bride and groom riding in a boat at blue hour

How to Get Blue Hour Wedding Photos

A couple months ago, we wrote a post all about how to get epic sunset wedding photos. But what if it’s overcast on your wedding day and the sunset is kind of lame? Not to worry because blue hour you’re your back! We’ve been shooting in Colorado since 2008 and taking blue hour wedding photos has always been one of our favorite things to do.

What is blue hour?

For photography purposes, I would define blue hour (also known as twilight) as starting approximately 30 minutes after sunset and ending 90 minutes after sunset. It’s that wonderful time of day after the remnants of sunset fades beneath the horizon and before the sky turns pitch black.

This also occurs in the early hours of the morning before sunrise (also known as dawn), but that’s a bit more difficult to incorporate into a wedding day, as you can probably imagine.

blue hour wedding photos at lily lake in estes park colorado

Sunset vs. blue hour wedding photos

We’ve all seen amazing sunset wedding photos with a couple on a mountaintop set against a backdrop of massive red and orange cloud formations. Blue hour wedding photos aren’t nearly as common as sunset photos and that’s what makes them so cool. Almost every wedding photographer takes sunset photos, but shooting at blue hour can be a bit trickier, from a technical standpoint.

But if you hire a photographer who knows what they’re doing, you’ll come away with something a bit more unique that not every other couple is going to get.

snowy winter wedding at the evergreen lake house


Sometimes, the wedding timeline doesn’t account for sunset photos. Sunset always seems to occur right in the middle of dinner, or during the toasts, or the first dance, etc. And since the peak of sunset only lasts a few minutes, it can be difficult to leave the reception at the exact right time to capture these photos.

Since blue hour lasts much longer, this gives you a lot more leeway to actually go out and take pictures without stepping on the toes of your wedding coordinator, DJ and caterers. We’ve found that the perfect time for blue hour photos is typically either right after dinner when you have time to go around and greet your guests, or immediately following the formal dances before the dance party has kicked into gear.

lodge at cathedral pines blue hour wedding photos

More blue hour wedding photos

If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably already decided that you’d love to have a few blue hour photos from your wedding, so instead of trying to convince you further, we’ll let you browse some more photos!

unique photo of bride and groom in denver
blue hour wedding photos at wedding ceremony in texas
blue hour wedding photos at wedding ceremony in texas
mother son dance at mount vernon canyon club in golden colorado
bride and groom romantic moment next to mountain river
blue hour wedding photo of bride and groom by silo
nighttime portrait of bride and groom in forest by lake
blue hour wedding photos at twin lakes inn

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned until next time, where we’ll talk about our absolute favorite time to take wedding photos: nighttime!

Interested in getting some cool photos of your own?
Reach out and we’ll brainstorm ideas together.

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