As my fiance and I began brainstorming our wedding budget, we thought of ways and areas to cut corners. Food and photography were categories we thought we would be willing to splurge a bit. But invitations--those are at the bottom of our list. Seriously, who really saves the invitation? Besides maybe Mom? Then we thought of people we could ask for help. Family members who are artistic and crafty can help with any DIY projects, maybe my printer co-workers can help with the stationary. While we thought about all the help we can ask for, we were consious of the fact that many of these peope would be doing us huge favors. Unlike hired vendors, our friends and family, or "friendors" are taking out time and money so we can save some. We told ourselves that we should never forget that.
When a good friend of mine and her boyfriend offered to spend a day taking our engagement photos for free (and free retouching), we wanted to make sure we show them how truly grateful we were. We picked them up so they didn't have to drive to San Clemente for the shoot and we paid for their meals throughout the day. Sure that may have cost us 40 or so dollars, but how much would we have paid to hire a professional photographer? I thought the photos turned out just as nice anyways, and now my fiance and I have photos we can cherish forever. Also, just because your family members or friends can offer their services, don't expect them to do it for free. Do your research. If a friend of a friend normally charges $4000 for photography, and you know the minimum cost of most photographers run at about $1,000, then don't get upset if they offer you a quote of $600. The point is, no matter how stressful the planning process is, don't treat your family and friends like slaves. Always show your appreciation and be genuine about it.The more confident you'll be that they'll do their best because they know you value their friendship.