What’s the Best Lighting for Wedding Photography?

What in the USA, with the average cost of a wedding being more than $31,000, many are trying to cut the costs somewhere.

Some save on makeup, decor, amount of guests, venue location and more. But one thing you should always splurge on is hiring a photographer that suits your style!

Why? Your wedding photo album is the only thing you have that will preserve the memories of your big day.

But to get the best photos, you need good lighting. Bad lighting can make any beautifully arranged wedding look dingy, dark and outdated.

Read on for some illuminating tips on choosing the best lighting for wedding photography.

Photoshoot Time and Location

For your couple photo shoot, pick a good location. Natural light creates the best lighting for all photos.

Using open spaces with interesting features works well for wedding photography. For example, trees and flowers on a green lawn always make a pretty backdrop, but a dense forest may look too dark.

If you’re into architecture, antique looking stone buildings are a great feature to have. Just make sure you don’t choose shadowy areas.

Another important thing to be aware of is the time of day. For example, the golden hour is something we photographers swear by. The golden hour is the hour just after sunrise, and the hour just before sunset.

While the sun is low in the sky, this diffused flattering light is the absolute best lighting to shoot in. It’s quite a difference to the harsh midday sun which causes many unwanted face shadows.

If you can arrange your couple photos during one of these times, you’ll definitely get some gorgeous shots. But if it’s impossible to fit into your schedule, why not consider doing your photo shoot another day?

Many couples now arrange another day to get dressed up in their wedding attire and have their photo shoot at a more relaxed and better time of day. This also gives you the opportunity to maybe go further afield for an awesome backdrop for your photos.

Ceremony Illumination

Whether your ceremony is in a church, a converted barn, outdoors, or even at City Hall, you’ll want to capture these memories. After all, this is the most important part of the day–when you make that lifelong promise!

Most ceremonies take place during the day so natural lighting can be used. This is the best kind of lighting for wedding photography.

Make sure to choose a venue that is light, spacious and airy, preferably with light colored walls and ceilings. This might not be possible in a church, but try to choose one with as many windows as possible for that all-important natural lighting.

Evening Reception Venue

This is the challenge, as most receptions are held in the evenings until late in the night. This means low lighting.

When choosing the lighting for your reception, you want to create the right ambiance. But you also don’t want your guests to be in the dark.

Make sure to visit the venue before you book, during the day and the night. Find out what lighting they already have, and also take note of the decoration. Is it gaudy or overly dark?

Some great ambiance lighting includes candles, string lights, chandeliers, mason jars, Edison bulbs, paper lanterns, or LED lights.

It all really depends on the style you’re going for. But try to avoid floodlights or anything that will make it look more like a construction site than a classy wedding!

A nighttime outdoor wedding will look gorgeous with twinkly lights draped around the trees. The guests waving sparklers can really make beautiful photos, and your guests will enjoy themselves too.

A classic indoor wedding would look great with chandeliers over the tables, simple lights in the flower arrangements and a pin spot on the cake. These lighting fixtures always give a timeless classy look to the finished photo album.

The main thing to remember is to keep the light looking as natural as possible. And also try to choose a venue with white or light colored walls and ceilings. This will enable the photographer to capture every moment without having to blind everyone with strong camera flashes.

The Best Lighting for Wedding Photography

As you can see, choosing the right times and places are essential for making sure your wedding photos are a success.

If it all seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered!

My aim is to help capture those charming moments of your wedding day and deliver amazing images that you will treasure throughout your lifetime.

Check out my wedding gallery for more inspiration.