Friend + Vendor = FRIENDOR (beware!)
As important as vendors are to a successful wedding day, you can imagine how nervous we get when clients say they are using friends or family members as vendors. While it would be easy for us to beg and plead for clients to "NEVER EVER....like EVER" hire their friends or family members to act as vendors, we realize that isn't practical so we wanted to give you some tips on how to hire friends in a way that protects your wedding and the friendship.
At first, the idea of working with a friend can sound great – you get along well, you can talk through problems easily, you see eye-to-eye on most things, and you can act as each other’s ally at work. But managing a friend can be far tougher than it looks – and few friendships come out of it intact. Here’s why managing a friend (and being managed by a friend) can be so hard:
YOUR IDEA vs THEIR IDEA:
You may find it difficult to assert your own ideas with a friend who is a professional. You have a certain idea in mind for your wedding bouquet, but she's the professional.Will you be able to discuss this with her or will it devolve into a discussion of what happened when you didn't trust her in high school?
DO YOUR RESEARCH:
She's a trustworthy friend, but have you ever actually seen her wedding photography portfolio? Now would be a horrible time to find out that she's not as good as she is says she is.
NO CONTRACT - NO DEAL:
When you’re considering hiring any friends or family for your wedding – no matter what it is – but especially if it’s an important job like photographer/videographer – you’ll want to make sure you have an actual CONTRACT written out. Not only that – but you want to make sure you both sign the contract (you and them)
Otherwise it’s a gift. Or a favor. HAVE A CONTRACT. At least so that everyone understands what’s expected of them – even if you’re not going to enforce things in case they go bad. Write it out – so that your friend/family member knows what you want them to do – and they can agree that they CAN DO IT. Or not.
Amateurs are less invested in their performance than a wedding professional.
The amateur is doing it “for fun,” and if something goes wrong, it’s not a big deal. A wedding professional, on the other hand, risks his entire reputation and livelihood with every event. One bad review can destroy his business and he knows it.
Of course, if you’re like everyone else in the history of the wedding planning world, you’re thinking that this will be different for you. But the reality is that there’s a very good chance you’ll find that entrusting your friend means sacrificing the friendship. If that trade-off isn’t worth it to you, think very carefully before putting yourself in a situation where you might ever need to make that choice.