|"Please let me make your bouquet..."|
As soon as everyone catches a whisper of your engagement (yes, even if you try to keep it secret, the word will still spread) the calls, emails, text and Facebook messages will pour in. Of course, most of these will be of congratulations (but we hope they ALL will, right?), but some will also be an offer of help in one way or another. Your sister wants to do the planning, your mother wants to be your florist, and your uncle offers his sound system up for your use. Hey, there's nothing like getting free or cheap stuff for your wedding, right? Especially considering the expense! However, before you accept their offers, consider a few things:
We all have a hard time saying 'no' to our family and friends. This includes when they are making decisions for your wedding that may not necessarily be for the best or even what you want. A professional has a special interest in making you happy and specializes in what they do. Would you ask a friend to install your roof if they weren't already a professional?
- Are they a professional?
You both want to be on the same page. Signing a contract with the details of what they will be providing for you help to ensure that your pink wedding cake with fresh white flowers on top doesn't arrive an hour late as white cupcakes with fondant pink flowers.
- Will there be a contract?
Unfortunately, money talks. If your college friend with a nice camera with aspirations of becoming a photographer receives an offer for a paid gig the same day as your wedding, the chances are high that your wedding is going to get the boot.
- Is there money involved?
This can actually substitute for #1. It is entirely reasonable to want your best friend to craft your wedding attire for you because you love the many things she's (or he's) made in the past. Just make sure everyone is on the same page and that there's proper compensation/motivation.
- Are they experienced?
All of this can still apply when you have a small budget, too. There's a wide range of vendors in the industry and many will work with your budget. Just remember to consider all of the above when choosing to hire a friend or family member.
Stay tuned for next week's tip about wedding budgets!