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09-29-2014, 12:16 PM   #1
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Rent a K5iis for wedding?

I am flying to Mexico to shoot our neighbors wedding. I have never shot a wedding before but they pretty much begged me to come down and be their photographer. I shoot with a K50 now and would really like to have a back up camera body with me. I am considering renting a k5iis from lensrentals.com and using it as my primary camera for shooting. Is it worth it to rent it? Will I have issues operating it if I am used to my K50? I have heard that it is pretty superior in low light conditions as well. Thoughts??

09-29-2014, 12:45 PM   #2
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I have never used either the K5iis or the K-50. I currently use the K5, which is the same thing more or less as the K5iis.

When I bought mine, I got the K5 as it had better outdoor performance, where as the iis was more intended for places the light could be better controlled (indoors). Since I have never used a K-50, I cannot advise you on that. When are you supposed to go? Are you the only photographer that will be there?

Personally, I'd sooner buy the K5iis rather than rent it, $67.00 for 5 days to me is a little steep, but never rented a camera before.
09-29-2014, 12:49 PM - 4 Likes   #3
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Re wedding: If you have not done weddings you might be better off paying for a photographer out of your own pocket. Nothing good will come of this.

Re camera: First rule of wedding photography, there are NO 'do overs'. Have a backup for ALL gear. Multiple bodies, lenses, flash, batteries, cards. The K-5IIs will be fine, but you should get it in time to practice, it is enough different that you will need some time to learn it. Don't think of the k-50 as backup, you should have two lenses and use both. Get a 16-50 or equivalent for the k-5IIs and something longer for the k-50 (or the reverse). You might also think about a having a fast 50mm (DA 50mm f/1.8 ) or even a DA 70 or similar for the formal static portraits.

Re wedding: If you insist on doing this here are some points:
  1. Insist on having a shot list approved ahead of time. These are available on line. if you have time go over this with couple in advance
  2. Insist that you have an assistant that knows all the family to help you get things lined up. This can be just about anyone from 'aunt ethel' to a young cousin that wants to help. But you need someone from the family that knows everyone and can help you so you can focus 100% on shooting.
  3. Wedding photography is being in the right place at the right time. You should have a script either in your head or written of each place you want to be BEFORE anything happens. You need to anticipate all the action and be there first.
  4. Use multiple memory cards and swap them out after each section, DO NOT trust the whole wedding to one or two cards.
  5. If possible visit the location prior to the event (at the same time of day) and check lighting. Take sample shots as you walk through the area and think about what lighting and settings will be needed at each spot.
  6. Check on whether they want rehearsal pictures, reception pictures and so on
  7. If things will be inside do you have enough flash gear? If outside in bright sun have you taken portraits under those conditions?
  8. Get a book on wedding photography and read it. or read through articles on line, lots of information available but you need to know what you are doing.
  9. Be prepared for the longest day of your life. You will be working, hard. Have water and snacks in your bag.
Best course of action is to break a leg. Seriously. It will be less painful.
09-29-2014, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Rather than one K-5ii I recommend you rent these and couple them; this way you'll have doubles / backups for most of the focal range needed to cover a wedding.
LensRentals.com - Rent a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM A1 for Pentax
LensRentals.com - Rent a Pentax K-30

And if they'll pay for it, rent one of these two to cover the tele end (I managed to do wedding tele with the DA 50-200 for quite a while so they're not absolutely necessary; the DA 50-200 is totally useless in a church though, and barely usable with a flash on most reception venues). If you can rent one of them, dont need to bring your 50-200.
LensRentals.com - Rent a Pentax SMC FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited
http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/pentax/lenses/pentax-smc-da-50-135mm-f2.8-ed-sdm

Rent a day before you go so you can test everything for focusing errors, etc.Bring extra batteries, you can't have too many.

Also I totally agree with everything jatrax said above. If you're going to do it anyway, make sure that your friends expect nothing out of it, and make it clear that you've never done it before, give full disclaimer.

It will be less risky to pay a local establish wedding tog for the price of your flight (assuming they were going to pay for your ticket!)


Last edited by Andi Lo; 09-29-2014 at 01:04 PM.
09-29-2014, 01:04 PM   #5
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i also second the k-30 or 50 for a rental, they have basically the same buttons, and use the same batteries/chargers. more backups.
09-29-2014, 01:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bcrary3 Quote
I have never used either the K5iis or the K-50. I currently use the K5, which is the same thing more or less as the K5iis.

When I bought mine, I got the K5 as it had better outdoor performance, where as the iis was more intended for places the light could be better controlled (indoors). Since I have never used a K-50, I cannot advise you on that. When are you supposed to go? Are you the only photographer that will be there?

Personally, I'd sooner buy the K5iis rather than rent it, $67.00 for 5 days to me is a little steep, but never rented a camera before.
The hotel that they are having their wedding at provides a photographer for the ceremony as part of the "wedding package" but she has heard that the pictures they give you aren't very good. I too would like to purchase the k5iis rather then rent it but my other half isn't crazy about me spending the money on it right now.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Re wedding: If you have not done weddings you might be better off paying for a photographer out of your own pocket. Nothing good will come of this.

Re camera: First rule of wedding photography, there are NO 'do overs'. Have a backup for ALL gear. Multiple bodies, lenses, flash, batteries, cards. The K-5IIs will be fine, but you should get it in time to practice, it is enough different that you will need some time to learn it. Don't think of the k-50 as backup, you should have two lenses and use both. Get a 16-50 or equivalent for the k-5IIs and something longer for the k-50 (or the reverse). You might also think about a having a fast 50mm (DA 50mm f/1.8 ) or even a DA 70 or similar for the formal static portraits.

Re wedding: If you insist on doing this here are some points:
  1. Insist on having a shot list approved ahead of time. These are available on line. if you have time go over this with couple in advance
  2. Insist that you have an assistant that knows all the family to help you get things lined up. This can be just about anyone from 'aunt ethel' to a young cousin that wants to help. But you need someone from the family that knows everyone and can help you so you can focus 100% on shooting.
  3. Wedding photography is being in the right place at the right time. You should have a script either in your head or written of each place you want to be BEFORE anything happens. You need to anticipate all the action and be there first.
  4. Use multiple memory cards and swap them out after each section, DO NOT trust the whole wedding to one or two cards.
  5. If possible visit the location prior to the event (at the same time of day) and check lighting. Take sample shots as you walk through the area and think about what lighting and settings will be needed at each spot.
  6. Check on whether they want rehearsal pictures, reception pictures and so on
  7. If things will be inside do you have enough flash gear? If outside in bright sun have you taken portraits under those conditions?
  8. Get a book on wedding photography and read it. or read through articles on line, lots of information available but you need to know what you are doing.
  9. Be prepared for the longest day of your life. You will be working, hard. Have water and snacks in your bag.
Best course of action is to break a leg. Seriously. It will be less painful.
Thanks for all the great advice! Our neighbors are good friends of ours, they know the extent of my experience and are paying my way down to the wedding but that is all. I understand how big of a deal it is and realize everything that could go wrong. I have been taking steps to plan ahead, I'm not just going to shoot on a whim. The other reason for me having the extra body along is so that I can do just as you said (have a wide lens on 1 camera and more reach on the other). I will be getting to the location on Thursday and the wedding isn't till Saturday so I will have some time to scope things out and get used to the conditions, lighting ex... I have a 50mm 1.8, 55-300 and 18-55 lens that I will be bringing along. I also DO NOT PLAN on doing weddings in the future, this is strictly for a friend. I have heard how crazy, hectic and stressful shooting weddings can be.

From what you said it sounds like renting a k3 would be a bit of a learning curve. Maybe I would be better off renting a k30 instead?

---------- Post added 09-29-14 at 03:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Rather than one K-5ii I recommend you rent these and couple them; this way you'll have doubles / backups for most of the focal range needed to cover a wedding.
LensRentals.com - Rent a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM A1 for Pentax
LensRentals.com - Rent a Pentax K-30

And if they'll pay for it, rent one of these two to cover the tele end (I managed to do wedding tele with the DA 50-200 for quite a while so they're not absolutely necessary; the DA 50-200 is totally useless in a church though, and barely usable with a flash on most reception venues). If you can rent one of them, dont need to bring your 50-200.
LensRentals.com - Rent a Pentax SMC FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited
LensRentals.com - Rent a Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED SDM

Rent a day before you go so you can test everything for focusing errors, etc.Bring extra batteries, you can't have too many.

Also I totally agree with everything jatrax said above. If you're going to do it anyway, make sure that your friends expect nothing out of it, and make it clear that you've never done it before, give full disclaimer.

It will be less risky to pay a local establish wedding tog for the price of your flight (assuming they were going to pay for your ticket!)
I will be leaving for the wedding in a couple of weeks so I need to get this ironed out very soon. I think renting the k30 may be my best bet. I can't agree more about a not wedding photographer shooting a wedding. I think the largest reason they want me to do it is because they know me and are comfortable with me. I also will have my Mom along as back up. I am not relying on her for any pictures but I figured it can't hurt to have her also snapping pictures to cover another angle.
09-29-2014, 01:54 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxgirl86 Quote
From what you said it sounds like renting a k3 would be a bit of a learning curve. Maybe I would be better off renting a k30 instead?
Yes, I did not think of that. I have never used a k-30 or k-50 only k-5 --> k-3 but my son's girlfriend has a k-30 and it is different enough I have to look. So I would second the above comment to stick with the same body. Same batteries alone is enough reason.
QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxgirl86 Quote
I also will have my Mom along as back up. I am not relying on her for any pictures but I figured it can't hurt to have her also snapping pictures to cover another angle.
A good idea as well. Most wedding photographers I have observed work as a team with at least two shooters. It is just not possible to be everywhere at the same time. Of course it depends on what is expected. If all they want is just the ceremony, that is not too bad. But if you want to do: bride getting ready, bridesmaids getting dressed and helping bride, mother of bride working to direct caterers, groom worried, groomsmen and groom in various poses pre-wedding, friends/family arriving, scenes of the church or venue, actual ceremony, receiving line, family group portraits, bride / groom portraits, reception and party, sunset shots of bride / groom, on location shots, etc. The list is extensive and needs to be written down as a checklist because you will never remember it all. Work your checklist and tick those off and use your skill and creativity to get the shots of opportunity that pop up. Watch for the shot of the wedding like ring bearer & flower girl holding hands or great-grandmother crying. It is all about the people. You need the 'checklist' shots but the real memories will be those special ones that nobody thought of ahead of time.

If there is going to be a rehearsal I would try to shoot that as practice so you feel comfortable on the real day. I would just mention to bride / groom that this is your first wedding, you need some practice to get your timing and camera settings right and just want to take some scratch shots to get comfortable. Some of those might actually come out nice as well.

50 f/1.8 is great, 55-300 will be fine unless the venue is large and dark. 18-55 may be too slow. I would consider renting a 16-50 f/2.8 or equivalent unless you know the area will be very well lit. Also check your flash gear and make sure you are comfortable with it.

Good luck!
09-29-2014, 02:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Yes, I did not think of that. I have never used a k-30 or k-50 only k-5 --> k-3 but my son's girlfriend has a k-30 and it is different enough I have to look. So I would second the above comment to stick with the same body. Same batteries alone is enough reason.
A good idea as well. Most wedding photographers I have observed work as a team with at least two shooters. It is just not possible to be everywhere at the same time. Of course it depends on what is expected. If all they want is just the ceremony, that is not too bad. But if you want to do: bride getting ready, bridesmaids getting dressed and helping bride, mother of bride working to direct caterers, groom worried, groomsmen and groom in various poses pre-wedding, friends/family arriving, scenes of the church or venue, actual ceremony, receiving line, family group portraits, bride / groom portraits, reception and party, sunset shots of bride / groom, on location shots, etc. The list is extensive and needs to be written down as a checklist because you will never remember it all. Work your checklist and tick those off and use your skill and creativity to get the shots of opportunity that pop up. Watch for the shot of the wedding like ring bearer & flower girl holding hands or great-grandmother crying. It is all about the people. You need the 'checklist' shots but the real memories will be those special ones that nobody thought of ahead of time.

If there is going to be a rehearsal I would try to shoot that as practice so you feel comfortable on the real day. I would just mention to bride / groom that this is your first wedding, you need some practice to get your timing and camera settings right and just want to take some scratch shots to get comfortable. Some of those might actually come out nice as well.

50 f/1.8 is great, 55-300 will be fine unless the venue is large and dark. 18-55 may be too slow. I would consider renting a 16-50 f/2.8 or equivalent unless you know the area will be very well lit. Also check your flash gear and make sure you are comfortable with it.

Good luck!
Thank you for all of the info, it is much appreciated! I already started putting a list together and sent it to the Bride but she has a crazy schedule and just doesn't really have the time to look through it all. Still I think the list is a must have to help stay organized and not miss anything! I heard a lot of good things about the Tamron 17-50 although I'm not sure if anyone rents it out. Most of the venue will be outside on the beach but I have a feeling there will be some indoor reception shots where a faster lens would be helpful. I have a single AF360 flash that I have used quite a bit, hopefully it will be powerful enough.


Last edited by pentaxgirl86; 09-29-2014 at 02:29 PM.
09-29-2014, 03:17 PM   #9
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I almost was a second on a wedding shoot in May, until my wife got cancer. I prepared extensively in advance and was going to rent (more) equipment from lensrental or some other rental agency. I agree with pretty much all the advice you've been given. I'd be tempted to stay with the same kind of body so that you don't have any learning curve for the rental body. Much depends on the conditions you expect to find at the site(s). Will you be close (enough)? Will there be light (enough)? Is everybody (including minister) okay with your placement, movement, noises, and flash? I'd consider renting zoom lenses with fixed f2.8 apertures, covering the major focal length ranges you are likely to need. For example, you could rent an FA* 28-70 f2.8, which I did once (now I own the lens), and think about a 70-200mm f2.8 lens as well. It's possible you'll need a super wide angle lens, which could be a zoom, such as a 12-24mm f4, and it's possible you'll need a long prime, such as a 300mm f4. You want lenses that are super sharp to begin with and that can handle any low light conditions.

Don't forget to urge others at the wedding to take photos, but also urge that they respect your need to get the shot first. You don't need their flashes messing up your perfect shots. Contrary to some on here, I don't automatically advise against shooting weddings, though there are plenty of concerns to take into account. I was looking forward to the wedding I would have helped shoot. You've probably done this already, but look online at the gobs of advice there is for how to shoot weddings. You'll learn plenty that way in advance. If you haven't had experience posing people, grab some friends, tell them you need to practice, and have a photoshoot in which you practice lots of posing them and using flash. You'll work out lots of kinks that way. Best of luck, and hopefully you'll show us your best shots at some point.
09-29-2014, 03:33 PM   #10
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I agree with others about renting another K-50 due to its familiarity. Hopefully the whole event will be more low-key than a typical church wedding. Destination weddings (this is one, right?) are often like that. Note however, that you'll likely have less fun at the wedding since you will be busy "working".
09-29-2014, 03:40 PM   #11
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As well as all the cautionary comments already made, I would echo the suggestion of renting a second body with a more familiar control layout. Another K-50, or a K-30 would make more sense than a K-5IIs. I would also be wary of the increased potential for moire in patterned fabrics - not unusual in this sort of shoot.
09-29-2014, 03:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxgirl86 Quote
The hotel that they are having their wedding at provides a photographer for the ceremony as part of the "wedding package" but she has heard that the pictures they give you aren't very good. I too would like to purchase the k5iis rather then rent it but my other half isn't crazy about me spending the money on it right now.



Thanks for all the great advice! Our neighbors are good friends of ours, they know the extent of my experience and are paying my way down to the wedding but that is all. I understand how big of a deal it is and realize everything that could go wrong. I have been taking steps to plan ahead, I'm not just going to shoot on a whim. The other reason for me having the extra body along is so that I can do just as you said (have a wide lens on 1 camera and more reach on the other). I will be getting to the location on Thursday and the wedding isn't till Saturday so I will have some time to scope things out and get used to the conditions, lighting ex... I have a 50mm 1.8, 55-300 and 18-55 lens that I will be bringing along. I also DO NOT PLAN on doing weddings in the future, this is strictly for a friend. I have heard how crazy, hectic and stressful shooting weddings can be.

From what you said it sounds like renting a k3 would be a bit of a learning curve. Maybe I would be better off renting a k30 instead?

---------- Post added 09-29-14 at 03:18 PM ----------



I will be leaving for the wedding in a couple of weeks so I need to get this ironed out very soon. I think renting the k30 may be my best bet. I can't agree more about a not wedding photographer shooting a wedding. I think the largest reason they want me to do it is because they know me and are comfortable with me. I also will have my Mom along as back up. I am not relying on her for any pictures but I figured it can't hurt to have her also snapping pictures to cover another angle.
I recommend the K-5 II (or s) because you're going to want a quiet camera for the ceremony itself. The K-30/50 isn't quiet or close to it. Reception... makes no difference. Outdoor ceremony on the beach? Wouldn't matter there, either.
09-29-2014, 04:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
I almost was a second on a wedding shoot in May, until my wife got cancer. I prepared extensively in advance and was going to rent (more) equipment from lensrental or some other rental agency. I agree with pretty much all the advice you've been given. I'd be tempted to stay with the same kind of body so that you don't have any learning curve for the rental body. Much depends on the conditions you expect to find at the site(s). Will you be close (enough)? Will there be light (enough)? Is everybody (including minister) okay with your placement, movement, noises, and flash? I'd consider renting zoom lenses with fixed f2.8 apertures, covering the major focal length ranges you are likely to need. For example, you could rent an FA* 28-70 f2.8, which I did once (now I own the lens), and think about a 70-200mm f2.8 lens as well. It's possible you'll need a super wide angle lens, which could be a zoom, such as a 12-24mm f4, and it's possible you'll need a long prime, such as a 300mm f4. You want lenses that are super sharp to begin with and that can handle any low light conditions.

Don't forget to urge others at the wedding to take photos, but also urge that they respect your need to get the shot first. You don't need their flashes messing up your perfect shots. Contrary to some on here, I don't automatically advise against shooting weddings, though there are plenty of concerns to take into account. I was looking forward to the wedding I would have helped shoot. You've probably done this already, but look online at the gobs of advice there is for how to shoot weddings. You'll learn plenty that way in advance. If you haven't had experience posing people, grab some friends, tell them you need to practice, and have a photoshoot in which you practice lots of posing them and using flash. You'll work out lots of kinks that way. Best of luck, and hopefully you'll show us your best shots at some point.
Thanks! I think I am going to take Andi's advice from above and rent a sigma 18-35 1.8, I already have a 50mm 1.8. Between the 2 that should help a lot in low light. I have a 55-300 that should get me plenty close and should work just fine outside on the beach.

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I agree with others about renting another K-50 due to its familiarity. Hopefully the whole event will be more low-key than a typical church wedding. Destination weddings (this is one, right?) are often like that. Note however, that you'll likely have less fun at the wedding since you will be busy "working".
Yes it is a destination wedding. I think only about 25 people are coming. The couple likes to party and have a good time so I don't think there will be a lot of formal stuff going on. I haven't had any luck finding a k50 to rent but I'm pretty sure a k30 is almost a dead ringer.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
As well as all the cautionary comments already made, I would echo the suggestion of renting a second body with a more familiar control layout. Another K-50, or a K-30 would make more sense than a K-5IIs. I would also be wary of the increased potential for moire in patterned fabrics - not unusual in this sort of shoot.
I'm not sure what you mean by more patterned fabrics? Like Hawaiian shirts?

---------- Post added 09-29-14 at 06:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
I recommend the K-5 II (or s) because you're going to want a quiet camera for the ceremony itself. The K-30/50 isn't quiet or close to it. Reception... makes no difference. Outdoor ceremony on the beach? Wouldn't matter there, either.
This is another big reason I want a k5, my k50 is so dang noisy!! It is however outside on the beach which will be my saving grace. The k5iis is in my sights for my next body... Maybe my hubby will surprise me with a Christmas/Birthday present... not before the wedding tho I'm afraid.
09-29-2014, 04:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxgirl86 Quote
I am flying to Mexico to shoot our neighbors wedding. I have never shot a wedding before but they pretty much begged me to come down and be their photographer. I shoot with a K50 now and would really like to have a back up camera body with me. I am considering renting a k5iis from lensrentals.com and using it as my primary camera for shooting. Is it worth it to rent it? Will I have issues operating it if I am used to my K50? I have heard that it is pretty superior in low light conditions as well. Thoughts??
I am in agreement with all the advice I see from my fellow forum member. Having done wedding photography for three years back in 2004-2007. I learned a lot about it and came to appreciate how hard it is to do it right.

I had the k5IIs for a while. It is a fantastic camera. One thing I like about Pentax is the relatively consistent interface.

As far as gear goes, a second body is a must. The lenses I used a lot (on Canon system at the time) were the 24-105 and the 70-200 f2.8 IS. I also used macro, fisheye and a bunch of prime lenses to create unique looks for my clients. You will need two bodies, two flashes and as many lenses as you can afford to bring along. Extra batteries, plenty of memory cards... the list goes on. I never had bodies die on me. But two of my flashes died separately in the middle of a wedding shoot. So be careful.

A little bit on the responsibility of a wedding shoot. If you shoot any event, weddings or otherwise, the expectation is to produce excellent results whether you get paid or not or you are a pro or not. You have to produce or risk the friendship. If something goes wrong and you do not give them good pics, you will never hear the end of it.

Oh, and theft, another big one. My friend's gear was stollen sitting five feet away from him. This was in Beverly Hills Hotel!!!, a very safe and expensive place to shoot a wedding. Out of the country, in a strange town, I would be very careful.

Don't mean to scare you off but you have to consider all the risks and see if the rewards are worth the risks.
09-29-2014, 04:44 PM   #15
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I've done a few weddings for friends, some paid, some not. Since this is not your vocation, I'd suggest just keeping things simple and stick to your strengths. A lot will be going on and you'll want to do the best you can, but if you reach too far out of your comfort zone, you may not have the time to sort things out and things move fast at weddings. Figure out the focal length you need based on where you are and keep the cam glued to your eye and wait for the happy expressions. If you keep the cam at your chest, when it happens it's too late. You'll be watching the wedding through a viewfinder but you'll get natural expressions.

Since you're going to be on a beach, presumably with sun, make sure you don't over expose! Dial in at least 7/10's underexposure, shoot raw, and fix it in post. Take some shots of her dress and make sure they are not too overexposed. I know this is hard when it's sunny and her dress is white. Look and evaluate your shots often! Make sure your settings aren't wrong for too long, though it will happen at some point. When it does, fix it and don't beat yourself up. They asked you to help - they know your experience level - they will be happy that you were around to help. When the lights get dim, don't underexpose as much since your iso's will be higher and may not give you as much opportunity to fix it in software without paying a huge noise penalty. If it's uneven light with some serious dark areas, figure out where the well lit areas are where there will be activity and camp there. Or use your flash if you have to.

Figure out how you will carry this gear without damaging it (sand, banging cams into each other, etc). A messenger bag works great for easy switching of bodies - just make sure it doesn't have velcro - imagine a quiet part of the ceremony and you have to change bodies and you fill the air with velcro ripping sounds - ugh.

Try to get pics of guests and family even if they are sitting down - wait for a moment when they are smiling, take your photo and move to get another persons photo - wedding photogs often overlook some people.

Remember to eat! Even if you have to have a energy bar in your bag, keep your body fueled up. Have water on you and stay hydrated. Any meds you might need like advil, sunscreen, bug spray - it's got to fit in your cam bag.

As far as camera settings, I'd suggest putting the cam on machine gun drive mode - people blink, memory is cheap, and choose the best shot later. I often shoot in AV mode with ISO on auto allowing it to go to 6400 or higher if you have to.

These are just some random thoughts - good luck and remember to have fun!
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