I shoot 8 -10 weddings per year and deliberately don’t do more due to the amount of effort involved, photography isn’t my main income and if it was I would shoot a lot more. As most weddings tend to fall with in a few months of each other due the weather it is easy to become over booked and over loaded.
Some of the things I get asked a lot are about shooting a wedding e.g. “I’m shooting my first wedding next weekend, what gear do I need?” or “My cousin has asked me to photograph her wedding can you give me some tips?” etc etc…..
I tend to answer them with a barrage of questions like. If you ask these questions are you really ready to take on the responsibility of shooting a wedding?. What sought of photos do the happy couple want and expect?. Have your negotiated you fee?. Are you insured in case anything happens during the shoot? How well do you know the location? Will you need a second shooter or assistant?
Before you jump into the world of wedding photography why not assist someone first to see what its all about. Why did your cousin asked you to shoot the wedding? because you own a DSLR and she wants to save money or because she love you photos in particular your portraits.
As for gear its best if you have at least 2 of every thing (just in case). But the minimum should be
2x camera body,
1x fast standard zoom (e.g. 24-70 2.8)
1x fast telly zoom (e.g. 70-200 2.8)
1x fast prime (e.g. 50mm 1.4)
1x macro (e.g. 100mm 2.8 macro)
2x flash that you can use on and off camera
lots of memory cards and batteries.
This way you can have 2 cameras set up for different shots constantly on you and can react quicker. But if something goes wrong with any of your gear (and if you do this long enough it will) you have no back up equipment available and will have to make do with what you have.
At the time of writing this my standard wedding shooing setup is
A900 + grip
A700 + grip
Sigma 14mm f/3.5 (not that piratical as a wedding lens but good as a wide back up)
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro (I have had this lens for a very long time)
Sony 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 90mm f/2.8 macro (back up for 85mm zeiss and 50mm macro)
Konica Minola 17-35mm f/2.8-4 (can be used on the 700 as a standard zoom if needed)
Sony Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8 SSM
Konica Minolta 24-105 f3.5-4.5 (back up standard zoom not used that often)
Minolta 70-210 f/4 (just love this old lens so much)
Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 ATX-PRO(soon to be updated to a Sony 70-200 mm f/ 2.8 ssm)
Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 (amazing d.o.f)
2x Minolta 5600 hsd (looking a getting 2x Sony HLV-F58AM but not for a while)
lots of batteries and memory cards. I always have 2 cards and 2 batteries in both cameras at all times. Back up each chip when its full to a digital wallet but wont delete any thin form the chip until latter that way I have 2 copies of all the images.
On top of all this I may pack light stands, reflectors, extra lenses, extra flashes, laptop, gps. Depending on the requirement of the shoot.