You're engaged, congratulations! More than likely the next step is to plan a wedding, right? The first thing you should do when planning a wedding is create a realistic budget. When you create your budget for your wedding make sure you know the average prices of the wedding vendors and services in your area. The most costly part of the wedding is usually the venue and food/beverage. Once you have a budget you'll want to start searching for your wedding vendors.
Often time’s couples are intimidated when planning a wedding because of the cost and time it takes. When people become overwhelmed they will sometimes try to cut costs by doing things themselves and/or hiring friends and/or family to be their wedding vendors.
Maybe uncle Bob has been taking pictures as a hobby for the past 10 years so you think that he would be a great wedding photographer. Your friend Kimberly makes the best cupcakes in town, so you will ask her to bake 250 cupcakes for your wedding and you could save a few hundred dollars. How about hiring your bosses cousin who owns a DJ company that you know nothing about, but will save you about $500? These might seem like good ideas, but keep reading!
Hiring a friend and/or family member isn't always a good or bad idea. Here are some factors to consider when hiring a family or friend.
1. Make sure that you have a clear vision of your expectations of your friend or family member and the service they are going to provide. If you've been researching wedding photographers that charge between $3k to $5k, you want to make sure that your friend or family member can live up to your expectations. Maybe your friend or family member is a professional; make sure you check out their website and portfolio just like you would any other wedding vendor.
2. If your friend or family member is a hobbyist, make sure that your expectations are at their level of expertise. They may not know how to back up your photo files properly on a hard-drive or computer and could lose all your photos in the editing process. This would not be their fault, rather yours for expecting what a professional wedding vendor would provide!
3. If your friend or family member is a professional wedding vendor, make sure that you don't low-ball them and ultimately insult them. If they make their living by providing the service you want for your wedding, make sure to offer them full price for their services or product. If they want they will tell you how much they can discount or gift to you. Insulting a professional that is a friend or family member is one way to make things very awkward.
4. Don't expect friends/family to give you a discount. If you approach your friends/family to help with your wedding don't expect them to do it for free or to give you a discount if they are professional wedding vendors. If they do give you a discount, you'll be pleasantly surprised and have some extra money in your budget. If you expect this, then you'll ultimately be upset because now you’re over your budget. Basically, don't sabotage your wedding budget!
5. Just because your cousin Ellen makes the most amazing cupcakes in town, does not mean she can make 250 for your wedding. Don't be afraid to ask her questions, like have you done this many cupcakes for an event before? Maybe take the load off by offering to purchase some pies and cookies to have along with about 100 cupcakes.
You might be asking how can I ruin a friendship from my wedding? The number one reason friendships are ruined from a wedding is from lack of communication. Usually the couple has an expectation in their heads that their friend or family member will not be able to meet. If your friend is a professional vendor and you don't want to hire them, make sure you communicate with them about your decision. Maybe you want your professional friend to enjoy your wedding rather than work at your wedding; it's okay whatever decision you make just make sure to communicate it so there are no assumptions either way!
Happy planning to you!