Don’t Let Friendors become Frenemies | Hiring Friends as Vendors

Posted in Weddings, Vendors, Advice

Now more than ever before being an entrepreneur is becoming more of a norm with the shortage of well-paying jobs in the corporate world and every now and again we come across a client wanting to have a ‘Friendor’ of theirs take part in their event as their photographer, caterer, florist, DJ, and so on.

I am all about hiring those you can trust but hiring a friend as a vendor is concerning to us because many clients fail to get the commitments of their friends in writing and both client and Friendor can end up being disappointed with the results.

Disappointments can go on and on, from your Friendor drinking too much at the event, not delivering photos in reasonable time (1 year later), being late, talking to everyone they know at the event and not working and so on.  On the other side, the client may fail to see that they are indeed hiring their friend, and could take months to pay them back or look for a serious discount.

It is important to remember that when working with a friend it is still a professional relationship and should be treated that way. The same service your Friendor gives to others is the same service you should expect, and your Friendor should expect a reasonable client as well. Demanding serious discounts would be unfair to your friend and very disrespectful. After all, this is their way of living.

If you decide you want to go ahead and have a Friendor conduct a service for you, then you need to agree on a few things to ensure you get the service you want and that your Friendor feels as though their professional business is not being taken advantage of, so expectations are met and everyone is on the same page.

To avoid disappointment on your event day, I suggest that both parties come together to compile a contract, agree and sign!

If your Friendor runs a professional business, chances are they will already have contracts in place that they use for clients and that contract can be used for your event and any special requests or concessions agreed upon, within reason of course!

Your agreement should include some basics such as dates and schedules. This covers the date of the service to be provided and time commitments needed leading up to the event, it should also cover the deposit amount as well as payment dates and schedules. It should also include scope of work. You will want to include specifics about what the service is, how many hours your Friendor is agreeing to work for, timelines for when the work will be complete (especially for photography or videography) and so on.

I suggest including arrangements in case your Friendor cannot perform their duties and who will take their place, a cancellation policy in case anything comes up or you decide to no longer work with each other. You also may want to agree that your Friendor provides you with a proof of insurance document so that you as the client cannot be held liable for any damaged equipment or goods.

The agreement should not be something that either party gets upset about, it is about mutual respect and meeting expectations. If either party is unwilling to sign a contract, think twice about working together because after all, it is your reputation and you won’t want to be disappointed with your friend or worse, become frenemies. 

It is better to protect and support one another because all is fair in love and friendship especially when everyone is on the same page!


Have you ever hired a Friendor for your event? How was the experience, would you change anything? Were you both happy with the results? 

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