Today we’re talking about something that is near and dear to my heart- hiring professionals for your wedding. One would think that hiring professionals would be a no-brainer, but this isn’t always true. Sometimes you just want to spend as little as possible, and so you resort to trying to find “alternatives” for the usual wedding services. And some of these “alternatives” tend to end up involving having a friend or family member or friend of a friend or distant cousin do something instead of hiring a professional. In fact, there are even wedding planning sites out there that will tell you to not hire professionals in order to save money.
Well friends, that is NOT the kind of wedding planning site ELD is. If you ask me, not hiring professionals is a recipe for disaster! Hiring a friend would end up causing way more issues than paying for a professional would… and yes, you get what you pay for!
Don’t just take it from me though. This couple unfortunately found out the hard way when they decided to let a “budding photographer” friend take their wedding photos. The thing is though, this wasn’t a friend who had shot a few weddings and was trying to get into the industry. He just had a “nice camera” and so they asked him to capture their day. To make a long story short, this “photographer” lost the couple’s image card and now they have no wedding photos. Because he wasn’t a professional and didn’t know what he was doing. Yeah… that’s awful, isn’t it? Can you imagine?!
Here’s the thing- if it was the successful norm to have your friend who has a nice camera take your wedding photos, cater your wedding, or do your flowers, there wouldn’t be professionals doing it! And there most likely wouldn’t be amazing images like this one…
Image by Live View Studios
In my experience, having a friend do a professional’s job almost never works out… unless they ARE a professional who truly is your friend (in which case, you are one lucky gal!).
So before we go any further, let’s just go over a few of the reasons for why you should hire a professional and not your friend…
1. A professional is committed to YOU.
A professional will be committed to YOU and your wedding day. They are guaranteed to show up on your wedding day, no questions asked. I’ve seen “friends” commit to photographing a wedding and then flake out 2 months – even a few weeks- before the wedding, people not show up to help on the day-of when they said they would, and even people just not caring at all. When you hire and pay a professional, they are contractually obligated to carry out the duties that you hired them to perform!
2. A professional will have EXPERIENCE.
There’s nothing worse than having everyone standing around at your wedding not knowing what to do next. Hiring someone who has experience will most definitely help your stress level both before and during the wedding. A professional with experience will also have a specific way of doing things, so there won’t be too much guesswork for you while planning your wedding. The last thing you want to have to do while planning your wedding is figure out what your friend is supposed to be doing!
3. You will get awesome RESULTS from a professional.
Or in other words, you get what you PAY for! Hiring a professional will ensure that you get a great result. Whether it’s photos or flowers, or food or coordinating, having someone who does weddings for a living will certainly give you the best outcome. It may not always be the most ideal option to spend money on a professional, but really and truly, paying for a service makes SUCH a huge difference! Not to mention that yes, there’s a contract involved, and as I stated before, they are obligated to provide you with those awesome results.
4. You won’t have to worry about straining your RELATIONSHIP.
When working with a professional, if anything, you will build a relationship with them. Almost always, when hiring a friend the relationship gets strained in some way. Either they hold a grudge against you for making them work for free or less than normal, or you’re not happy with your results and you just can’t tell them. It’s not worth ruining a relationship with one of your friends!
5. You want your friends to ENJOY your wedding!!
If they truly are your friend, you’ll want to have them at your wedding and enjoy it, right? And if that’s not the case, then you don’t really want to even have them at your wedding.
Image by Jordan Keenan Photography
Don’t get me wrong- there CAN be friends that help out with your wedding who will do a great job. But in my experience, it doesn’t always work out for the best.
One of the things that I’ve discovered about weddings is that it’s pretty common for “friends” who “do weddings” to pop up when you get engaged. What a coincidence that you have a friend who photographs weddings, coordinates, AND is a DJ, right?! At the time, it seems lucky and like you have all your bases covered, but please do your best to make an informed decision when friends offer to help with your wedding.
I would love to hear from you all on this. Do you have any friends who wanted to help you with your wedding? Did you decide to go with them, or go with a professional? And any former brides out there… did you have any experiences with “friends”?
A version of this post was originally posted in June 2012.
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30 responses to 5 Reasons To Hire A Professional For Your Wedding, Not A Friend!
I love the comment you get what you pay for!! If your not paying for their services you won’t get a lot. I try to talk couples out of using friends and family all the time. It always sounds like such a great idea and deal but it never works out in the end.
Great post! It’s so true – you get what you pay for!
True Words! Nicely Said! I as a professional wedding photographer totally agree!
I so often get mails from sad couples who had no photographer, a low-budget-photographer or a friend and are not happy with the result and now want an after-wedding session to have anything professional…
Thanks for saying it out loud!
AMEN AMEN AND CAN I PLEASE GET A WITNESS…I’m catholic and we don’t get to say that but totally agree. You get what you pay for! True words! XO
I always love posts like this because I think it brings a little more validity to what we do as professionals. As mentioned, brides are looking to save money in the interum but don’t look at if those saving are going to be long term; if they’ll have to go out and find a replacement photographer because the one they had decided to cancel and the professional is going to charge an average rate, or hiring a wedding planner because I thought I could plan it myself and it’s much more than i thought it was. Planning a wedding is a lot of work and a lot of details to consider that I think many people overlook. Thanks for the post!
We could not agree more!!! Professionals are extra money but money well spent on – They are the reassurance to what will be the perfect day
This is such great advice! I always cringe when a bride says she is hiring a friend for anything on her wedding day:/
Lauren every couple should read this excellent post. As you point you, you get what you pay for, and “friendors” often turn out to be costly and disappointing mistakes. You only do this once, hire the best professionals you can.
This is a post that every wedding vendor should share with their clients. Thanks for sharing the truth about you get what you pay for with you hire vendors.
Yup you are right occasion like wedding you can’t hire you friends and accept that its will be memorable. You have you hire a professional planner of having a awesome wedding.
Love, love, love this post! Thank you for shining a light on this topic for Brides!
amen! Between friends who DJ, Siblings who are photographers, to having your mom come and set up the morning of- don’t do it! Friends and family should be enjoying your wedding day, not working it! It is too large of a financial and emotional investment to have to deal with drama of friends & family. Leave the work to the people you pay- you will be surprised how many times I find out a “friend” is actually charging more than a great professional I could have recommended! yikes!
Excellent article. Relates very much with DJ’s… So many people think they can just program a playlist on their iPod and there you go… save the cost of a wedding DJ.
In an ideal world every couple would have ample resources to fund their weddings. I agree there is some truth to this post, however, it seems to assume that people try to go alternative routes to hiring professionals for their weddings because they are cheap. Rather, there are people like myself that have very limited budgets and aren’t willing to go into debt for one day and have to prioritize what they are able to have done professionally.
We asked my husbands sister to take our wedding pictures as she is a photography student, she did an amazing job!! No experience, but a creative and determined mind!
I became sick with a heart problem about a year ago. I decided to hire a wedding planner for my daughter’s Sept 2015 wedding. Best decision we made. She kept my daughter on track with planning, and the entire wedding party and families were able to enjoy the wedding day.
Great post! I’ll be sharing on my page. I wish more couples would realize that they CAN trust us and that we know what we are doing. That’s whats so great about hiring a professional. Once you’ve booked us just back and don’t worry. When the wedding day comes and we’ve discussed all the details and you put trust in your photographer you will have images that will make you happy until you are old and grey and sharing them with your grand children!
Excellent points! Thank you for writing this – many couples, for good reason, have no idea how involved the process is for managing a wedding day! Something as simple as a guest sitting at the wrong table can become a large distraction that a non-professional may not have allocated resources or a backup plan to.
Definitely sharing on my page! There is so much value in hiring a professional to do your planning, entertainment, photography, etc., so you can simply enjoy your big day!
Great article and lots of important advice. When it comes to wedding photography I wish more people took note, you only get one chance!
great article… I had a good friend get married who hired a ” well I have a nice camera and I like to take pictures as a hobby” friend for her photographer and was unimpressed and crying over her wedding photos. She also ended up stressing out in the weeks leading up the wedding- planning the photos… she ended up reaching out to all the guest to get copies of their photos so she would have ones she liked enough to frame and share with others. She also is no longer on speaking terms with the friend (wanted to charge her extra for photoshopping)
#4 & #5 are probably the biggest reasons not to hire a friend. Hiring a friend isn’t a bad thing if they are really good, but don’t just hire them because they are your friend. Plus you should just let them enjoy your wedding! Great article😊
Just sent this out to a bride who emailed me about her considering hiring her friend. I was happy to find this list about hiring a professional VS a friend for your wedding. #4 is the one that I often hear stories about. How much money saved is it worth losing a friend over?
Yes, you should hire professionals. However, if your ‘friends’ are professionals, then it can work out just fine, as long as folks behave professionally. That means having a contract and managing expectations. For couples planning a wedding, it would also help to not use a ‘friend/family member’ who will do the job cheaper as a bartering tactic.
I’ve photographed numerous weddings for both close friends and acquaintances, and it has always brought us closer together.
I agree here with each point, even I believe that hiring professional for weddings is must. They helps to get the best out of your wedding. Thanks for the post.
Great article and lots of important advice which people should take more heed of!
Once again, great post! We can not rely on friends to do a professional job.
I like how you mentioned that a professional will have experience and will how a certain expertise fo that planning your wedding will be less stressful. My sister is getting married this summer an I’m helping her plan her wedding. I really appreciate the benefits of hiring a wedding photographer.
I am a profesdional planner and designer. It is always a test of wills when the brides best friend wants to make all of the final decisions, as if it were her very own wedding.
It can be especially trying if that friend is into arts and crafts but has dollar store talents and ideas.
Excellent post. As a professional wedding vendor, I shared it on my page and did a tweet
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