The One with the Friendors

Hello. Have you ever thought to yourself—I wonder if I have any friends or family who work in the wedding industry? Or catering? Or photography? Hair and makeup? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a friend vendor…a friendor!

Ah, the friendor.

Talk about mixing business with pleasure.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of friendors. Why, you might ask? Because we have three. If it were up to me, we’d have even more than that, but there are some extenuating circumstances…more on that later.

Pros: Friendors are great resources to have because by and large they will give you some sort of discount/extra service/free crap etc. This obviously comes in handy when you’re working with a budget, which you know we are. They will typically be more flexible and helpful. You’re helping them help you…like Jerry Maguire.

Cons: There are some weird instances where people offer their music/design/catering services, where you don’t really share the same…let’s call it ”˜vision’ to keep it PC. You don’t want to offend them, but you also want the wedding to be what you want. Obviously this can cause some lingering issues years after the wedding takes place.

I recognize that every situation is different, so of course the above statement was a generalization, and knock on wood we have not had this situation yet.

What we do have is pretty great!

1. Photography: If you recall from my engagement photos post, we decided to use Cam’s former co-worker-slash-friend— Robert Ross! He’s giving us a deep discount, which is well appreciated in the photography department since Charleston wedding photographers average somewhere around $3,500 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). We will end up paying a fraction of that, and all we need to buy is a hotel room/meal! Plus he’s going to bring his family and hang out on the beach for a few days…win-win.

2. Music: Cam was in a fraternity in college (1-8-4-5-ALPHA-SIGMA-PHI!”¦brownie points for mentioning that) and, as such, has about a bajillion brothers/friends, which I think is great. It also means we have quite a diverse group of individuals. Lucky for us, one of those is the part owner of a DJ/Karaoke company based out of Charlotte—Chubby’s Karaoke. Besides holding some pretty rocking karaoke nights around town—check it out if you’re a Charlotte resident!—he’s done a ton of fraternity weddings, and ours is no exception. He wants to help us out, and we want to give him business. He’s a great friend and we also want to have him enjoy our wedding, so he’s going to send an employee to DJ our reception. Again, we need to pay for a hotel night and a meal.

3. Hair: As a result of Cam having a bajillion fraternity brothers, they all have a bajillion wives/girlfriends/fiances/baby mommas (there are three fraternity weddings this year alone…and four babies due!). Of course, these are the girls I have grown to become good friends with as I see them everywhere (we sound a little like a cult, don’t we?). Through one of Cam’s groomsman’s wife, I met an amazing friend named Caroline. Turns out, she was studying at the Aveda institute for hair! What started as a favor (I needed highlights and was poor, Caroline needed a model with blonde hair to show her boss/teacher that she knew what she was doing), blossomed into a friendship. Now, not only is she my hairdresser, she’s my friend! I wanted to ask her if she would do my hair for our wedding, but was going to wait until much closer to the wedding until she knew if she was going to be able to come to Charleston or not. But, at my last haircut/highlight appointment, she said “let me do your hair for your wedding! It’ll be my present to you!” I, of course, protested and said I would pay her, and she insisted “no, no—I’m a horrible gift giver!” Once again, win-win. Shameless plug: Go visit Caroline at Follicle Salon on East Blvd if you’re in Charlotte! Maybe we can chat while my foils are in!

I really want to have Cam’s father get ordained online because he’s a great public speaker, and he’s hilarious. He could have been a minister + entertainer…a ministainer!

From YouTube

There’s no one better, there’s no one greater!

Unfortunately, I can’t really find out if South Carolina recognizes the online ordinations. Anyone out there know? I think it would be an amazing, personal touch and I think it would mean a lot to him.

All in all, I’m very happy with our friendors. They have cut our would-be costs more than in half, and if we can get my FFIL ordained online, it would save even more.

Anyone else out there with friendors? What has your experience been? Are you saving a ton of money like we are? Want to see another Charlie photo (by popular demand)? Okay here you go!


personal photo


Mrs. Camera

Charlotte, NC/Charleston, SC
Wedding Date:
September 2013
A Sunday Kind of Love: The Wedding Week
Plane Food: The Tasting

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  1. Member
    faeriegirl05 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:19 am

    We are using a family member as our photographer, my great aunt has done all of our families big moments so it only seems fitting, all we have to pay is gas and hotel…

    As far as the online ordinations, I would check with the county office and see the restrictions. The county we are getting married in recently changed their restrictions so there are less hoops for us to jump through!

  2. Member
    MaggieL 494 posts, Helper bee @ 9:38 am

    Oh geez- our wedding was all friendors! Photographer, hair/makeup, DJ, band, catering, officiant…all either my friends or friends of my parents!

  3. mslemur Member
    mslemur 616 posts, Busy bee @ 10:03 am

    Email the county office and ask, because it varies from county to county! In Greenville County, I emailed the county office and got a reply within hours. I was asking about ordinations, too, but I was asking if Mr. Lemur’s dad could marry us, since he was once a minister but was ordained in another state and isn’t practicing anymore. She said “Once a minister, always a minister” and said it was completely fine. I don’t know if that helps but that was my experience!

  4. Member
    brooklyn55 743 posts, Busy bee @ 10:18 am

    We are using lots of friendors and is saving us lots and lots of money!! (Most of them are my parents friends though not mine). Our friendors include:

    Photography: My mom’s best friend from HS has a brother and he and his wife do photography. Usually for the duo its around 2,000 (about “middle of the spectrum” for photography around here) but is only charging us $600. We had my best friend from HS who is not a professional but just does it has a hobby do our e-pics.. and they are fine!

    Florist- My mom’s first cousin happens to own the biggest floral shop in town and they do AMAZING work. Although they are not close (this cousin is not even invited to our wedding) she offered to not pay for labor of the arrangements and is only charging for cost of flowers (with her bulk buying discount) which is saving us around $600.

    Hair- My FMIL’s best friend is a hair stylist. She has done my hair multiple times in the past, so of course, she is doing my hair. She lives in Raleigh (we are in Asheville) and has even driven up twice for trials. She is doing my hair as our gift, all she asked was $40 for gas. My roommate/good friend from college also does hair (she went to cosmetology school after we graduated) and is doing my BM hair for free (they are her friends as well, minus my cousin).

    DJ- While we don’t actually have close ties with the DJ, my best friend from high school who got married last April used him and when she said his name I was like “ohh, he was my 5th grade DARE officer” (hes a sheriff here in town and does DJ stuff on the side). When talking to him, I mentioned that and he took $300 off (usually $600, we are paying $300) just because I remembered him!

    Cake- My mom’s other friend goes to a church with a lady who worked in a big, upscale bakery but has since left and decided to go out on her own. She is just getting started and needs clients for her portfolio. While it is usually anywhere from $3-$6/slice around here ($3 being VERY basic cake..chocolate/white) we are paying $1.50 and getting 4 different unique flavors on our 4 tier cake!

    Basically, we have a friendor for everything except the venue (which includes our catering and all rental litems), the harpist, invites and make-up) and we have saved TONS of money!!

  5. Member
    deusexmchna 7 posts, Newbee @ 10:39 am

    Yay friendors! I’m asked my cousin with a photography business if she would do our pictures and she not only said she will do them for free but also our engagement pics! We’re having the grooms brother handle DJing since thats a side business of his and he will do it for free.
    My mom’s friend has a unofficial catering business and she will do it on a heavy discount (we only pay for the food and a small labor charge) and shes making the cake for us as well! and my lawyer cousin will be the JP! It’s saving us a LOT of money and stress! I think I’ll be doing my own makeup but hair I might have my MOH or a BM do it since one styles wigs a lot for costumes and the other just does her hair a lot anyways!

  6. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:07 am

    Friendors FTW! Also, we joke that my cousin – BM/Rev. Fun – who is officiating is the Joey of our circle. :)

  7. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 2:11 pm

    OMG, I love your dog. Seriously.
    Your friendors sound like they will do an awesome at your wedding!

  8. Member
    may2013wedding 110 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:13 pm

    My dad’s girlfriend is a hair dresser and said she would do my hair, my cousin is ordained and will be marrying us, cousin works for a brewery in Asheville and is getting us free kegs, and everything else we are DIYing on a budget.

  9. sword Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:29 pm

    I LOVE all your Friends references and your post titles, so fun! :)

  10. mssquirrel Member
    mssquirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 7:17 pm

    You crack me up! I wish we had some friendors in the area to hit up….does it count that some of our vendors are becoming our friends? reverse friendor anyone?

  11. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:25 am

    @Miss Squirrel: Our photographers are definitely our reverse friendors. Love them!

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