sorted, be sure to talk about compensation. While talking money can be tricky, and your friends and family will want to help you and your budget out, be sure to give them a deposit to hold the date. You don’t want something ‘coming up’, them ditching the wedding and you being caught short. 

  1. Sometimes it is just best to let it go…

There may be times that you have to make allowances… if your friend has been slaving away and putting everything into the design of your invitations, putting together your wedding playlist, or putting together your bouquets, and they just aren’t quite getting your vision, you may feel that you are pushing the friendship by suggesting just one more edit… You may have to just let it go, remember why you chose them in the first place, and why you are having a wedding – to be married to the one you love! There is nothing in your wedding that is worth creating family feuds or losing your oldest friend over!!

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