As a photographer I can’t imagine going into a wedding without having a filled out wedding questionnaire from our wedding clients. Alas, we hear so many stories of unprepared photographers just winging it on wedding day.
Maybe I’m just a planner or control freak, but since the very first wedding I photographed I asked the couple some questions in order to get organized prior to their wedding day. Over the years our wedding questionnaire has changed and grown, but it’s still the key to a smooth wedding day.
As a photographer these are just a few of the questions you should be asking your couple prior to their special day.
Are there any family dynamics that we should know about? We actually heard a story of a photographer putting a recently divorced mom and dad next to each other for a family photo (not knowing they were divorced). The photographer than proceeded to say, “mom you look like you need to relax a little bit, dad why don’t you give her booty a little squeeze?” Talk about awkward! Thankfully this family below had no family dynamics and were loads of fun to photograph.
What are the ‘must have’ family photos? This doesn’t mean giving a couple free rein on family photos–gosh we once had a bride show up with a three page typed list of family photos. Instead we allow our couples to choose from the typical family photos. What we mean by typical is the photos that will either be used in the couples album or ordered by the families. By having this list we can quickly and efficiently capture the family photos. The family pictured below did request to have all the ladies in the immediate family photographed for a generation photo, so adorable!
Are there any special locations you would like your Bridal Party and/or Bride & Groom portraits taken at? It is good to know if the couple has a special spot in mind! Maybe the groom purposed down by the water, maybe the couple has a location they go to on date nights–whatever the reason behind the location it’s important to know this advance. If the couple doesn’t choose a specific spot then we bring them along to locations that we choose based on their style. On the image below the location meant the world to the groom, it was where his parents were married years before.
Who are the vendors you hired? This has helped us out on multiple occasions! We’ve had to contact caterers to let them know that the bride and groom are running late. We’ve had contact florist when there has been missing boutonnieres. We’ve had to contact DJ’s to let them know that the bride and groom are arriving for the grand entrance at the reception. By knowing who the vendors are we have all the contact information in advance. Plus, it’s helpful to send them the timeline that we planned with the couple so everyone is on the same page.
Like we said these are just a few of the questions on the questionnaire that we send out to our clients. Wedding day is chaotic enough, so by having a plan prior to the day truly helps everything run smoothly. Don’t leave wedding day up to chance!