As we pulled away from the ceremony site to make the quick drive to our portrait spot, Amanda said, “This! This is the time of the day we’ve been looking forward to! Let’s take as much time as we need!” That’s the stuff that makes our hearts sing, friends! These two knew the value of those golden-hour, yummy-light sunset photos and trusted us with their day to make it happen. And just look at the results. Stunning, right?
We’ve got three reasons you need to make time for sunset photos on your wedding day, and then some ideas on how to make sure they happen, regardless of timeline faux-pas. Here we go.
1. This is the best light of the whole day… especially in the desert. This is the most obvious, and the biggest reason we love sunset photos. It’s called “golden hour,” and for good reason. It. Is. Pure. Gold. At about 30-45 minutes before sunset, the sun gets low enough in the sky to be at an angle that flatters EVERYONE, and casts that gorgeous dreamy glow over everything in its path. There are no harsh shadows on your faces, no hunting for shade. It is perfection from (almost) every angle. When brides go crazy over images, these are the ones they are drawn to, because they look downright amazing. You need them.
2. It is one of the only times of the day you get to spend time with just you and your new husband/wife! What other reason is there?! If you’re not having a first look before the ceremony, this truly is the only time of day that you won’t be surrounded by friends and family. Now, we understand that we’re there with you, but we’re pretty unobtrusive and casual in our posing and what we ask of you. And if you’re having a moment? We may put our cameras down for a couple of minutes and back away and let you have a moment. Beause it’s your day, and you only get to do this once.
3. For most timelines, sunset is the only time where guests aren’t expecting something from you. Usually, cocktail hour is right during golden hour. We promise, that isn’t by accident. So, you usually have a solid 30-40 minutes where guests are eating, drinking, and visiting, finding their seats, and enjoying a break before dinner and toasts. If we play our cards right (see below) you get a solid amount of time to just breathe. And help us create some stunning works of art to decorate your newlywed nest.
Ok, so that sounds great, but how do you make that happen? How can you spend cocktail hour snuggling your sweetie in perfect light when there are 300 family members that want photos? What about that signature cocktail waiting to be sipped? Here are three ways to make sure you get that time in the golden glow:
1. Plan ahead. That’s right. Your timeline is the absolute, without-a-doubt, most important key in making those photos a reality. We will work with you ahead of your big day to make sure your ceremony time is set, and all the other events of the day are in the right spots to make your priorities happen. If you’re working with a planner, make your wishes known early on. Tell your family and bridal party what you expect from them and how the day will go. Plan. Ahead.
2. Go for the first look. This is a whole other post’s worth of disucssion, but we’d love for you to give it consideration. We promise it will calm your jitters. We promise it will not change his reaction when you head down the aisle. We promise it will make your whole day waaaay easier. When you opt for the first look, you can complete all of your bridal party and even most of your family photos BEFORE the ceremony. You know what that leaves time for after the ceremony? You guessed it – sunset photos. YES.
3. Limit family photos. This may sound a little cruel, and we’re more than happy to take any/all family photos you want us to. We know the importance of getting shots of all of the people that are not together in one place very often. But, take a good look at what groupings you truly want, and then look at that list again. We kind of pride ourselves in how quickly we get through family photo time, but there are still days when it takes a lot longer than anticipated. So, make a list, send it to us (don’t worry, we’ll remind you), and then stick to the list. Also, about a week before your wedding day, send an email out to everyone you expect to be in family photos and outline what you want from them. Where to meet, how long it will take, and when they need to be there. Because the less time on family photos…the more time for sunset snuggles!!
Ok, there you have it! Let’s work together to make this sweet time of your day even sweeter. It doesn’t have to be rushed and stressful. We want you to take a breath, relax, and enjoy one another. It is your wedding day, after all.