Planning a wedding shoot is the most important part of creating a superior wedding film. Every venue is different, every bride is different. It is extremely important to get to know everything you can about the bride and groom at least a month before the event date. One of the things that I do is to provide a detailed questionnaire to the bride about 30 days before the wedding. This gives me all of the information that I will need to effectively shoot good video clips on the day of the event.
Here is a sample of my questionnaire:
Brides Name Grooms Name Rehearsal Dinner Date and Time Wedding Date and Time Phone number the bride can be reached at before and after the wedding Emergency contact person Emergency contact person name and number on day of wedding Ceremony location with phone number Ceremony coordinator name and phone number Reception venue name phone number and contact person Photographer name and phone number Caterer name and phone number Florist name and phone number DJ or Band name and phone number Some pre-ceremony questions would include the following:
Will the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony? If you are seeing each other before the ceremony, do you want this moment filmed? What time do you want us to start filming on your wedding day? Where will the bride be getting ready on the wedding day? Do you want us to film you and your bridesmaids getting ready? If yes, what time should we be there? Where will the groom be getting ready on the wedding day? How long does it take to get to the ceremony from where the bride and groom and getting ready? Are there any particular activities that you want captured before the wedding begins? Questions about the ceremony would include the following:
Is the ceremony inside or outside? What denomination is the ceremony? Is it OK to place a wireless mic on the lapel of the groom during the ceremony? Tell us about any activities that may take place during the ceremony. Are you reading / writing your own vows? Will there be a unity candle, full mass, sand pouring, or anything else we should be aware of? Tell us about any guidelines or restrictions at the ceremony location. How long is the ceremony scheduled to be? Will there be scripture readings? Any soloists? Any musicians? If yes, how many and what instruments? Will there be a photography session after the ceremony? Would you allow us to create some fun shots of the bride and groom at the photo shoot? Would you make sure that we have 10 to 15 minutes either before or after the photo shoot for this? Questions about the reception would include the following:
How long does it take to travel from the ceremony to the reception? Is the reception inside or outside? Number of guests? When is the reception scheduled to end? Is the meal buffet or sit-down? Are there arrangements made for us to eat? Are you having a band or DJ? Is there anyone in particular that we need to film? If so who? Are you planning a formal exit in front of all the guests? If so, please give us details. List any unique activities that you want filmed. Are there any family politics that we should be aware of or careful around? What is the dress for the wedding? There are a number of other questions that can also be asked but these are the main ones that I focus on in order to be fully prepared for the day of the shoot.