Post # 1
Short version: Do I pay a close friend who has offered to design my invitations? If so, how do I bring it up?
I am very close with the P’s–she’s one of my three bridesmaids, but I’ve been friends with him for a long time too (basically, I have my own relationship with him, not just he’s one of my best friends husbands but my friend too). They’ll be throwing us an engagement party and are generally very generous people.
He’s a designer, and has offered numerous times to help with my invitations. I do a lot of papercrafting, but not computer design at all. He doesn’t want to step on my toes because he knows I like this stuff, but he’s “happy to help however he can.” We even worked on some mock ups when we sat next to each other on our way home from vacation this summer.
So, I have my paper-and-pencil sketches ready to go and am officially beyond my skill set. I’m ready to email him and get started, but I’m stumped about payment. Do I offer to pay? Is that offensive? He’ll most likely say no (he’s too nice) although his wife might be fine with me paying (do I ask her first then?). Do I not bring it up and get him a nice gift later as a thank you? Offer to babysit their daughter (which we do anyway, but still)?
I want a quatrefoil graphic (long & very specific story) and he’s already gotten in touch with people to attempt to get me the original version to use in the design–he’s planning on doing them.
I have absolutely no problem paying, so money isn’t the issue here at all–I don’t want to be rude by asking or by offering so I’m not sure what to do. Help!
Post # 3
I wouldn’t just offer to pay, I would make it mandatory part of working toghther on this. Most horror stories you hear about freindors is when they miss deadlines. Money is an insentive to meet your deadline.
Post # 4
My SIL (my brother’s fiancé) is a professional cake maker, and she has offered to make my wedding cake. I immediately said to her “that would be great, how much do you want for it?” and she said she would do it as her wedding gift to us. I would handle this in the same way- when you email him saying what you want done, just casually ask “how much money do you want for this by the way?”. It’s not an offensive question, and it doesn’t make a big deal about it. If he says he will do it for free, then either buy him a gift as a thank-you, or offer to babysit or something instead. I find that being direct is always the best way, as it takes away any awkwardness lol
Post # 5
It would be offensive if you DIDN’T offer to pay him.
Post # 6
Thanks for the suggestions! I’m not worried about him dropping the ball; he’s actually already gotten started trying to get me the exact graphic I want (he contacted the architects who built the new addition for our church) and is very reliable.
Post # 7
I would ask him straight out “I really appreciate this and wanted to know what the cost is” if he says nothing then I personally would say “Oh I have to pay you something” then go from there…maybe he’ll say ok buy me and wife dinner or a bottle of X wine/liquor and we are even.
A lot of my friends do that, I buy beer/pizza they assist with small home projects I’m not equipped to handle. I’ve offered money and given it to them and they hide it in my silverware drawer and never take it so now I just make sure I have a few of their fav things at my house for them to enjoy/take home.
Post # 8
I’ve been the “friendor” before, and the last time I did it we agreed that it would be in lieu of a wedding gift. If the guy is fine with that, please accept it! My friend was so worried that I wasn’t getting paid that I felt forced to accept SOME kind of payment, and said she could cut me a nominal $20 check.
That’s when it got awkward. Because since I’ve technically been “paid”, does it mean we have to bring a present? Do we not have to bring a present because we agreed that the services would be the gift? That money really just complicated things for me, I would’ve much preferred to stick to the initial plan.
Post # 9
@cranraspberry: Thats a great idea. I know they are already going to be doing so much (they really want to throw us an engagement party, I’m sure she’ll host the shower, and he’s offered to help out however he can day of too) and I don’t want to take advantage–but I also don’t want to be unappreciative. I know they truly do want to help, as would I. If he says I don’t need to pay him, I’ll ask that this be their wedding gift.
Post # 10
@MaryRachel: honestly, some people just really get a kick out of helping out with big events like that. I know I sure did! If you double check that he really doesn’t mind doing it for free, just know that it’s his preference. 🙂
Post # 11
I would treat it like any business transaction at first, saying, “I would love to take your up on your offer to help with my wedding invitations. I have a paper sketch of a design but don’t know how to create a print-ready, electronic file. Would you still have time to do this? If so, what would you charge?”
He’ll likely refuse, but I’d offer once more, saying “Oh, that’s so kind but I know you’re busy with your own business, so can I at least pay some sort of friend rate?”
Again, he’ll likely refuse…and in that case, thank him profusely and get him a generous “experience” type gift…take them out to a really nice dinner or something (when the project is complete). And bring a bottle of wine if you go over to work with him on the design!
Post # 12
I would ask what his services cost and if he says nothing – at least he said nothing!
Don’t assume – I would put it out there. If he’s too nice to accept payment, get him a nice gift to serve as some form of appreciation!
Post # 13
You ask him how much you will owe him for designing the invitations. He can then either:
(a) Decline payment because he’s doing them as a gift
(b) Give you a price
No awkwardness results from either situation. If he refuses to accept payment then you give him a thank you gift.
Post # 14
@MaryRachel: one of my BMs and obviously very good friend is a graphic designer. she told me she would design everything for me.
she designed my STDs, invitations, menu cards, seating cards, programs, etc.
my STDs and invitations were sent to vista print. but she printed the programs, menu cards, and seating cards with her work paper.
she did not ask me for any money and i didn’t offer any.
i did pay for all BMs dresses, hair, makeup, and bought them nice gifts.
i did not receive a gift from this BM nor would i expect anything (though I think her sister said something was coming by accident). i would have taken this as a her gift.
Post # 15
I would ask if he would like money. If he says no i would drop it, and either give him a nice Christmas present or just a gift as a thank you (even a nice bottle of wine or a gift card to take his wife out to a nice restaurant for his time)
Post # 16
Well we had a friendor who was our DJ. We had a bit of confusion when we initially asked us he told us he wasn’t going to charge us anything. Then his boss was going to charge HIM for the equipment and not pay him for his nights work. So he still charged us but only for the equipment which was really reasonable.
My advice? Offer to pay. Just say something like “I appreciate you offering to help with the invites, how much do you want me to pay you?” If he will be out time then he is offering that to you for free so that just makes him awesome like my friend. If he is offereing something that will cost HIM money, it would definitely be polite to offer him the money for his expenses.