(Closed) Friendors? Yay or nay? (friend vendors)

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
1473 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012


I hired a friendor for my photographer and it was not good.

I got some great pictures but he totally blew off my picture list after he asked me to make one, forgot to look at my contract and we were supposed to have 2 photographers and one videographer…well that didnt happen so no video either.

He got the photos back to us a week after we returned from our honeymoon but he didnt edit them all and you could tell he just didnt really care too much.

So no, I would not use a friendor for anything. Its usully more trouble than its worth.

Post # 5
1916 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

It’s such a bad idea.  Mostly because you can’t complain if the work is unsatisfactory.  Better to pay someone else and make sure that you get exactly what you want.

Post # 6
3141 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

No had a horrible experience !!!!!! If your friend is a flake at all don’t do it !!!!! we started to see some serious inability to commit to simple things from our “friendor” caterer and then just disappeared the day of the rehearsal. Worst decision ever !!! Our family had to step in the night before to fulfill her duties


Post # 8
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

No! Stay away from friendors. If something goes wrong it can ruin your relationship. And it’s probably not fun for them either.

Post # 9
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Don’t do it. We had one “friendor”, though it wasn’t someone I knew well, it was a neighbor of my parents that was our DJ. He did not perform to my expectation, and I feel stuck like I can’t complain about it because he knows my family in more than a professional capacity. He did not work with me to the level he told us he would before the wedding, and made several mistakes the day of the wedding (his computer “crashed” during my recessional among other things). It it was a normal vendor I would feel much more free to discuss my unhappiness with him.

He didn’t even give us a discount, so it was a complete rip-off.

Post # 10
11419 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I hate to make general statements, since the real answer would obviously be person-specific; however, unless the friend is a trusted, driven, Type-A, consummate professional whom you KNOW cares as much about his or her own reputation for excellence as you do about your own wedding, I wouldn’t want to risk it. I wouldn’t want to risk my wedding, and I wouldn’t want to risk the friendship.

That said, my DSD and DSSIL had “friendors” and other close friends do almost everything for their wedding, and everything turned out to be fabulous! They have amazing, very committed, very giving, incredibly caring, and extremely talented friends! 

Post # 11
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

It really depends on the friend/family and their history of coming through. Most of my wedding (other than clothing and photography) will be friendors. My aunt is knitting me a shrug to wear over the dress, a family friend is doing the catering, another family friend is the officiant, bridesmaids are making the cake and some finger food too, the groomsmen are helping fiance organise an after party, and there will be other members of the community donating chairs and tables for hire, bringing some food, etc. Oh, and the whole ceremony, reception and after party will be on my parents’ property.

In my community, family and neighbours usually help organise the whole wedding, so it would actually be considered really unusual for us to hire people we don’t know. Some of my family actually think it’s odd that I didn’t make my own dress! Usually, the bride, bridemaids and aunts get together to make the dress. But after seeing a photo of the dress I chose, the “matriarch” agrees that I picked a pretty good dress and they would have struggled to replicate it Wink

Post # 12
1042 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think it largely depends on the person you are getting the service from, and what you are expecting. Very close family members, like your mother? Go for it! If you trust them to care as much about the outcome as you, than you will probably be safe.

It would also work if your other option is to not have that type of vendor at all. For instance, only get a friend-photographer, if your other option is to not have a photograper at all.

Otherwise, proceed with caution! Things can get so sticky with friends.

Post # 13
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

i’m going friendors all the way (almost). depends on the wedding and the friends! if you have a friend that runs a small cafe, you can’t expect them to cater a wedding for 300 people. but if its within their capabilities, sure!

my brother is our main photographer and two friends have offered to be backups for extra perspectives and when my brother needs to be in family photos. the three of them are all great hobby photographers and all take their cameras to every wedding they go to, so I’ve seen what they can do. I want lots of candid photos of people talking and having fun, and they are all great at capturing that. 

our celebrant is an old family friend and I am really excited for that because she’s hilarious and my motto for the day is ‘I have to laugh as much as possible so I don’t cry all day!’

another friend is singing at the ceremony and will be in charge of the ipod at the reception. she’s an amazing singer, and we have similar taste in music so i know she won’t deviate from my playlist. she’s also really bossy so she won’t allow others to take over!

my bridesmaid and I are doing our own flowers, hair and make up. we studied fashion design together so we’re both creative and used to working on projects together – and good at working to a deadline without stressing out.

Ive got an awesome committee of friends who will set up the ceremony area in the park. I wish I could help with that part but I’ll be busy getting ready!


It depends on so many things but for our small, party-style wedding, its perfect because it’ll keep costs down and have a really fun diy feel. It also depends on you as a bride – i’m very easy going and honestly if any of these things fell through, we’d just come up with another solution and laugh about it later. even the celebrant – if she cant make it for some reason, we’ll just have a pretend wedding and go to a registry office later. if all three cameras break, i’ll tell everyone to get their phones out. it’ll be fun either way.

if you’re the kind of bride who almost had a heart attack reading my post, you should probably go with professionals and have a lot of back up plans in place.

Post # 14
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I think it really depends on the friend and how important the service is. For example, we had a friend take a few engagement pictures for us because they weren’t that important to us. The situation was a little sensitive because we felt like we couldn’t criticise or ask for exactly what we wanted, but it turned out alright. If it were something really important to me, I would want to hire a regular vendor so I could have complete control. 

Post # 15
6573 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I really think it depends on the “vendor/friend”.

Generally when I hear of people hiring hobbyists to do stuff I always advise them against it, because it really is best to hire a true professional.

As a photographer, I shoot at least one friend wedding per year. I honestly prefer to be a guest becuase I too want to enjoy myself, but sometimes it just ends up with me shooting. I will ONLY shoot friend weddings when the friends are like any other client – and trust me to do my job. I won’t shoot for someone who I feel would be overbearing. My general client is someone who is very laid back, and so that is a must for when I shoot a friend wedding.

All that being said, I’m also a full time professional wedding photographer.  My reputuation is on the line, no matter how good of friends we are. It makes me sad that there are people who take advantage and don’t do their best just becuase they’re a friend. I’m really honest with my friends and let them know, I’m either working or a guest. I can’t do both. If I’m half guest, it doesn’t work. I can’t be focused and on my game when chatting it up with people. 

The only exception to this is my brothers wedding, which I’ll be photographing this year. They are having a super small and intimate wedding with immediate family and a handful of  friends. Their reception is even at my house. This is the type of event that isn’t “go go go” and I can actually shoot and enjoy myself. I’ll also have my second shooter there to keep going when I go into “guest mode”.


Post # 16
734 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

It really depends…

My photographer is someone I met professionally and became friends with. I used to do modeling work mostly for make-up and I worked with her in the past. She and I have done random projects together and she’s really great. She’s a great photographer that I became friends with. Initially I asked a friend who happens to be a photographer to photograph our wedding and she politely declined. I understand now why she did.

I think the way we became friends and what my relationship with these people makes a big difference. One, even though we’re friends now, is still a professional relationship (with regards to photography) because it began that way. The other friend though, we were friends first (with no professionalism, haha), so it would be different.


Other services I wouldn’t be as picky about so I wouldn’t mind so much.

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