Photography has brought a unique perspective of everyday life. Sunrise and sunsets have always been a spectacle. Now I see more than just the radiance of a painted sky. From before the sun emerges over the horizon line we are gifted with light. Since the word photography literally means painting with light you could imagine how the subtle difference during the day is prevalent to us. For two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset we enter a time we call the golden hour, gifting us with the dreamy warm light. The sun is closer to the horizon during this time compared to the rest of the day as the sun gets higher over head.
To calculate this time in order to incorporate the golden hour in your wedding day timeline, you will need to first find out when the sun will be setting. With the power of google look up the specific day and year's sunset-time (this is assuming you don't want to be up at the crack of dawn for sunrise). Subtract two hours from the time the google machine tells you and this is the window of opportunity you have. There of course is a location factor we need to keep in mind. If you are not right on the beach or flat land you may have to shorten your time to accommodate the mountains or tall buildings. I always give an extra 30 minutes to be sure we don't miss out on that perfect light and get left in the cool toned shadows of the blue hour.
When planning your wedding timeline especially in the summer it may be challenging to fit this time into your portrait time slot. This creates a great opportunity to plan in some time for the married couple to have a moment alone and soak in the day. The trick is to be aware of the golden hour window and have an area of flex time. If your photographer knows this is something you would like to do we can watch for the light and a lull period to sneak you away from your reception. 10-15 minutes is all you actually really need to get a few photos in that magnificent light. Typically there is a lull period during dinner while your guests are finishing up their meals which fits perfectly into this window.