This guide includes all the details for nailing those golden hour photos, and knowing the right golden hour timings in the UK to catch that glow! Answering your questions like when is golden hour in the UK? When can we have golden hour photos on our wedding day? How long does golden hour last? Are we likely to have a golden hour?
If you hadn’t realised already, I’m a little obsessed with golden hour! I mean who doesn’t love a sunset? My natural style and natural light portraits, particularly at golden hour are what make a lot of my couples fall in love with my work. The light during the last hour of the day, on a sunny clear day is known as golden hour, as when the sun is setting its often gives off a really rich golden glow. This is usually at its best during spring and autumn, but we have some amazing golden hours all year round! I will always suggest having portraits just before and into golden hour as the light is super flattering, and helps to create gorgeous portraits
Golden hour timings vary a lot throughout the year, and if you are hoping to time your photos on the wedding day to coincide it’s important to check the timings below when planning your reception/dinner. Often if we know the weather is looking good on your wedding day we’ll do two mini portrait sessions, on during the day, and a second later in the evening during golden hour. These timings will also help you plan the best time during the year for you pre-wedding photos.
Golden Hour Year Timings Chart UK
|January (Early)||4.15 PM||3.15 PM|
|January (Late)||4.30 PM||3.30 PM|
|February (Early)||5.00 PM||4.00 PM|
|February (Late)||5.20 PM||4.20 PM|
|March (Early)||6.00 PM||5.00 PM|
|March (Late)||6.15 PM||5.15 PM|
|April (Early)||7.50 PM||6.50 PM|
|April (Late)||8.05 PM||7.05 PM|
|May (Early)||8.40 PM||7.40 PM|
|May (Late)||8.55 PM||7.55 PM|
|June (Early)||9.15 PM||8.15 PM|
|June (Late)||9.20 PM||8.20 PM|
|July (Early)||9.15 PM||8.15 PM|
|July (Late)||9.05 PM||8.05 PM|
|August (Early)||8.30 PM||7.30 PM|
|August (Late)||8.10 PM||7.10 PM|
|September (Early)||7.30 PM||6.30 PM|
|September (Late)||7.00 PM||6.00 PM|
|October (Early)||6.15 PM||5.15 PM|
|October (Late)||5.55 PM||4.55 PM|
|November (Early)||4.20 PM||3.20 PM|
|November (Late)||4.05 PM||3.05 PM|
|December (Early)||3.50 PM||2.50 PM|
|December (Late)||3.55 PM||2.55 PM|
FAQS About Golden Hour
Golden hour is the hour either before sunset or after sunrise which creates a warm, golden natural light. It is popular for its soft flattering light without harsh shadows. The window of time is determined by your geographical location and the season.
Golden hour is usually one hour before sunset, but can vary throughout the year dependent on how many hours of daylight we have. The chart above gives you approximate timings for golden hour throughout the year.
The best time that usually fits around your day is just after your wedding breakfast/meal. This is usually a good quiet time to sneak off for some couples photos whilst your guests are having coffee, and relaxing after their meal before the partying starts! It’s worth noting the daylight hours when planning your timings for the day as it allows you to use the daylight hours you have the the maximum.
Is golden hour an hour? Roughly! It depends on the time of year, in the summer when the sun sets really slowly you can sometimes have around 2 hours of gorgeous glowly light. Where as in the winter on the shortest days, you can have only around 15-30 minutes of soft light as the sun sets so quickly.
In the summer when we have dry and clear weather you’re usually guaranteed lovely glowly light and an amazing sunset. But it’s the UK, when our weather is good, it is gorgeous and we have some of the worlds most amazing sunsets, but when its cloudy or rainy we can sometimes loose the sunset all together. So don’t bank on a sunset, but as long as theres not too much cloud cover you should be good. Personally I think some of the Spring and Autumn sunsets can be some of the most amazing as the colours are so rich, and the timings are usually at a more convenient time of day! Winter your chances are much lower of a golden hour as we usually have a lot more cloud coverage, but when we get them, winter golden light can be so beautiful!