Did you just get engaged? Are you bursting at the seams to begin planning? Do you have friends and family who are photographers, caterers, wedding planners? I know exactly what you’re thinking! Why should you hire an expensive professional when Uncle Bob will shoot your wedding for free as your wedding gift and Auntie Martha can make your wedding cake! Uncle Steve has catered many family events, he would definitely do your wedding for a great price. This is a great way to save money, but is it worth it?

Situation One

Often excited friends and family will offer their services for your special day in different ways, which is super nice. But maybe you don’t want their services, because they really aren’t that great of a photographer or you don’t like their style. Maybe your sister the wedding planner is a control freak and you’re afraid she will hijack your wedding. Whatever the reason, know that you don’t have to hire your family members just because they offer. And you shouldn’t be worried about hurting their feelings, after all it is your special day!

How do you decline their offer? Explain to your family members that while you appreciate their offer and assistance for your wedding, you want them to come and enjoy the wedding without having to work it. Just ensure you follow that rule for all family members. For example don’t decline one family members offer to help, but say yes to another. This is how feelings get hurt.

Situation Two

You need to save money for your wedding day, and you have family members that have great skills that you could utilize and get the “family discount.” While this seems like a no brainer, there are risks go along with it!

Firs things first, what if things go wrong? What if the food is cold, or everyone gets food poisoning and its Uncle Steve’s fault. What if Uncle Bob’s digital camera breaks, or there is a computer error and all your photos are lost? While these situations rarely happen, it can have a huge impact on your future relationships. Can you ever forgive Uncle Bob for ruining your wedding? Probably unlikely.

By hiring a wedding professional, as opposed to a family member, a contract for services will be in place that will protect you as the client from these situations. And if anything ever did go wrong, your hired wedding professional is much more likely to be equipped to mitigate the issue promptly and professionally.

Secondly, friends and family shouldn’t have to work your wedding. Even if they are a professional, they should be able to come and attend, celebrating the love of their family members.

If we could convince you not to hire your family and friends we totally would! We have seen so many relationships soiled due to the lack of understanding in expectations and sub-standard work.

If you do decide to go ahead and hire friends and family to work your wedding, ensure to keep the working relationship professional. Also, ask many questions before you officially hire them.

Do they really want to work your wedding, or would they rather visit and celebrate? No one wants a photographer who is off visiting when they should be photographing your first dance.

Be sure to have a contract in place that outlines their services or package, the cost and details of what you are receiving. This way if anything does go wrong you legally have an agreement in writing. Lastly, make sure your expectations of them are clearly communicated. This helps to ensure you are both on the same page for the day of the wedding.