3 Reasons to Have a Second Shooter for Your Wedding

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I have been asked a lot lately about why a couple should have a second shooter for their wedding, so I decided to write a post about it that will hopefully shed some light on the topic! I know I may be a little biased, but I will say I hired a second shooter for my own wedding day, which was before I was a wedding photographer :) At BBP, the second shooters I have are all professional photographers with their own businesses. I receive all of the photos they take during the day and I am the one who edits them. Two people capturing your day has so many benefits, and here are what I feel are the most important ones to highlight: 

1. One Photographer Can't Be in Two Places at Once.

Getting Ready

At most weddings, the bride and groom get ready at two different locations. This means if you only have one photographer, it typically isn't possible to capture both the guys and the the girls getting ready. But if you have a second shooter, she would be sent over to the guys, and then everyone is covered! Even if you do have time in the wedding day timeline for one photographer to capture both groups, often times something is running late. That is when it is SO helpful to have a second photographer there to help get back on track time wise. 

Cocktail Hour

Right after the ceremony, the main photographer will likely be doing Family Formals, and possibly full bridal party photos and bride and groom portraits. But at the same time, all the guests are over at cocktail hour. Wouldn't you love some photos of all closest friends enjoying cocktail hour on your big day? Unfortunately this is one of those times one sole photographer just can't be in two places at once. 

Reception Details

You have spent months planning the perfect reception for your big day. There are so many little details you've put a lot of thought into, and you deserve to have photos of the end result! Capturing all the reception details and decor before the guests come into the room is another great reason to have a second shooter. These can be taken while the main photographer is doing post ceremony photos. 

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2. You Will Have Two Different Vantage Points.

Ceremony

The most popular reason people decide to hire a second photographer is for the fleeting moment when the bride walks down the aisle. If it is not an unplugged ceremony, the aisle seems to get more crowded with guests tending to lean a bit over (more on this for another blog post!), and it can be difficult for one photographer to capture a great angle of both the bride walking down the aisle and the groom's reaction. This is actually why I hired a second shooter for my own wedding (and I am so glad I did)! A second shooter during the ceremony also allows for candid shots of your family's expressions, more up close photos (with different angles) of you and your groom, all without any fear that the kiss would be missed. 

Reception

While the main photographer is focusing on the bride and groom during their first dance, the second shooter can be capturing the sweet faces of your guests watching. These are actually some of my favorite photos of the reception. There is always so much genuine emotion during the first dances (cue the tears behind the camera)! This can be carried on throughout the entire night.

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3. More Coverage = More Photos

Simple as that! Having two photographers with different viewpoints, different locations, and different lenses being used at the same time, your final gallery will include the most complete and best coverage of your wedding story. You will receive more photos that you will have to cherish forever. 

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Learn More About Brittany and the BBP Experience

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Wedding Dress Shopping

Wedding dress shopping: part of the wedding planning process that a lot of brides have been dreaming about for years! This truly is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. Who doesn't want to wear a fancy dress that makes them feel like a princess? Remembering back to my own wedding dress shopping experience a few years ago, a few things stood out to me. I remember being excited but thinking it would be a difficult process because I didn't really know what I wanted. I remember feeling overwhelmed because there were SO many choices. There are a lot of things you can do to best prepare yourself to find your dream dress as soon as possible. Here are the top five in my opinion!

Hayley Paige gown from The White Magnolia

Hayley Paige gown from The White Magnolia

Know Your Body Type.  Women were not all made to look the same. There are many different shapes and sizes, and you know what? They're all beautiful. Because of this, certain dresses will look best on certain body types, and it's important to find out what they are! We all want to look our best on our wedding day, so it is important to find a dress that will flatter our best features! To be honest, I did not do much research on this when I began wedding dress shopping myself. I went into the first shop and pulled out a lot of the same style dress to try on, and wondered why I just wasn't seeing that "wow" factor. They were beautiful dresses, they fit me, but because they weren't the best choice for my body type, they didn't end up making the final cut. Ladies, TRUST the wedding shop employees when they suggest dresses for you to try on. They know what they're doing and what will flatter your features the most! I had a wonderful lady helping me and I ended up buying a dress she picked out for me that otherwise I would have NEVER tried on!

Do Your Research Before, but Stay Open-Minded.  With any aspect of wedding planning, it's best to do your homework before walking into any encounter with a vendor, venue store, etc. This will help you try to narrow down what you think you want or are looking for, and also what you still want to learn more about. Look into designers, fabrics, styles, trends, and cost. Create a Pinterest board of what you like, and then try to spot any recurring themes. Then when you step foot into your first dress shop, you will be a more educated on everything!

Goddess By Nature gown

Goddess By Nature gown

Know Your Budget (and Stick to It).  This is HARD. This is hard with wedding planning (and life!) in general! But one of the worst feelings is trying on a stunning dress, knowing instantly it's "The One", crying happy tears, and then realizing there is no way it will fit into the budget. Don't do this to yourself. Know your budget, and check the price tags on everything before you even take it off the hanger. Price isn't listed? Ask.

Know the Alterations Time Frame.  Alterations... another oh-so-important part of dress shopping. Since probably 98% of people have to have their wedding dress altered, this is definitely something to factor into your time frame, schedule, and budget. A lot of bridal shops have an alterations specialist on staff, which is wonderful. Make sure you meet with whomever is altering your dress soon, when you still have plenty of time. Make at least 2-3 alterations appointments spread out over the wedding planning period. Do NOT wait until the week of your wedding for your final fitting (like I did)! Whatever you have to do, do not make that last fitting at the last minute. You don't want the dress to not fit and add another stressor (and possibly more money spent to expedite another alteration) to your wedding week. I still don't know what went wrong with my dress, but trying it on and not being able to breathe it was so tight just a few days before my wedding...not the most fun experience! 

Be Patient. Don't Make a Rash Decision.  Start shopping for your dress several months (at least six) before your wedding. You don't want to feel like you are rushed and end up choosing a dress you don't 100% love just because you ran out of time to look any longer. Some dresses take several months to come in and longer to be altered, so make sure you know all of that information up front. Make sure you get a dress you can see yourself walking down the aisle to your sweet groom in; a dress that makes you really feel like a BRIDE; a dress that you are confident you will still love 6+ months away on your wedding day; a dress you will look back on 20 years from now and still remember that feeling when you first put it on. This is one of the most special parts of the wedding process. Every bride deserves to feel a little bit like a princess in their wedding gown!

Hayley Paige gown from The White Magnolia

Hayley Paige gown from The White Magnolia