One totally budget-savvy (and personal) tip often given to brides is to use your talented friends to help out with your wedding. We took full advantage of this option, and it turns out that we had lots of friend vendors willing to help out in different areas.
Unfortunately, friend-ors are not under contract in the same way as a traditional vendor, and so things are less set in stone, and more subject to change.
Recently, we've felt the sting of this. A friend of mine, who's done cakes and desserts for several weddings before, graciously volunteered to provide homemade cupcakes for our event at cost. She did a few sample batches for us and we discussed decoration plans. Meanwhile, I check dessert off my list and did no outside research. Then, in January, she came to me to let me know about a family conflict of interest that would prevent her from doing the cupcakes, and even from attending the wedding. She offered to make them way ahead of time and freeze them, but I was not up for defrosting and decorating the cupcakes on my own wedding day, so I needed a new dessert plan.
Around the same time, the friend of ours who is an incredible pianist, who was signed up to play for our cocktail hour let us know that he might have a conflict and wasn't sure if he could commit.
It's a complicated situation for us. We want to include our friends, but we don't want to leave things to the last minute, or risk things falling through. It's not always possible to have a backup plan. When involving friends, you run risks. Anyone else been in this situation? What are your thoughts on hiring friendors?