(Closed) Hiring a friend or professional…regrets?

posted 4 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
2566 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Commenting to follow.  We are going the frendor route for photography.

Post # 4
4497 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

One of my best friends is a wedding designer in CA (I live in PA). Even though she hasn’t been here to physically help, I have picked her brain about my wedding too many times to count. One of her specialties is florals and she had offered to go to a flower market in San Francisco, hand pick all of our flowers out, then ship them to us. She would then do all of the arrangements too, since she’ll be here for the wedding anyway. At first I was ecstatic at the idea of it. It would save us a lot of money and she has fantastic taste (she designs million dollar weddings for crap’s sake!). We ended up deciding against it though for a couple of reasons.

1. I was worried about the flowers arriving on time and intact.

2. I didn’t want her working when this is supposed to be a mini break for her.

3. If something were to go wrong I didn’t want to hold it against my friend. Its a lot easier to confront a vendor than someone you’re super close to. Friendships break up over things like this.

So we have a local florist, but honestly if I lived closer to her I probably would have more seriously considered her offer.

Post # 5
1286 posts
Bumble bee

I’m a professional wedding photographer, I’ll give you my side as a professional. I do not photograph friend or family weddings.  I will do children/family portraits…but not weddings. Weddings are too stressful and demanding.  I’ve had a friends wedding lined up before.  She was expecting TOO much from me.  She wanted me there for the rehearsal on a Friday night to photograph the church and to get a feel of how things will go the next day.  Ah, for starters, I already have a client booked for that Friday night, secondly, I’ve done TONS of weddings, I know how they work, I know my lighting, I know church rules and if not, I speak to the officiant ASAP when I get to the church for a quick run down (or they find me upon my arrival, no big deal!) lastly, you aren’t willing to pay me for those extra hours to bump out my previously booked client.  

So, basically, from a vendors point of view, friends/family can be a bit demanding of friends in the business.

On the other hand….lol….As a professional photographer getting married and being in the business…We’ve hired friends of ours in the business.  But as we are all professionals, it’s professional, not hiring them as “friends”.  We are still paying them and we will treat each other with respect as a client/professional basis.  

Post # 7
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014



We’re hiring a friend photographer as well, but he’s not someone we’re super close with (i.e. not invited to the wedding as a guest), and we’re paying him a rate that is in line with other photogs we talked to (but no one whose images we loved).  He’s a truly talented photographer, and FI (notoriously camera shy) says that this is how he will feel most comfortable.

I’ll admit that I’m less than 100% on the situation.  I feel uncomfortable communicating sometimes– it feels a lot like “pestering” him, since I feel like he’s doing us a favor.  Plus our moms are friends, so it’s a little awkward.  Honestly, it came down to just loving his images and FI’s desire to have someone that we know behind the camera.

Post # 8
621 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Worst mistake ever and will never hire a friend again, luckily we got another vendor for one, the other we’re stuck with I don’t know….


I also HATE the lack of communication that they think can get away with. in hindsight pay a bit more for a pro.


Post # 9
6746 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

We have talked about this before. FI wants to use that WedIt site (they send u 5 HD cameras for $500 and then people record stuff and then send it back to the site and they’ll send you back the footage, and if you want them to edit it, they will do it for an additional fee), wanted a friend to be an MC, asked if we have a friend photographer, etc. I keep shooting him down – I don’t want my friends working our wedding, I want them enjoying it. We’re alos having a very small, intimate destination wedding and I think it’s really unfair to ask someone to work it if we don’t at least pay for their flight and hotel to be there, which really is the cost of the vendors (some are cheaper!). The only thing I would find acceptable is for a friend/family member to be an officiant (we considered this route, have decided to do a traditional Jewish ceremony instead) or for someone who is good with hair/makeup to do hair/makeup. Other than that, nothing is ok IMO. MAYBE flowers or help with some decor or something, but yeah pretty much – none of the big ticket items, like DJ, photog, videographer, etc.

Post # 10
680 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t think it’s a good idea. As PP have mentioned, things like this can ruin friendships. You feel much more comfortable confronting a professional vendor if something goes wrong rather than a friend who is doing you a favour – whether you’re paying them or not.

I had a friend who is a make-up artist do my make-up for my bachelorette party last weekend and she really didn’t listen to what i wanted and it didn’t turn out the way i wanted it to and i felt bad saying something. Lucky it was just a party and not the wedding but I’m glad i’m not in that position for the wedding.

Post # 11
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Anna10-05-2014:  I think anything that requires their input/attention on the actual wedding day is definitely better done by professionals. Not only do I want my friends to enjoy our wedding, I also don’t want to deal with the stress of me or my DOC having to give them orders.

Things that can be done before the day (like silk floral arrangements, invitations, arch construction, etc.) are probably more friend-friendly but make sure you set out the ground rules early and have a back-up plan.

Post # 12
1254 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I have been a ‘friendor’ myself a few times. I do cake decorating as a hobby and I have offered in the past to make cakes for (very good friends only) friends as their gift, or when I have been asked to make the cake I have said I will do it as their gift/ask them to cover materials as I’m not comfortable charging very much as I am not a ‘professional.’ (My cakes taste better than ‘professional’ cake stores though because I do not use packet mix!). Even though someone says they want to pay me a proper price it’s so awkward to quote a friend when I’m not a business owner.

I was excited to do wedding cakes at first but to be honest I am over it now. They seriously take a loooong time. I’ve had to take a day off work on a few occasions to do them because to fill, cover and decorate can easily take a full day and more. Then you have to go to the venue earlier on the day to set it up. It is super stressful as well as I am very aware that this is someone’s wedding day and that this cake is going to be photograped a lot.  I always listened to what my friends wanted though and only told them no if it was not physically possible to do or if it was totally out of my skill set.  I have one more to do in a few months time and then that’s it. I was asked by a friend recently to do hers but luckily we get back from our honeymoon only 2 days before her wedding so that was my out! It’s nice that friends think of me and I do like to help them save money as wedding cakes are not cheap but it’s full on.

Post # 15
6746 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Anna10-05-2014:  I honestly don’t think I’d ever consider a friendor unless I absolutely LOVED their work and they were the ones I wanted more than anyone. But, there’s also the issue of mixing biz w/ pleasure which I don’t like to do. What if they’re less professional bc they’re my friend? What if I have to demand something or they don’t respond quickly enough? The stress and drama surrounding hiring a friend would be too much. I’d probably only hire someone who I wouldn’t care to lose as a friend.

Post # 16
6256 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

We hired a professional DOC and totally regret it!

I wish we had just let an organized friend take the reins….

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