You just got engaged and lucky for you, you already know the perfect wedding planner! Getting engaged when your friend or family member who works in the wedding industry can be that much more exciting! I know your first thought is to ask them to coordinate your wedding instead of hiring an independent coordinator, but let’s talk through some pros and cons (spoiler alert: it’s mostly cons).
2. It can be difficult to keep a professional relationship with someone you’re personally connected to. Wedding planning is stressful. Talking about sensitive topics like budget with someone you’re close to, but not that close to, can be awkward. This person likely knows about some of your family drama, what you spend money on instead of saving for your wedding, and so much more. Trying to draw a professional line in that relationship can really complicate things. Often enough, friendships are lost when this happens. The coordinating friend doesn’t feel appreciated, and you’re now stressed that you’ve lost your coordinator and friend. This risk just isn’t worth it.
3. The potential for uncomfortable situations is really high. Your coordinator should be someone with no strings attached and your advocate that can stand up for you against anyone. When Grandma insists you just have to dance to the same song she did when she got married, your coordinator will step in and kindly let her know that is not the plan. Your BFF, however, probably doesn’t want to be in hot water with your grandmother. It’s harder for friends to step in and advocate since they’re risking their image as your friend. Who wants to be in trouble with their best friend’s family? On another note, what if your BFF isn’t doing a good job? How do you have that delicate conversation with her without hurting her feelings? A professional is someone you hired specifically to do their job to the best of their ability. Discussing with them can even be difficult, but there are no personal feelings involved.
4. They might lack experience. If your friend or family member is a professional in this field, this obviously would not be a concern. However, your BFF who helped plan prom back in high school is definitely not experienced enough to plan a wedding. If they haven’t worked weddings before, they may not know what problems to be prepared for. For example, we bring an entire wedding day emergency kit full of things brides and grooms often need on their special day. From bobby pins and a Tide-To-Go pen, to snacks and Advil, we are prepared for anything. We know what time your caterer should arrive for set up, and can help your florist adjust last-minute details. Professional planners are there to help, and know exactly what to do in any circumstance.
5. What if they don’t do a good job? If your BFF isn’t a professional, things are so much more likely to even go wrong in the first place. Professionals are trained. They have experience and expertise in this exact field. With any professional, you’ll sign a contract agreeing to specific services. If these services aren’t met, or are met to a sub-par standard, there are consequences and steps you can take to right these wrongs. If your Aunt messes up your ceremony, how can you be reimbursed for that? You really need to consider the worst case scenario here. If a professional vendor really messes up, you will most likely get your money back as the bare minimum. If your Aunt messes up, there likely is no contract that ensures she rights her wrongs. You’re also, more importantly, risking a valuable relationship. If your friend or family member is a professional, use them as a resource instead! Being in the wedding industry leads to tons of great connections. They’ll be able to recommend florists, photographers, and maybe even other planners who they trust to do an awesome job! This can definitely help cut down on time spent searching for vendors.
Instead of hiring your friend as your wedding coordinator, consider using him or her as a backboard for ideas. Ask if they are willing to give you advice and guide you through your planning process. When the big day comes, you will not regret having a 3rd party, professional coordinator there to ensure all goes well. There is so much on the line when mixing personal relationships with professional ones, and the cons entirely outweigh any potential pros you might have. Your BFF can hear your ideas, offer opinions or advice, but should be able to enjoy your wedding day with you.
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Bianca Nichole Events is a wedding planner in Austin, and will travel to San Antonio, Fredericksburg and the surrounding Texas Hill Country area.