Photographing a happy couple under the warm glow of sunset is one of the most popular ways to capture newlyweds—and when you look at the results, it’s easy to see why.  After all, who doesn’t want photos that are radiant in every way?

With its uniquely ardent atmosphere and romantic, hazy light, the golden hour can be a perfect environment for a wedding photographer to capture a couple’s precious moment of post-matrimony bliss.

What Is The Golden Hour? Nature’s Most Celestial Moment Of The Day!

The golden or “magical” hour is the last hour of natural light before the sun sets beyond the horizon. As it sinks, the sun emits an intensely golden, rosy glow that has become synonymous with wedding shoots (and all types of special occasions) across the globe.

The time period within which the golden hour is active is a unique opportunity to capture what many people believe to be the sun’s most intense and glorious moment of the day.

This can result in some epic and extraordinary wedding photos that bathe a couple in a celestial glow that artificial lighting set-ups can only dream of.

So, what else makes this precious, elusive moment in time such a perfect setting for any wedding shoot? Let’s look at five fantastic reasons for taking photos during the golden hour!

Sunsets Are Classically Romantic

What’s more romantic than a couple under a glorious sunset? For decades, wedding photographers have returned to the golden hour for inspiration when it comes to romantically-styled shoots, and for good reason. They are timelessly beautiful and idyllic.

The right moment and the right light can result in some truly captivating images that couples can look at for years to come as one of the most special and romantic moments of their lives.

Furthermore, the naturally romantic ambiance that a glowing sunset provides can help even the shyest of couples tap into a more intimate side, allowing for more authentic and sentimental snaps!

A Flattering Focus

One of the many reasons why the golden hour is so popular as a time for photoshoots is because that warm light looks good on just about everyone.

With its rich golden hue and soft, smoothing light, the golden hour casts an attractive glow that looks beautiful on a broad range of skin tones, helping those photographed look and feel their best from every angle. Some people even say that the golden hour is nature’s Instagram filter!

Creates A Heavenly Atmosphere

The golden hour has an angelic, celestial atmosphere to it. And for many couples, their wedding day is a day marked with near-supernatural joy and happiness.

Being able to curate a backdrop that connects with the emotions of the day is a great way to enhance the appeal of each photo. By incorporating the raw beauty of a sunset into wedding shoots, the entire session gets infused with uniquely glorious light that matches how the couple is feeling inside.

Plays Well Into Fabrics And Delicate Accessories

Warm light filters through sheer, flowing fabrics and other soft materials like silk in a very captivating way. This can tie in very well with wedding outfits.

Regardless of whether a bride is wearing a sari, a mekhela sador, Lehenga, Ghagra Choli or Odhni, or even a traditional Western white wedding dress, they can have fun swaying around in the light for interesting shadow movements and light-filled moments that appear magical and hazy in the golden hour. When used properly by wedding photographers, good light can be a prop all on its own.

It’s Natures Gift

One final reason to consider taking wedding photos in the light of the golden hour is that it‘s completely free. No artificial lighting tools or equipment is needed here (besides maybe a reflector for better light distribution) – nature is doing all the hard work for free!

Some of the best things in life are free, and great natural light is one of them. Take advantage of this beautiful moment in time to get the most magical snaps.

How To Make The Most Of A Golden Hour

Whether you’re planning your celebrations or you’re a wedding photographer building your portfolio, these tips can ensure you make the most of the magical light:

  • Watch The Clock – Sadly, despite its name, the golden hour very rarely lasts an entire hour. It does depend on where you live, but most golden “hours” only last about 20-40 minutes at a time. This means you have to be scrupulous about timing, so make sure you plan accordingly.

  • Consider Landscape And Background – The elusive golden hour is best on display when illuminating an expansive, spacious landscape. Pick an environment that has enough room to absorb the warmth of that golden light and not distract from its natural beauty.
  • Check The Weather In Advance – Golden hour can be hard to predict, and in the event of cloud cover, it may be difficult for that gorgeous light to filter through. Do your research in advance to ensure you get the best light possible.
  • Embrace The Natural Magic – Light is, after all, a natural element and cannot really be controlled during a shoot. But that’s part of what makes it so special. Embrace the natural illumination and surprise shadows that may develop along the way, as they’re what make a wedding shoot even more memorable and unique.
Capture The Golden Hour: Why Sunset Makes The Best Wedding Photographs

A Golden Opportunity For Great Shots

For wedding photographers, making sure a couple looks and feels absolutely fabulous is a privilege. But with nature’s lighting set-up on your side, half the work is already done!

Golden hour represents a precious moment in time where one chapter of the day ends and another begins—just like the journey a newlywed couple is embarking on together. Warm, luminous, golden light is the perfect tool for highlighting any newlywed’s best features while capturing stunning, professional images.

Shooting during those last few moments of sunset will ensure that your big day is marked with sheer beauty and bliss and that it stays a golden memory forever!

If you want to capture all your special memories during the golden hour, check out these ShaadiWish-approved best photographers.

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