Weddings can very easily be an expensive thing, and I am sure it must be so tempting when you have a friend or family member who is learning photography (who might be quite good at it) to want to ask them to shoot your wedding to save some money.
You can probably guess what side of the argument I'm on, but the last thing I want to do is sound like a snobby elitist so and so, so please let me explain:
Speaking as someone who is a Wedding Photographer and as someone who got married myself, your wedding day will only happen once. Once the day is gone, it's gone, and if your friend or family member has missed a special moment (as dramatic as it sounds) that memory is probably gone forever.
The day really does go by so fast and in the years to come it's amazing how much you forget about your own wedding day, and I do believe photography is the main thing that helps you, your family and your friends remember and relive your day.
Please don't underestimate the huge thing you are potentially asking your friend to do, what ever you say to them it's a big responsibility to photograph someones wedding day.
I have gone along to a couple of weddings where people have asked a friend to shoot their wedding instead of hiring a professional. I hate to say it, but I can usually spot them from a mile off. Feeling their pain and wanting to give them encouragement (and because I am a bit nosey too!) I'll usually go over to them, ask them how they're doing, are they the main photographer today and how are they getting on. Every time I mention what I do for a living, they let their guard down. "Are you really?! Oh my god I don't know what I'm doing, I'm only doing this as a favour! What settings should I have my camera on now? How do you do this every day? Can you take over for me please?!"
Photography is also such a diverse medium. There are so many areas of it you can specialise in and be good at. Your friend might be good at landscape photography or even portrait photography, and I could probably give let's say equestrian photography a go, but really it would be an educated guess as I've never really done it before. It's no accident that I can photograph a wedding. It's like anything, it takes a lot of practice.
But is it the same as asking a friend to make your wedding cake for example or something of that nature? I would say it's similar, but no. I'm sure it's also incredibly stressful and I couldn't make someone's wedding cake (even though I love baking). In that scenario, I would say your friend can have time to practice making your cake, if they don't get something quite right they can try again. If your friend is taking photos of the ceremony for example and they make exposure mistakes or they miss key moments, they can't just say "Sorry everyone, can we just do that again?"
I hope you found this helpful and happy wedding planning!
If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, feel free to get in touch.
Love & Stuff