As you watch your wedding budget slowing creep up to the equivalent of the deposit for your house, or even the mortgage itself, it can be tempting to wonder if 'getting a mate to do it' might be cheaper and it might seem that it would, initially. Or you might even have a number of [generous] friends offering their services. If so here are 7 questions you should ask yourself before hiring a friendor:
1. Are they your 'insert appropriate wedding vendor category here' or are they your invited guest who happens to be taking your photos/ driving your to the church/ baking your wedding cake. - There is a difference - a big one!
2. Do they have the proper skills/ talent/ experience to preform/ produce the wedding service they have so kindly offered? [ A wedding isn't a dress rehearsal - if they forget the extra camera battery or to bake the cake for the correct length of time, your wedding might not be the fairy tale you dreamt.]
3. Are you paying them for their service or is this a gift?
4. What happens if you are not happy with the results of their work? They are a friendor after all, how will you complain and or ask for more, or something different [and still remain friends if they get offended?!]
5. Do they have insurance - most likely they don't - what happens if they inadvertently [or even directly] cause an accident causing harm to you, the venue, property or a guest? Who pays up? -Most likely you!
6. Will you have a contract, or a formal agreement for what they are providing - if your hired a professional you most certainly would!
7. Do you have a back up plan if they get sick or can't come? They're [most likely] not a professional/ working in the industry so wouldn't have a partner/ back up vendor they would use regularly.
Lots to ponder there... and I'm sure I've left some things out too... I suppose what I am really saying here is, professionals are [in my opinion] the route to go, but I appreciate that that may not always be possible or within budget for everyone, and that's ok - but if you have gone the friendor route - for what ever reason, be prepared, be realistic, and don't be a afraid to make things a little formal... a little contract wouldn't go astray - I suggest you include:
- The date, start and end times of the service, leaving time for setup and breakdown.
- The address of where the wedding will take place.
- The exact service provided, with a breakdown of goods or specifics.
- The fee [if any], and when and how it should be paid
- What you are required to supply them with and when.
- A Plan B if they can't make it.