Dec 6

Should Friends be Vendors at Your Wedding?

I’m having flashbacks to the time that was a wedding planner, floral designer, did 4 heads of hair and was the matron of honor all on the same day.  That’s multitasking at its finest.

As someone who has the professional abilities to do all of these things – even professionally style hair – I can’t say I whizzed through this day flawlessly.  In fact, it was really stressful and I definitely thought I was going to lose it at a couple points.  This was my sister’s wedding – it had to be perfect!  I simply wouldn’t have it any other way.  You could also interpret that as, I’ll be hearing about the results from my family for the rest of my life, so they better be good.

Should Friends be Vendors at Your Wedding | The Day's Design | Samantha James Photography

Photography: Samantha James Photography

You may skip quickly to the end of this post to read my verdict, should your friends/family be vendors at your wedding?  Spoiler alert, I’m not going to completely answer that question.  I think the role you’re asking them to play and the current standing relationship with said friend has a lot to do with the answer.  As someone who has been hired as a vendor for family and friend’s weddings as well as a bride who has hired friends, here’s my two cents worth of wisdom.

 Consider Your Working Relationship

Some people work really well together.  Other’s butt heads a little more.  Just because you’re amazing friends doesn’t mean you always see eye to eye.  If you think it’s going to be more stress than it’s worth, save both of you some hard feelings and simply explain that you’re hiring someone else so the friend can be fully present and celebrate the occasion rather than working on your wedding day.

Only hire vendors that you feel fully confident in working with and who completely fit your overall vision.

Is this Friend Invited to the Wedding?

We hear the term “friendor” and tend to automatically assume that this would be someone who would naturally fall on the guest list.  However, this might not be the case.  Maybe you know said person, but clearly you can’t invite everyone you’ve ever met to your wedding.  When weddings are really small, I love including vendors that you know and can have sit at the dinner table and converse naturally with.  This is nice at larger weddings too, but small weddings are just so much more intimate and that adds another layer of warmth to the day.  However, if they are someone who you were going to invite regardless of whether or not they’re hired for the day, then you need to continue reading on.

Will They Miss the Celebration?

If said friend or family member is too busy working, they might actually miss the wedding or at least the celebratory tone of the day.  When I was matron of honor for my sister, I said that after 11:00 am, I was strictly a bridesmaid and refused to do more planning or floral duties beyond that point.  It didn’t completely work out that way, but I felt I had to at least set a few boundaries for myself or I’d be working all day and night, which I was determined not to do.

If you’re asking a friend to do a more minor task, such as great guests, hand out programs or even officiate the wedding, this can be a really nice and personal touch that still allows them to focus on the vows and ceremony of the day.

Is it Even Possible?

I once had a bride tell me she was considering having one of her bridesmaids be her photographer because that’s what she did for a living.  While I’m sure her portfolio was stunning, I strongly advised the bride against this.  First off, they would most certainly miss the celebration.  And secondly, I couldn’t even fathom how that could possibly work without her cloning herself so she could be in two places at once – behind the camera and in the bridal party portraits.   Consider their role both as a guest and as a vendor and how the two will both conflict and actually work quite smoothly together (i.e. – both roles require them to be in the same place and time).

While there’s certainly no way that I could imagine having another floral designer work on my sister’s wedding, I took the overall flow and schedule of the day into deep consideration, knowing that I could begin decorating and setting up the night before and as early as 6:00 am on the actual wedding day.  Without the flexibility, it would have been extremely difficult for me to juggle all of the tasks I had on my plate and I would have needed to subcontract additional help or sacrifice sacred time with my family.

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