You’ve done it! You’ve found your perfect wedding client and now they want to meet you. Whether they have already booked you or are about to, I’ve compiled a list of questions of what to ask wedding clients during the first meeting.
How did you two meet? Tell me about the proposal! What kind of pizza do you like? Champagne or Whiskey?!
These questions are key because you don’t want your clients to feel like this is solely a business transaction. A huge part of being a photographer is connecting to the people you get the pleasure of working with. On my “About Me” page, I introduce my value (I value humor. I value conscious presence. I value connection. But above all, I value crazy insatiable love.) to the customers, and I want that to come through to them from beginning to end.
This is what sets you apart and makes people want to work with you. This goes back to the main point, GET TO KNOW THEM! They are important people who should receive your full attention, and their story deserves to be told in the best way possible. The only way to make that happen is to connect and care for them like you would a friend.
How would you describe yourself?
A. Laid back
B. High strung
C. Here for the party
D. Other (please describe)
This question really helps me understand what kind of people I can expect to work with on the actual day of their wedding. People change in high stress situations and they know it, so if they can tell you about this part of themselves up front, there will be no surprises or bride-zillas come the big day.
Do you have a location picked out?
Most of the time, couples have the venue picked out before the photographer; but some times you get lucky and they want suggestions. This is THE BEST case scenario. This means that you get to swoop in like a knight on a white horse and suggest the most ideal wedding venues that give you, the photographer, the best lighting. This, in turn, means that they will receive your very best work.
This is also a good thing to know because there may be venue restrictions including contract agreements stating the venue gets full use of your final images. There may also be certain permits required or even a need for business licensing and insurance proof. Find this out before the day comes and you end up scrambling in order to be able to shoot their wedding.
P.S. Make sure they share if they are getting ready at separate locations and if the ceremony is in a different location than the reception.
How many guests are expected?
You should know the ballpark estimate of how many guests are attending the wedding so you can know how large of a ceremony set up to expect as well as how you have to distribute your time during the dinner and reception. This will also give you a good idea of whether or not you will need a second shooter to join you and assist.
What are your biggest expectations of me?
This question will also reveal a lot about what kind of people they are. Some may come at you with very detailed expectations and a shot list in hand and this is OK because it is very clear cut what you need to accomplish for the day. Others may be very vague and tell you that they don’t really care as long as you get the groom crying as his bride walks down the aisle. This is also great because you know that you have more creative freedom to capture their wedding. Either way, it is good to know.
How many hours of coverage would you like?
This is important in planning out what you will be able to fit in and capture during the day. 5 hours of wedding coverage may cut out part of the morning of getting ready, a first look, or reception photos. This is important to make clear with your clients right off the bat. That way they can properly plan out their itinerary.
Is there a wedding coordinator that I should be in contact with?
Coordinators and planners are great because they keep the Day-of Timeline on track. They normally usher people around to where they are required to be throughout the day. This is especially important with group photos. If there is a planner, you should get their contact information so you can be aware of timing and make any suggestions if you do not feel as though photos were given ample time during the day.
During the ceremony, can I walk through the aisle and up front to get better shots?
This is important because it is THEIR day. If they want the wedding to be more in the moment and not interrupted by a camera shutter, then that is their choice. However, I would hint to them that up close and personal will produce the best, most memorable shots.
Other things I like to make sure I discuss and collect from them include:
- Full names of both the Bride and Groom- Seems like a given, but you have no idea how many times I end up working with just the bride. I think it is important to include them both on decisions made regarding photography.
- Bride and Groom’s Phone Numbers
- Mailing Address- You should always send them a thank you gift!
- Maid of Honor and Best Man contact info
- Make sure they understand your travel fees if you have them
- I also like to come prepared with a Wedding Welcome Gift!
Finally, If you have already delivered the contract to them, ask if there are any questions they may have?
You must remain an open book with your clients to gain and keep their trust. Welcome questions always. Be open to change.
Remember: Happy Wife, Happy Life!
Do you have any other questions you ask your clients in the initial meeting? If so, comment below and share:)