Today, we will be talking about something that is near and dear to my heart- hiring professionals. One would think that hiring professionals would be a no-brainer, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes budgets are tight. You need to save some of your hard earned ducats, and so you resort to trying to find a subsitute for a tried and true wedding services. Many times, these “alternatives” end up involving having a friend or family member or friend of a friend or second cousin or old roommate's nephew's babysitter do something instead of hiring a professional. In fact, there are even wedding planning sites out there that will tell you to not hire professionals in order to save money. Let me say is right now: not hiring professionals is a recipe for disaster. Hiring a friend has the potential to end up causing way more issues than paying for a professional would… and yes, you get what you pay for!
In my experience having a friend do a professional’s job almost never works out… unless they ARE a professional who truly is your friend (in which case, you are a lucky duck who just so happens to know the right people. Good on you ). So before we go any further, let’s just go over a few of the reasons I feel you should hire a professional and not a pal…
1. A PROFESSIONAL IS COMMITTED TO YOU.
A professional will be committed to YOU and your wedding day. They are guaranteed (with a contract. If they don't have a contract, you should be running the other direction) to show up on your wedding day, no questions asked. I’ve seen “friends” commit to photographing a wedding and then flake out 2 months – even a few weeks, days- before the wedding, people not show up to help on the day-of when they said they would, and people with no professional reputation at stake not caring at all. When you hire and pay a professional, they are contractually obligated to carry out the duties that you have hired them for.
2. A PROFESSIONAL WILL HAVE the EXPERIENCE.
There’s nothing worse than having everyone standing around at your wedding not knowing what to do next. Hiring someone who has experience will most definitely help your stress level both before and during the wedding. A professional with experience will also most likely have a specific way of carrying out the tasks of the day, so there won’t be as much guesswork for you while planning your wedding. The last thing you want to have to do while planning your wedding is figure out what your buddy with a nice camera is supposed to be doing!
3. YOU WILL GET RESULTS when you hire A PROFESSIONAL.
Or in other words, you get what you PAY for! Hiring a professional will ensure that you get a great result (typically barring an act of God. Don't know what I mean by that? Its in your photographer's contract ;) ). Whether it’s photos or flowers, or food or coordinating, knowing that things you want to invest in and having someone who does those things specifically for a living will certainly give you the best outcome. It may not always be the most ideal option to spend money on a professional, I get that. But really and truly, paying for a service makes SUCH a huge difference! Not to mention that yes, there’s a contract involved, and I can say it till I am blue in the face: they are obligated to provide you with those awesome results.
4. YOU dON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT STRAINING YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
DING DING DING!! When working with a professional, if anything, you will build a relationship with them. As someone who has seen this time and time again, almost always, when hiring a friend the relationship gets damaged in some way. Either they hold a grudge against you for making them work for free or less than what they end up wanting, or you’re not happy with your results, or one of the parties has expectations that aren't met, etc. It’s not worth ruining a relationship with one of your friends!
Listen, y'all. Don't get me wrong- there CAN be friends that help out with your wedding who will do a great job. And there HAVE been people that have managed to pull off great results their first or second try. But in my experience, it doesn’t always work out for the best...and is your wedding day a day you want to gamble on?
One of the things that I’ve recently discovered about weddings in particular is that it’s pretty common for “friends” who “do weddings” to pop up when you get engaged. What a lucky coincidence that you have a friend who photographs weddings, coordinates, AND is a caterer! At the time, it seems lucky and like you have all your bases covered. Trust me when I say, you will do yourself a favor to make an informed decision when friends offer to help with your big day.
I would love to hear from any of my readers on this. Do you have any friends who offered to help you with your wedding? Did you decide to go with them, or go with a professional? And any former brides out there… did you have any experiences with “friends”?