There's the obvious - take great photos. But that's not what I wanted to talk about today. You can take gorgeous wedding photographs - the best - and still be a sub-par photographer.
I once spoke to a bride who told me about her sisters wedding where the photographer actually stopped the ceremony (THE CEREMONY!!) in order to get them to pose. It was pretty simple - no matter how gorgeous the photos were, they were not going to hire him again.
It's customer service that you need to pride yourself on, as well as the photos. If you want the bride's sister's wedding, her friends and family, then you need to be remembered as the wedding photographer. That person who made the wedding just a little bit better and took the best photos ever. My Dad was always naturally good at it, I think. He never advertised - it was all word of mouth because he's a brilliant at photographer and such a wonderful guy to have at your wedding.
So here's a few tips to making sure you are remembered for all the right reasons;
1. Help out
Help. Help so much. If they can't find a sister, go find her. If the bride's hair is out of place, fix it (or find someone who won't make it worse ;) ). Do whatever to help them out. I know you're only paid to take the photos, but you are with the bride and groom all day. It's one of the best days of their life - so make sure it goes amazingly smooth for them.
My Dad once drove the bridesmaids to the ceremony venue in the morning because the wedding party had miscounted the seats they needed. It made such a difference, because something goes wrong and boom there's help at hand.
2. Know wedding ins and outs
I cannot tell you how many times I've been asked which side the father of the bride stands walking down the aisle (Traditionally bride on the left side!!). Or how to do up the ties, where to hold flowers, etc etc.
3. Have fun with the wedding party
Especially in the morning - or if they are too nervous at least be calming. Just be relaxed, yourself, and talk to them about their honeymoon, their ceremony, how gorgeous everything looks etc etc. They are nervous enough in the morning, they don't need to contend with you shoving a camera in their face.
4. Don't get in the way
Stopping the ceremony is an extreme in-the-way example, but there's a balance between moving around and getting in the way. Especially in the ceremony, don't move around too much. It's great to have two photographers in this instance, because you can be in two places without being distracting
5. Be happy for them
I'm naturally quite (ha, very) emotional, so I feel teary every wedding even though I know what's going to happen because this is my hundredth wedding. But it definitely helps to be happy for them. You want to capture their joy of the day, the best way to do this is to be joyful for them, in my opinion.
I hope this helps push your wedding photography to another level. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks that I've missed :)