It's not that hard if you are a skilled and careful photographer AND are sociable. Be able to consistently and confidently make photos like you intended. Be able to herd a group of people for the group photos, or have a family member assigned to help you.
If you want to do it for money, you must not allow any situation that could result in excuses needing to be made. Have a second body, second flash, extra batteries, extra film, arrive early. Make photos that exceed the quality of every guest present in as many situations as necessary. Prove yourself and seek word of mouth referrals as your long term marketing.
I've done some weddings. Back in the '90's I'd shoot a wedding and give the film to the couple in exchange for $ and be done with it. When I got married, I hired a normal color photographer and hired a friend to do B&W. Lately, I've done a couple weddings with DSLRs. The last one, I did a nice MF B&W environmental portrait of the couple as a cherry on top.
I already have a real job, so I'm not desparate for money. I kinda like weddings but don't do them much for lack of time more than anything. Your local photographers don't want competition, that's why they didn't allow help. Lots of people with varying qualities of skills and preparation are "wedding photographers" and prices and results vary considerably, weakening expectations and prices. They know that and shudder at some of the people getting into that work. I've thought about offering being a second separeately hired photographer to do B&W film, sort of like how many couples hire a videographer as well as a photographers. THat would let me do mostly what I like best and not have the pressure to be the main photographer.
Last edited by jp498; 01-03-2011 at 03:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.