Hiring a friend could ruin your wedding day and your friendship.
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One of the best ways to ruin your wedding and a friendship is to hire a friend as a part of your wedding day. The exception to this rule is unless they are a full time wedding professional.
I have been a full time dj since 1990. During this time span I have worked for hundreds of friends and family members. I have to tell you that for me, it is beyond stressful. I always want to do an awesome job for every client I work for however when it comes to someone that I know personally, I choose to take it to a new level of detail. I realize that I will see them in my life for a very long time and in some cases for the rest of my life. If a mistake of any kind is made, it will haunt me. While I choose to look at my responsibility this way, more often than not I have seen this ruin both wedding days and relationships.
Recently, I booked a wedding couple and during the consultation, I asked the couple who else they had considered for their wedding day. They explained that the bride’s father had a close friend who was originally going to dj the wedding and then he and the bride’s father got into a knock down drag out fight about god knows what. This left the couple scrambling for a dj. We were available for the day and we happily booked them. One month later, they called me wanting to know if they could cancel because the bride’s father and his friend were friends again. I explained that they could cancel and explained the cancellation policy in our contract with them. They understood and they said they would speak to their father. They chose to stay with my company. One month later, they called me again wanting to cancel because the father’s friend was now insisting on giving them his dj services as their wedding present. I once again gave them my cancellation policy but pointed out to them that if this person was such a close friend, why not let him be a guest at the wedding. I would also be happy to let him do the introductions as a way of including him into their reception. She is currently still trying to figure out what to do next.
This is simply one example of the hundreds that I can tell you about based on my experience in this industry. Too often, we hire people we know assuming that since they are a friend, they will go above and beyond for us and they may also give us a friend and family discount. If you have a friend in the wedding business, please grill them even harder than any other company you are considering to make sure that your friend is indeed focused on your wedding day the way that you want it.
It is very easy for a friend working your wedding to feel that having cocktails at your wedding is ok since he/she is a friend of yours. It isn’t ok and this happens all the time. When a friend is a wedding vendor there is a good chance that he/she will also know other guests at the wedding. This means that conversations will happen during your wedding with each other. It is only natural to catch up with friends after all. If the wedding vendor is catching up with old friends instead of focusing on djing, officiating, photographing or taking video on your wedding day, you as the client now have a problem.
When I have done friends weddings in the past, I am typically also invited as a guest. I bring out a full crew and usually personally emcee the wedding until dancing starts and then I am a guest. The client has a full professional staff dedicated to their event and I am then allowed to catch up with old friends, have some cocktails when I am done emceeing and I can enjoy myself. The most important thing though is that my friend has a professional crew making their wedding day amazing.
As a full time wedding professional, I get phone calls on a weekly basis from panicked couples because a friend, or a friend of a friend have backed out of being a part of the wedding and can I help.
Do your homework and make no assumptions. Your wedding day is too important to be left to a friend that is more interested in being a guest at your wedding as opposed to a wedding professional.