Does Your Wedding Videographer Need to Attend the Wedding Rehearsal?
This is one of those questions that there is no right or wrong answer to. I will give you reasons that the videographer should attend the wedding rehearsal and reasons that it may not be necessary.
Attending the rehearsal is probably the best way to prepare yourself to record the wedding the ceremony, specially if you are somewhat new to wedding videography. Even a seasoned professional with many years of experience shooting live events would benefit from attending the wedding rehearsal. Sometimes, just talking and asking questions of the facility coordinator may allow you more flexibility when it comes to getting the best shots during the wedding. After all, the couple will have hired the wedding videographer to provide a service, so my opinion is to do whatever it takes get the job done. Of course you will want to respect the sanctity of the facility and the event. The wedding rehearsal is also an excellent time to get to know the names of some of the people in the wedding party, the Best Man, Maid or Matron of Honor, and of course, the wedding coordinator. This allows for the wedding party to become a little more comfortable with you on the wedding day. I have found that when the audience is comfortable, I am able to acquire much more realistic and natural footage during pre-wedding ceremony activities.
If you have recorded at a facility in the past and have many years of experience in recording weddings you may be able to get away with not attending the rehearsal. If you do not attend the rehearsal you will certainly want to arrive early at the facility. Decoration placement may be different from the last time you recorded a wedding at the facility. Many wedding facilities are putting more restrictions in place due to vendors not respecting policies, so even if you have recorded a wedding at the facility in the past, this is something to be cautious about.
In my experience, I have come to rely on my ability to plan. I develop my plan starting with my initial conversation with the Bride and Groom. I further develop that plan at the rehearsal and with a good plan in place it is time for execution on the wedding day. I have learned while training and in combat that although I may have a plan, “no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” However, having a good plan puts you miles ahead vs. not having a plan at all.