Elopements || What is the Best Time of Day for Our Ceremony?

Elopements || What is the Best Time of Day for Our Ceremony?

Elopements || What is the Best Time of Day for Our Ceremony?

Different Times of Day and the Lighting it Provides


Elopements are becoming more and more popular and with good reason. Weddings are expensive and exhausting. Couples are foregoing the more traditional routes for something more intimate and romantic.

It used to be that saying “elopements” gathered a negative vision in persons’ head of some irresponsible couple running off to Vegas. Now, when I say elopements you may think of couples committing to each other on beautiful beaches and mountains. It may even conjure up images of honeymoons and weddings combining for one epic, adventurous, vacation.


Elopements are my favorite stories to tell, they are passionate and timeless. So when you are planning an elopement, how do you decide on what time of day is best? What kind of lighting is going to tell your story the way you deserve it to be told?


Types of Light:

Morning Light 

(we are talking sunrise here) Beautiful soft yellow-gold light. Shadows will be lessened and you get the added bonus of nature working magic around you. Woodland creatures and other types of animals tend to be more active in the morning so you might have a horse or deer that likes to crash elopements. Fog on the water is also a magical morning thing that I have been lucky enough to capture a few times.

Evening Light

(just before sunset) Lush orange/gold flecks everything at this time of day. You will have more open shade, just like in the morning. This means softer shadows here too.

Harsh lighting

Everything in between. More contrast, deeper shadows, brighter color.

Flash only – Usually seen with reception and nighttime photography. This can create incredible shots in deep dark places. Elopements at night will most definitely need someone who knows off camera lighting.


Factors to Consider


A major decision factor for elopements. Have you already fallen in love with the photographer that you will be using? Take a good look at their portfolio, do they have a style that encompasses all types of lighting situations or do they really only shine in one type of light? Pay close attention, some photographers can do it all, some can only do one thing. If you are set on this particular photographer you may already have your answer if you just ask them what they prefer. I personally think there is something special about elopements in the early AM but I still love to photograph them any time of day.


Elopements that take place on the beach are better off during a time of day when the sun isn’t so harsh because the sand and water can do crazy things to the light. Maybe you can see the sun rise or set behind a particular mountain that you are eloping near, if it’s important to see that sunrise/set then you have your answer. Your chosen venue may also have restrictions as to when you are allowed to be there.

Time of Year

If you are getting married in the snow, perhaps its best to wait for softer lighting. Snow acts like a giant reflector bouncing up light from all angles. If you are getting married in the Fall or Spring, midday might be a bit warmer and more more comfortable.


Did you elope? Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about elopements? Post it in the comments below!

If you would like Velvet Sage Photography to tell your story please use the form below and let’s chat!





This Post Has One Comment

  1. These are great tips! Love that morning light too.

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