Friends doubling as Vendors

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Friends doubling as Vendors

    I will definitely agree with the comment that when you hire a friend as your vendor, they are no longer a guest.  This was a problem for one friends wedding that FI videotaped.  I didn't care too much during the ceremony, but the rest of the night FI was busy videotaping.  He barely even ate dinner!  I was sad because I wanted to have fun and dance with him, but he was too busy.  So it sort of ruined my night (and his too since he worked the whole wedding).

    Since then, I made him agree to only tape friend's ceremonies, not reception, and he agrees.  That works fine!

    Anyway, you may want to take this into consideration if you ask a friend to work your wedding.
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Friends doubling as Vendors

           Ash - I very much agree.  Pro or amateur,  skilled amateur or hack who thinks he is great -  you really need to look at more than your relationship.
         For pros - assess the quality of their work, and check around for business rep with customers.   If 10-15% of a photographer's clients routinely are taking 4-6 months to get work that should be delivered in 6 weeks, or are filing small claims or protests with BBB, you cannot truly figure, well I'm a buddy, we will get top service.   If times are tough, few paying jobs, and you are getting a 20% break - the wedding the week before yours that pays 130% of usual fees is the priority - and you, paying 80%, you he will get to your stuff when there is time.
         Florists with a rep for using flowers of poor quality, promising calla lilies and substituting carnations,  will do it to you too.  Even friends and family get their usual sloppy work, if that is their standard.

         We had very good luck with a couple of friends.  One did flowering plants, huge and gorgeous, from bulbs and seeds.  She was a pro flower arranger.  Home with 3 kids under 4 and pregnant, she had time over a 4 month period to start plants on schedule and water them.  But bouquets, taking many uninterrupted hours, neither of us saw as possible with her demands on time by family.  A pro florist 3 hours drive from her (near venue) did bouquets.  Brothers, mine and FI's, transported all the plants days before the wedding.  The day before, this friend, one sister, aunt and I spent less than an hour transferring them to peanut baskets and hanging pots.  So we were very much helped in costs, hugely beautiful plants at soil, seed and bulb cost for 90%, plus a few purchased exotics she arranged with a nursery.  In the week of the wedding, we only needed 2 hours of her time.   She could not leave us up a creek, because it was never her style, and because we did not let her promise more than was reasonable.  

        FI had a student friend, just graduating, do photos, and again it worked because very clear agreements were made on absolutely doable numbers of shots  posed, numbers of candids only over 2 hours, and the 15 minute ceremony.  So not too much to edit. 
         Digital stuff, and some on film, but little enough so we got over 200 shots that were all great on CD, and 48 film prints, in 10 days.   Never out of our control long. 
         He had only 1 other project in the works.  So when we decided on prints and albums, which took us a while,  he had a 2 week turnaround for 3 types of albums, and all requested prints.    Our bonus was greater than his agreed on fee. 

        We both learned the hard way over time.  We each (before we met) had family and friends with lots of skills, many who operate on barter.
         We both learned - what type of promises and work quality you take on trust,  and what is never delivered by some people. 
    Who thinks they can operate power tools over 12 hours when they start their case of beer at 10 am!!!!!  A real eye opener.       
         The wedding helper friends went so well because we and friends have lived with / helped others recover from disasters, as well as successful projects.  Not magic.

           Screen friends and do not expect extraordinary effort.  Don't ask for help during their busy season.  No super Moms and Dads who think that they will arrange 25 bouquets, after 3 hours at the flower market,  with their very good kids coming along.  No pros who  plan on 20 hours a week for 4 weeks to edit your photos and video on top of a full time paying client load, because no one does 4   80 hour weeks of work at peak performance, no matter how good their intentions.   People have their own lives.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Friends doubling as Vendors

    Sorry Fram I didn' t get back to you sooner, but Rappi did a great job going through the ropes. Could not have said it better myself.

    Of course a contractor has to stay w/i the budget and his contract. That is why there is a contract. But one big problem is that most new homeowners and people that build from scratch, often don't know, what they actually want. They go through all those fancy mags and build their own dream castle. So, along the way tons of changes are made to the original contract. F. ex., the contractor usually give a certain allowance for kitchen and appliances, which include "off the shelf" kitchen cabinets and good old standard appliances. But now the wife wants custom made cabinets and a Miele or Bosh dishwasher, bc her sister has one. A Zero refrigerator and maybe a stove top with a grill is also a must. The tiles in the foyer get changed to marble or granite and the deck off the kitchen get enlarged. We had a client, who after the foundation was poured and the walls up, decided his new living room was not large enough to accommodate the baby grand, they eventually wanted to buy. So he asked us to extend it 5 feet (to a tune of $50,000 and they still don't have the baby grand). All these changes are expensive. Much more than if they had been included in the original contract. So after the job is done, the homeowner will tell you that the contractor quoted him x amount of dollars, but that it cost him xx amount and thus give the contractor a bad reputation.

    But if the client stick to the original specifications, there is no way the contractor can ask for more money. Unless there are some special circumstances like an unknown oil spill from an old oil tank, or if when the foundation is dug, they find a rock and they have to dynamite it.

    The general contractor is also responsible for paying his sub contractors. Your family does not have to deal with them. The GC should have a contract as well with all his his subs, and we always get a lien agreement signed by our subs every time we pay them. This way they cannot come back and haunt me or you - even though they often try.

    The credit card story is totally beyond ethics. I have never heard such thing. I know this contractor is a friend, but he should be reported to BB.

    ETA: One more thing I forgot to add. It is quite common, that many small contractors underbid jobs - just so they can be considered. Then ask for extras later on. We usually ask for several bids from different subs, but never take the lowest. It would be a good practice for any home owner to do the same.

    In Response to Re: Friends doubling as Vendors:
    In Response to Re: Friends doubling as Vendors : Hi Pingo!  I'm glad you posted this because I was just thinking of doing an OT post...  I hope you can share some of your insight as an insider... Here is what happened to my family members (long story short):  They hired their friend to be the general contracter on the house they bought.  They had a contract saying that all of the work would cost X amount and this amount was worked into their home loan.  When all was said and done, the guy wanted almost $10k more.  Not only that, but the people working under him, electrician for example, said they hadn't been paid enough and they wanted their money.  Can a contracter ask for more money like that?  Isn't it his job to make sure the electrician, etc. get paid their share?  I know you're not a lawyer, but I figured I'd ask for your insight as an insider.  The contracter had also asked them to open a credit card, charge some materials on it, and reimburse themselves when the rest of the loan came through.  My dad is a self-employed tradesman and he was especially horrified by that part of the story! Thanks!!!!
    Posted by framerican51008
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from lovetoplan. Show lovetoplan's posts

    Re: Friends doubling as Vendors

    It's tricky.  I've done multiple weddings as a coordinator and as a DJ.  I've also ordered tons of wedding invitations for friends.  Honestly, I don't miss it.  I got sick of being taken advantage of by people who claimed to be my friends.  Just now I got an email from a friend's mother asking me to make their card box for their wedding next month.  I've been laid up with a herniated disc and haven't been able to use my primary arm since June, but, yeah, why not ask LTP to make a custom card box?  As DJs we used to always have friends asking for "favors" like $200 to DJ a 8 hr party.  And they didn't get that it was WORK for us. 
    Now, we have done weddings as gifts and those were fine.  I think the horror shows just stick out in my head more. 
    If you are laid back and your friend offers, it can work.  You need to remember that if this person is a professional, then it's a business transaction too and not just a friend doing you a favor.  Walk a fine line with this one. 

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Friends doubling as Vendors

    Thanks so much Rapunzel and Pingo!  I appreciate the info.  You pretty much confirmed what I had assumed... But I figured maybe I was naive in assuming that it should be logical :o)
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from butterfly1313. Show butterfly1313's posts

    Re: Friends doubling as Vendors

    these are things that i did not even think about
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Friends doubling as Vendors

    In Response to Re: Friends doubling as Vendors:
    these are things that i did not even think about
    Posted by butterfly1313

    Had you been considering hiring a friend, butterfly? 

    Are you new?  I don't remember seeing your screenname before.  Anyway, welcome!!