It’s the day of your clients’ wedding. You’ve seen the wedding day timeline. You know their plans for the first look and the surprises they’ve planned for each other. They’re confident that you’ll capture their day exactly how they’ve envisioned it. You’re confident you’re going to nail this. You calmly brew your coffee, get dressed, grab your essentials for the wedding day, and head out the door. This is the most relaxed you’ve ever felt pulling up to shoot someone’s big day.
While this is an ideal scenario, it’s only possible with expert client communication. Starting that communication off on the right foot begins with your client questionnaire. That’s right, that first interaction sets expectations for your entire interaction with potential clients. And there are many ways to make sure you’re exceeding your clients expectations before, during, and after their big day—it all starts with the client questionnaire.
Having your clients fill out a comprehensive questionnaire might feel like a small potato in the grand scheme of your partnership. But the questionnaire will make sure you’re both a good fit for each other. It’s also a great way to make sure expectations are met and delivered—think of all the good reviews and referrals in your future!
What Exactly Is A Client Questionnaire?
A client questionnaire is a list of general questions that’ll allow you to understand your clients, their wants, and desires in a wedding photography experience. In reality, you won’t be able to meet every couple’s budget or expectations. So having a general understanding of all of these things—before moving forward with a photography client meeting—will allow you to decide if you will be a good fit. But, what exact questions should you be asking?
To help automate your workflow we’ve rounded up all the questions you need to include in your client questionnaire template—having one of these will save you a lot of time in the future, trust us! Now, let’s get to the questions.
Basic Information to Include in Client Questionnaires
Start by covering all of the basic information. These will be pretty straight forward, answering the essential who, where, and when questions that’ll be crucial for moving forward with your clients. This will allow you to make sure the location, date, and timeline will work with your schedule.
- Your names and current contact information?
- What is your wedding date?
- What are the ceremony and reception venue locations and addresses?
- Do you have a thorough wedding day timeline? If so, include it here:
- If you have a wedding planner, what is their name and number?
- Can you provide a list of other vendors and their contact information to be credited in photos?
- If you’ve chosen to have a wedding party, how many people are in each group and what are their names?
The Getting Ready And Pre Wedding Questions
- Where and at what time will you both be getting ready?
- Is a hair and makeup team booked? If so, what time are they planned to start?
- What time do you want me to arrive?
- Will there be parking reserved for me?
- If you’re getting ready in a separate location, what time do you plan on heading to the ceremony space?
- Do you plan on doing a first look? If so, where and when will it be taking place?
- If you’re doing a first look, will you be doing formal couple portraits before the ceremony?
Clarifying Ceremony Questions
- What time is the ceremony expected to start and finish?
- Are there any traditions or events occuring during the ceremony I should know about?
- Are there any specific rules or restrictions I should be aware of for your ceremony?
- Will there be a formal exit from the ceremony? If so, what will that look like?
- If your ceremony and reception are at different locations, will transportation be provided?
- Will there be a cocktail hour?
- What time are you required to be at the reception venue for your introduction?
- What are the order of events at your reception?
- Will you be providing a meal for me?
- Will there be any surprise events planned during the reception that I would need to know about in advance?
- Will you be having a formal send off? If so, what will that look like?
- Are there any important details you want captured prior to the ceremony?
- Do you have an idea of locations for the wedding party, family, and couple portraits? If not, I’ll need to scope some out.
- If dedicating a time slot for family photos, please include a detailed group shot list here:
- Are there any specific family situations that I should be made aware of like divorces, deaths, or any potential missteps we can avoid together?.
- Will you be able to provide a designated helper to round up people for group photos? If so, what is their name and contact information?
- Do you have a list of must-have photographs?
- Are you okay with flash photography during your ceremony and reception? If your event is taking place indoors or at night this may be essential.
Wedding Specific Questions
- What are your wedding colors, theme, and style?
- What is the most anticipated moment of your wedding day?
- Is there anything else you would like to share about your special day?
Now that the client questionnaire is taken care of, you might be curious when you should be sending this over to your couples. Having your couples fill out the questionnaire prior to your first client meeting is definitely the way to go. It’ll allow you to better get to know your clients and formulate any further questions you may have before meeting face-to-face.
To make sure you nail your first meeting, click here for a step-by-step guide to preparing for your wedding photography meeting.