Wedding Wednesday – Portrait Times and Weather

March 8, 2023

LSU AgCenter Wedding

Taken in mid-March at the LSU Botanic Gardens about 45 minutes before sunset

This will be a short and sweet Wedding Wednesday, but one that is important if you want to have beautiful engagement and bridal photos!   With daylight savings coming up this weekend, the times that we schedule these appointments will shift.   To summarize, here are the times you can expect to schedule an outdoor portrait session in the various seasons.  You can usually count on 1.5 hours before sunset (if booking with me), so if you aren’t sure of the best time, just google the sunset for that day!  These tips will also help if you are trying to figure out a wedding day timeline and want the most beautiful lighting for your couples’ portraits.

Starting times according to the season:

SPRING (March-May) – In early spring you can plan on starting around 6 while later spring will be 6:30 / 7:00.

SUMMER (June – August) – 7:00 – 8:30, about 1.5 hours before sunset

FALL (September – November) – Just like spring, these times will vary drastically depending on daylight savings.  September and October will be around 6 pm while November would be 3:30-4 pm.  Again, it’s important to check sunset times!

WINTER (December – February) – Sessions will take place around 3:30 – 4:00, moving back in time as winter comes to an end.

Sometimes, with different locations, these times aren’t possible, and that is usually okay.  There are many places, like the New Orleans Botanical Gardens, that close early and sessions have to be scheduled at non-ideal times.   Fortunately, these places usually have tons of beautiful locations that can still be used.  If you are unsure about times and locations, you can always contact me for my opinion or other ideas!


Taken at 3:30, 2 1/2 hours before sunset, early March at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens.


10 minutes before sunset in early March (5:50 pm)

Weather Issues:

I often get emails asking my thoughts on the weather when the forecast is rainy.  Unfortunately, I only know what you know!   If the forecast is over 50% chance of rain, I would probably recommend rescheduling.  Preparing for engagement and bridal sessions takes a lot of work and the last thing you want is to get rained on and have to do it all over again.  Choosing to move forward with your session on an overcast day is your call.   If you’re hoping for beautiful, glowy portraits, I would suggest rescheduling.  Yes, we can still get some images you will love, but they will look very different from most of the ones you’ll see on my website.  You may also want to consider wind – nothing will ruin your freshly curled hair faster than a windy day!   Again, if you are unsure, please contact me and we can talk about it!

The other weather issue you’ll want to consider is the temperature.   We all know how miserable Louisiana summers are and I can promise you, they are even more miserable when you are outside taking photos – especially bridal portraits.  For engagement portraits, grooms often wind up in pants and long sleeves, so scheduling your session in the middle of summer on a 90+ degree day won’t be fun for him or you!   This is why I recommend planning for your sessions in Spring/Early Summer (no later than May) or Fall / Winter.  The mild winters that we have here make it possible to do photos almost anytime, but you will have to also consider what the scenery will look like.   We usually have green areas through December while January is when things start to look brown and dead.  February / early March is when the green comes back and things begin to bloom.  If you are hoping for fall colors, anywhere that has lots of cypress or maple trees will be beautiful in the fall.

I hope that these quick tips help as you consider when to book your engagement and bridal sessions!  My calendar is usually 3-6 months in advance, so if you are needing to schedule soon, contact me for the link.

One hour before sunset in September on a slightly overcast and very windy day – Lake End Park

45 minutes before sunset in December – Lake End Park (same location as above)