Ask The Expert: Do Friends Make Good Wedding Vendors?

Doesn’t it seem, sometimes these days, like everyone and their mother has some sort of side skill? They make amazing cupcakes or they’ve got a letterpress machine in their basement or they craft pretty little feathery hair accessories over the weekends? Whether more people are looking to make some money on the side or have just made the decision to devote real time to hobbies that make them happy, we seem to be hearing about this particular wedding issue more and more these days, so we thought it begged repeating. We’d love to hear from you, though, if you’ve come up against this dilemma — tell us how it was resolved in the comments!

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 to be safe, 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.” — with reporting by Kaitlin Dirkx


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