Is a Second Wedding Photographer Really Necessary?

Get all the facts so you can decide if it is worth it to skip.
by Rachel Torgerson
Couple walking down the aisle at an indoor wedding from two angles
photo by Jeff Wojtaszek

One Knottie member asked a question we get all the time: Do we really need a second photographer? According to her, both her future husband and the photographer think it is fine to not include what people in the industry call a "second shooter," but she's a little less convinced. "I personally want to have two photographers since we are getting ready at two different locations and I want to make sure that we can get pictures of everyone getting ready," the bride shares. "Oh, and we invited around 350 people, I think a second photographer is a must."

We totally agree. In most cases, you'll want a second photographer for a lot of practical reasons, and not only the two outlined above (getting ready in two separate locations and a large number of guests). There's also the logistics of how to shoot the walk down the aisle. Think about it: You'll want your walk and your fiance's reaction to it, your vows and your parents' reactions. You get the point -- multiple things happen simultaneously at weddings and they're all worth capturing, from getting ready to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.

In our opinion, a second shooter is definitely worth it, even with a smaller number of guests. Of course there are a few ways to "hack" the timeline so that a second shooter is a little less necessary. For instance, coordinate the getting ready time so that bridesmaids and the bride are getting ready first, then groomsmen, so that one photographer can capture both scenarios.

But, if your budget is the reason you want to ditch the second shooter, consider cutting down the amount of time you need your photographer (many photographers understand this factor, and will take all the necessary photos from the reception right away so you can get on with the party).

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