One great tip I have learned is never to forget about the other guests at the wedding. The whole event, especially the ceremony is focused on the bride and groom and one can sometimes forget about keeping a careful eye on the other wedding guests for photographic opportunities. Trying to capture your top ten shots leaves a lot of time to find other subjects that the bride and groom with thank you for. The parents, grandparents and friends sitting in the first few rows make excellent shots especially if they are showing any emotion.
One favourite idea of mine is to shoot behind the parents with them in focus and the newlyweds in the background out of focus. It is even better if you manage to get the parents interacting – looking at each other, hugging or holding hands. This is one great way to make sure your ceremony work stands out when there is so much competition. I can’t stress how important this point is: Rather than trying to do something too different the ceremony is a great opportunity to capture peoples expressions. The guests tend to be so engaged in the ceremony that they will often ignore the photographer. A long telephoto with a wide aperture will be your lens of choice and will ensure you are not a distraction.
I use a Canon 80-200mm f/2.8 L lens for this kind of work. It means you can capture some beautiful candid portraits of people when they are at an emotional peak. Positioning yourself is important but standing on either wide out of the way is usually your best bet.
Your clients will appreciate that you managed to capture every smile and tear and will love to see people laughing as well as crying.
Your work during the ceremony will not be judged on how different it is but by how much emotion you managed to capture.