Bride’s Full Name
It’s really important to me to gather as much detail about the couple as possible names are no exception. By doing this I’m not required to ask them their last name(s) later on. It also helps with entering the data into our client management system.
Groom’s Full Name
We organize our accounts, footage and projects by both the Bride and Groom’s last names so having the Groom’s last name very important.
We ask for multiple dates for those people who have not yet selected a date or for those who are desire video coverage over a range of dates. Especially important for checking availability for destination events.
Location of Ceremony
This is key. I want to know how much travel is going to be involved the day of the event so I can adjust my pricing if need be. Or whether I should or should not offer a Same Day Edit Film. Many of our clients travel through Sydney City on their wedding days. Why they would even want to do this is a mystery to me but knowing each individual location helps me to get a sense of the type of wedding it will be, the type of clients they are likely to be and whether I need to be charging for my travel.
Location of Reception
There are some banquet halls in sydney that I really don’t want to work in. I know this sounds horrible but after 10 years in the business, there are some places that raise a red flag the moment I see it in the form. I have and often do turn away jobs based on the venue so knowing as much information as possible here helps me to plan my approach to the client or even if I want to take the job at all. I’d rather be free for a wedding I want to shoot than be locked into one I’m not thrilled about. If they don’t know any of these locations, they can type a reason why or maybe a place or places they are considering.
How did you and your fiancé meet?
Story is everything. I want to know what kind of people they are, what their interests are, and if they have a back-story that’s going to become a part of the day. Many times, couples will use elements of their background story as a theme for the day. This helps me to get the story-telling gears moving and begin brainstorming ideas. It also gives me a nice topic with which to engage my clients in both email and during the consultation.
What is your budget for cinematography?
Many people I know are reluctant to ask this question but I feel it’s important. In addition to asking this question we also list our “starting” price on the website. This weeds our price shoppers and those looking for deals. You want to let them know right away you are high-end and to find out if they really fit into your budget. Wasted time is wasted money. We give them the option of leaving this one blank because we always send our pricing catalog ahead of the schedule to further weed out those willing to waste our time, and theirs.
What drew you to our films, specifically?
I want to know what it is about our work that the Bride and Groom love. Is it that I simply “seem” better than most or do they really understand and appreciate the storytelling and production value. I can tell right away by this answer. I know that if a client relates with my films and tells me she can’t stop crying or has cried when she watched them, she is my kind of client and will appreciate anything I give her. Knowing this, I will most likely book them if they still want to meet after seeing my pricing. One thing i know for sure is that my work is always improving. If a Bride is bonkers over the work I show her now, I know she’ll be more than happy with what I give her in a year or two.
How do you envision your wedding day being unique?
This gives me a good feel for what kind of wedding I’m facing. Is it going to be a traditional, gaudy wedding in Western/Northern Suburbs or a posh Sydney affair with influential guests? A “beachy” wedding that means sand-stoppers for my gear or a city wedding that means shorter days and more artificial light. I want to know as much as I can to rule out weddings I feel may be problematic and focus on the weddings I really want to book because they fit my brand. I’m always looking for my new future clients in the class of people I enjoy working with AND can afford high-end pricing. I also want to find that one thing that I know will make for a great story. Adversity, a sick-relative struggling to make it to the wedding, a long-distance relationship finally being nailed-down or high-school sweethearts finally tying the knot after 10 years. These are all things that will make a story personal.
Tell us about your wedding plans so far.
This question lets me know where the Bride and Groom are in their planning process. If they are just starting out, I’m going to focus on getting them in right away, so I’ll be the first cinematographer they visit. Then they will compare everything else to me. If they are later on in the process and have been around the block a few times but have just discovered me, I’m going to throw my best work and full attention at them as to show them I seriously want to film their day and why I’m better than what they’ve seen so far. Play hardball. Go after the clients you really want.