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How to Decide if You Need a 2nd Photographer at Your Wedding

Is a second shooter necessary? Is it possible for one photographer to capture all the special candid moments from your big day while also allowing time to capture all the details you’ll want to remember for years to come? Some couples don’t see the value in having two professional photographers at their wedding but if your budget allows it might be worth considering. In many instances, one photographer is enough but if you’re unsure consider these key factors to help you decide.

Should You Hire a Second Photographer?

1. Number of Guests.

If you are expecting more than 100 people to attend your wedding a second shooter could be a good idea. Having two photographers allows the lead photographer to focus on the bride and groom while the second photographer can focus on capturing all the interesting moments with your guests.

2. Getting Ready Location.

If the bride and groom are getting ready in separate locations having a second shooter ensures that both parties are covered. While you can schedule one shooter to be with the bride and bridesmaids first and then head over to the groom’s place this can mean missing out on a number of key moments and limits opportunities for detail shots. 

3. What Is the Wedding Day Schedule Like?

If you are having a relaxed and casual wedding then one shooter can handle the day but if you have a number of activities planned then a second shooter might be necessary. Also, consider all the time your photographer will be off shooting you and your portraits and missing out on all the reception fun.  A second photographer could possibly cover the reception area set up and cocktail hour while the main photographer is capturing the post ceremony formals. 

4. Ceremony Restrictions.

Some ceremony locations will have specific rules for photographers to follow when shooting on location. This can mean your photographer not being allowed to move around while the ceremony is taking place or only being able to shoot from a designated location. If you had two photographers in this situation you could benefit from having your ceremony shot from two different perspectives. This also is essentially insurance for those important shots like the first kiss. In the unlikely event a photographers tech stopped working, your guaranteed another photographer caught the moment.

5. Ceremony and Reception Locations.

If you have separate locations for your ceremony and reception your photographer might not be able to arrive at your reception until long after your guests have arrived, especially if you scheduled portraits to take place after the ceremony. If you have your ceremony and reception at the same location you still may want to have a second photographer. If guests are going to be pouring into the reception hall right after the ceremony you might not get any shots of the whole place decorated and untouched with a single photographer. 

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