Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We say Vendors... You say Friendors!

Isn't it wonderful to be surrounded by creative family and friends ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in with some of the wedding planning and implementation? Or is it?

Whether you have chosen to bring on Friendors (aka Family or Friends substituting for professional Vendors) to help reduce wedding costs or simply to get them involved in the wedding there are FIVE important things to consider and rules to follow in order to increase your chances of a harmonious and happy ending.

1. Understand what you are getting yourself into and be realistic about your expectations. Just because a floral arrangement or cake design looks easy doesn't mean it is easy to recreate. Often what you loved about a particular element is the magic that it exudes in its entirety (i.e. the freshness of the flowers, the size of the arrangement, the intricacy of the icing detail, etc.) and when recreated does not often end up looking like the original professional version. Be prepared to be okay with your Friendor's version of the original idea.

2. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! This one is huge. You must never assume that a Friendor understands what you mean unless you have specifically discussed and planned it out together. Better yet! Create a mock up of the concept and test drive the plan of action so everyone can be sure they understand exactly what is desired and expected. Pictures are worth a thousand words don't you know?!

3. Ask for a solid and sincere commitment from your Friendor. Make sure they understand what they are committing to. Many times family and friends will agree to help carry out a task or activity with the best of intentions, however, when the time comes they may not comprehend the importance of their role and can often be found to be unaccountable i.e. feels tired after a fun pre-wedding night party and assumes they won't be missed so "forgets" to show up, doesn't bring the right tools to get the job done, or perhaps shows up, but without the sense of urgency required to get the job done in time, etc.

4. You can't fire or critique a family member or best friend without compromising your relationship! So be sure the risk you are taking in appointing a Friendor into any particular role is not going to be jeopardized if a flower arrangement looks wilted or punny, the cake tastes awful or begins to melt one hour into the reception, or the first dance or ceremony processional song is wrong or doesn't start on cue.

5. Lastly, don't forget what goes up must come down! This is a point that is often overlooked and can turn what might have been a terrific DIY success story into a stressful end of the night expense and/or headache. The chair covers got put on, the floral arrangements were assembled and placed perfectly, the twinkle lights were wrapped around the pillars beautifully, but what happens at the end of the night? Most venues require that all decor and personal items be removed off the property at the end of the event. Those wonderful Friendors that volunteered their time and energy in getting everything set up are likely now exhausted and probably tipsy from a fun night of partying and in no state to spend 1-2 hours cleaning up and tearing down. The best way to avoid this common problem is to assign a separate Tear Down Team to disassemble and pack up all those fabulous decor bits & pieces (i.e. empty the water from the vases, wrap and pack them up in boxes, remove seat pads and stack rented chairs, etc.). This team should ideally be comprised of 2-4 members that have preferably refrained from drinking and are revved up and enthusiastic about working the Graveyard Shift.

We promise to inspire, inform & indulge!

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