When's the best time to get married outside for amazing photos?

When I'm meeting with new brides about photographing their weddings, I often get asked whens the best time to get married? Great pictures are important and nothing makes a picture better then great light. There's a huge difference in getting married midday and having your ceremony during "the golden hour." Here are just a few tips at picking the best time of day for your wedding! 

Best time of day to get married outside for amazing pictures. Amanda Lenhardt Photography, Dallas and Destination.

Are you doing a first look? 

You're probably thinking what does this have to do with what time of day I'm getting married? I've shoot weddings when the ceremony was a great time of day, but all the portraits were scheduled for a midday first-look. If you're hoping to knockout most of your photos before the ceremony, plan for a later ceremony that way the lighting is pleasing and great for photos! 

What time is sunset?

This is pretty standard info to look up for your wedding day, but hear me out. It's not just about making sure your ceremony is at a great time, but making sure you're allotting for enough time after your ceremony for photos. There's nothing more stressful then when things run behind, and then there limited light for all the portraits. If you decide to not do a first look, make sure you plan for enough time after the ceremony. Here are a few good tips to decide on how long you'll need for photos afterwards. 

Start by making a family list. Every bride that books with me I make sure I get this from them, and every family photo combinations you'd ever hope for. Plan on each family combination taking about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the group. This allows wiggle room if a family member goes missing, and keeps things from becoming more stressful. This will give you an idea of how long you'll need for you family photos after the ceremony. 

Along with family photos you'll also want to make sure you allow for enough time for bridal party and portraits of you and your newly husband. I recommend 30 minutes to an hour for this part of photos. These are the photos you're going to print, put on your wall and send to family so I like to make sure we have the best light for these and the most time to make the magic happen. 

When in doubt, two and a half hours before sunset is always a great time to start with a ceremony. This gives you plenty of time to take photos after and if you decide on a first look you have the option to move your ceremony later on in the afternoon.

What if I don't have the option to have a late ceremony?

Best time of day to get married outside for amazing pictures. Amanda Lenhardt Photography, Dallas and Destination.

My suggestion with this is to visit your ceremony the same time you plan to get married. Take a look at the area, is there any shade, is there a lot of trees. If anything try to plan for the sun to behind you guys if you can't have a later ceremony at your venue. If you don't have the option for a later ceremony having the sun behind you at gets the sun out of your eyes and still makes beautiful photographs. 

These are just a few suggestions for planning your wedding day and picking the best time to get amazing photos! I'd love to hear from you when you think is the best time to get married outside and hopefully that I can help capture your amazing day. 

Love, 

Amanda