Light on Your Wedding Day
When it comes to your wedding day, there is a lot of planning that goes into making your day perfect. Organizing not only yourself and your partner, but also your families and cherished guests. If you are reading this, you have likely also put in a great deal of time and energy finding the perfect wedding photographer to capture the moments of your wedding day.
This guide will serve as an explanation of why light on your wedding day is so important and how you can maximize beautiful light on your wedding day.
Bride Getting Ready
Location, location location. If you are able to, choose the largest and brightest room in your home/hotel room to have your hair & makeup done, as well as for getting dressed. Most makeup artists will gravitate towards large windows and natural light so that your makeup looks natural and even. Natural light is the most flattering and for that reason we will always prefer rooms lit by large windows. Turning on household or hotel room lights is very rarely recommended, as the light they produce is often tinted and unnatural.
If you are planning to get ready in a hotel, perhaps think about a boutique hotel, or using a large suite, and as a side note clear away the clutter in whatever room you will be getting ready in, unless you want bras, water bottles, and coffee cups in the background.
Groom Getting Ready
Grooms deserve a beautiful space to get ready in too! All of the above information applies to the groom and his boys, so be sure to find a location with big windows and lots of natural light.
When planning your outdoor ceremony please consider that the time of day will play a big role in the way that the light and your ceremony will look. For outdoor ceremonies in the summer we recommend waiting until 5pm or later to ensure ideal light. As the sun sinks lower in the sky, the light softens and becomes much more flattering.
Check with your photographer to see what direction the ceremony should face in order to maximize the ideal light. The light should be either in front or behind you both evenly.
Can’t avoid a mid-day ceremony? A mid-day ceremony when the sun will be highest in the sky means that we have the challenge of the harshest most direct sunlight – which makes nobody look good. Solution? Getting married under a large tree, in the woods or in a location where you and your wedding party will all be in the shade.
Most indoor ceremony locations don’t allow for a lot of control over the availability of beautiful natural light. If possible, have your ceremony where the light from windows falls in front of you (rather than being lit from behind).
No windows? There are other sources of natural light that can be very beautiful, flattering and super romantic – why not light a few candles or use string lighting?
The best light for any kind of portraits is as close to sunrise or sunset as possible. We fully realize that this is not the easiest time to schedule portraits, but we encourage our couples to consider doing half of their portraits earlier; we find this is a convenient time for family portraits and large group photos, and the portraits of the bride and groom later when the light is softer.
Our favourite time to shoot is just as the sun is starting to set and the light is a beautiful golden colour, which is also when we get all of the vibrant sunset colours combined with the soft warm light.
Tight Schedule? Consider portrait locations that are in the shade, the light will mimic the evening light and give your portraits a very soft and beautiful look. You will also be a lot more comfortable – no sunburns, sweating or squinting.
The light in your reception will vary depending on your venue that you choose and the décor that you use. Professional lighting and decorating companies can transform bare ballrooms into brilliantly lit, intimate reception venues.
On a budget? You can dress up your venue by adding candles or string lights, they will look stunning in photographs.
End of the Night
Sometimes we need to play with the light in a more dramatic way, this may mean bringing in external lights such as flashes or it may mean using existing light to create unique wedding portraits. One thing that we love to do is to steal the bride and groom away for a few minutes to capture some wedding portraits at night.
Love the Light
Light is an important part of your wedding day – from the moment start getting ready, to the last song of the night, it will play an important part in how your photographer captures your day. Maximizing the beautiful light on your wedding day can be as easy as opening the curtains and stringing up a few lights. Not sure what the next step is? Your photographer is an invaluable resource – and they love the light!