Post # 1
Do any of you have advice based on experiences with wedding ceremonies happening at/around sunset? I love the pictures that come from sunset ceremonies, but I also don’t want to miss my chance to take pictures during the “golden hour”. I have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the time of the ceremony, so I’d like to hear what you’ve liked or didn’t like if you’ve been present at one.
We’re planning on doing the majority of picture taking before the ceremony. The ceremony is happening on the beach, and the sunset will be directly out over the water. I’m trying to balance the opportunity for “romantic” pictures, the ambience of the ceremony itself, and the fact that I don’t want my guests blinded if we start at a time when the sun is low but still bright.
Post # 2
IMO there is not a great way to do this. If you have the sunset behind YOU, the guests will be blinded. If you have the sunset behind the guests you guys will be blinded and there will be shadows towards you.
Best case scenario would be to do the ceremony earlier, have a sunset cocktail hour and do pictures during that time!
Post # 3
You can face the chairs down the length of the beach so no one is looking right into the sun. Your photographer can get the pictures you want without punishing your guests.
Post # 4
puravida2019 : Wedding Photographer here! I would do a first look to get most of your important photos out of the way. Plan your ceremony for a little before sunset so after the ceremony you can get beautiful couples sunset photos. Here’s the thing about sunset, to get amazing sunset photos you need to have external lighting. That means usually the photographer has an assistant with them holding some off-camera lighting. That way they are exposing the photo for the sunset while still lighting up the subject. Can you use an on-camera flash for that? Sure, but it tends to look “flashy” and not as good. My point behind telling you all that is the only way to achieve true “sunset” photos during your ceremony is to use flash – and it won’t be as flattering and more of a disruption as they would need to move their lighting around based on what angle they are shooting. The biggest con is that your guests are having to stare straight into the sun during your ceremoney. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the backdrop is if no one can keep their eyes open.
Post # 5
My first wedding was a ‘sunset’ beach ceremony.
I did not want to do a first look beforehand – I ended up collaborating with my photographer who was able to give me some wonderful advice on ceremony start time based on the sunset times for our wedding date.
My recommendation would be to share your thoughts with your photographer and get their input. He/She is a professional who has likely encountered this scenario multiple times and will be able to give you the best advice on when to start your ceremony in order to get the photos you want.
Waiting until sunset for the actual ceremony will likely not get you the photos you’re looking for – lots of direct light into the camera lense makes it difficult to get a good shot of you; you’re more likely to see a lot of silhouettes.
Post # 6
We did our photos before the ceremony too, and timed the ceremony to end as sunset started. We were in the mountains though, not th beach, so the sun faded behind the mountains before it got in our guests eyes. We were guided by our photographers, so I’d talk to your photogs and take PP’s advice into account!
Post # 7
puravida2019 : there is no point having a sunset ceremony for the pictures if the beach faces west. Your photog is not going to shoot directly into the sun, meaning the only ceremony pics you’ll get will be from the side and nothing straight down the aisle. Plus, as you said before, you’ll blind your guests. If you want sunset (Golden hour) pics, have an earlier ceremony and then schedule golden hour sometime during dinner so you can sneak away for a bit from the reception.
Post # 8
The only issue I had was having photos taken to capture the sunset and then having the guest wait for us at the reception. Our photographer took forever and I felt like we were leaving our guest hanging longer than what was appropriate. So make sure you have a time line expectation set
Post # 9
Our ceremony was timed for sunset. It was towards the end of sunset so the guests got to enjoy sunset as they arrived and were mingling before getting seated and then our ceremony had more of a twilight vibe. We got most of our photos done in the 2-3 hours before sunset, so not quite golden hour but still good lighting.
The ceremony was pretty magical. The photos don’t really capture it because lowlight outdoor event photography is hard but I’ll remember it forever.
Post # 10
Thank you everyone for your input! I really appreciate it.
I should have added that I’d love to see pictures if you have them!
jellybellynelly : julies1949 : starfish0116 : rachelmichelle : mem7 : catskillsinjune : KKJohnson : takeoutqueen :
Post # 12
KKJohnson : I love it! The sunset colors really compliment your dress.
Post # 13
Take weather into account when you’re planning for the ceremony! We did a sunset ceremony and it was entirely overcast. We got no color, all grey sky. It turned out really moody and ethereal looking, so it all worked out, but it happened because we picked a time of year that wouldn’t be too hot, so the weather was a gamble.
Post # 14
This was how the pictures came out, by the way.
Post # 15
TeacupSeahorse : Thank you for the advice on the clouds. I love your picture! I’m definitely dragging Fiance into the water with me for some photos at the end, haha