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Old November 23rd, 2005, 06:45 PM   #1
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Do you attend the wedding rehearsal or not?

halo,

i'm just wondering, for all you wedding video professionals, do you usually include the wedding rehearsal as part of the videotaping package or not. it's not a question of price, but a question of practice (SOP). what is the 'norm' in the wedding video industry?
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 07:23 PM   #2
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id like to take a look at how everythings going to run when i'm supposed to shoot something that i only have one take to make look good. so yes. It's also good to meet with the rest of the family. They'll all be more comfortable the day of the wedding around the camera if they meet the man behind it prior to the event.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:58 PM   #3
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We have always tried to attend the rehearsal. Makes it much easier when you already have in your mind where you'll be able to set up and whether they will go anyplace the normal camera angles may not be able to see.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 10:19 PM   #4
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Yeah I am way to chicken to show up the day of the wedding without having a game plan in mind. Keep in mind that the rehersal is probably not at the same time of day as the wedding, look at the windows and consider the time of day of the wedding and try to figure out if the sun is going to be a problem. Also at the rehersal you can make nice with the people at the church and they might be a little more relaxed with you the day of the wedding
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 10:47 PM   #5
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hello Yi Fong Yu,

i am 100% with the last 3 posters, even i am not doing weddings. rehearsals are a must, see the location/ lighting/ audio/ meet the clients, / parking/ outlets, and the list goes on. one of my opera clients does not have rehearsals in the theater at all, i still drive up and take a look.

there is also a certain comfort level and trust, if you meet the clients. it also shows that you care about your project.

greetings
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 11:35 PM   #6
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I don't represent the wedding video industry and I'm not sure there's a "norm." I'm writing only about what works for me:

If it doesn't conflict with anything else on my schedule, I attend the rehearsal even if not it's part of the deal. (Usually impresses the bride or the folks -- whoever is actually writing out the check -- makes 'em feel they're getting something extra.) I show up with a camera (which easily identifies me as the video guy), meet & talk with the wedding planner and the main players + officiant, and folks on the sideline who are hanging around waiting to go to the dinner afterwards. I shoot some footage from different places to review later that evening or the next morning.

Since I'm a one-guy, two-camera operation, this is a much better time to plan my locations for the next day's main event rather than on the day of the main event.

Also, most wedding planners (especially if they're not professional WPs, but just a relative or friend) don't work camera angles into their plan. I find all are very willing to make adjustments if I approach with something like, "This will look a lot better on video if ....[tell exactly what will work best for you]." As long as the suggestion is just some adjustment to timing or positions and not a major re-write of the plan, I always get what I want.

Of course, I prefer the rehearsal to be part of the job, and if it is, I arrive early and start shooting as soon as the first person enters. I think I read in this forum once someone writing that rehearsals are boring and are to be avoided. I don't feel that way at all. It's not unusual that family members of the B&G are meeting for the first time at the rehearsal, so those first greetings look great on tape. Then sometimes there's friction over something or another, and that can get kind of exciting. Most of the time I'm told afterwards "I hope you got that on tape..." And there's always some confusion on the first walk-thru that I'll split-screen with the final walk-thru if it works best to present it that way. I always put a wireless at least on the groom which makes for great out takes at the end of the dvd of comments made by him, the bride-to-be, etc. Anyway, I've been told more than a few times that the rehearsal part was the most fun and most re-watched part of the entire video. I guess if you approach it as boring, it will be boring on screen.

Filming the rehearsal saved my butt big time once. I was using only one camera then, and due to technical reasons, I couldn't start filming the actual ceremony until just as the dad finished with the kiss.

Fortunately, the final rehearsal walk-thru was perfectly executed with no one screwing around and the music playing. Also fortunately, my camera angle for the wedding was almost identical to the rehearsal footage. So, I started with that final rehearsal in B&W, almost perfectly morphed the father & bride in street clothes (in B&W) into the father & bride in tux & dress (in color) while at the same time the empty seats seemed to fill almost magically with people. Then of course, the B&G continue forward to the altar, and so on.

Anyway, not admitting my technical problem, I simply told the couple I tried a unique way to tie together the rehearsal and ceremony and wondered if they would like the rehearsal blending into the ceremony to be the final version. (Didn't tell 'em it was the only version possible). Anyway, they thought it was so cool, there was no discussion about an alternative.

It was after that I got the second camera.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 05:15 AM   #7
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clever work there Tom,

i used to attend rehearsals until i realised that the money i was making from teh job itself wasnt covering the time i was taking in doing this. For me and the amount of work in my lap, my time was far more valuable editing as oposed to being out there scoping for shots.

i used to go to rehearsals, but to be honest, ive shot in most of the churches around sydney so i know most of their basic layouts (which i also go over again with the client and show them from previous work shot there) and work out a shooting schedule from there. Ive never had a problem until i shot in a park once and the bride came in from a different gate and teh photog and myself missed it..
Instead of trying to salvage it like Tom, we ended up reshooting the entrance for the benefit of the photographer and myself (we werent informed as to the change). If we didnt reshoot it, we would have been left with no entrance at all... but in the end, my contract states that we need to be advised of all the details before shooting, this they did not do... so theyre liable either way.

In this game, you MUST cover your ass.. no matter what you do.. whether it be going to a rehearsal or making sure that you KNOW whats happening..
Above all the artsy farsty wow factor wedding video sales pitches, above all the effects and music u can muster, above all the fancy shots u can possibly imagine, you REAL job is to be there and ARCHIVE the day.
Everything else is just a glossing over of the events. How you gloss those events is up to you, but if u miss out on the key elements, (even just one) the clients and everyone they know will make sure its never forgotten.
Ive shot for producers who would rather miss a shot as they try to compose something special, but in the end, the clients dont care about that composition, if it means that the composition was the cause for that lost shot...
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Old November 24th, 2005, 05:53 AM   #8
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I used to attend but now 1) there aren't many places here in my neck of the woods where I haven't shot before so I know the layout 2) I have already met the B&G and in some cases the family and or bridal party so they know me and 3) if they want me to attend the rehearsal and SHOOT it they pay for that service. I no longer give ANYTHING away (except maybe a DVD or 2)
When you have shot 25 or 30 weddings in the same place in say the last 3 years and the "crew" at the church know you by 1st name I don't feel I need attend the rehearsal, but the same token when the rehearsal is a 1 hour drive away and I'm not getting paid for it I feel the same. Some may disagree but thats how I do it and it seems to work out just fine and guess what else, the B&Gs are just fine with that.

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Old November 24th, 2005, 07:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
When you have shot 25 or 30 weddings in the same place in say the last 3 years and the "crew" at the church know you by 1st name I don't feel I need attend the rehearsal
Yes, this is a totally different situation. When going to a known location, it's much easier.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 09:47 AM   #10
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My business partner and I have done weddings for a couple of years. We don't do the rehearsal, unless purchased, because we find that getting there ahead of time works just fine. We have never had a problem thusfar, aside from big windows in the back of the church that have blown out the shot of the front camera, but we worked around it as necessary. I think if you know what you're doing and have a solid system down you don't need to be at the rehearsal. I do like the idea of having those extra little moments, but if they aren't paying extra we aren't going to be there. Time is money, right?
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Old November 24th, 2005, 10:49 AM   #11
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I agree with Keith. Client must be paying for the additional day. You can certainly build a package which includes rehearsal coverage or, if your price is higher, it can fall under a client meeting. As it is, too many wedding videographers (and potential clients) don't take into account that the shoot plus edit is 6 full days of work in which both your time and equipment is being paid for.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 11:03 PM   #12
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i knew the discussion would boil into a "price" talk.

guys, i just wanna know if it's the norm for wedding videographers (fulltime people) to do it. meaning, statistically, out of 100, how many would actually goto the rehearsal (regardless of it being paid or not). i'm talking #of times, not price.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 06:28 AM   #13
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Yi Fong Yu

Okay, we all got it wrong. But then again, this site is loaded with newbies, wannabees, weekend hobbiests, career changers, pros who take all this very seriously and a passing fad for others, not to mention different countries and customs represented. Ask a question and it's pot luck who'll take the time to answer & what they'll write.

So, what's been YOUR norm for rehearsal attendance?
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Old November 25th, 2005, 06:58 AM   #14
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Maybe this anecdotal fact is useful. Not one client or prospective client has ever asked me to attend the rehearsal for additional pay, as part of a package, or even as a "meeting."

Anecdotal but a fact.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #15
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i don't do it as a living. only once as a favor for a friend last summer ("Pro Bono"). i've just been asked again by another friend who's getting married end of next month. this time, i'll get to edit it! =). since it's all free work anyway and i like the guy, i'm going to the rehearsal regardless. but i was wondering what the pros do.

craig, i wasn't asking whether or not the client is asking you. i was asking let's say you did 100 weddings. have you (as a statistic) gone to 50? 1? none? THAT'S what i need to know. statistics.
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