When working with a client recently, the bride asked me if she should consider a second shooter, since her wedding would have about 200 guests. I replied that the second shoot had less to do with covering a shot for all of the guests but instead for capturing moments at the wedding that are simultaneous. i.e., bride and groom getting ready in different places at the same time, the grooms face when the bride is coming down the aisle and the brides face at that same magic moment, detail shots of the set up of reception room before guests enter—at the same time family portraits are being taken.
In my experience, the second shooter is most critical until guests are seated for dinner, at that point events consolidate and it is easier to capture moments in one space as they unfold for one photographer.
A colleague and great photographer posted this great explanation recently.
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Mimi Wacholder, Founder and Principal Consultant
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Lake Placid, NY
Mimi Wacholder, Owner/Principal Planner