Last weekend I flew down to Raleigh, North Carolina to attend my sister Adrienne's wedding. I have three sisters and Adrienne is the eldest. (I, however, am the eldest of all the siblings, as Adrienne would be quick to remind you.) This was not her first marriage, however, considering the stellar qualities of her new husband Kevin, it's almost sure to be her last.
Because this was a second marriage for both of them, the event was low-key. It was held in a converted mansion. The ceremony was in a sunroom on the ground floor while the reception was in a second floor dining room. There was no official photographer, just me and one of my brothers-in-law. He shot with his Canon EOS 50D and a 430EX II flash. I shot with my Pentax K-7, almost entirely with available light.
Although I also brought a flash, I would only have used it for indirect lighting. That wouldn't have worked in the sunroom, which was walled with floor-to-ceiling windows, or the dining room, which had peach-colored walls and ceilings, so the flash stayed in my bag. Instead, I opted to rely on fast aperture lenses, high ISOs (up to 800), and in-camera image stabilization to get sharp images at shutter speeds averaging 1/30 second.
This is an example of when it's more important to capture the emotion of the moment than a "perfect" color balance--whatever that is. Even if the balance had been way off I could have converted the image to black-and-white and it would have looked just as good, if not better. This was shot with a Pentax 55mm f/1.4 SDM DA lens, which is just as flare-resistant as its little brother.
If this had been a paid job I would have shot Raw. Since I was shooting as a I guest who knows what he's doing and wanted to minimize his post-processing time, I shot JPEGs. It was a bit tricky nailing the right color balance in a peach-colored room lit by large windows and incandescent lights, but I was trying to capture a mood, not perfect neutrality. The proof is in pudding and in this case the pudding was just fine, thank you.
In the end, the wedding party, my brother-in-law and I all had a great time and we were all happy with our photographs. Once I got home it took me no more than an hour to sort through the photos, select the best, crop those that needed it, resize them for the web and upload them to my website. Any of the guests that want to can log-in, click through the shots, and order whatever ones they want printed. A lab affiliated with the website will fulfill the order without my having to lift a finger.
That's about as fun and easy as wedding photography gets, my friends, and if you're shooting "just for the fun of it," that's how it should be.