I went to a wedding yesterday and, not being the official photographer, brought along a bag of cameras: Leica D-Lux 5, Leica X1, Minolta Dynax 7 film camera and Sony's A55. The 5 with its benefit of boosting an extensive DOF was for casual shots, the X1 for its lens quality, the 7 to finish off the remaining film shots and A55 for all-round shooting. I ended up using the A55 most – it's versatile and the plentiful functions just suit whatever scenes a photography may stumble upon.
Then I saw the official photographers and I wondered how many bland shots they would have got at the end of the day, being so busy directing the moves with a neck and two shoulders full of gear. Could they have the mood to observe? And to begin with, the photographers stood at the wrong place where the sunlight fell "flat" (no pun intended) on the subjects from the front. It was a winter's midday and the position and quality of sunlight was like that in the summer at 3 p.m. When shooting portraits, this is the best time to put a bright lining on the subjects in the final image, making the shot more dimensional. And one would wish to shoot the subjects with the sunlight showering on them from between the 45 and 90 degrees position, not facing the Sun "head-on" or almost so.
So, a shot of the above scene from 45 degrees to the Sun is like – and I put the bride and groom in context:
The following three shots illustrates shots done with sunlight coming from between the 45 and 90 degrees position (first one, 90; two below, 45):
I have viewed quite a number of wedding photos and honestly most photographers produced amazing images. But I personally prefer shooting the best moments with the subjects' facial expressions and body language communicating with the occasion or adding a live atmosphere to the image. For that matter, the photographer needs the eye and a cool head to wait, observe and response.
Lastly, don't forget the relevant environmental information. Don't just go up to where the action is taking place and machine-gun-kind-of shooting. Walk the scene beforehand and when shooting, walking a few steps back to look at the big scene always stand the photographer in good stead.