Weddings And The Battle Of Midway - A Nikon Moment
May I recommend prospective wedding photographers in Perth study the history of the Battle of Midway as an aid to success in their chosen task? It doesn't matter if you never intend to dive-bomb a Japanese aircraft carrier, you will still find it useful - if slightly noisier.
To start with - the Japanese Navy went into the battle with one arm tied behind their back - they did not know that their opponents could read their codes. Thus they broadcast what they were going to do before they did it. In a wedding, you can get the same benefit by getting the bride and groom to disclose their codes at the pre-wedding meeting. Do not neglect any aspect of intelligence work before the event - the bride and groom will evince little of it on the day in any event. But draw out from them by direct questioning what they think they are going to do. And go along to any rehearsal they might have and watch them try to do it. Do not neglect to use the celebrant as a coast-watcher either - ask what information they have.
Secondly - go into battle with a good big carrier. Get a roll-round or carry bag that will pack all you need.
Thirdly - only embark tested equipment - whether that be an Douglas SBD or a Nikon D300, make sure the gear is working well, and that you are thoroughly familiar with it. It does not have to be the newest of the new as long as it is working well and you can fly it. And you don't need one of everything - you need two everything in core gear - cameras, lenses, and flashes.
Fourthly - know what you are doing. Learn to fly at Pensacola - not in the mid-Pacific. Likewise, learn your photo trade somewhere not immediately in front of the altar.
Fifthly - Make up your mind once what you are going to do and stay on top of it. Don't try to change from bombs to torpedos back to bombs at a whim. The Japanese did, and regretted it. Pick a style of wedding shooting and stick to it - reportage, arty farty, new vogue, whatever. Make the wedding consistent.
Sixthly - when things go wrong, know how to do damage control. This means limiting the amount of damage that can actually happen - ie don't leave aviation petrol in the lines in your camera bag. It also means figuring out what to do when you are on fire - or the wedding guests start to drink and wander and fight. Plan your response.
Seventhly - when the enemy sheers away and makes an attempt to escape, pursue them but be wary of submarines. Or mothers-in-law. The battle is not won until all the carriers are sunk and the wedding party are either in bed or being taken away in the divvy van.
Eighthly - do not hesitate to sink smaller participants in the battle. Destroyers, flower girls, etc. Whether you stop to pick up survivors is a matter of taste.
Finally - know when to quit and sail away. Make a go away time and stick to it, with your rates rising exponentially for every minute after this time. Resist the temptation to sow mines as you may want to work for the bride or groom on their next wedding. And, yes, I have done several weddings for several people and yes, it is awkward. You can the make the second time more expensive than the first time - though in the case of Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney I believe their wedding photographers issued them with a book of coupons...