Typically yes. But there are exceptions. If you look on our pricing customizer, you will see that the second photographer is priced out at a greatly reduced cost compared to the lead photographer. The reason we do this is purely with the best interest of our clients in mind. We actually don't earn any profit from our second shooters.
Even if you're the best in the world at photography, you just can't be in two places at once. There is just so much to cover at the wedding. Two photographers helps ensure full coverage and more creativity.
Here are a few examples:
Pre ceremony: One photographer can be photographing the groomsmen while the other photographs the bridesmaids. Or one can photograph the grounds while the other photographs the bridesmaids/ groomsmen.
Ceremony: While one photographer is close up, getting shots of the couple, the other can be in the back, getting overalls of the location. Or while one photographer is getting pictures of the couple, the other can get the reaction shots of the guests. It really is the other half of the story.
Formal photos: While one photographer does the formal photos, the other can cover cocktail hour and reception-area details
Reception: One photographer can capture the first dance while the other shooter is getting reaction shots. Or while one shooter is getting closeup expressions of the couple with a tight lens, the other photographer can shoot wide angle to get the overall feel of the couple in the room. Then, during dancing, one shooter can be on the dance floor while the other photographing the perimeter. That way, the guests that are equally important but may not be dancing are also covered.
There are many other examples. In a nutshell, YES, two shooters are important. It is actually a requirement when having over eighty guests.
There are exceptions to the rule. For a smaller party (60-80 or less), it is easier for one photographer to get that coverage needed. If you don't have a bridal party and cocktail hour and details of the room are not important to have covered, then one photographer can be sufficient. Or if you do have a bridal party, but are allotting more time for the solo photographer to shoot beforehand to cover both sides, that can work as well. To best determine the potential of just one photographer, it is best to discuss the details of the timeline, to ensure we are set up to successfully capture what is most important to you.