What Exactly is Golden hour?

Golden hour is a beautiful time of day that occurs during the first and last hour of sunlight. During this time, something magic happens. the sun is low in the sky, creating a soft and warm glow that can make for some truly stunning wedding photographs, that have a romantic and artistic feel to them. Here are some tips and tricks to help you and your photographer capture the magic of golden hour on your wedding day.

Plan Ahead:

Chat with your wedding photographer and make sure you know exactly when golden hour will occur on your wedding day so you can plan your sunset portrait session. Pop it in your wedding timeline so it doesn’t conflict with the rest of your day. If beautiful couple portraits at sunset are important to you, you won’t want to miss it. As a wedding photographer, there are lots of apps and other resources that help us plan out exactly what time to expect golden hour and even map out the position of the sun.

Portsmouth harbour wedding, couple sit on the wall, looking at each other, smiling, during golden hour

Scout Out the Dream Spots:

Let's team up to find those picturesque spots where the golden hour's glow will be a game-changer. Think about areas that will have open spaces, natural elements like trees or water, and beautiful backgrounds that work perfectly with that warm, soft light. Often a venue visit together before your wedding can be useful but if that is not possible, your wedding photographer will use their creative eye to work that out for you on the day.

A Bride and Groom stand underneath the columns at Hever Castle, in the Italian Gardens, for a photo.
A couple sit amongst the summer flowers at Hever Castle and Gardens , Italian gardens wedding
A bride and groom pose for a couple portrait under an archway at a Hever Castle & Gardens wedding

Let your Photographer's Artistic Side Shine.

From using reflectors to wrap that gorgeous light around you, backlighting you against the sun to finding interesting angles, and using shadows and silhouettes. It's time to let your wedding photographer get creative. Put your trust in us and let us take the lead. This is why you hired us after all.

A just married couple stand in silhouette against a golden sky at sunset at a Farnham Castle wedding

Be Patient:

The magic of golden hour only lasts for a short amount of time, so be patient and take advantage of every minute. Don't rush through your photos, take your time with your beautiful magic hour portraits, enjoy the time for just you two, away from your guests amidst the whirlwind that a wedding day can be and most importantly, have fun with it.

A couple cuddle and a sunflare back lights them at a wedding in the Norfolk countryside

What if it's Cloudy, Can we Still Capture Golden Hour?

While we can never control the weather, we can embrace it. Clouds can act like a giant softbox, spreading the sunlight evenly. This can be particularly flattering for portraits, as it reduces harsh shadows and creates a gentle, romantic atmosphere. If it's cloudy during golden hour, though the sun might not be as visible, its light can still cast a warm and soft glow through the clouds. This can add a dreamy and ethereal quality to your photos. Ultimately, whether it's a clear or cloudy day, our goal as wedding photographers is to capture your wedding in the best way possible. So, don't worry if there's cloud cover – we'll adapt and create something beautiful whatever the weather.

A beautiful young Cornish couple stand overlooking the sea in Cornwall, during golden hour