Friday, May 7, 2010

Friendly Contract

We've all been there:  a close family friend, childhood neighbor, co-worker who also happens to have a talent (DJ,  photography, baking cakes, creating invitations), and offers their services for your event.  As an added bonus, it is budget what do you do now?? 

Okay, if you aren't interested in their services and are looking for the right way to handle the situation, just let them know that you have already booked the service.  Another way to handle it is if the person is attending the event, let them know that you would rather they enjoy the party instead of working it and thank them for such a kind offer.

Now, if you happen to be interested in the offer, here are some important things to remember.

~Will they give you the professional feeling you were looking for?  If you are thinking that your friend can take photographs of your special day, will they know the tricks of the trade, lighting issues, and how to catch those spontaneous moments that can't be captured in a reshoot?  Or, if you friend happens to know how to bundle flowers, will they be able to create the arrangements you have been dreaming about your entire life?  These are honest questions you need to ask yourself.

~Can you honestly interact with a friend or co-worker about their service?  As a perfect example, the bride went for her hair trial and hated it.  HATED it, but didn't feel that she could be honest because this was a family friend who had been doing her hair forever and this was a gift.  The last thing the bride wanted was to sound ungrateful, but she hated the hairdo.

~Ask for a contract!  Yes I said it, ask for a contract between you and the friend who is providing the service.  This is to protect both of you in the end, and shouldn't be looked upon as a bad thing.  There is a reason why all of us professionals have contracts and would never enter into an agreement without one.   Remember to state everything that is agreed upon, and that it is clear and easy to understand what trade will be happening.  This way, if your friend ends up agreeing to create 65  wedding invitations for free and you add an additional 20 guests to your list, you clearly understand that you will need to pay for this. 

These are just a few simple things to remember when planning an event and dealing with offers from your friends and family.  There are times that with an important event, sticking to professionals and having your friends and family enjoy the event with you might be the way to go!

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