The Pre-wedding Questionnaire and Why It’s So Great

Smooth, seamless weddings don’t happen by magic. They are the result of lots of planning and hard work by everyone involved. One of the first things I set up to help with the day-to-day admin tasks of running my photography business, and one of the most useful aspects of interacting with new clients, is the pre-wedding questionnaire.

wedding questionnaireBy the time I send you the questionnaire, we’ll have met up in person or talked on the phone, I’ve had a chance to hear more about you as a couple. I would typically send this out shortly after you book your wedding with me. It’s a chance for me to get to know the details of your day more specifically and find out your expectations for me as a photographer.

And I can find out what is important to you to get out of your wedding photography and help you come up with a timeline. We’ll meet up about a month before the wedding to finalize the photography timeline, but this early communication with my couples allows us both to start thinking about the details and ask questions.

It’s worked really well and allows me to remember specific wedding and photographic elements for each couple, months after our initial chat and booking.

Here are the questions I’m currently using.

  • Bride and Groom name 
  • Date and time of wedding
  • Wedding location
  • Reception location
  • Location of getting ready the morning of wedding

These basic introductory questions help me find out the where’s and when’s of your wedding. It’s also good to know if everything’s happening in the same place or if the venues are in different locations so we can be sure to be plan enough time for driving between them.

  • How many people are in your bridal party?
  • Do you want family formal portraits?
  • Are there any family situations I should be sensitive to?
  • When during the day will the decor be set up at the venue (this will be helpful to know when we’re setting up our photography timeline as I’ll photograph the details before the guests are allowed in, but if you don’t know right now that’s totally fine)
  • Do you want to do ‘first look’ photos?
  • Are there any surprises (animals, confetti or sparkler exit, etc) or special traditions I should know about?
  • Are you planning on a big exit (example: some couples do things like sparkler exits or something they’d like photographed)?

These questions help us come up with a game plan for the “extras” that create the more complete photographic story of your wedding.  If you have a unique element to the wedding that you want captured, this gives us the ability to position ourselves for those.

  • Alternate contact person & phone number for the wedding day
  • Are you working with a wedding or event coordinator
  • Coordinator name

I cannot say how helpful it is to have an alternative person, whether it be a relative, a good friend, or a coordinator who is organized and can help out on the day of the wedding. They can help gather everyone for family portraits or answer vendor questions if the bride and groom are busy (which they will be!).

  • Other vendors you’ll be working with (bakery, event design, florals, hair and makeup, wedding dress, catering, etc?):

Finding out about the vendors is helpful because I like to know who I’m going to be working with. I can become more familiar with the other vendors who will be there so that I can make sure I capture all the beauty they bring to your big day. After the wedding, I like to send images to each vendor of their lovely hard work to use for their own promotion.

  • Are there any restrictions to photography at any of the locations?

Occasionally venues will have some rules about what can and can’t be used during the ceremony – such as the camera flash. We want to be as respectful as possible to the venues while also knowing what we aren’t allowed to do in the space so we can plan around it and still get amazing photos.

What is most important to you for your wedding day photography?

In the end, I want my couples to be super happy with their wedding collections. Not every bride and groom is the same. Knowing what’s most important to you will help me do the best job I can.

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