First, let me just get it out of the way that I don’t expect you to plan your wedding day around the best time of day for your wedding photos. As an Edmonton wedding photographer, I’m used to working with unpredictable weather and lighting conditions (and let’s be honest – that’s WHY you want to hire a professional wedding photographer). With that said, I know that for some of you reading this, you have a particular vision in mind when it comes to your wedding photos, and that might come with specific lighting needs. So let’s talk about it!
High Sun vs. Golden Hour vs. Blue Hour Wedding Photos
First, a little “photography terminology” lesson for you in case you don’t know the difference!!
High sun = the time when the sun is the highest/brightest. Typically mid-day to afternoon. When you have a morning wedding ceremony and evening reception, this is generally the time that your wedding photos will be, and that’s okay! It’s usually not an *ideal* time because the harsh sun can wash out features and cast shadows but don’t worry too much! As a natural light photographer, I work with what we have.
Golden Hour = an hour before sunset. Golden hour gives you that soft, dewy, romantic lighting that I’m sure you love (we all do!). Depending on the time of year, this might occur during your cocktail hour OR you might want to sneak out for a few minutes during your reception to sneak in a few sunset shots.
Blue Hour = an hour after the sunset. One of my favorite “less popular” times for wedding photos, but if you can sneak away during the reception, it’s worth it.
Now, let’s talk seasons!!
Spring Wedding Photos in Edmonton
I absolutely love spring weddings! Although the weather can still be a little unpredictable, we are pretty fortunate in Edmonton that we can usually count on the sun! Did you know Edmonton actually averages more hours of sunshine than any other major city in Canada? For spring wedding photos, golden hour will usually take place between 7:30-8:30 pm.
Summer Wedding Photos in Edmonton
Who doesn’t love a summer wedding? I know I do, even if our Edmonton summer season is fleeting. Natural light during summer weddings can be quite *harsh* but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing! If you are taking photos during the day, you can expect your photos to be brighter and beautiful. If you really want that golden hour look, plan on sneaking out of your reception around 9 pm! Toward the end of your reception (11pm-12am), you can also pair a few more “blue hour” wedding portraits with something like a sparkler exit!
Fall Wedding Photos in Edmonton
I might be biased, but there really isn’t a “bad time” to take fall wedding photos. Even during the day, the lighting tends to be softer. For photos during golden hour, you are typically going to want to plan between 5-6 pm so plan on either skipping your cocktail hour OR starting your wedding reception a little later if you want to capture your wedding day portraits with that dewy lighting you often see on Instagram! Or, for blue hour, plan on sneaking out of your reception for a few minutes around 8pm – I promise I will work fast!
Winter Wedding Photos in Edmonton
With our lovely Edmonton winters, chances are you won’t want to take too many photos outside anyway! If you do, you can usually find golden hour between 3:30-4:30 pm, and blue hour around 6 pm. Winter weddings require a little extra consideration for daylight because the snow can look really harsh on sunny days (even if it is beautiful!).
Do you have questions about the best time of day for wedding photos?
I would be over the moon to hear from you and answer any questions! You can connect with me directly here or head here and let’s be friends over on Instagram! I love helping couples capture all of life’s special moments (from your proposal, engagement, wedding day & beyond) in an easy-going and authentic way. If that sound what you are looking for, I would love to help preserve this moment of your love story!
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