ASK THE EXPERT: Should a Friend Provide Services for Your Wedding?

Wedding planner and etiquette expert Mark Kingsdorf helps us out with this wedding + friendship stumper

Question: My good friend is a truly talented graphic artist, so when she offered to design my wedding invitations for me, I took her up on it. Problem is, I think what she came up with is awful — but she thinks it’s fabulous! How do I not send these invitations out, but not offend my friend?

Answer: “Before you get too far into this situation, you need to really look at what it could do to your relationship,” says Mark Kingsdorf, owner of Philly’s The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants. Situations like this one are exactly what you need to think about before enlisting a friend’s services — be it with the invitations, photography, wedding cake, or anything — for your wedding day. If you feel like you would rather not mix business with pleasure, tell your friend that, and that you’d rather them just enjoy themselves as a guest at your wedding, instead of having to work.

However, if you find yourself already in this sort of pickle, you just need to talk to her. “She’s already too far into this, so she needs you, at some point, to be honest. Tell her, ‘You’re so talented and I appreciate your offer, but I don’t know if this really reflects my fiancé and I. Can we work on this some more so that it better reflects the two of us as a couple?’ Hopefully you can steer her in a direction that’s more attractive to you, without hurting her feelings.” — Carrie Denny, with reporting by Kaitlin Dirkx

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