I heard a lot of mixed messages about using friendors while we were planning the wedding. Lots of people like to tell horror stories about Uncle Bob and his point-and-shoot camera, who ruined the wedding photos completely.
The only “outside” help we had for our wedding was the rental company, for the tent, chairs, and tables (from Have Tents Will Travel in Brockville), the linen rentals, from a separate company, and the hair salon for me, the bridesmaids, and Mom Dragon. Everything else was done by friends and family, and I’m here to say, it was a smashing success.
Mom Dragon created the bouquets for me and the ladies and boutonnieres for the men, a flower girl bouquet for Lily (Opie didn’t want one), a few big bouquets for the buffet tables, and a lapel arrangement for Mr. D’s grandma. Most of the bridesmaids’ bouquets were repurposed as centerpieces for dinner.
[SIL Melissa’s photo]
Verdict? She did an amazing job, and everyone knew it. I was not picky about our flowers at all—Mom couldn’t even get a decision out of me the day before the wedding, as I mentioned earlier—but they were right up my alley.
Mom Dragon also offered up her home as a venue, and it was the most perfect venue imaginable. Pretty much everyone who walked into the backyard was immediately impressed. She had to deal with 40-plus people using her bathroom, along with a ton of people staying overnight at the house on Friday, messing up the kitchen, and otherwise wreaking havoc on her home. It’s a lot more than your average hotel or banquet hall would provide, I think, so this friendor was very much a WIN.
FIL Dragon was our officiant and he did a great job. One of Mr. Dragon’s big fears was being stuck up at the altar, frozen and paralyzed because he’d have to abide by whatever the officiant told him to do (he has agoraphobia, and needs an exit strategy to really feel comfortable). It was really, really comforting for both of us to have someone we knew so well up there at the front, directing the show.
FIL Dragon really let us customize our ceremony, and rolled with the punches when we ad-libbed things or forgot a line. The parts we left up to him fit in perfectly with the predetermined sections, and the whole ceremony was really lovely. He also made it feel really important, rather than just the words you have to get through so you can get to the eating and drinking part.
I’m 90% sure we were his first wedding that took place with more than the bare basic witnesses, so we were great practice for when BM Ashley and GM/BIL Jesse get married in April 2014!
I think I look ridiculous in this picture but it’s all we have of BIL Chris—he’s good at hiding.
BIL Chris and Dad Dragon did a lot for us. Together they made and set out the food and drinks for the wedding, from cocktails and appetizers to dessert. It was a big, big undertaking, one that took a lot of work and effort, and it was so very much appreciated.
These guys took on a task that you normally would pay a team of people a lot of money to pull off, just because they wanted to help out (and BIL Chris said he was very happy to finally attend a wedding without having to wear a tie). The food was awesome, and such an amazing gift.
Last but not least, our final major friendor was our photographer, Rozy, who is a friend of mine from college. She came in on the train on Friday afternoon and stuck around till Sunday afternoon (and even helped tear down the wedding stuff while we were still at our hotel!). After the speeches we had her half off the clock, basically—I wanted her to be able to party and have fun, and if she was taking pictures at the same time, all the better.
She even made friends with all of my friends—I’m pretty sure she hung out with the bridesmaids at the hotel after the wedding.
There’s a reason I like to stay BEHIND the camera, and that’s because photographers make me nervous. I can’t even begin to express how awesome it was to have a good friend of mine there, camera in hand, to document the day. It felt like she SHOULD be there and just happened to be shooting, versus having a stranger there solely to take pictures.
I don’t even think we let her hit her full potential, because we cut off the posed photo taking early. That being said, a huge bonus of having a friendor photographer? Over 1,000 images, on my laptop, the day after the wedding. She sent us over a big chunk of edits about three weeks later.
To make things even more impressive—Rozy dislocated and fractured her pinky (the one on her shutter hand) nine days before the wedding and STILL did an awesome job. I’d recommend her to any southern Ontario brides!
So I’m spilling out love all over the place for our friendors, but I’ll give you a caveat.
If you’re going the friendor route, you really have to give up any kind of worries or expectations and be happy with what you get. Our friendors turned out to be super awesome and on the ball, but we still had a few minor flubs. But—we didn’t care! They did a great job, they went way beyond our dreams, and the little things were just that—little and unimportant. But if you want everything to go A-OK, perfectly to plan, you might want to hire people who do what they do all the time, for a living, at weddings.
Did you have any friendors handling your wedding? How did it work out?
All photos not otherwise indicated are by Rozy Seitz—those marked with an asterisk were edited, with permission, by me.