Even though I'm shooting an event for hire, seems like 10-20% of the guests are capturing photos and/or video on anything from their smart phone to a pro-sumer grade DSLR. And even some of the wedding party are getting in on the action, suggesting poses, etc.
Well, I'm certainly open to suggestions, but here are some truths I've learned from shooting six years worth of weddings.
As a Wedding Photojournalist, my photos tell a sequential story of the wedding day, and though there may be dozens of special request pics, Groom with Ring Bearer and Ring, etc., there are definitely some must have photos, that most modern Brides have seen in Wedding Magazines / Planning Brochures, and will be expecting in their own collections. For instance, the Dress & Rings.
Of course, there are dozens of other important moments to capture, but these are two that most amateur photographers fail to record. And I have a few tricks to get the most from these shots, starting with borrowing a nice wooden hanger from the men in the wedding (the Groom's suit or Tux is usually on a quality hanger). For the rings, it's best to incorporate one of the customized take-aways into the shot, but the Bride's Bouquet is always a good standby.
The most important photo of the day, is usually the couples' 1st. Kiss. This is the only shot during the ceremony where I will use flash. The rest of the wedding should be photographed using natural light, so as not to disturb the guests, wedding party or officiant. As a non-professional photographer you may not be able to influence this... but I always TRY to get The Kiss without the officiant in the background. This can be done by use of creative camera angle, or actually negotiating with the official beforehand.
So as not to give away all my secrets at once... Let me conclude with the recommendation that you always shoot before and after photos of The Venue, which will make nice "bookends" for your collection of wedding pics. Maybe I'll see you at one of my weddings soon, I hope ;-)