Do you have a friend or family member who has offered their professional services for your upcoming wedding? If so, Hooray! Weddings are collaborative, and they take a team of loved ones to plan quickly and successfully, and if you have a neighbor who owns a catering company or a friend who is constantly glued to her camera, it can sometimes be tempting to use their services for your impending nuptials. There are a few questions you should be asking yourself before proceeding, however, as friendly services can get messy if you haven’t thought them through. Ask yourself this before signing any acceptance emails:
Would Your Contact Be Missing the Wedding?
If this friend or family member could potentially, by any stretch of the imagination, be invited to the wedding, think twice about asking for their professional contribution. Even if they offer, you don’t want your friend or family member to be spending more time working on your wedding than enjoying it. Consider the implications of the task before asking for or accepting the help. This obviously isn’t a problem if you are being offered services such as invitation design or cake pop decorations, but using your best friend’s ukulele band or your aunt’s catering firm could cause those you love to miss out on the big moments of your wedding.
Whose Idea Was This? Will you Pay?
Again, if you know someone who specializes in a professional wedding service, using their services for your wedding is completely acceptable, but are you asking them to do this work for free? Sometimes we forget that our friends and family members have businesses to run and ever-growing bills to pay, and asking for a free service is not always the best choice for your relationship. If you really want this person’s contribution to be a part of your day, begin the conversation by asking what compensation they typically expect, and be willing to pay without alteration. If they want to offer the service to you pro bono, that’s their decision, but it should never be your expectation or implication. Even if they want to gift you their services, think of taking them out to dinner and drinks or purchasing a gift card for their favorite boutique as an extended thank-you (with a card, of course)!