How Many Wedding Photographers Do You Need?

Planning a wedding requires many decisions to be made. From choosing the perfect venue and setting a date to selecting invitation designs and fonts for table name cards, every detail contributes to creating an unforgettable event.

One big decision to make early on is identifying how many wedding photographers you’ll need for your big day.

Let’s face it. In the wedding planning process, selecting a photographer is one of the most significant decisions couples face. Many couples contemplate whether they should enlist a second photographer to complement their lead wedding photographer.

In this blog post, we’re going to cover three key factors to consider when determining the number of wedding photographers you need for your special day.

Let’s get started!

bride and groom walking together on their wedding day

Wedding Size and Complexity

One of the biggest factors to consider is the wedding size and general complexity. Simply put, if you’re organizing an intimate wedding with 50 guests, you really won’t need a second photographer. If you’re planning a wedding with three different locations and over 300 guests, a second photographer is almost essential. This ensures that no details are overlooked and that all your guests have a fair chance to be captured in photographs.

I’ve personally shot a 3-location wedding with over 400 guests and felt totally comfortable doing it as a sole photographer. However, a second photographer would have definitely been helpful in capturing extra details and candids of the guests.

Here’s my recommendation… You won’t need a second photographer for single-location weddings with less than 120 guests. If your single-location wedding guest count is over 150, a second photographer would be a nice addition. If your wedding is happening in multiple locations with over 200 guests, you’ll strongly want to consider adding a second photographer.

It’s important to note that every photographer has different comfort levels, so chat with your photographer to see how confident they are in covering your special day alone or if they require a second to be with them.

I’m quite comfortable shooting large weddings as a solo shooter. My documentary wedding photography style allows me to capture a wide range of moments throughout the wedding day. To learn more about my wedding photography style, I invite you to check out this helpful blog I created –  A Deep Dive Into My Wedding Photography Approach

Depth of Coverage

Lead wedding photographers will naturally lean toward photographing the bride, groom, and their key family members/friends whenever possible. Some photographers do a great job capturing candid photos of wedding guests too though their ability to do so is naturally limited due to their commitment to the newlywed couple.

Having a second photographer can provide a more comprehensive view of the wedding day. Second photographers bring a different perspective along with more freedom to simultaneously cover guests and wedding day details while the lead photographer is photographing the key people and events.

If commemorating as many guests and wedding details as possible is important to you, you may want to consider having a second photographer. If capturing the key moments and family members is enough coverage for you, one wedding photographer will do the trick.

Backup and Reliability

It’s important to remember that weddings are live events. Like any live event, unexpected circumstances like equipment failure, illness, or unforeseen challenges can arise and pose a risk to a sole photographer’s ability to cover your wedding day entirely. Having a second photographer present adds an additional layer of reliability and acts as a contingency plan.

That said, many wedding photographers who are used to photographing weddings on their own have emergency plans in place should anything happen. Ultimately, this comes down to both your personal risk tolerance and your wedding photographer’s ability to handle emergencies.

bride and groom walking together during sunset on their wedding day


Deciding whether or not to hire a second wedding photographer ultimately comes down to your specific vision and personal preferences.

When deciding whether to have a second wedding photographer, there is no definitive right or wrong answer. It is crucial to carefully weigh the pros and cons using the factors mentioned above. Don’t forget to consider the unique details of your wedding. Additionally, consult your photographer for valuable input in your decision-making process. Their expertise and insights can provide valuable guidance in determining the ideal approach for capturing your special day.

Let’s Connect

Are you looking for a wedding photographer who will walk with you every step of the way? I’m here to ensure you have a stress-free and fun-filled wedding experience.

You can see more of my work on my portfolio page. If you’re ready to reach out, head over to the contact page to get in touch and check availability. I can’t wait to hear from you!