Wedding Wednesday | Sunset Time

Hopefully, picking the right photographer for your wedding day was one you and your fiancé’s top priorities when wedding planning. When you’re spending a large amount (and sometimes the majority of your budget) on your dream photographer, it only makes sense that you would want to get the absolute most out of the short amount of time you have with them. Today, I’m talking about one thing that every bride and groom can do to maximize that time with their photographer!

Everyone should know by now my thoughts on wedding timelines and how I oh-so-biasedly (is that a word?) think they should revolve around photos. :) Opting to do a First Look will definitely allow more time for bride & groom portraits that are laid-back and not rushed. However, maybe you aren’t into doing one or you want even more pictures in addition to your First Look. That’s my kind of bride and groom! Please hire me. Seriously. A great option for you would be photos at sunset! Normally, there is a period of about 30-45 minutes where guests are eating dinner before the real party gets started. This is a great time for the bride and groom to slip out of the reception (after eating their dinner), and disappear with their photographer for a short amount of time. What is so great about this opportunity is that #1 – most guests won’t even notice that you’re gone, #2 – the lighting right before sunset is always TO DIE FOR, and #3 – you end up with even more pictures! It’s a win, win, win!

Whether or not you and you fiancé do decide to plan an extra portrait time around sunset, it is so important that you consider what time of year it is when planning your wedding day timeline. For example, if you want to have a 6pm wedding in November, be aware the sun will have set by 5:15pm, and there will be no natural light for portraits after the wedding. If you’re planning a 2pm wedding for the middle of July, the sun won’t set until almost 8:30pm, meaning the light right after your wedding ceremony will be VERY harsh and bright. As an natural-light photographer, I have found that the best lighting is always the two hours before sunset, which is why I will only plan portrait sessions for this time. A great resource to use when planning your wedding is It will give you the exact time of the sunrise and sunset for every day of the year, depending on your zip code. Keep that baby bookmarked!

And because every post is dead without some beautiful pictures, check out some photos from Ana and Joey’s 2011 wedding in the Outerbanks of North Carolina. I totally never have favorites, but if I did, their’s would rank at the top. :)

Ana and Joey chose not to do a First Look, but they made up for it by giving me PLENTY of time with them after their ceremony.

After enjoying their first dance as husband & wife and chowing down on some delicious dinner, we left the guests to eat while doing some sunset photos.

Work it, girl!

Dead. See, sunset lighting just can’t be beat.


Happy Wednesday!

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