Best time of day for an Outdoor Wedding- Month by Month Guide

Best Time of Day for an Outdoor Wedding?

Quick Answer:


Reason- Photos

A good photographer can make any time of day work, but if you want to broaden your horizons (literally), plan your wedding so that photos can be done as close to golden hour as possible. Have you chosen a beautiful field that would be perfect for photos? If it’s midday, you’ll most likely be moving away from the field in search of shade. Midday sun causes hot spots and unflattering shadows on the face. Of course, your photographer can bring certain equipment to mitigate both effects, but oftentimes, weddings are not the time or place to set up complicated lighting. You have a schedule to keep and the last thing your photographer wants is to make anyone late and with that in mind, even the most beautiful backdrop sometimes needs nixed due to poor lighting.

You don’t mind if I move the alter do you?

Of course you would mind! As a photographer, I can’t stop your ceremony and start redecorating, so I am relying on you to think of lighting during the planning process. Dappled sunlight- no go for faces. Full midday sun coming from directly above? Instant raccoon eyes. Again, lighting equipment can mitigate harsh shadows to some extent, but your photo album will always be better if you avoid lighting problems from the get-go.


Golden Hour for an Outdoor Wedding

Month by Month Guide

Times listed are approx 1 hour before sunset and then rounded back to the nearest 15 minute increment. For instance, Golden hour starting at 4:20 would be rounded to back to 4:15. Scheduling photos loosely around these times is a good idea, but ultimately it comes down to what works best for your schedule.

Guide applies to Eastern Daylight time- Written Specifically for Philadelphia, Chester, Lehigh, Bucks, Delaware, Berks counties, but applies to wider time zone as well.


Beginning JANUARY– Golden Hour Starts: 3:45

End JANUARY-          Golden Hour Starts: 4:15


Beginning FEBRUARY– Golden Hour Starts: 4:15

End FEBRUARY-         Golden Hour Starts: 4:45


Beginning MARCH–   Golden Hour Starts: 4:45

End MARCH-               Golden Hour Starts: 6:15


Beginning APRIL–    Golden Hour Starts: 6:15

End APRIL-                 Golden Hour Starts: 6:45


Beginning MAY–      Golden Hour Starts: 6:45

End MAY-                  Golden Hour Starts: 7:15


Beginning JUNE–      Golden Hour Starts: 7:15

End JUNE-                   Golden Hour Starts: 7:30


Beginning JULY–          Golden Hour Starts: 7:30

End JULY-                       Golden Hour Starts: 7:15


Beginning AUGUST–     Golden Hour Starts: 7:15

End AUGUST-                 Golden Hour Starts: 6:30


Beginning SEPTEMBER– Golden Hour Starts: 6:30

End SEPTEMBER-           Golden Hour Starts: 5:45


Beginning OCTOBER–    Golden Hour Starts: 5:45

End OCTOBER-                 Golden Hour Starts: 5:00


Beginning NOVEMBER–  Golden Hour Starts: 5:00

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: NOV 4-  Golden  Hour Starts 3:45

End NOVEMBER-              Golden Hour Starts: 3:30


Beginning DECEMBER– Golden Hour Starts: 3:30

End DECEMBER-             Golden Hour Starts: 3:45