Had my first wedding on Saturday. I'm strictly an amateur but a work colleague was asked to shoot it and asked to borrow some lenses and it ended up with me doing the shooting with him as second shooter. Anyways, the shoot was just for the three hours before, during and after the ceremony, which was a civil ceremony in a rather grand hotel. That was one of the most stressful three hour periods of my life and no mistake. I learned a number of things for future shoots, major and minor, thusly: 1) Don't wear a jacket. I was literally dripping with sweat, so harassed and overheated as I was. Is it acceptable to wear just shirt and tie, maybe putting the jacket on for the ceremony itself? I would like to get away with cool, comfortable clothing but I don't think that would be welcome at most weddings. 2) Take your time with the formal shots. Take as many shots as necessary. Take the time to check your screen and see that all is in focus and no-one is blinking. You can get away with a lot in the candid shots, no-one expects perfection there, but you must get the formal shots right. I read somewhwere that many pros specify four minutes per shot, which sounds about right. In future I intend to take some safe shots with one camera on a tripod and pre-focused and then take some more at different angles and distances using a 50mm f/1.8 on a cropped body for some variation and very shallow dof. 3) Work with a second shooter whenever possible. While I was taking the main shots, my friend Mark was getting loads of lovely informal shots of the guests watching and kiddies running around in their best clothes, the bridesmaids looking pretty etc. I would never have got any of that. 4) Learn how to pose people. Luckily I had looked up wedding poses and got some of the basics into my head. Most people just waddled up and stood there directly on to camera, looking like the cast of Fraggle Rock. Get them to angle their body, conceal hands (hands look weird and distracting in photos), weight on the back foot etc. Take the time to pose them properly and it makes so much difference. 5) Learn how to talk to twenty half-drunk blokes who are messing about and some don't really want to be photographed! 6) Cultivate a persona - I am naturally quiet but since no-one there knew me but Mark, I put on an outgoing persona. instead of saying "smile!" I shouted "ok, happy, happy, happy!" when taking the shot. The cry was soon taken up. 7) Use an unclutterd background if possible for the formals. I had a grand staircase for the background and it's a bit distracting but not too bad with shallow depth of field blurring it. 8) Try to use two locations if that's not too much trouble. However, having got the lighting right for the grand hall we were in I was reluctant to start over again in another location, time was limited. 9) Visit the location in the days before the wedding. Get some good exterior shots in the bag in ideal conditions. Visit the church/room where the ceremony is to take place, take some test shots, establish if flash is allowed. Anyway, those are my major lessons. I'm going on a wedding photography course soon. What did you learn from your first time?