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Not sure how I feel about this & I need opinions...

So yesterday a friend I've known since high school sent me a message on Facebook asking if my fiance and I had picked a wedding photographer yet.  She's a professional photographer in Las Vegas, and we live in St. Louis, MO, so it kind of complicates things.  Anyway, she asked me what our photography budget was and said she'd do it for her "friend" rate.  I figured "hey, this could really be good for her and my fiance and I."  I told her we are trying to stay under $1000 for photography.  Then she gave me her price quote...  $2000.  Only half of that is for photography.  The other half is to pay for her airfare, hotel, and rental car.  If I wanted to spend that much money, I'd much rather hire a local photographer and get $2000 worth of photographs, etc...  I feel kind of bad, and I really don't know what to do or how to tell her politely that I'm not interested.  Help please!
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Re: Not sure how I feel about this & I need opinions...

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    I have a photographer friend that offered as well but at the end of the day, I went with the best thing for us. You should not feel obligated to use somebody if you don't want to.
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    "Thank you very much for thinking of us, unfortunately due to budget constraints we will be unable to accept your offer."
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    I had a very similar problem with a few friends. One is a photograher, one has a mom who does catering, and another has a sibling who does party rentals.   All three of them offered to give me "friend" discounts and ended up being more expensive than my other options. 

    I just sent an email/facebook message back saying "thank you SO much for the offer, but that is out of our price range". 

    You don't have to say anything more than that.
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    DItto PP. Politely turn her down.
     
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    Thank her for the offer and politely let her know you're going to go with someone local due to budget constraints. GL!
    Due 10/21/13 with our first baby BabyFruit Ticker
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_not-sure-how-i-feel-about-this-i-need-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:14Discussion:54036999-4845-4c37-840c-a53c0056889cPost:c84488ac-b8d8-4ede-8f08-94d4f2876af2">Re: Not sure how I feel about this & I need opinions...</a>:
    [QUOTE]"Thank you very much for thinking of us, unfortunately due to budget constraints we will be unable to accept your offer."
    Posted by kroot87[/QUOTE]


    This exactly.
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         We have a friend of the family who offered to do photos for us at the friend rate. I know we got him for a steal because I know his normal rate is around two grand and higher. We're paying 500 bucks and we get him for the whole day. He has to travel for our wedding but he said not to worry about that and he even threw in his video services as well. FH and I did a hapy dance at that one. I would tell your friend sorry but that it's out of your budget.
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    She's using you to get a trip home. Go with the photographer you can afford.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_not-sure-how-i-feel-about-this-i-need-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:14Discussion:54036999-4845-4c37-840c-a53c0056889cPost:14d3322b-42d2-4443-a9f6-0d180dca4df4">Re: Not sure how I feel about this & I need opinions...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Is the photographer friend originally from STL also?  I must be jaded and cynical because my first thought was, "Oh, how clever.  A free trip home to see the family and old friends, plus a nice little gig on the side."
    Posted by LucyHC[/QUOTE]
    No, she and I are both frome Detroit, MI.
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    Yikes. When it comes to wedding vendors, I learned from watching my older sister's mistakes by hiring her friend's grandpa to do her video. This girl was her friend since junior high, one of her bridesmaids, and the friendship was completely destroyed by drama over how crappy the video was and how much she paid for it. It was a disaster. I say NO to friends/family for wedding vendors. It's just too personal and risky.
    "Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you." Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    I would say, "Oh you're such an important friend that we want you at the wedding as a GUEST, not working!"  and then get a local person.

    (It sounds a little bit like she wants you to finance her travel to attend your wedding.... okay, more than a little.)
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    What pp said. Just politely declince or say: "we'll think about it, thanks for the offer". Or "not sure what we're really going for, so we'll ee but thanks". Not exactly declining and being just a bit vague.
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