It is a common occurrence for friends to become temporary wedding vendors. There are pros and cons to this practice. The obvious pro is lowered cost. In fact, many friends will take pictures, design your programs or make your cake for free. I will admit that this can work out well, if the friend is actually trained in that area, especially if they do it for a living and just want to give their buddy a discount.
However, I never recommend it. I have seen too many disasters where friends gave their services as a wedding gift. The first problem that I see which is often overlooked until the bride is in the middle of it, is that the bride and groom often can’t be completely honest with their friend. For instance, if the friend is going to be the dress maker, the bride can tell the friend what she envisions, but if there is any miscommunication, the bride must decide whether she is willing to, and if there is time to, tell the friend so she can fix it. Now, what if the friend just wanted to help and gets defensive when she’s told it’s not right? This and any number of similar circumstances can cause unnecessary conflict.
Another problem is that, even if everything runs smoothly, you can end up with a bad product. There’s a whole lot more to photography than point and shoot. Stationery is much more impressive when it’s not made with clip art. The average housewife probably doesn’t have all the supplies and knowledge she needs to bake a wedding cake the way you want.
Now, as I said before, it can be done and it can be successful. However, I highly recommend that you think really hard before passing up a professional vendor. In fact, if your fear is money, talk to the vendor about it. They may be able to give you individual services or a custom package for a lower price than the whole shibang.