Category Archives: Friendors

Might As Well Jump

When we first met our planner, I explained that we’d be using a friendor photographer, and that part of the reason is I don’t want to be instructed to do the silly things that have somehow become mainstays of professional wedding photographers’ must-have shot lists.

In particular, I made fun of the ubiquitous photo of the wedding party mid-jump.  Possibly trying to secure the contract, maybe just being of the same mindset, our wedding planner said, “Ugh.  I don’t work with photographers who make people jump.”

Friends, I am here to announce that I have turned around on the subject of the jumping wedding party photo.

This is because while visiting Collin’s family last weekend, I looked through his parents’ album from Carrie [Collin’s twin sister] and Matt [her husband and my former law school colleague]’s wedding, and the two-page spread of the wedding party jumping was maybe my favorite thing in the book.

[This is the part where I would show you the photo in question, but I can’t because their professional photographer owns the copyright.  Another reason I am so excited to have a friendor photographer available!  Creative Commons License WHAT WHAT!]

I now understand that the point of the wedding party jump photo is to provide fodder to mock your friends and family:

“Jessica’s gonna have to work on her vertical if she ever wants to get off JV”

“There’s Justin taking off for his world famous triple lutz-triple toe combo!”

“Based on the expression of joy on Collin’s face, I’m gonna guess part of him was hoping he had just learned how to fly.”

Now, those were all actual insults tossed while looking at Matt and Carrie’s wedding party jump.  But with the power of imagination, I’ve realized another big selling point for the wedding party jump photo: what better way to preserve some of the most dramatic moments of your special day!?    You can capture forever the moment before your sister snapped off her high heel.  Remember trying to glue it back on with Big Red and a can of Aqua Net?  Oh, the laughs.  You can see the precise second the best man strained his Achilles tendon, which lead to that classic Percoset-influenced toast at the reception!  Uncle Roy still quotes the best parts every Thanksgiving.

Without the wedding party jump photo, not only would these memories not be preserved in an album, they would have never happened.   And a wedding day without ruined shoes and untimely injuries is like a wedding without CAKE.

So there’s one wedding culture mystery solved.  Maybe someday I’ll figure out why people always take pictures of their wedding dress on a satin hanger.


On Friendors

This week’s inbox poison from The Knot is the “Top 10 Wedding Planning Myths,” the first of which is “hiring friends is the same as hiring wedding vendors.”  In the busting of this myth, The Knot warn that no matter how brilliant and talented your friends may seem, they are inexperienced with the delicate field of weddings and therefore will be one of your lifelong wedding regrets.

Does “shut up” go without saying?

Although honestly, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, The Knot is right.  Hiring friends is not the same as hiring wedding vendors.  Allow me to mythbust:

1. Friends are generally more affordable than wedding vendors. Sometimes even free!

2. Friends are more pleasant to be around than wedding vendors. Personally, I prefer having a close friend hang out with me for hours on my wedding day, using his familiar photography catch phrases of “this is nothing!” (for test shots) and “Laa!” (to force natural smiles) than some stranger who might, for example, always try to shoot me from my right so you can’t see the scar on my eyebrow.  Because Stranger doesn’t know I like the scar on my eyebrow, and frankly I don’t want to have to put a scar-representation clause in my contract.

3. Friends care more about you than do wedding vendors. Wedding vendors want to avoid breach of contract and want to secure a nice tip and good word of mouth.  Your friends want to be a part of what makes your wedding wonderful. That sounds more valuable to me.

So we’re trying to use friendors as much as we can (almost definitely for photography, probably for ceremony music, but we have a lot of negotiating ahead).  I’m really not concerned about “not getting the same results.”  What does give me pause about hiring friends is I want them to enjoy our wedding instead of feeling on the clock.  If I wrote for the Knot, and I needed to soullessly terrify brides into hiring wedding professionals, I would definitely emphasize that concern.  [Dear The Knot, please see “contact” on the right margin to inquire about my freelancing rates when the time comes for next quarter’s wedding myth column.  Kisses!]

How about you? Are you using any friendors?  Have you any doubts?

P.S. I really enjoyed this post a few weeks back on A Cupcake Wedding, poking fun at how friendors are not necessarily available to all, nevertheless emphasizing that if you are so blessed as to have friends with wedding-adaptable talents, take advantage of it!