Close up of the groom putting an engagement ring on the bride's left ring finger. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Golden Hour Photos (What They Are and How They Can Transform Your Wedding Gallery)

Imagine it: You’re standing beside your beloved, there’s a slight breeze whispering through your hair, the sun dips below the clouds, casting a warm light through the tree leaves, and you’re glowing. Now imagine your wedding photographer capturing all of this. This moment is definitely not one you want to miss. But what is this moment exactly? It’s called the Golden Hour, and if you get it on film, your wedding gallery and album can transform from average to exceptional!


The Golden Hour is typically defined as one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset. The length of the hour can depend on one’s location, the time of year, and weather.

Golden Hour light is soft, romantic, and glowing. You’ve probably witnessed it a hundred times and relished in its beauty. It’s that time just after sunrise when the sunlight slips through your bedroom window and wakes you up. And it’s that time when the sun sets and its light seems to take a deep breath and then sigh onto everything it touches.

Some say this is when the light is at its most natural, as in the light cast is much softer than, say, the light around noon, which tends to be more harsh.

Bride to be and groom to be dancing in the street as the bride to be laughs and smiles during the golden hour in downtown Austin, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.


Golden Hour photos can add an artistic quality to your wedding gallery and album. The diffused light produces a dreamy, romantic glow, creates warmth, and produces silhouettes with more depth. This is perfect for couples who want photos with darker tones and a cozy feel.

Golden Hour light can also produce flares and bokeh in your photos, which can add a dramatic and unique look. Flares happen when the light hits the photographer’s lens, creating a sunburst of light. Bokeh is the blur produced (the little circles of light) in the out-of-focus parts of the image.

The softer light of the Golden Hour can also enhance your appearance and bring out your natural glow.

Bride to be and groom to be embrace with their eyes closed in the middle of the street during the golden hour in downtown Austin, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.


Capturing Golden Hour photos takes planning, preparation, and coordination with your wedding photographer. Since it’s such a short amount of time to work with, make sure you schedule ahead of time. Talk to your photographer about your interest in Golden Hour photos and find out if he or she has experience taking these kinds of shots. Have a firm grasp on where you need to be and the exact times to ensure the photographer captures this beautiful moment.

You can calculate your wedding day Golden Hour at

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