Pre-Wedding Consultations FAQs
Amazing wedding photography doesn’t just happen. There… We said it…. Whilst we would love to be able to just rock up to a wedding with little or no planning and create amazing wedding photography you will enjoy looking back upon for the rest of your lives, unfortunately in the real world that just doesn’t happen. That’s why we offer a complimentary pre-wedding consultation. The aim for this meeting is to maximise your wedding imagery on your wedding day with the least fuss possible. Trust us, these meetings can be the difference between mediocre wedding photos – and stunning wedding photography!
We find this meeting to be crucial in consistently delivering amazing imagery to our clients, wedding after wedding, year after year. Not many photographers in the UK offer this service, so sadly not everyone is aware of them or their benefits – which is why we have made this article explaining what it is, why we do it, and how important it is…
What Is This Meeting?
The pre-wedding consultation is a 2-3 hour meeting where we like to talk with you in-depth and decide what kind of imagery you want, the timings of the day, and also give the best chance possible for amazing creative photos and emotional candid weddings photos. We stress that whilst we love to give ideas and opinions, this meeting isn’t about us telling you what to do, more about us learning what will happen on your big day so we can capture it for you perfectly.
When Should We Have Our Meeting?
The ‘ideal time’ is ASAP really, but definitely no later than approximately 4-6 weeks after booking us! Any later than this and it may be too late to change anything that impacts the photos you are asking us to make!
Having this meeting early on means we can give you ideas and knowledge going forward with planning your day and booking other suppliers. It is an important part of the process that leads to our exceptionally high customer satisfaction rate, as we help them avoid the very common traps and pitfalls of poorly run weddings – leading to missed moments, hectic wedding days, and rushed memories.
What Day Should We Meet Our Photographer Before Our Wedding?
Pre-wedding meetings are only available weekday daytimes for various reasons, most important of which is that weddings take place at weekends and as an incredibly busy wedding studio, we have no weekend availability. Typical meeting times we suggest are 10:30/11am, or 1/1:30pm. Evenings are not possible.
Why Do We Need to Do This ASAP?
We ask that you book in your pre-wedding meeting within one month of booking with us, so we you can hit the ground running and make all the right moves from day one. Due to the overwhelming number of meetings we need to schedule with our clients, we only guarantee this meeting is possible within this timeframe.
Can We Have Another Meeting Closer To The Day?
We often find that our clients find this meeting so valuable and helpful that they would like another meeting closer to the day. It’s wonderful that our clients find this meeting so helpful but we are only able to make one pre-wedding meeting available to our clients. Even if timings have changed massively, an email can be sent with this additional information – remember we are wedding photographers not wedding planners!
All our clients think they are the ‘one exception’ asking for another meeting – but pretty much all of them do! Which is why unfortunately this is not possible as an extra 40-45 meetings or in-depth video chats per-year are simply not possible. Remember – most photographers don’t even do this once!!
What Should I Bring To The Pre-Wedding Consultation?
Any and all information relating to your wedding day, it’s surprising the information a photographer needs to adequately cover your day. Typically we ask that you bring:
- Any timeline / timings already set by your wedding venue or church.
- Details of any / all other wedding suppliers who you will be hiring.
- Any ideas / desires you have for your wedding day so we can discuss them fully to ensure we capture them for you!
Don’t sweat it if you have hardly anything sorted yet THIS IS ACTUALLY IDEAL as it gives us the chance to help you avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes in wedding planning that the majority of brides and grooms make.
Do Other Photographers Do This?
When we first started this service over ten years ago, at least in the south-east we were the only ones! Now, because it’s such a good idea (and photographers do keep an eye on what others are doing) we’ve seen a few of our competitors copying us and having some sort of consultation before the day. But beware, they are very often not the same as what we provide with nearly as many of the benefits we mention in this article here. Often they are guesstimating at what we discuss, but ultimately don’t talk much beyond “would you like pretty pictures? Where would you like them?” – which is redundant for a good photographer, and can be done via email…
Why Pre-Wedding Meetings are Important
In a nutshell we like sit down to go through your day with you so we can ensure we can capture the images you want without time or other constraints, with the happy side-effect being that of a more relaxed and less rushed wedding day. Brides and Grooms expecting photographers to just ‘turn up and take photos like on their websites’ is the number one reason for dissatisaction with wedding photography, and all of our clients have found our pre-wedding meeting process invaluable in planning a fun and memorable day. One example is sorting your family group shots list with you to ensure this part of the day takes 30 minutes or less rather than a painful one hour or usually longer.
Why do you keep mentioning not having enough time?
The most common pitfall of rushed and unhappy weddings are what we call the venue imposed ‘2/4 split’ as we call it: with ceremony at 2, and dinner at 4 – or thereabouts… This leads to cramming virtually all your photography as well as other planned events and moments into a 2 hour slot along with the ceremony. Timeline meeting opens our clients’ eyes to this problem amongst many others, offering solutions and alternatives. Virtually all the clients you will see on our website followed our advice from this meeting and had significantly more fun wedding days as a result, along with the photography they wanted. Having said that the aim of the meeting is to empower you with information and better options, not to tell you what you ‘should do’ as most venues and other suppliers tend to do.
Your pre-wedding meeting with your wedding photographer is crucial for getting the photography YOU want rather than what they might guess you want…
When can we have our meeting?
We can only guarantee availability within one month of booking, and should be seen as part of the booking process. We do this to both ensure availability for future bookings as well as make sure that your meeting actually has a chance of being useful, the later you leave this meeting before your wedding the more useless the meeting becomes!
Furthermore, we sometimes have clients who misunderstand the nature of this meeting and try to book as late as possible, however this inevitably leads to them asking for meetings in the busy wedding season when we simply have no time.
For this reason if you fail to take up your complimentary pre-wedding meeting service within the period we offer it after booking then it is likely possible that it won’t happen, and as this is a complimentary service there is no refund or alternative possible if you fail to take up your meeting within the time it is offered.
Can we have additional meetings or talk lots more on Skype or Phone?
Most photographers in the UK do not offer this service at all, and where they do it is often a stripped down lesser version of what we do (see below). As such our pre-wedding meetings, typically 3 hours long, are a definite advantage to you in booking your photography and planning the wedding day you want. Having said that, and whilst we always want to help (we’re always only an email away), sometimes our clients get the impression that we can offer this service multiple times and with multiple follow-ups over skype/phone. Unfortunately as a busy studio we simply do not have the time to offer endless and multiple meetings to all our clients, so we strongly suggest you get the most out of your first pre-wedding meeting and then let us know of changes / questions via email after as much as you like.
Why can’t we do this at weekends?
Wedding Photographers have extremely limited weekend availability as this is when most weddings take place! An incredibly high number of our clients are teachers who have no weekday availability, but unfortunately as above even in this situation we simply aren’t able to provide this service…
We thought you just turned up and pointed your camera at things?
This is the number one reason people are often disappointed or disenchanted with their wedding photography, and the main culprit for ‘missing moments’. World-class photographers will insist on a meeting like this so they can guarantee they have the time necessary to achieve what you expect – furthermore, without such a meeting then your photographer is just ‘doing what they always do’ at weddings and not necessarily ‘what you want’!