I've seen it too many times... Brides and grooms who let their friends or family members photograph their wedding for free, or close to nothing. Or even worse... they hire a creepy-crawly, base rate of $100, CRAIGSLIST PHOTOGRAPHER! Honestly, I would do a better job photographing your wedding on my iPhone than those guys and their 'professional gear'.
I want everyone to know that my concern towards this issue is not due to money, not due to business, but it is due to the fact that I love love. You only have one chance (hopefully) to capture the most important day of your life. I don't want to see anyone mess that up (even my arch nemesis.)
Let's look at some potential situations:
So let's say your friend/family member wants to be a photographer and he/she feels they are entitled to this position and you just cannot muster up the courage to tell them no. Telling them no does not mean you doubt their abilities as an artist... it just means they're not the one. You don't want to just choose the first, reasonably priced photographer you can find. You want a photographer that understands what you NEED and understands your STYLE. I find it to be very important that I vibe well with my bride + grooms. So the solution to this - Perhaps you can make out a deal in the end with your professional photographer and they will allow your friend to second shoot! Ta-da!
Now let's say you have spent up your wedding budget out of NOWHERE! Now how will you hire that ONE PERFECT PHOTOGRAPHER who understands you and your style?! Don't freak out too much when you see their day rate. If you just can't afford it, simply ask the photographer (in a very polite and respectable way) if there's any way they can tweak their package or work hourly to fit your budget. If a client couldn't afford my services, but messaged me and told me they were in love with my work and couldn't imagine anyone else capturing their big day, chances are I'm gonna find a way to shoot their wedding. This definitely isn't the case with every photographer, or even most, but I promise it is worth a try.
On another similar note, if you are just coming into the world of photography, I do not suggest starting in weddings until you have properly trained under other photographers by second shooting. I understand you are eager to get into the photography business, but chances are you are not ready. And you are especially not ready if you're charging a couple hundred dollars for a full day of wedding shooting. Do not rob these people of beautiful, PROFESSIONAL (key word: professional) photos of their big day. And I understand this is a touchy subject because everyone has to start SOMEWHERE, but just stick to senior portraits, babies, etc.
As stated in the diagram above, at the end of the day, all you've got to remember your wedding by is your photographs. So please, make the right decision.