Should We Have Our Friend Be Our Wedding Photographer?

Q: My fiance’s friend is a photographer and he has offered to shoot our wedding. Which sounds great but he’s not a wedding photographer. He works for a magazine and mostly shoots things around the city like restaurants and parks. My FH is all for it because it’s going to save us money, but honestly I’m a little hesitant. What’s the best thing to do?- Ally

A: It’s so nice when friends offer to pitch in to the wedding, especially when you can utilize their talents and save yourself money in return because the average cost of photographer for wedding has risen quite a bit lately. And if you have a friend who’s a makeup artist who has made you look gorgeous before, or a baker who has amazing skills when it comes to cakes, then by all means take them up on their offer! But there are three wedding vendors I always try to steer brides away from hiring their friends for: A wedding planner, DJ, and yes…photographer!

If your FH’s friend was an accomplished wedding photographer whose work you loved, than that would be a different situation (can your FH become BFF’s with Jose Villa?!). When it comes to weddings it’s not just about being a good photographer. Weddings are SO much different than regular photo shoots that you really want someone who is experienced shooting them at yours.

So what’s the best way to handle this, with the photographer and your FH? I would let your FH know your concerns, and that you would feel more comfortable going with a professional wedding photographer for something as precious as your wedding photos. A gentle way for your FH to politely decline his wedding day offer is to say that he really wants to be able to spend time and have fun with him at the wedding, and if he’s your photographer that will be hard. Say that while you’ve already been talking to a wedding photographer whose work you love, that you would be honored if he would take your engagement photos instead. A lot of photographers charge extra for that, so it’s something you’d be saving money on and it would let your FH’s friend contribute in a meaningful way.

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  1. says: Adria Church

    Thanks so much for sharing our photo! It’s funny that you used it for the cover of this article, because this bride was, in fact, a great friend of mine. I think your advice is excellent, and I hear from so many past brides who went with friends and regretted it.