When I searched "tips for amateur wedding photographers" I found a lot of online posts that said Don't do it. Leave it to the pros. Well, I'm sorry pros, but not everyone can or wants to drop thousands on their wedding photos! I sure didn't.
Aside from the normal stuff (must have two photographers, must have better equipment) here are a few things I'll do differently next time... if there ever is a next time!
5. Wear pants. I wore a dress, and couldn't get up on chairs and down on the ground as easily as I would have wearing pants. I also had no pockets!
4. Figure out the format. I was told to shoot in RAW, but I had no idea how much bigger the file sizes would be compared to JPEG, so my only open memory card was filled with "getting ready" pictures before the wedding started. I had a backup, but I definitely didn't have a backup backup. I did switch to JPEG to save room and don't have any regrets about that yet.
3. Calm down! My memory card situation happened right before showtime, and I had a hard time not letting it get to me. I was so stressed out and worried that I almost let the moment pass. After all, I was a guest at the wedding too! And the happier you feel inside, the happier your pictures will turn out.
2. Make a list. I actually intended to do this, but when it came time to shoot group photos it would have been better to have a rundown of who goes where and when. There was a lot of "ummmm" that I could have avoided.
1. Take more pictures of the couple! Everyone was running around so crazy that I didn't get enough chances to photograph the two alone.