Post # 1
We are having a wedding in New England, and most of our guests will have travel to the wedding. We are flying in our professional videographers from California (one of their conditions in their contract), and paying for all their travel expenses. They gave us a discount on their services, so I am comfortable doing that.
However, we have several other “friendors” (not professional, but still adequate for us). Our photographer is a close friend of mine who has agreed to shoot our wedding, and our officiant is another close friend. Both of these people were already planning to come to the wedding and are excited and happy to help out. We are paying our photographer well, and we are planning to pay for the cost for our officiant to get the one-day license, and giving him a gift of about $100-125.
But now my dad is saying we need to pay for these people’s travel expenses too! He said they are employees of the wedding and should be taken care of. I’m guessing that means airfare, hotel accommodations, rental car? =/ We did NOT have that in the budget, and now I just don’t know what to do. Should I also pay for the travel and lodging for the girls who are helping out with hair and makeup? Where does the line get drawn?
Do you think I SHOULD have to pay for all of these things? I would love to, but I just don’t know if we can. One of our reasons for askings friends was so it could help our budget. 🙁
Post # 3
I think once they became vendors vs friends (and you need to treat them like vendors if they are providing a professional service for you) then yes. You are paying the expenses of the videographer, why would you not do it for the officiant and photographer? Coming as guests is one thing; coming because you are now obligated to do a job is another.
Post # 4
@whitemochi622: I would say no. Unless these people are ONLY travelling to your wedding to work for you and they have it as a stipulation of their contract I wouldn’t.
My vendors all have a 45 minute drive to the wedding, our venue is a half hour outside the city. They know that. No one is charging me delivery or transportation fees (except the caterer).
Post # 5
@DW82: I do see your point. I guess the distinction in my mind was that the videographers are professionals, people we do not know, and we are paying extra to get them to come out all this way.
The others were people who were already planning to come to our wedding, and were happy to help out. And yes we are paying/gifting them for their services! It’s not like they are doing it for free. It’s just the travel expenses that I wasn’t planning on covering. We were planning to basically pay what it would cost for them to do the extra job beyond attending.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
It’s a weird gray area. My friend is a professional wedding photographer, and offered to do my wedding for free. When I clarified, in order not to take advantage, she asked me to pay her flight and accomodation. I wasn’t expecting that AT ALL, but I quickly realized that she is giving up a professional weekend and will be working for me. But in the end, she’s turning the weekend into a longer vacation and so is getting her own tickets, AND we agreed she’d stay at my flat while she’s here. She was happy to make it as cheap as possible for both of us, but I wouldn’t have been upset if she’d stuck with her original requirement.
Ok, a long way of saying– I imagine it depends on the friends. Perhaps you can compromise in some way and pay for part of something.
Post # 7
@whitemochi622: I think it depends on what you agreed on with your friends.
I was the DOC at a friend’s wedding and she neither covered my travel expenses nor my accomodation. I wouldn’t have expect her to either and still gave her a generous gift.
Post # 8
I think you don’t need to pay the expenses of your officiant, who can still enjoy the party.
The photographer, on the other hand, will probably not get to relax at the wedding, and I would be more generous with the expenses that I covered in that case. We are having a friend who is a photog do our wedding, but since we were not planning on inviting him as a friend only, we are paying him his fees + travel + lodging and food.
Post # 9
@whitemochi622: I wouldn’t feel obligated to pay everything, to be honest. They’re your friends, they would have attended your wedding and paid for accommodation anyway. If they agreed to be part of your wedding as a gift to you, I don’t see the point of paying for everything. It’s the service they offer that is a gift, not their ”presence”. The exception being, the one who clearly wrote in your contract that the flight had to be covered.
Post # 10
@whitemochi622: The officiant and the photographer are also professionals, and you are expecting them to act in that capacity for the day. They don’t get to enjoy the wedding as a guest, they have to work for most of it (the officiant obviously far less so than the photographer… so maybe I would cover for the photog but not the officiant).
Post # 11
How much are you paying your photographer friend, in relation to their normal photogrpahy fees? The photographer is not attending your wedding as a guest, they will be working for you all day. The officiant (or hair/makeup) won’t have to work all day at least (they will put in what…1-2 hours?), so I can understand maybe not covering travel expenses for that since they will get to be a guest most of the day and you said you were gifting them $. The photographer works 8+ hours though normally, and won’t get to enjoy the reception or wedding as a guest…at all.
Normally you would be required to pay travel expenses when you fly a photographer somewhere. I think it’s kind of rude to ask them to work all day for you and pay for their own travel as well. I would at least cover something.
Post # 12
It would be nice if you can afford it, but if not, I wouldn’t do it.
Post # 13
@kes18: We’re paying her $1000. She’s not exactly a wedding photographer (has only done two low-key weddings for other friends, but we like her photo style and pictures of us). She often does photoshoots for friends for free (graduation announcements, etc.) and we paid her to do our engagement photos. She’s also hoping to drive to the wedding with one of my bridemaids, not fly. We would have to ask her how much she spent on gas… like, her share? But not help out the bridesmaid who is driving? She’s also probably going to bunk up with some other girl friends who are traveling. See it just gets complicated and I wasn’t really worrying about it until just now.
Post # 14
@Kili: That made me remember someone else! Our good friend VOLUNTEERED to come up a week ahead of time to help me with all the preparations and then coordinate our ceremony.
I’m just thinking, if I help the photographer, and maybe the officiant or even the hair/makeup girls, I would definitely have to help him out, too. It’s just really adding up! Esp. if he is going to be there for a week!
Post # 15
IMO I think vendors travel accomodatings should be paid. Because you can’t be both a guest and be expected to “help” out. Can you afford to maybe pay for at least for one night of the accomdations?
This is why working with friends is tricky and I avoid it at all costs.
Post # 16
If they are your friends I would just accept their offer. However, I would make it perfectly clear to them to please not give a wedding gift and that their service is an extremely generous gift