M
Dedicated October 2019

Photos and Sunset

M, on September 19, 2019 at 2:40 PM Posted in Planning 0 23
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My wedding is coming up and I keep thinking of things I have to post here to find out about.

Our ceremony is in October starting at 5:30. It’ll be a short ceremony (<15 min) as it’s just my cousin officiating. We plan to have individual photos of us and our parties and parents before the ceremony. Afterwards, during cocktail hour, we will have photos of us together plus our family’s and bridal party. I didn’t think to check sunset like a doofus and now I’m seeings it’s at 6:19. I would like most of our photos outside (there are also pretty places inside but just preference) and doing a first look has never been in my vision for my wedding. I don’t have strong feelings about it, I just never wanted it.

That being said are any of you photographers that photographed so close sunset? Or any brides did this? Did you regret not doing a first look or were you happy with how the photos turned out? My photographer is very kind but I can hear in her voice she’s a touch stressed so I want some honest opinions on sunset wedding photos.

23 Comments

  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·

    That's a pretty tight time frame if you want pictures before sunset. Daughter & SIL did first look and a lot of wedding party photos in a little under 2 hours before the ceremony. Their ceremony was 30 minutes at 3:30, they then used a full hour for photos during cocktail hour, and sunset was at 5 pm. If your photographer seems stressed about what you want to accomplish in the time allotted, I would listen to them. If you don't want to do a first look, can you move your ceremony start time up?

  • M
    Dedicated October 2019
    M ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Can’t change ceremony, invites are out.

    I’m not totally saying no to a first look, it just never crossed my mind before. I really just want to hear some opinions to guide me to what I should do.
  • V
    Super July 2019
    Veronica ·
    My brother-in-law and his wife left their reception with the photographer to take sunset photos of the two of them. They just got married at the end of August so they don't have all of their photos yet, but the photographer shared one of the photos theay took at sunset and it was very beautiful. As long as you aren't outside when it starts getting dark outside then I think sunset photos will be very beautiful.
  • M
    Dedicated October 2019
    M ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Thanks I’m thinking we might just have to do a first look to get the amount of photos we want and then during cocktail hour we can get sunset shots of just myself and FH
  • Meghan
    Super September 2019
    Meghan ·

    We were planning on going to take some sunset photos (would have been during a dance set during the reception) but of course some clouds rolled in right before sunset.

    It doesn't get instantly dark right at sunset so I imagine you'd be okay time-wise. You'd probably have about 45 minutes for photos after your ceremony before it gets actually dark. We were continuing to take photos outside even after it got dark because the photographer had lighting she was able to set up.

  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    I don’t think it’s possible to do all those photos in that amount of time. Your ceremony will take longer than you think with processional, recessional, and everyone leaving and transitioning to cocktail hour. We did some couples photos at sunset and that took about 20 minutes. Our family photos took 15 minutes after the ceremony and bridal party photos took close to 30 minutes before the ceremony.
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    Just a note— my bigger concern would be things running late. I went to 2 weddings recently and BOTH started 20-30 minutes behind schedule due to circumstances beyond the couples’ control— in fact, my own wedding started about 30 minutes late due to a shuttle delay and my guests just weren’t there yet! We also didn’t do a first look, so then rushed through all the cocktail hours — not because we were fighting to beat the sun, but because after the delay we were very anxious to get to our party! Because of that, I compromised on a few photos I would’ve wanted as in the moment I just wanted to be done! (I still love my photos and have plenty of great ones and don’t regret not doing a first look, but , feel it’s worth mentioning that the time you think you have may end up less than the time you actually have in the end!)
  • M
    Dedicated October 2019
    M ·
    View Quoted Comment
    That’s a good point. I forget that the world just function 15 minutes early like myself.
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    ...but I’ve also seen plenty of perfectly lovely indoor photos, if you don’t want to change course! You could do a few specific outdoor ones , and save some group photos for inside if you find a nice place !
  • Amanda
    Master December 2020
    Amanda ·
    Your best time for photo's is an hour before sunset, so you'll have great photos from about 5:45PM (ceremony end) to 6:19PM (sunset)
  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
    My photographer is a fine art photographer and she utilizes natural lighting and her favorite time of the day for pics is golden hour which is when the sun starts going down. We planned the entire wedding around this time and the timeline she gave me for it. I LOVE that I followed her advice because I truly love my pictures.
    I didn’t do first look and I don’t regret it because I liked the anticipation and walking down the aisle to see him for the first time standing there waiting for me. BUT the time spend for cocktail hour was crunch with photos. We did family photos and some bridal photos and although time flew for us the cocktail hour was longer than I wished but I have so many great pics that I really don’t care now. There’s no way to get them done before unless you do a first look. If I could do it again I wouldn’t do a first look either but I’ll make sure we would stay on time for bridal photos BEFORE the wedding. We did individuals but didn’t go thru them all before the ceremony and they were most have pictures so this took some time after ceremony as well.
  • Z
    Dedicated November 2019
    Zoe ·

    We're doing a first look only because we're getting married in November at 5:00 and sunset is at like 4:45 lol. I think to get the most out of your photos you might need to do a first look and then step away for sunset pictures during cocktail hour.

  • V
    Super July 2019
    Veronica ·
    View Quoted Comment

    I started out very against a first look, but my husband really wanted to do one. He was very upset because I was doing one with my dad. I ended up agreeing to do a first look in exchange for allowing my mom to walk down the aisle with my brother. He wanted both moms to walk together, but my mom didn't like that idea at all and my brother was in the wedding so he walked my mom down the aisle then walked the groomswoman down the aisle.

  • Tessa
    Devoted November 2019
    Tessa ·

    Cavin Elizabeth has a great youtube video all about lighting. I would watch this to get an idea of what kind of lighting you want for photos. I would then discuss with your photographer what timeline would be best considering your start time. They are the professional and they will put your worries at ease! https://youtu.be/nTuqr9vbl2o

  • S
    Dedicated October 2019
    Stephanie ·
    Not a photographer but when planning my wedding we wanted sunset photos on the beach and were discouraged against it due to the quality of the photos. Shadows and such. So we are now having an afternoon wedding. My photographer was not thrilled with the thought of sunset photos, so we nixed it.
  • M
    Dedicated October 2019
    M ·
    Thank you everyone! My photographer is honestly great and makes the best out of whatever a couple throws her.
    I talked to my fiancé and we decided to do a first look and get as many photos done before the ceremony. That way HOPEFULLY after the ceremony/some quick photos and before cocktail hour is done, we can get a moment just the two of us to have a quick drink and snack before the chaos.
  • Cyndy
    Master May 2019
    Cyndy ·
    I think your timing is too tight so you either need to do first look or go right from your ceremony to getting ready for your sunset pictures. We ran into a similar issue to we did first look and then left cocktail hour to do our sunset pics and I’m glad we did

    Photos and Sunset 1

    Photos and Sunset 2
  • FirstTimeMOB
    October 2018
    FirstTimeMOB ·

    Keep in mind the landscape in the area where you want your pictures.

    My daughter got married the third week of October where the sunset was right around 6:15 or so. We ended up shifting the ceremony to 4:30 from 5:00 because of the mountains surrounding the area. The sun would be behind the mountains BEFORE sunset, impacting the amount of light for pictures.

  • H
    Devoted November 2019
    Heather ·
    Why dont you try to do as many pics before the ceremony as possible- you, bridesmaids, parents, etc. Then finish up with your finance immediately after the ceremony. Fill in whatever you can after that. We chose the sunset option in Jamaica on 11/26 ceremony 5pm. Had to pay extra for the sunset. :/ I hear ya on the first look. I wont do it either.
  • Gina
    Just Said Yes January 2020
    Gina ·
    Hi! I’m actually a wedding consultant on the East Coast and had a quick suggestion if you have second thoughts about the first look! You could always do your pictures with your bridesmaids before the ceremony and the groom with his groomsmen in the morning or something! So then after your ceremony you can get quick photos of everyone together and move right to the portraits! And maybe save the family photos for inside so you can get some really good ones of you and your fiancé! Just a thought!

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