You might think that just because you own a fancy camera you can photograph a wedding, well maybe so but there's a lot more to it. Let's get started.
Trying to prioritize what is the most important information to give to you is extremely difficult. Each and every aspect (equipment, how to use the equipment, preparing a plan, a shooting list and whether to pose or not) of photographing a wedding is as equally important as the other and without all gears working collectively and in unison it is very easy to have a mishap and utterly ruin an otherwise wonderful event. There are many more elements in photographing a wedding than what is mentioned in this article but this basic information will be a start.
Equipment; A good high-end camera capable of manual settings and good quality interchangeable lens. A nice suggested set of lenses would be a fast wide angle 16mm or wider, a fast normal lens such as a f1.2 50mm or 60 mm lens, a good quality and fast 24-120mm zoom lens and a fast 70mm-300mm zoom lens.
For an average size wedding at least 60 gigs of photo storage cards.
A powerful strobe capable of being fired remotely. A good quality light stand with umbrella and holder. One reflector in each color silver, white, gold and black reflector. A reflector holder that attaches the reflector to a stand. An 18% gray card. A professional quality portable video light with barn doors and snoot. An expandable pole for holding the video light. Multiple batteries for camera, charger, video lights and strobe. A small ladder. Rain gear to protect you and the equipment. A rechargeable 1,000,000 candle power hand held light. Remote control gear for your camera and flash.
At least a 35mm film camera and a medium format 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 film camera. a roll of Infrared and black and white film.
There are many more little accessories to add that makes life easier but the above is a starting point.
Last thing about the equipment and the most important: Carry two of everything mentioned in this article because if it can break it will and it does...
Also you need an assistant equipped basically the same way as above to help with shooting and working the listed equipment. You'll also need knowledge about how to use the reflectors, hand held light, off camera flash and etc.
Please return as this is a beginning of a series about wedding photography and what you need to know. Forthcoming articles in this series;
Part two - Basic operation of equipment needed to photograph a wedding
Part Three - Preparing a shooting plan for a wedding
Part four - The shooting list
Part - Posing or not to pose and when to