Why Golden Hour is a Wedding Photographer’s Best Friend

September 5, 2023
chose golden hour for your wedding couple photo session. sharyn hodges photography

Why Golden Hour?

The pure magic of golden hour is not to be missed!

Picture this: a soft, warm glow bathes everything it touches, casting a magical spell over the world. The scenery is painted in hues of gold and honey. This enchanting time is known as the “Golden Hour.” For wedding photographers, it’s not just a time of day; it’s a treasure trove of stunning opportunities. If you’re planning your wedding or you’re a photographer gearing up for a wedding shoot, read on to discover why Golden Hour is a wedding photographer’s best friend.

Bridal Appointment Tips


Timeline: From Yes to getting dressed

Most bridal boutiques won’t have your dress ready to take home with you on the day of your appointment. You are most likely going to get a new dress made to order. This will usually take anything between four and eight months. Also don’t forget you will have at least 2 – 3 fittings before you have your final dress.

If your timeline is shorter than the above mention period, take a deep breathe and DO NOT STRESS. Lots of boutiques will have something on “the rack” that will most likely need a few alternations. 

To ease your nerves, ensure that you dress will be in time, phone the boutiques ahead of time to see if your dress will fit in your wedding timeline before you make an appointment.


The Budget

This isn’t set a budget and then blow it. This is really set the budget and stick to it. Wedding dresses vary so drastically in prices you could spend a couple of thousands to a couple of hundred thousands. Be firm!

If you have someone who is buying the dress for you, have this conversation with them beforehand so you both on the same page and of course to avoid disappointment. There is no bigger disappointment than finding your dream dress and then seeing that its out of the budget. It is soul crushing.

Setting the budget means that the sales consultant at the bridal boutiques will only show you those dresses within your budget.

On a PS note about budget, not forget to think about accessories like veils, jewellery, shoes and hair accessories. Be mindful that some alterations could be added. Make sure when you purchase your dress that you are aware of ANY additional cost surprises.


Research: Designers and Bridal Boutiques

My goodness this could be one of those dark rabbit holes. There are thousands of designers and bridal boutiques. Doing some easy research will help narrow down the search for the dream dress.

I would suggest searching on social media, find some photographers pages, look at the dresses, the photographer usually tag all the vendors in their posts. 

Most bridal boutiques won’t have all their dresses online but they will stock the designers. Find your preferred designers and then narrow the search to those boutiques.


Create your Mood Board

The best part! Creating your wedding dress mood board! Pinterest is easiest the easies for this, upload all the dresses you are drawn too. As you go along, the more you add the more you will see a pattern emerge of the fabrics and silhouettes that keep recurring. 


The Entourage  

Just like your wedding guest list, deciding who comes with you during your bridal appointments can really make or break this should be fun and exciting experience.

I can’t stress this enough…..bring people who’s opinions you value the MOST!

The saying too many cooks in the kitchen could not be any truer for choosing your dress. The opinions of too many people could become stressful and confusing!

Think quality over quantity. Two to four people is more than enough. 


Avoid fake tans and heavy makeup

It’s only natural that you would want to feel absolutely SMASHING and GLAMOROUS when trying on wedding dresses, please bear in mind that fake tans and heavy makeup could be easily transferred onto the dress. Lets be kind to the dress and the future brides who want to try on the samples. 

If you feel better tanned, make sure you tanning day is a few days before your appointment so that it has time to settle. And with the make up, remember, a little goes a long way.

If you know more a less how you would like your hair to be done on the day, try and get your hair to resemble that style. It doesn’t need to be done by a professional but you could for example, if you know your hair is an “undo” throw your hair in ponytail. This with give you a realistic idea of how you will look on your wedding day in that dress. Also you can tick off buying hair accessories too.


Smash a burger before you bridal appointment!

If you anything like me, HANGRY is not a good look on me. Wedding dress shopping can be draining and most likely will be the entire day! And lets face it, there is nothing worse than shopping on an empty stomach!

So make sure you schedule a lovely lunch with your entourage and pack those snacks. You have an epic day to get through!


Lastly, be opened minded.

So you have done all the research, stalked wedding photographers pages, found designers, set your budget and created your mood board. You got this!

But there is that annoying but again, be opened minded! Try something that you might not think you would like. Sometimes, just sometimes you land up with something you didn’t expect. But the only way you will know is if you try.

Your body confidence is going to need a boost during this time, wedding dress shopping could be stressful. So give yourself extra extra love during this time.

8 Tips To Conquer Golden Hour


1 – Golden Hour: The Magic Hour

2 – Flattering Light for Everyone

3 – Glowing Landscapes

4 – Romantic Atmosphere

5 – Creative Possibilities

6 – Timing Is Key

7 – Plan Your Wedding Schedule

8 – Embrace the Magic


Golden Hour Tips

Golden Hour: The Magic Hour

Golden Hour refers to the period shortly after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is low on the horizon, casting a beautiful, diffused, and warm light. It’s a time when the world appears to be dipped in liquid gold, creating a dreamy and romantic atmosphere that’s simply irresistible.

Flattering Light for Everyone

One of the biggest perks of Golden Hour is its incredibly flattering light. The soft, warm tones of this magical hour make skin appear radiant and glowing. Harsh shadows are minimized, and any imperfections are gently concealed. This means you’ll look your absolute best in your wedding photos, capturing you and your partner in the most flattering way possible.

Glowing Landscapes

Golden Hour doesn’t just enhance your portraits; it transforms your surroundings into a work of art. The soft, golden light gently kisses the landscape, making everything appear more vibrant and enchanting. Whether you’re in a lush garden, on a sandy beach, or in the heart of the city, Golden Hour will elevate the beauty of your wedding venue.

Romantic Atmosphere

The dreamy quality of Golden Hour light sets the stage for romance. It adds a touch of magic to your wedding photos, making every moment look like it’s straight out of a fairy tale. The soft, warm colors create a sense of intimacy and closeness, perfectly capturing the love you and your partner share.

Creative Possibilities

Golden Hour provides endless creative opportunities for photographers. The warm, low-angle light creates long shadows and beautiful silhouettes. Photographers can experiment with unique compositions, backlighting, and lens flares, resulting in artistic and captivating images that will be cherished forever.

Timing Is Key

To make the most of Golden Hour, timing is crucial. Wedding photographers often plan their shoots around this magical time of day. It’s the ideal period for capturing those essential bridal portraits, romantic moments between the couple, and even candid shots of guests basking in the enchanting glow.

Plan Your Wedding Schedule

If you’re planning your wedding, consider scheduling your ceremony or portrait sessions during Golden Hour. Consult with your photographer to determine the exact timing based on your location and wedding date. It’s an investment in capturing the most breathtaking and romantic moments of your special day.

Embrace the Magic

As a couple or photographer, it’s essential to embrace the magic of Golden Hour. Be prepared to seize the moment, even if it means sneaking away from the reception for a brief sunset session. Trust your photographer’s vision and expertise to make the most of this enchanting light.

In conclusion, Golden Hour is a wedding photographer’s best friend because it elevates your wedding photos to a new level of beauty and romance. The soft, warm light is universally flattering, creates a dreamy atmosphere, and provides endless creative possibilities. Whether you’re a couple planning your wedding or a photographer capturing these magical moments, Golden Hour is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. So, when the sun kisses the horizon with its golden embrace, get ready to create wedding memories that will last a lifetime.

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