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Old April 17th, 2009, 06:08 AM   #1
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Can You Make It To The Rehearsal?

How do you respond when asked to attend the rehearsal because the B/G will be more comfortable if you're there? Although they don't intend on paying and you've either met them already or have done extensive planning with them over the phone and/or email if they're coming in from an out of state location.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #2
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Do you mean they just kind of sprang this on you ("By the way, you'll be at our rehersal tomorrow night, won't you?") If that's the case, I'd quote them my hourly rate.

If it's far ahead in the planning process, we would negotiate on a price for the package that would include attending the rehersal.

They do have a point. You will most likely shoot better video if you attend the rehersal.

I think in this case, you might just end up being there and not getting paid in the interest of good customer service. In the future, make rehersal attendence part of your negotiation on price.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 07:56 AM   #3
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It is always advisable to attend the rehearsal especially if you have not filmed in that church before and get to know the layout and and ask the Vicar or Priest or whoever will be conducting the ceremony where you can and cannot film from and anything else that might be peculiar to that particular wedding you will also find out who is going to be doing recitals or whatever and where from you need to know the format otherwise it could be one frustrating cockup on the day.

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Old April 17th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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I never say that I will ABSOLUTELY attend. I tell people that I don't commit to attend rehearsals because I may end up booking another gig for that night.

BUT, if I'm free it's convienient etc I go for free because it is to MY benefit as well.

I don't ususally regret going.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #5
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I agree. Never promise that you will attend but make an effort to go there despite the fact that they don't pay you. Few reasons for that

1. Makes you look professional
2. You get an idea of the church
3. You get to network on a rather relaxed day with possible brides and grooms that you may not on wedding day
4. People will remember you more.

Hope this helps:)
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Old April 17th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #6
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Rehearsal distance

If you're doing good customer relations and it IS convenient, what would be the limit you'd drive to do this service? 60 miles? 120 miles?
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Old April 17th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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You raise an issue that would affect being able to do this. I always like to be there for the rehearsal if possible as it helps you plan out the shoot, BUT... if you're shooting the next day, and there's an hour of transit or more each way PLUS the hang time at the actual rehearsal, how much will that affect you the next day when you want to be "live and fresh" (with another hour + drive to the location?).

I think it might be appropriate to ask if they would be willing to pay for a night at a decent hotel and perhaps a meal or two (or one more seat at the rehearsal dinner), and explain the logistics... I'm presuming the rehearsal is the night before and the wedding the next day, but if that were the case and there's travel involved, it seems like a reasonable request.

You wouldn't be charging for time per se (you already factored in any travel time, right?), but it might make for a nice mini vacation, which if there's no conflict with any other scheuled event might make the actual shoot easier too.

I'd have to pass on attending something that would take 3-5 hours with a lot of travel time the night before the shoot - I usually am using that time to double check and prep gear.

I'd sum it up that if attending the reception shortchanges the day of the shoot, you should explain how that would affect the situation, and look for a economical solution. I'd expect that you'd find the couple to be understanding and appreciate your professionalism!
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Old April 17th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #8
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I don't attend rehearsals. What I do instead is go to the ceremony a little early, then have the couple brief me so I know where everyone will be positioned and what will happen. I talk with the best man and let him know where I'm going to be so he doesn't block my shot. All this can be done in about a minute, no need to waste several hours on a rehearsal.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle Genrich View Post
If you're doing good customer relations and it IS convenient, what would be the limit you'd drive to do this service? 60 miles? 120 miles?
It sounds like you're talking about a specific circumstance you are in right now. Why so coy? Give us the details!
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Old April 17th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
It sounds like you're talking about a specific circumstance you are in right now. Why so coy? Give us the details!

Not in a circumstance. Honestly, I'm just curious. Call me an over-thinker.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #11
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Since it hasn't happened yet, don't let it be a surprise. Make it part of the service/price negotiation. Either include it in your package price, or list it as an add-on. But certainly don't leave it unmentioned.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #12
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I prefer to attend rehearsal on my own terms. I do have an option for rehearsal 'coverage', but otherwise attendance is up to me. In the earlier years of my business it benefited me to go every time, but I've been exposed to so many different locations and settings and couples that it's not critical now. I might still go if I've never seen the place, or if the couple is having a complicated ceremony.

The trouble is that I got stuck a few times. I show up 15 minutes early for the rehearsal, and yet usually a bunch of the family is 15-30 minutes late. Then another 15-20 minutes of chatting before things get rolling. Add it all up plus travel time and I realized I was spending 2-3 hours of my time for each rehearsal, and even had a few push 4 hours!

To answer the other question posed, I think anything approaching a 30-minute drive and over is asking too much if it's at no charge. Time is money, and gas costs money too.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #13
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I find it incredibly helpful to attend the rehearsal. It helps me get a feel for the mood of the wedding, and scout any potential technical issues.

I factor that into the price I charge for wedding videos. My prices are higher than many of my local competitors.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 08:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I don't attend rehearsals. What I do instead is go to the ceremony a little early, then have the couple brief me so I know where everyone will be positioned and what will happen. I talk with the best man and let him know where I'm going to be so he doesn't block my shot. All this can be done in about a minute, no need to waste several hours on a rehearsal.
The reason why I don't attend rehearsals is because I once spent 2 or 3 hours at one, and got everything planned in my head. On the wedding day, their big floral arrangements threw all of my planning out the window. Since that day, I made it a point to get to the ceremony early and ask questions like: Will there be readings? Unity candle? Will the couple face the front or will they face the audience during the ceremony? Any surprises I should know about?
What's going to happen immediately after the ceremony is done?
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Old April 17th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #15
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Another point to drive home why attending the rehearsal is so important.

Today I went to one... Pulled up to the church and found a beautiful old country style church with beautiful wooded doors... Surrounded by cherry blossom trees. Finally, something will make for a very pleasing backdrop.

There was a wedding just finishing up, so I wandering around planning my shots for tomorrow.... After about 30 minutes I noticed that there was another building, harsh and unattractive further behind the church. The building looked more like a small school then a church. I thought it might be the office's or some sort.
Anyways, It turns out thats where the wedding will be tomorrow. I was a little bummed that I'll be missing out the nicer looking version.

Long story short: I would have spent my entire time before the bridal party arrived filming the outside details of the wrong church....

Steve
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