My cousin asked me to be the photographer for her informal wedding buffet. This will be my 1st time shooting a wedding. Any advice and tips is highly appreciated. Like what white balance, metering, etc to choose from.
Have you done anything comparable to this? If not I suggest you better don't take this job. You have to deliver results, you can't go back and re-shoot. Also, you don't have time to find correct settings with 3..4 trials. You focus must be on all activities, people and other details.
White balance can be tricky due to different sources of light, together with flash. Read up about CTO gels for flash. If you shoot RAW you can do a lot of adjustments later. Metering should be adjusted to the main subject, center-weighted worked well for me in similar situations. But keep an eye on white dresses and any other lights around, both could throw off the metering.
Still a newbie but I myself was put in a similar situation as you just last week.. spent about 2 weeks reading up on flash / available light shooting. Found the information on THIS SITE to be very(x2) useful.
One misconception I think a lot of people have is that they should always shoot at low ISO. But often times, when shooting low ISO with flash indoors (dim lighting), what you often get is subjects in front exposed properly but background is dark. What I learnt from the site above is that you need to balance ambient + flash so that you get neutral lighting.
If you really have to do this photoshoot.. take time to try different settings at home in the evenings with dim lighting to find the most suitable ISO + Aperture + Shutter + Flash setting that gives you acceptable image quality. It helps if you can find someone to pose or walk about at home just to get a feel (my wife was the stand-in model for me for the past 2 weeks..;p).
Another thing is to use a cam + lens that focuses relatively fast for candid shots as moments disappears with a blink of an eye..
when shooting indoors start at iso400. know the limits of your camera.. example on my d700 i shoot till 1600. on a D90 i probably use it till 1250. BUT this is just a guide, if you need to, i'd rather have noisy pic than blurred.
have a flash, even if you love available light or use flash lens, you never know when you'll need one to brighten up a subject or just for its stopping power. if you got more specific Qs, lemme know.