Questions about the wedding -
How many guests will be invited?
It is not important for me to have an exact number here.
Do you want photos of the bride & groom getting ready?
Let me know if you want photos of hair and make-up getting done, the dress being fastened etc.
Photos of the dress, shoes, rings?
Any other details like the garter, jewelry? If you have a wedding invitation it might make sense to have it with you too.
Where is the getting ready location?
At a hotel, or private place or at the venue?
Photos of the groom getting ready?
Will he be at the same location like the bride?
When do you plan to put on the dress?
I need about 30 minutes to take photos of dress, shoes and rings. A hotel room or the actual venue is usually a better place to do this than a private residence.
Are you seeing each other before the ceremony?
It makes things easier if you see each other before since it wouldn’t limit us to doing bride & groom photos only after the ceremony. But then the light during midday is awful outdoors, so I recommend doing these photos as close to sunset time as possible. However, it is a very personal choice how you would like to handle this detail – so don’t base your decision solely on the photo situation.
Do you want to do “First Look” pictures?
Bride and groom seeing each other for the first time before the actual ceremony, and the photographer is taking photos of it.
Tell me more about the ceremony!
When does it start, where (indoor, outdoor), what is the setup like?
How long will the ceremony be?
People almost always overestimate how long a ceremony is. If there are no readings, prayers, unity sand, wine box sealing or other rituals then it may only be 3-4 minutes long. Anything under 5 minutes will make it hard to capture this event from various angles – that’s why I’m talking about this aspect.
Do you want a whole party group photo?
A photo with all guests in it. Right after the ceremony would be probably the best time to do it. Takes only 3 minutes, but it needs to be coordinated and thought through before. And not every location will perfectly allow for it.
Will there be a cocktail hour?
When do you want to do the formals (family group photos)?
The best time is usually right after the ceremony – before the reception. These photos take between 15 and 30 minutes.
Make a photo list for the formals!
I recommend creating a list with names beforehand. Think about the different combinations of people you want to have in the photos later. Try to limit combinations as much as possible (try to plan for not more than 10-20 different group photos, it just takes too much valuable time). Start with older people, children and larger groups first. Send this list to the photographer before. Maybe pick someone to read it who knows the family.
How many bridesmaids and groomsmen are there?
Let’s talk about these photos. They normally take 10-15 minutes. I recommend doing them after the family group photos. The idea is to release as many people from photo duty as possible, as soon as possible.
Bride and groom photos.
When and where, and how much time do we have? The most common thing is, to do them after all the group photos but before the reception starts. But every wedding is different.
Discuss: Do you want to sneak out during the reception for more photos?
The loveliest light is around sunset. Do you want to sneak out of the reception at that time for 10-20 minutes of doing some more photos? You can check the exact sunset time out here: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/sunrise.html
The reception: When does it start, when does it end?
Also, let’s talk about the reception program. I don’t need to know all the very details at this point though.
Is there a professional DJ?
A good DJ will work together with me and give me a heads up on upcoming events (“in 2 minutes I will announce the cake cutting!”)
Do you want a posed photo of each table?
Besides the candid photos that I will take either way, do you want me to take a posed photo of each table? It would require the guests on one table side to get up, and interrupt the conversation for a moment. So discuss if this kind of photo has any value to you. Optional: the photo of each table with bride & groom in it.
Is there anything about the decoration that you want to point out? Anything that I could miss because it is small or not obvious. Or something that is especially important to you? Will there be a cake?
- Other questions -
Do you want to book a second photographer?
We will decide together if a second photographer is needed to capture your photography vision. We strongly recommend it is you have more than 150 guests, and/or your ceremony is at a place where the photographer is not allowed to move around (church with strict policies), and/or getting the same event from different angles is something very important to you – then I would recommend one.
Are you interested in a photo album?
I will bring a variety of photo albums with me to the meeting to take a look at. Photo albums are optional and can be ordered after the wedding.
Do you want to do engagement photos?
They might be a great idea if you want to use them for invitation cards etc. We can discuss locations that will match your photography vision.
Are you okay with me publishing some of the photos on my website?
I would appreciate if I could show my work to followers and potential new clients. I’m using only first names and I can even use fictitious first names.
Phew…! Congrats – you made it till here. And to answer the question you probably have in mind right now: the meeting takes about an hour.
I know, you won’t have all the answers yet and things will probably change in the months between the meeting and the wedding. That’s why I often get an update with the timeline and some notes a few weeks or days before the wedding.
It’s just crucial for me to get an idea of what’s important to you and what kind of photos you are looking for – and to get a sense for you and the event.