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.