Golden hour photos

Jul 17, 2018 | Wedding advice & ideas

If you’ve been following my work for a while, you’ll know that my favourite time of day to take photos is during golden hour.

What is golden hour?

Golden hour is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset, during this time you can achieve dreamy, romantic photos with a magical glow as the light is warmer and softer.

What time is best for golden hour photos?

The sunset time changes throughout the year so golden hour is different for every wedding. With an Essex wedding on the shortest day of the year (21st December) the sunset would be 3.49pm and on the longest day (21st June) it would be at 9.20pm. For the December wedding I would advise having golden hour photos at 3pm and for the June wedding I would advise 8.45pm. So I would plan into your timeline a 10-minute slot roughly between 30-45 minutes before sunset for your golden hour photos.

Braintree wedding photographer

What if it isn’t sunny on my wedding day?

Living in England where the sun doesn’t always shine, sometimes we don’t even see the sun at sunset. If it isn’t forecast to be sunny on your wedding day and it doesn’t look like you will get a sunset I would still advise having some photos at this time. You might not get the warm glow in your photos, but they will be much softer and softer light is always more flattering on your skin.


Who do you photograph during golden hour?

Typically I would photograph just the bride and groom, however, in the past, I have photographed the bride and bridal party too. It is totally up to the bride and groom on the day if they’d like additional photos during this time.

Channels wedding photos

What to do if sunset falls during the wedding breakfast?

It has happened before and it will most likely happen again that the best light falls during dinner. On the occasions when this has happened the bride and grooms chose to spend a couple of minutes between courses to make the most of the light. In doing this it is important to communicate to your catering team that you’ll be going out for 10 minutes.

How long to allow for golden hour photos?

I usually would suggest 10-15 minutes, no longer. As golden hour usually falls during the part of the day when evening guests could be arriving I love to get you back to your guests so you can party the night away.

Worried about spending too long on couple photos?

I would usually do some couple photos in the day, roughly 15-20 minutes worth and if the wedding couple would like sunset photos then an additional 10-15 minutes in the evening. If you are worried that doing both will eat too much into the day you can just opt for either couple photos in the day or couple photos in the evening. It is your day after all, have things done your way.

Find out when the sunset is on your wedding date by clicking here.