So you’re planning your wedding day. Maybe the schedule looks something like this: girls prep starts at 9:00 am – finishes by 2:00 pm, guys prep starts at 1:30 pm – also finishes by 2:00 pm (You’re right. It’s not fair, but what are you gonna do?), first look at 2:30, bridal party pictures until 4:00, ceremony at 4:30, afterward you take family pictures while your guests head to cocktail hour, the newlyweds are announced at 6:00 then you dance till your 10:30 exit (And your guests better not be too far behind! By golly you’re getting that deposit back!!).
We’ve seen it a million times. And honestly there’s nothing wrong with that schedule in the sense that you can have the perfect day with the love of your life as well as a bangin party with your friends and family. However, as your videographers, we’re trying to provide you with the best possible footage for you to remember your day with. The main problem we have with this very typical schedule is that there is no time for any posed shots to be taken during what’s called “golden hour.”
We’ll get back to your wedding day schedule in a minute, but first let’s get scientific. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to recognize that direct light is less flattering than indirect light. Direct light creates harsh shadows, and it’s a lot tougher to make the subject look natural with such extreme highs and lows. It’s the difference between what your fiance looks like with a floodlight shining in their face versus how they look standing under a chandelier. Scheduling your picture time smack dab in the middle of the afternoon means your best available light (the sun) will be at its most floodlight-in-your-face. Enter golden hour. In the sixty minutes leading up to the sunset, amazing things start to happen. When the sun is low on the horizon, the light has to travel a much longer distance and through a lot more of the atmosphere to get to you. This not only affects the quality of the light, but the actual color of the light as well. Blue light waves are much shorter than red light waves and therefore more easily get lost when they are traveling through that extra amount of atmosphere. That’s partly why the sky at sunset turns so orange. It is called GOLDEN hour after all. Not only that, but the lower the sun gets, the more the light is bouncing off the sky to get to you giving you that under-the-chandelier glow.
Okay okay. Enough with the science. This is a wedding videography blog for crying out loud. What does all this information mean for you? Well, if you’re wedding day schedule is not yet set in stone, we would strongly encourage you to plan for a quick portrait session sometime in the hour before sunset. And that’s going to look different for different couples because that time will change depending on the date of your wedding. However, thirty minutes is more than enough time for us to get some amazing stuff. And honestly, even ten or fifteen minutes would be better than nothing. We know you guys are eager to get to your reception at that point, but the payoff is so worth it. A lot of these sessions really end up being a nice little get away for the couple. It’s a nice chance to have some quiet with your spouse before gearing up again for the rest of the reception.
At the end of the day, we create a visual product and the shots speak for themselves. Check out how this beach wedding ends to see what a few minutes at the right time of day can add to your wedding video.