It’s almost time to ring in 2022!
With a new year comes a lot of new initiatives for small business owners. Us wedding videographers are no different! One of the new years resolutions I see often for wedding videographers is to foster better relationships with wedding planners. It’s true, wedding planners can send you a lot of business, and partnering with the right planners can make wedding days super fun and easy! However, we know that not all wedding planners are created equally and I’ve been shocked at some ‘luxury’ wedding planners that I’ve worked with who have no clue how video works on a wedding day. That’s why I filmed this video! You’ll learn:
How to foster genuine planner relationships
How to stand up for yourself and your craft when a wedding planner doesn’t know what to do with you
A Planner’s Guide to Wedding Video downloadable for you to share with wedding planners to help prepare them for all the awesomeness you’re going to bring!
New episodes will drop every Monday and will be sent straight to your inbox! You can watch on YouTube or read the transcript on the blog. Don’t forget to subscribe, like, and comment!
Transcript: Welcome back. Today we are talking about wedding planner relationships. We’re talking about relationships outside of the wedding day, but also on the wedding day. So, we’ll start with the before the wedding day.
Your relationship as a videographer with wedding planners is super important because wedding planners will bring you so much business. They’re gonna refer you and they’re the ones who couples usually book the very first thing after they pick their date and their venue. The more you can get in with wedding planners, the more business they’re gonna send you. It’s important to create genuine relationships with wedding planners because everybody knows that they are a really great referral source.
Wedding planners can often feel like people are just building artificial relationships with them to try to get their referrals. But they don’t really care about the wedding planner or their business. It’s not a genuine friendship. My advice to anybody starting out in the video industry or anyone trying to network with planners is to find planners that you really do genuinely like their personalities. You like the work that they’re doing, you like the clientele that they’re working with.
Try to build genuine friendships with those people and give more than you take when you see somebody asking for a planner referral, refer that planner. Make sure that that planner knows that you’re sending people their way. They know you’re on their side. They know they’re your friend. And then, they’re also going to return the favor. Again, make sure you’re doing this out of a genuine place where you’re truly trying to build a friendship, not just get their business. So, after you’ve built these great relationships with the planners. You’re probably going to be working with them a lot on the actual wedding day. So, you have referred them, they’ve referred you. Now, you’re doing a wedding together.
So, what is the role of a wedding planner? When it comes to you as a videographer, showing up on the wedding day and doing the work.
During the planning process, that wedding planner is probably going to be the one working with the couple, getting their timeline in order. The photographer might be a part of getting the timeline in order as well. That has become kind of the standard in the past couple of years. However, as a videographer, you are usually not invited to that part of the planning process. But it’s really helpful if you can just put the bug in that planner’s ear. As soon as you know you’ve been hired to be the videographer, they are the planner for the wedding, just say:
“Hey, I would love to be a part of the timeline planning process. Because the couple has asked me to provide a service where I’m documenting the wedding day. They have specific things they’ve asked me to capture, and they have specific poses they want me to do with them during the portrait hour. I want to make sure that we have time for that.”
Because the planner probably doesn’t know. The photographer is looking out for the photographer. We’re going to talk about photographer relationships in the next video.
But the photographer, they’re not looking out for you, not anything malicious. It’s not on their radar. That’s not their job. That’s your job. As much as you can try to get in on that timeline planning process because it’s going to help so much in the timeline of the day. If you can build in some buffer time between events. You can move all of your equipment from place to place at audio the way you need to. And then, also have time to get the very specific shots that you need to get so that you can provide them the best service and wedding planners usually like when I do this with them, I’ve never had anybody say: “Wow, that was way too much.” It helps the planner also provide the best service for the client by involving the vendors who need to be involved to make the right calls.
Before the wedding day, that’s more important than on the wedding day. Keep in mind that the wedding planner, their job is to make the wedding day happen. They’re in charge of so much stuff. As much info as you can get beforehand, it’s going to go so much better for them because on the day of the wedding, there are so many people asking them questions. They’re so stressed out, and they have so much going on.
Try not to bother them during the wedding day with questions that you should have already asked or questions that can be answered for you in the timeline. A good planner will also provide you with tons of information beforehand that lets you know when and where things are happening but sometimes that’s not the case. Try to figure it out or work it out with the photographer before interrupting the planner because they have a lot going on.
During the wedding day as well, the planner is in charge. They have essentially been hired by the couple to be the boss. So, it’s important to respect their role in what they’ve been hired to do. It’s important to do what they’ve asked you to do at the right times. Sometimes that means cutting short some coverage that you wanted. As long as it’s not super pertinent to your workflow, go ahead and cut it short because the planners are trying to keep stuff on schedule. When schedules get thrown off, it’s really hard to get them back on track and it can confuse a lot of things down the line.
Try to be respectful of their time while also getting done what you need to get done. This is also a matter as a videographer of just knowing your equipment, knowing what shots you need to get familiar with the way that you want to edit the video. So that you can quickly get the shots you need to get so that you can keep moving on with the day. It comes with time, it’s not natural. But as you shoot more and more weddings, it’s gonna become second nature to you to just know: okay, for the edits I like to make and what my clients are hiring me for. I usually get these kinds of shots. Let me get them quickly and accurately. Set up the shot and move on so that we can keep the day rolling. You don’t have a ton of time on a wedding day. It’s not a studio. It’s quick. It’s fast. It’s go, go, go! You can do it. You can do it just fine. Keep that in mind. Try to work quickly and respect the planner’s time.
When the reception rolls around, keep in mind that a lot of times the planner has also been asked to be part of the design of the day. So, moving things can get sticky. Try not to move anything. It should be set up beautifully when you’re doing detailed shots and things like that. The planner and the DJ have most likely collaborated. They’re working closely together to produce some kind of lighting or some kind of ambiance for the reception. So, just keep in mind, as you’re thinking about maybe setting up lights or placing the couple in different positions to try to get the best shot for them that you’re just running it by the planner and saying:
“Hey, is it okay if we move this microphone for the toast over close to the couple? Or for the ambiance of the day and the way that the DJ has set up their lights? Does the speaker need to be in the position they’re already set up in?”
Sometimes they’ve like the DJ has set up lights to where he just can’t move the lights. If you want to move a speaker for an event, it can get sticky. Make sure that you’re running things by the planner before you do anything. Especially when it comes to moving people around. Or moving the couple or doing anything with the setup or the lighting for the day. Another note on lighting is if you are planning on lighting up .the first dances or something, try to run that by the planner as well. If you have time, usually it’s not an issue. I’ve never had anybody turn off your lights for like first dances and toasts and things like that because we need those shots well-lit. Usually, the DJ doesn’t care, their lighting, and like the crazy lights that they do is going to come into play while people are just dancing. So that’s a whole other conversation. But run it by the planner, if you have a chance to be like:
“Hey, is it cool? If I light them up for their video for these events that are really special. It’s going to be a part of their film. Blah, blah, blah.”
They’re gonna say yes. They want you to produce the best quality that you have. So just run it by them at the time before you move anything. Before you light anything or mess with the ambiance of the room. And then, finally, afterward, try to send your films to the planner. This can seem simple but it’s really easy to forget. If you forget maybe who the planner was at that wedding or you lose their email or something. It can be a lot to remember. So, add it to your workflow to say: “Hey, send the video to the planner.”
If you want to go the extra mile, go ahead and create a video for the planner that focuses on the detail and the setup of the day. Because planners love to post those things on their social media. It shows off what they’re capable of in the event that they were able to put on for that wedding day, and they love it. It’s a big hit. You can try to do that if you have the time. It’s usually pretty simple. Just take your detailed clips. Put on some music. Just go through the clips. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it can just be something super simple.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can also try to find clips of the planner during the day working. If you see them setting up, maybe a table during the reception time. Go get a clip of them setting up. Throw that into their little detailed video that you’re going to make for them. They will go crazy. It’s just a way that you can thank them for bringing you in on that wedding day and being awesome. Further that relationship with them truly as a friend. Not like a leech just trying to get their business.
So, that’s all I’ve got for you today for planner relations. Next week, I’m going to put out a video about dealing with photographers on the wedding day but working as a partner with photographers on the wedding day. We’ll see you then!