Hands down, my favourite photos from every wedding I photograph are golden hour / sunset photos. Unfortunately the way wedding days are, we always end up doing the majority of the photos in the middle of the day when the sun is harsh and directly overhead. That is not the most flattering light because it’s harsh and causes shadows. It also greatly limits locations and what direction the photographer can shoot to avoid shadows on people’s faces.
Evening light is just so magical. I know most couples don’t want to leave their reception and their guests to take MORE photos, but if you’re willing to leave the party for even 10 minutes, it will be SO worth it. I can guarantee that you won’t regret it. I’m sure those will be some of your favourites.
So when planning your reception, maybe plan to have speeches done half an hour before sunset. That’s a natural break that allows guests to use the washroom before cake cutting or dancing starts. Or if you’re flexible and willing to go with the flow, have your photographer come tell you when the light is ideal. If guests are just mingling it’s easy to slip out, or you can get the MC to announce a short break.
If this is something you want as part of your wedding day, be sure to talk to your photographer ahead of time. Depending on the location of your reception, that might change when the lights is best (if there is an open field, you will want to wait until the sun is lower; if there are lots of trees, it will be too dark for photos if you wait until sunset).
Sometimes people get really disappointed when they were hoping for gorgeous evening photos but it’s a cloudy day. Don’t worry! Even on cloudy days, evening photos have a soft moody look that is different from the photos in the middle of the day.