I get a lot of people asking “What is the best time of day for wedding photography?” Over the years I’ve come to give the same advice, “Magic hour!” Magic hour (or Golden Hour) is about 45-50 minutes prior to sunset and 10-15 minutes after (location dependant). It’s the time of the afternoon where more colour is visible in the sky (unless it’s completely overcast), and there are less visible shadows which is a lot more flattering.
This is why I suggest to clients who wish to make the most of this light to start their reception about 30 minutes after sunset.
That way you can enjoy those 60 minutes of the most incredible light the afternoon has to offer and then spend 15-20 minutes getting prepared to make your entry into the reception room. For me creatively, this is the best time of the day! The image below was capture of Brendan and Jessica right before the sun disappeared. We were able to then shoot for approximately another 15 minutes after this.
If we had gone inside sooner we would’ve missed out on this soft and beautifully coloured light. This time of day allows me to create more of that “painting-like” tone as more detail throughout the dynamic range is visible.