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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 26th, 2015, 04:03 AM   #1
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How do you get all the wedding information?

Hi everyone

I have a booking form I use when a couple book me.. then I find myself asking lots of questions in the lead up to the wedding. Generally what times things are happening, who is giving speeches, is it a band or dj playing at reception etc.

I am wondering if there is an easier way to get all this information perhaps in the way of an online form that I can send to the couple a month or so before the wedding. That way they won't accidentally miss anything and I won't need to go back and forth.

What do you all do?

Thanks!!!
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Old January 26th, 2015, 04:14 AM   #2
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

I just call them one week before the wedding and ask them to send me the planning of their day before that, based on that I prepare my questions.

I already tell the couple the most important part for me when we first meet and that is that I require some time to setup for the ceremony so they need to consider that when making up their schedule, I also tell them that anything out of the ordinary they plan to do they need to inform me about that.

When I call them it's mostly to go though the planning, to confirm the hours and locations, phonenumbers if I need to contact someone when I move from one to another location, to see that I can get in time to the ceremony so it might be that I have to leave early from the photoshoot. The ceremony is my most important part of the day so most questions are directed toward that part.

Other then that I just go with the flow.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 04:26 AM   #3
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

I send them 2 emails at different times and closer to the wedding - 2 questionnaires. I for the wedding details & 1 for music.

I use shootq which can send the questionnaires automatically but you can design one using something like survey monkey that will give you all the details you need,
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Old January 26th, 2015, 04:35 AM   #4
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

Hi Diana

Go to the rehearsal! It's usually a few days before so information they might not have when they book (for me that's often 12 months +++ ahead) but they should have everything by the rehearsal

I have a spec sheet and the terms and conditions ..I keep their spec sheet simple but make notes on my copy during the meeting when they book and fill in as much as I can...I take it to the rehearsal too to fill in the blanks.

The more info you have the easier the shoot will be so ask lots of questions! The most important person at the reception is the MC ..they know what is going on so link up with them as soon as you arrive at the venue There is also no harm in asking them to email you the running sheet as well from the venue.

Chris
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Old January 26th, 2015, 05:03 AM   #5
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

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Go to the rehearsal!
That's something we don't do here, it would make life much easier though.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 05:44 AM   #6
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

I get a lot of information about the structure of the wedding when I meet the couple, plus a simple details sheet when I return a copy of the contract to them.

I tend to take a running schedule as a rough guide as I find that things always seem to change or over run on the day. I always talk to the officiant before a church service and the event manager at the venue to check their running times or unexpected happenings. With speeches, I ask the best man and events manager at the venue who is speaking when and where, so I can prepare audio and filming positions. I never worry about bands etc, as you can always see well before hand when there is a band set up. I also find that venues that I have been to before, work to a similar formula for most weddings, so I frequently just follow the action and keep my eyes and ears open.

Roger
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Old January 26th, 2015, 06:26 AM   #7
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

I get a copy of the bride's schedule, which will show getting ready times for sure, and then a church program covers ceremony details, and will simply talk to them on the phone or in person for the rest.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 06:34 AM   #8
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

I have an initial question set that I use to help with pricing my quote.

Then then first page of the actual contract is where I get into wedding specifics.

See attached files.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf contract page 1.pdf (120.9 KB, 92 views)
File Type: pdf Your Wedding Details.pdf (104.4 KB, 218 views)
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Old January 26th, 2015, 07:41 AM   #9
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

I prefer to talk in person if I can is for the non schedule questions... I need to know if they want us to be hands-off fly-on-the-wall or involved and do some staged shooting, like a portrait session.

It also lets me ask about the schedule and talk about any problems and conflicts.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 09:07 AM   #10
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
That's something we don't do here, it would make life much easier though.
It would also chew up more time though! I think a lot of your couples live quite far from you, so you probably couldn't attend... except in spirit, or via Skype.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 09:13 AM   #11
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Re: How do you get all the wedding information?

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Originally Posted by Diana Fisk View Post
I have a booking form I use when a couple book me.. then I find myself asking lots of questions in the lead up to the wedding. Generally what times things are happening, who is giving speeches, is it a band or dj playing at reception etc. I am wondering if there is an easier way to get all this information perhaps in the way of an online form...
Hey Diana, there's lots of ways to do it... I don't know what the best way is. One common thing photographers etc do in Sydney is just have a second meeting before the wedding itself; also helps you to remember their faces if you haven't seen them for a year or two.

You can ask a billion questions on forms, but I bet you that many brides would find it a hassle to fill out. (Others would find it fun, because it makes the wedding more real and alerts them to more details.)

I don't do second meetings if I can help it, though I will attend rehearsal whenever possible. Most of my planning is based on their runsheet, and I start asking for it about a month beforehand.

In terms of what I really need to know, well... Obviously, the more information in advance, the better, but if you have addresses, contact numbers, and the times of the key events, you're covered. What time is ceremony, what time do bridal party enter reception, and who's going where when in the morning.
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