Hiring Friends - Weddings - Eventective - Forums

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Posts: 2 November 3, 2010
We are planning our wedding for Oct of 2011. A friend is a DJ/singer in band, another is a photographer, another a cateer... Has anyone out there hired friends to take part in their wedding? Wondering about any problems that may have arose!
Posts: 1 November 5, 2010
Make sure the friends you hire are responsible, sign a contract (treat it like a business partnership), have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and have some knowledge about wedding planning. Just because a person has planned their wedding does not necessarily mean she/he knows all the "ins" and "outs" of planning a wedding.

There have been many times my clients have told me don't worry Aunt Mary or cousin Sally can do that. When the time comes, I cannot find Mary or Sally. I usually have a back-up plan -- one of my staff members assumes the responsibilities of Aunt Mary or cousin Sally.

In any event, I would suggest that you hire a month of wedding coordinator (negotiate fees) to assist you on your wedding day. She will know what to expect, how to circumvent any last minute problems and will deal with your wedding vendors and guests on your wedding day.

Best of luck.

Tye Robertson
Certified Wedding Specialist & Creative Director
Especially For You Planners, LLC

Guest November 4, 2010
This is a tough call.....as everyone wants to save $ these days.......and everyone knows a musician, DJ or KJ that works in the local bar for $100 a night.......they ask "why do you want $750 for my wedding when my friend DJ Billy Buck will do it for $100 ?" ..it's a complicated answer but DJ Billy Buck probably does it for a hobby and is not a paid professional.....if they don't depend on it to make thier living they will bail out on yuo @ the last minute and leave you in bind.......same goes for bands....drummers with broken arms are common as are bass players who are sick, dead or in jail....."sorry".......I recommend you book a professional and get a contract and be done with it......Troy Robinson-Robinson Entertainment 30+ yeara in the biz!
Posts: 157 November 4, 2010
I have seen this work well and turn out poorly. It really is a matter of clear expectations and establishing appropriate boundaries. I highly recommend going through their normal contract process even if they are discounting or waiving their fees for you.

I have officiated friends' weddings and we were clear when I was functioning in the capacity of a wedding vendor and when I was a friend and guest. Never a problem.

I have had couples hire friends as photographers, DJs, caterers, etc. with mixed results. If your friends are professionals than they will appreciate being treated as such. I have found most problems arise when couples hire friends who are amateur hobbyists and expect professional results.

Open communication, clear expectations, appropriate boundaries and you should be fine.

Best Regards,
Rev. Ann Fuller
Melbourne, FL

Guest November 3, 2010
It is nice to want include your friends in your wedding and I am sure they would want to offer you the very best in the services they provide. However, it is best not to mix friends with these services because it places you in a difficult position if something unexpected were to go wrong. You do not want to hurt or lose a friends feeling demands or worse, if your friend is unable to fulfill their task at the last minute. It is simpler to hire outside vendors that you can freely demand what you paid for.

Nestor Diaz
Xceed Entertainment Inc.
Posts: 2 November 3, 2010
Sometimes friends can be great to help at a wedding. You must talk to them and advance and make sure they understand how important your day is to you as well as what you expect. I would never hire a friend as a photographer because those memories are impossible to replace. And the wedding planner. If you hire a planner they can give orders and assist you in accomplishing your wants/needs. They can do this without getting the name "witch" and having the family fussing at each other. I wish you a wonderful wedding.
Marsha Pruitt
The Event Host
Posts: 33 November 3, 2010
" ... know I can expect great services- or I wouldn't even think of hiring them. " Then determine what are your worries? You are asking for a reason. What is the reason?

Read your contract carefully, make sure it imposes penalties for cancelling. I have many last-minute requests every year who had a friend cancel. When that happens, these people are stuck with what they can get, not what they would choose.

When they call me and their Reception is five weeks or less away, I ask, and it's always a friend or a family friend pulling out last minute. At five weeks or less, what kind of budget do you think they have left? Just make sure you pay their normal retainer, they don't give you more than $200 off, and the contract is tight and covers event cancellation.
Posts: 2 November 3, 2010
Well, I know the DJ and photographers work and know I can expect great services- or I wouldn't even think of hiring them.
Posts: 254 November 3, 2010
I would ask them for referrals of other people whom they have serviced. Word of mouth is usually the best way to get the most honest comments for these services. DJ/singer/bands usually have showcases, so ask them when they will be performing so you can check them out. The caterer should also give you a "tasting" of a menu before you decide on hiring them. A photographer should have a roster of albums, a website and some internet/magazine ads if they are serious about their careers. These are the right questions to ask and expect from any professionals.

Good luck!

Creative Director

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