How To Plan For Great Light On Your Wedding Day

Photography is all about light. The actual word “Photography” is broken down into “Photo” and “Graph” which is roughly translated into “Light” “To Draw/Paint” so all photographers are practically “Painting With Light”!

The best UK wedding photographers will assess the light on your wedding day and use the best possible light to ensure your wedding photos are both beautiful to look at and all so. So that the subject is lit in the best possible way to really accent how you look or how the moment feels.

There are some things that you could consider when planning your wedding that could really help both you and your photographer work together to create the best possible wedding photos. So as a London, UK & Destination Wedding Photographer, i’ve put this together so you can hopefully end up with the most amazing wedding photos.

Although this won’t be a “ram down your throat” education blog post. Just some quick tips on how you could end up with much better photos than you’re already anticipating!

Getting Ready for your Bridal Preparations

When you’re getting ready on the morning of your wedding it may go faster than you think. So being prepared is quite important. As the title of this post already points out. Light is quite important when it comes to photography. So to help your photographer get the most beautiful-looking images possible. It’s a good idea to try and utilize as much natural light as possible whilst you’re getting ready. For example, find a nice window with some natural light spilling through as the location to have your makeup applied. Find a space to put your dress on where you will have some source of natural light from a doorway or window. The photo was below taken in the Cotswolds at Primrose Hill Farm.

If you can, try and select the largest room available that lets in the most light. If you’re visiting a wedding venues as potential locations for your wedding, take note of the shape and size of the rooms, including where the windows are. Big light walls can also help to illuminate the space and give your photographer more to work with.

If you think your hotel, venue, or home won’t make the best location for bridal preparations – and you really want you’re getting ready shots to be amazing – then perhaps see if you could get ready at a friends house or find a property online for hire that could be the perfect setting for your morning of bridal preparations. That relatively small additional cost could make all the difference to those first few pages of your wedding album.

Lake Como Bride about to have her wedding ceremony in italy

This image above was taken at Abbie + Dan’s Wedding | See more from this York Minster Wedding Photography


Sometimes natural light just isn’t an option. If that’s the case, remember that the next best thing is just one kind of light. Candlelight, tungsten light, and fluorescent light can all create great shots on their own, but if you have them all in the same room together it can result in odd skin tones in the photographs. Photographers will refer to this as mixed light and just makes things annoying when it comes to colours. Speak with your wedding photographer beforehand or even on the day for any advice on this.

It’s not the end of the world if you haven’t thought about these things in advance, but it can be a real help if you have time. Don’t forget you can always contact your wedding photographer for advice.

Wedding Ceremonies

When it comes to your wedding ceremony, there will be an awful lot out of your control when it comes to lighting. Though if there are things that you can control then go ahead and see if you can make changes. Ask your wedding coordinator if any adjustments you can make regarding the lighting. If your wedding ceremony is outdoors then perhaps see what the light will be like during the time you have scheduled for the ceremony. Some ceremony locations are really dark and your photographer may want to use flash to give your images some real depth.

This image below is all-natural light coming from a barn window.

This image above was taken at Laura + Charles’s Wedding | See More From This February Cotswolds Wedding.

If you are opting for an outdoor ceremony, you may want to avoid having a location that’s going to cause harsh shadows on faces and squinting. I could go into detail on what would be best here. Though there are so many variables, it would make an article of its own. Just note that if you want an outdoor ceremony. Speak with your photographer or planner. Their opinions will be sure to improve how good your wedding photographs turn out.

Sunset Photographs

Sunset photos are great! I particularly love shooting couples during this time of day. In fact, past couples of mine have booked me for their wedding day and have mentioned one of the reasons they love my work is because of some of these images. It can be hugely disappointing for those who really want them to end up being disappointed due to the schedule of their wedding day. This is because they don’t factor in the timings of the sunset etc. Maybe speak with your co-ordinator or maybe your wedding photographer to see if you can arrange something so you’re not disappointed. Though in the UK the weather can be highly unpredictable!

Sometimes the best sunsets and light happen during the speeches. This can be annoying if you really want some amazing sunset photos. Maybe consider the timing of your speeches or other events in your timeline and how they line up with the sunset.

Sunset Photo

This image above was taken from Joanne + Josh’s wedding | See more of their Primrose Hill Farm Wedding Photography

The Wedding Reception

This is where speaking with your photographer about the lighting can be crucial. Look at the size and light sources – natural and artificial – in the reception space, and ask your DJ what types of lighting they’ll be using. Also, think about where key moments – such as the cake cutting and first dance – will be happening. It’s a good idea to position these moments and people where there’s plenty of light. If it’s a winter wedding, speak with your planners, coordinators, and photographers and ask what works for them in regards to getting the best out of your photography.  Again it’s hard to give any direct practical advice now as every wedding is different. Though it’s something to consider and keep in mind for your wedding day.

wedding reception lighting

This image above was taken at Lauren + Matthews’s wedding | See more of their Sorrento Wedding At Villa Zagara

Weather on Your Wedding Day

An overcast day might seem miserable or dull, but if the forecast isn’t brilliant for your day, don’t worry. In a strange way, this can create perfect lighting conditions. It just creates a soft light that’s super easy to work with. As a destination wedding photographer, I get to shoot in some great locations but even back in the UK when the weather isn’t as great I can still work with what light I’ve been given. The best UK wedding photographers will have your back even on the dullest day.

No matter where or when you’re getting married – if you have a great wedding photographer and you chat to them about the spaces and lighting conditions beforehand – they will always be able to create beautiful wedding photos that will continue to blow you away for years to come. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading How To Plan For Great Light On Your Wedding Day.


Best UK Wedding Photographer 2023