- good idea.Rather than "wedding" photographer I would sell myself as "ceremony" photographer. How many people are going to marry in your neighbourhood of 3000 households in the next few months? On the other hand, somebody might look for a photographer for a birthday, a first communion, a confirmation, a baptism, a graduation, the opening of a shop, the presentation of a book, etc.
I will consider that but the problem with those kind of events these days is the whole "Everyone is a photographer" concept. In other words, ever event I go to these days of that nature, there is at least one person there with a DSLR who thinks he's a pro. I find that inevidtably, these days, people rely on those friends to provide photographic coverage of their event. Still might be an idea though.
Contracts - done it. Checked it.
Insurance - got it (and have had it for two years for my other pro work). Checked it covers professional damages.
Backups - not got them all yet, but in the process of doing so. If and when I actually secure a booking, I'll make sure I have it. Considering 2 x F100's as backups to accompany my F5. Have just bought an off-camera flash shoe too. Might look a 2nd SB-800 as you suggest.
Though I've only shot a few weddings, don't be under the illusion that I've just woke up and thought "I know, I'll do that". I've spent a lot of time buying\loaning and reading wedding books, have toured probably hundreds of wedding photographer websites and spoke (often via PM or whatever) with many. I have treated this endeavor with the professionalim it respects and would not embark on it if I had doubts that I could do it. I'm just not sure about having the confidence to do it due to the many things that could go wrong, thus this thread was started.