It may seem easier to hire a friend to play a part in your wedding day, be sure you understand all of the risks & rewards with hiring "friend-ors" instead of vendors.
Even if you aren't paying your friend to be one of your vendors but perhaps as a stand-in photographer, officiant or wedding planner, you will still be hiring them to do a job. It tends to become a grey area since you don't have any legal contracts, terms, conditions or deadlines. You may also end up not wanting to push boundaries, blur lines or hurt any feelings which would end up in you ultimately being upset on your wedding day.
They may know you but they won't know the wedding industry. They won't know how to seamlessly work with the other professional vendors you have hired. In the example of hiring your friend as an officiant, it is so important to have a wedding planner present. Your friend won't know to move out of the way for the first kiss, they won't know how to cue the music for the processional, or to remind the guests to take their seats. Having a friend perform your ceremony will make everything very personal and emotional, but you still require a professional onsite to coordinate everything behind the scenes.
Your friend may end up making the day all about them, unintentionally. In the example of having a friend as your photographer, you may think you are getting a steal of a deal. They may not know how to back up your photos, they likely won't have the software programs to upload them to a gallery for easy access online and they certainly won't know which photos are must-haves on the wedding day. I once worked with a friend-or photographer who missed the first kiss! That is not a moment you can ever get back. They are also likely trying to build their own portfolio and make photos that represent what they envision their brand/style will be, rather than truly trying to understand what you want.
Your friend will probably make mistakes or do things you aren't happy with. In the example of hiring a friend as your wedding coordinator, he/she won't know how to properly coordinate the vendors. There will be gaps in communication and that will be visible to your guests. Your guest experience may be compromised by improper timing or direction. He/she might show up with a god-awful piece of décor that they want to display that is now part of your wedding photos without your knowledge. Telling a vendor that you are unhappy with something is 1000 times easier than telling a friend because you aren't worried about hurting the vendor's feelings.
The bottom line is that friends/family and money don't mix. It's an awkward situation for everyone when something goes wrong. It also keeps your friends/family members from having fun on your wedding day since they are trying to do their "job". Or worse, they don't take the job seriously and you miss out on the magic of the most important day of your lives. Blurred lines also often mean missed deadlines, tardy arrivals or incomplete tasks.
There are tons of ways to help incorporate or honour the people most important to you without having them replace a professional vendor if you need ideas, send us an email.