Another question that we get asked a lot about is “Do I need 1 photographer or do I need two at my wedding?”
The very first wedding that I ever assisted on (gosh that seems like a long time ago) was in Michigan with about 500 guests. It was two very large families (one Italian-American and one Hindu-American) and both were very close families. There were two full ceremonies (one for each of the cultures) and it was one of the most beautiful wedding days that I’ve experienced. The company that I had just gotten hired at thought that it would be a good idea if the main photographer had another shooter to help get all the important shots. With two people we were able to capture many, many more candids than had one person been by him/herself.
This is the first scenario, one of a very large wedding, where I suggest to brides and grooms that they have two photographers. If you have a very large wedding where it is going to be difficult (or impossible) for one person to be near most people or most of the action at once it is a good idea to have two photographers. Of course, if you have a wedding with 500 people, it might even be a good idea to have 3 photographers. I have had half a dozen weddings where I thought it would be beneficial to have 2 other people with me and suggested to the bride and groom as such.
The other scenario where it is very advisable to have two photographers is if you would like multiple angles of something simultaneously. For example, if you know that you are getting married in a giant, beautiful cathedral with a balcony, and you’d want a shot of you and your dad walking down the isle from above and from front on, you need to have two photographers. The father and daughter walking down the isle in a cathedral from above is one of my favorite wedding shots, but you can only get that if you have a second person in the balcony, because, of course, you can’t have the entire wedding party shot from above.
Some other times that it is very nice to have more than one photographer is if you and your fiance are getting ready in two different locations. While it is possible to drive from place to place and get shots of each of you getting ready, there is bound to be something missed while in transit. Having two shooters makes it possible to have both groups getting ready with nothing missed.
There are lots of other examples of things like that, and it is a very nice extra if you can afford to have another photographer there.
I would seldom say that a second photographer is “necessary,” but I would rarely advise against it. Of course, if the number of photographers is going to equal the number of people at the wedding, or be very close, I would probably say you should stick to just one.