Real Weddings

Should I Hire Professional Vendors – Or Just Hire Friends?

Organizing a wedding involves the help of many people. A few of the basic tasks that you need help with include catering, photography, entertainment, cake making, decorating and transport to the venue.

Many couples hire professional vendors to take care of these duties. This can offer peace of mind that the task is going to be done to a high standard. Unfortunately, hiring vendors can be expensive. As a result, some couples on a budget choose to go without vendors – and to hire friends instead.

Both options – hiring vendors and hiring friends – can have their perks, but what really is the best option for you? This guide offers information on when you should hire friends and when you should hire pros.

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When to hire friends…

It’s possible that you may know a friend who is a professional photographer or professional cake maker. In these instances, it may make sense to use your friends’ skills – especially as they may be able to offer ‘mates rates’. 

It’s often worth hiring friends of friends who have professional experience. You may be able to more easily maintain a professional relationship and you may still be able to get a discount. You also don’t have to worry about them feeling left out of the celebrations (asking a close friend to photograph your wedding could mean that they aren’t able to drink as much or join in the celebrations as freely). 

Hiring friends could also be a solution if you’re not interested in having a big and glamorous wedding. Perhaps you’re not worried about having a large and ornate cake, in which case hiring a friend to make your wedding cake for cheap could be a good idea. Professional experience may not matter if you’re just looking for a basic cake. You should consider just how much importance you place on the small details. 

When to hire professional vendors…

A lot of couples want their wedding to be luxurious. In these cases, hiring a friend to do some amateur photography or getting your uncle to be DJ may not cut it – especially if they have no professional experience.

A bonus of hiring professional vendors is that you can trust them more to get every detail right. They may be able to account for things that you hadn’t even considered. For instance, a lot of people that hire friends to do catering can overlook aspects such as unique dietary requirements or meals for vendors – a professional catering company is more likely to draw your attention to these aspects.

You’ll usually be able to research a professional vendor’s work to get a good idea of their quality. Websites such as this one for Christophe Viseux Photography can offer a useful portfolio of work. You can more easily get an idea of a professional vendor’s style and experience, which could be important if you want your wedding to be photographed in a certain way. When hiring a friend, you may have no way of telling how competent they are at wedding photography. Even if they’ve posted impressive wildlife photographs or travel photos all over Instagram, it may not be a good indication of how good their skills are as a wedding photographer. A professional photographer is more likely to have niche skills in this area such as knowing how to pose people and how to take good natural photos of people in action. 

If you’ve got doubts about allowing friends to handle tasks at your wedding, then it’s probably a safer option to hire professional vendors. You shouldn’t allow yourself to be pressured into hiring over-eager friends – it’s your special day and it should be about what you want. You don’t have to tell your friends that it’s because you don’t trust their skills (even if that is the reason).

If you’ve been thinking about hiring friends as a way to save money, consider the fact that there may be other more effective ways to cut costs. For instance, the time at which you get married can have a big impact on the price of vendors, as well as the price of the venue. In fact, by considering a winter wedding on a weekday instead of a summer wedding on a weekend you could slash your total wedding costs in half. This guide offers a few more ways to save money on your wedding day. 

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Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner who longed for bridal inspiration that looked like her. She has created a website and magazine that brings bridal inspiration to plus size brides. She does speaking engagements educating the world about plus size brides and self confidence.
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