Timing for Wedding Sunset Photos / Golden Hour Post Ceremony
If you are in the planning stage of your wedding and are taking photos post ceremony and would love those gorgeous sunsets shots, we've got an easy rule of thumb to follow!
Schedule your ceremony 2 hours before sunset and start taking your couples photos 45 minutes before sunset! It's that simple.
Check the sunset time on the date you have chosen for your wedding and plan according to that time. For example if you have a date set for Saturday, August 26, 2023 you can search the date/timezone/location on a site like SunToday to get the time of the sunset. For August 26, 2023 the sunrise, sunset times for Santa Fe, Texas will be:
• Sunrise, sunset times for Saturday, August 26, 2023:
☼ Sunrise time: 07:09 am (CDT), GMT-05:00
☀ Sunset time: 08:05 pm (CDT), GMT-05:00
Use this to create your timeline for your wedding to make sure you get those perfect photos you've been pinning for months now! Your day of photographer will be able to create the magic moments of your dreams! And always, weather and clouds cooperating.
Let your day of wedding coordinator know and make sure you review the timeline beforehand to be sure you reserve the last 45 min to 1 hour before sunset for photos. This time is referred to as “the golden hour” or “magic hour,” these times provide the perfect light to capture stunning photos. Your guests will enjoy a nice cocktail hour and you won't have to stress while you are still on your 'I do!' wedding bliss high!
Sample Wedding Day Timeline to capture sunset photos for August 26, 2023:
Example based on Willowynn Barn location. Actual timelines will vary depending on ceremony location, vendors, number of guest & other variables.
8:30AM – Bridesmaids arrive, bride’s hair and make-up artist arrives, decorating/set up and vendor arrival times begin.
12:00PM – Groomsmen Arrive.
2:00PM – Cake
2:30PM – HAIR & MAKEUP COMPLETE. Photographer begins capturing getting ready at bridal suite. Groom is in same venue at Willowynn, & photographer will visit him for 20 min photo session.
<INSERT PHOTOGRAPHER’S SCHEDULE>
3:00PM - First look with Bride and Groom. Bride/Groom portraits (if applicable.) Parent & Close family arrives.
3:30PM - Pre-ceremony bridal party and close family portraits.
4:30PM - Photographer finishes portraits and begins set-up for ceremony location. Guests arrival & ushering begins. (Photographer breaks-away to capture reception room details.)
6:00PM – Ceremony starts (invite says 5:45PM) Ceremony starts, depending on the length of ceremony this time may be adjusted.
6:30PM – Ceremony ends, guest recessional.
6:45PM – Cocktail hour begins & guests enter reception room to find their seats.
During this time Additional family and bride/groom portraits.
There is a quick 25 minute window where your photographer will capture the golden hour photos on property at the location of your choice or predetermined with your photographer. (Evening Golden Hour for August 26, 2023 is between 07:33 pm - 08:03 pm)
☀ Sunset time August 26, 2023: 08:05 pm (CDT), GMT-05:00
8:05PM – Immediately following the Gold Hour photo session, photographer heads to recession for Grand Entrance, first dances (optional) and toasts. Thank you by bride & groom.
8:15PM – Cake cutting-photos- mini 15 minute break-away session. Private (Not saving cake)
8:30PM – Dinner served.
9:00PM – Dance floor opens. Optional Father/Bride dance, Mother/Son dance if not done during grand entrance.
9:45PM – Cake Cut. Bouquet and garter toss / Dollar dance / Anniversary Dance
10:55PM – Last Dance – Bride & Groom
11:00PM - Farewell & Sparkler exit.