Whenever possible we go with natural lighting as it provides for some amazing images. There is normally plenty of natural lighting at an outdoor ceremony but it can get tricky when we move inside for the reception and dance! Once inside a building there are still opportunities for natural lighting that the windows provide but what happens when the sun goes down? Is your photographer prepared for tungsten or fluorescent lighting? What about no light at all? Did you tell them before your wedding day that you wanted specific shots after dark or at sunset? Did you tell them there would be limited lighting on the dance floor.....as in "very dim" or completely dark? No two weddings are the same and no two will have the same lighting situations so be thorough in what you ask them to do.
Natural light - provides for the best images of rings, portraits plus all kinds of close up photographs and there should be plenty of it available. Whether you have an outdoor ceremony or indoor there should be "some" natural light, but some of the older churches can provide lighting issues for some photographers if they are not prepared. If I know I will be shooting in a church I personally like to "SEE" the church prior to the wedding day so that we bring the right equipment and won't be caught off guard.
Artificial lighting - in my opinion, this should be saved for the dance floor and other dark shots if
Studio strobes (ambient lighting) - sometimes using the ambient lighting with artificial lighting will give the effect you are looking for and make for beautiful images. Speed lights and strobes make for some amazing sunset shots, but again your photographer needs to be in the loop on what you are thinking and in that same requirement if they are unable to accommodate what you are asking they will probably recommend you to another photographer who will better suit your needs.
We normally travel with on-camera lights, but adding in mounted lights, umbrellas, and extension cords would be something that we need to bring if the bride and groom are looking for something special on their big day. Nothing will stop a photographer dead in their tracks faster than walking into a church or reception venue and realizing they DO NOT HAVE THE PROPER EQUIPMENT!!! So to avoid confusion or your photographer having the deer in the headlight look be open and honest with them so they are fully prepared. A reception is definitely the most difficult aspect of the wedding to capture as there are more lighting obstacles. Make sure your PHOTOGRAPHER IS PREPARED!
NO PHOTOGRAPHER wants to delivery images that appear "yellow" or insufficiently lit to their couples all because they had no idea what was going to happen. Be open and honest with your photographer and your day will be beyond your wildest expectations!!!
This photo of Micah & Katie was shot as the sun was setting but the natural lighting was spectacular!