planning tips

How to get great golden hour sunset wedding photos

Golden hour sunset photos are a must-have on your wedding day! The light is pure magic! It’s absolutely perfect for your wedding photos!

For those who know me, you’ll know I LOVE golden hour. It’s my jam, so much so that my brides have even dubbed me as The Queen of Sunsets!’

If you’re looking for a photographer who knows how to use golden hour to their advantage then please do get in touch!

Check out my Golden Hour Sunset Wedding Photos Pinterest Board!

Are you a photographer hoping for golden hour photos but think you’re in for a cloudy day? How about creating your own sunset with flash!

Check out my workshop: Fake it with Flash and have the sunshine in your pocket!

What is Golden Hour?

You may have heard the phrase ‘golden hour’ batted around when chatting with wedding photographers. Golden hour is a certain time of day where the light is pure magic! It happens in the hour after sunrise and the hour just before sunset. It’s absolutely perfect for photos!

Why is it so amazing?

During golden hour the sun is low in the sky. This creates long shadows and soft light. This means your photographs will have that soft glow about them. It’s also the perfect time to create some sun flares!

It’s the opposite of the midday sun, where the light is directly overhead and harsh. This causes unflattering panda undereye shadows and squinting wedding guests!

golden hour wedding photography

Timing is the most important thing for your golden hour sunset photos!

If you know my work well, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of a beautiful sunset. It’s my favourite time of day to shoot and it just makes me so happy! The golden glowing tones are flattering for couple photos.

If you want that signature golden Honeydew look, it’s really important to plan time for sunset photos into your wedding timeline.

If you need help planning your wedding day timeline check out my blog: How to plan the perfect timeline!

The time of your sunset will change depending on the time of year of your wedding is. It can be as late as 9:30 pm in June or as early as 4pm in December!

The best time I personally like to capture golden hour is between 1 hour and 45 minutes before sunset. This gives the hazy glow at the start of our golden hour session and a stronger orange light towards the end. You can get very different looking images in just a few minutes in golden hour as the light changes very quickly.

Trust your photographer

Trust me on this one, they’ve probably checked the Golden Hour App and have been watching the skies all day! They’ll know the best time to start your golden hour sunset photos and also the best locations to head too as well. Trust in your photographer to get the most you of your golden hour sunset photos.

rockbeare manor wedding

Prepare to be flexible

It’s a rarity when wedding timelines run to an exact schedule. This is why planning your golden hour into your timeline is a necessity. We have a very small window in which to get those stunning sunset photos, the sun won’t wait for us!

In situations like this, you may need to prioritise. If the sunset is perfect but you’re currently eating your wedding breakfast, you may need to leave it to come outside. Your food will be there when you get back but if you don’t get those all-important golden hour photos, you may regret it!

What if we don’t have a sunny wedding day or any golden hour?

I get this question a lot. I’m based in South Wales and Wales and the UK, in general, isn’t known for having lots of sunny days!

Don’t worry, there is hope. I can create a faux sunset by using flash. You shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between my flash sunset photos and the real sunset photos! I do this often, if the sun isn’t quite strong enough on the wedding day or if we may have missed golden hour by just a fraction of a moment. The flash comes to the rescue!

Here are some examples of ‘faking the sunset’ with flash!

golden hour sunset wedding photos

I hope this has got you excited for your golden hour sunset wedding photos!

If you’re looking for a photographer who knows how to use golden hour to their advantage then please do get in touch!

Check out my Golden Hour Sunset Wedding Photos Pinterest Board!