Festive secular ceremony: The Ultimate Guide

2 April 2024 Castille ALMA

Festive secular ceremony

Festive secular ceremony

Organize a secular ceremony in festive mode: The Ultimate Guide

Advice from a Pro photographer

Are you getting ready to say “yes” in the open air during a festive secular ceremony? So hold on tight, because as a dedicated wedding photographer, I’m going to give you tips worthy of a fiery celebration!

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of a secular ceremony in festive mode with my professional advice!

Discover how to choose the ideal location, play with light, personalize every detail, and add a touch of style with parasols and fans.

As a wedding photographer, I give you the secrets to memorable photos that capture love and joy.

Ready to say ‘yes’ in an epic way? Follow my tips for organizing a secular ceremony in festive mode!


Your venue should be as epic as your love. Choose a place that sends dreams and screams “we are made for each other”. Natural light, crazy decor, we want each shot to be a work of art.

Choosing the perfect location is like composing the first chord of a magical symphony.

Opt for a location that tells your story, with flattering natural light and breathtaking decor. Imagine yourself saying “I do” in a stunning setting that reflects the very essence of your love.

A well-chosen location will add emotional depth to every moment captured by the lens, transforming your wedding photos into true masterpieces.

From the beach to the mountains, your festive secular ceremony location should be a perfect canvas to paint the start of your adventure together.


Plan your ceremony for the golden hours, when the sun makes its descent. This is where the magic happens, with breathtaking light. Spread the word to your officiant, it’s your time to shine!

Nature as a backdrop

Plan your festive secular ceremony so that nature itself becomes your backdrop. Opt for the golden hours, that magical moment at sunset.

Imagine exchanging your vows under a warm, golden light that transforms every moment into a romantic scene.

Inform your officiant of this strategic choice to ensure that crucial moments are bathed in this enchanting light. The golden highlights will embrace every smile, every tear and every hug, creating unforgettable memories that will be forever captured in your wedding photos.

Romantic atmosphere

Golden hours provide soft, warm natural light, creating a romantic and magical atmosphere for your ceremony.

Visual Aesthetics

Sunrise or sunset light creates unique colors and shades, adding an artistic and captivating dimension to your wedding photos.

Visual Comfort

Soft light conditions during the golden hours reduce harsh shadows and excessive reflections, ensuring visual comfort for both participants and your photographer. And your guests won’t have to wear sunglasses.

Memorable Moments

The changing shades of the sky during sunset provide a dynamic backdrop for your ceremony, creating memorable and unique moments that will translate beautifully into photos.

By deliberately choosing the golden hours for your ceremony, you not only maximize the aesthetic quality of your photos, but you also create an unforgettable visual experience for you, your guests and, of course, for your photographer’s lens.

Drop in temperatures

Golden hours can correspond to times of cooler temperatures, especially in mid-season. Make sure your guests are comfortably dressed, and perhaps bring blankets or solutions for lower temperatures.

Go for creative solutions that add to the experience. For example, a hot drinks station or a corner with throws can become a charming focal point for guests.

But above all listen to you

So contact me this will allow you to take stock of your desires!

When will we meet?


Direct light is nice, but sometimes a little too much. Provide shaded areas so that your guests are not in “burning” mode.

Bonus: these areas are gems for stunning photos with play of light and shadow.

Potential disadvantages:

Variable Contrast: Shaded areas can create interesting visual contrast, but it can also pose challenges for lighting consistency. Some details may be less visible in shaded areas. And it is absolutely necessary that the two brides and grooms be in the same light conditions.

Guest Comfort: Although shaded areas offer respite from the sun, they can also be cooler. Make sure your guests are comfortably seated, especially if the ceremony lasts a while.

By anticipating these considerations and working closely with your photographer, you can take advantage of shaded areas to create artistic and glamorous photos while ensuring the comfort of your guests. The balance of light and shadow can truly add an artistic and dramatic dimension to your outdoor wedding memories.

Rather than considering classic arbors to create shade for your guests, why not explore more charming alternatives to elevate the ambiance of your special occasion?

Opt for elegance with pretty parasols which will bring a touch of refinement to your event by creating delicate and aesthetically pleasing shaded areas. These parasols can be chosen in a range of styles and colors, perfectly suiting the theme of your event.

Another innovative idea is to offer hats to your guests. In addition to being practical accessories to protect yourself from the sun, these hats can also serve as personalized souvenirs of the event. Imagine the visual impact of a crowd elegantly coiffed in hats to match the occasion.

To create an airy and magical atmosphere, the use of hanging curtains is an option. Sheers will add a unique visual dimension to your outdoor space while gently filtering light, creating a soft and inviting ambiance.

In short, by discarding the idea of arbors and choosing instead elegant parasols, providing hats for your guests, and using hanging curtains, you give your event a touch of sophistication while ensuring comfort and aesthetic for a memorable experience.

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In the unpredictable world of weather, being prepared is the key to a stress-free festive secular ceremony. Even if you have planned your day down to the smallest detail, the weather can play an unexpected role. But guess what? We can turn this into an opportunity and in style!

Ingenious Plan B:

Prepare a solid plan B for any weather eventuality. This could be a stylish tent, an indoor room or even strategically placed clear umbrellas. The key is to be willing to pivot without compromising elegance.

Transparent Umbrellas, New Trend:

Forget classic umbrellas and opt for transparent models. Not only do they add a modern, chic touch, but they also allow light to play through, creating unique visual effects.

Unexpected Remix:

A little downpour? Do not panic ! Turn this unexpected moment into an impromptu photo shoot. Raindrops add a magical dimension to your photos, creating a romantic and lively atmosphere.

Chic Rain Decor:

Integrate rain into your decoration. Hanging umbrellas, water drops on flowers – turn this natural phenomenon into an integral part of the charm of your day.

By remaining weather-ready, you transform the unpredictable into a creative adventure. Clear umbrellas are not only a practical solution, but they add an unexpected modern aesthetic to your outdoor wedding. So, may the weather do its thing, because you are ready to dance in the rain, photo to prove it! 🌧️📸✨


The festive secular ceremony is the time to show off your style. Add personal touches that define your relationship. I want unique rituals and elements that scream “this is us, and it’s awesome!”

Personal Theme

Choose a theme that captures the essence of your relationship. Whether it’s a shared passion, an adventure shared together, or simply a style that defines you, make sure every detail exudes your story.

Meaningful Rituals

Incorporate rituals that have deep meaning for both of you. Whether it is lighting a symbolic candle, planting a tree, or any other gesture of your love, these personal moments will remain engraved in your memories and in your photos.

Unique Decor

From choosing flowers to seating arrangements, every decorative element should be an extension of your style. From unique centerpieces to personalized signs, every detail should scream your individuality.

DIY elements

Add an artisanal touch with handmade elements. From personalized invitations to creative place cards, get involved in the design to create an authentic experience.

Custom Music

Choose a soundtrack that suits you. From songs that made your mark to tracks that move you, every note should be a celebration of your journey together.

Personalized Wishes

Make your wishes memorable by personalizing them. Add anecdotes, promises specific to your relationship, and touches of humor to create wishes that are authentically you.

By opting for extreme customization, you transform your secular ceremony into a unique and unforgettable experience. Each personalized detail becomes a declaration of love that translates beautifully into photos, capturing the very essence of your special connection. 💖✨


Decoration is not just a backdrop, it is the very soul of your festive outdoor secular ceremony. For a memorable ambiance, immerse yourself in a world of dazzling flowers, twinkling fairy lights and decor that amaze the senses. Each decorative element is a note in the visual symphony of your special day.

Bright Flowers

Opt for floral arrangements that reflect your style and the theme of your wedding. From bright colors to soft hues, flowers create a magical atmosphere. Falling petals during your outing as a married couple add a touch of romance.

Light Garlands

Fairy lights aren’t just for nighttime. Use them to frame the walkway, drape trees or illuminate reception areas. The soft glow creates a warm ambiance and adds a magical dimension to your photos.

Breathtaking decorations

Think big and bold. Dramatic floral arches, custom signs, art installations – every decorative element should be a statement. Your decor should be an extension of your love, creating a visual landscape that delights every glance.

Thematic Coherence

Harmonize the decoration with the general theme of your wedding. Whether you’re going rustic, bohemian, or chic, stylistic consistency gives each moment a curated aesthetic, ensuring each photo fits seamlessly into the whole.

By creating an atmosphere with carefully thought-out decoration, you transform your ceremony location into an enchanting world. Each photo will capture the magic of your day, with decorative details that showcase your unique style and add a touch of glamor to every moment. 🌸✨📸


VIP Seating for All: Give your guests seats that scream “we’re here to party.” Comfortable seating keeps them happy and provides natural, relaxed photo opportunities.

Comfort First

Soft, well-designed armchairs are not just a luxury, but a necessity. Comfortable guests are happy guests, ready to celebrate without worrying about their seat.

Style and Consistency

Choose chairs that fit perfectly with the theme and style of your wedding. From elegant lounge chairs for a beach ceremony to velvet armchairs for a chic ambiance, each choice should complement the overall aesthetic.

Casual Photo Opportunities

Comfortable armchairs also provide opportunities for relaxed, spontaneous photos. Comfortable guests naturally lend themselves to the snap game, creating a series of images that capture the joyful essence of your day.

Personalization of Seats

Add a personal touch with matching cushions, elegant blankets or even decorative ribbons. Personalizing the seats creates a visual impact, transforming each seat into a unique piece of your decoration puzzle.

Practical Elements

Besides style, think about practicality. Lightweight, easy-to-move chairs can be rearranged to create different spaces throughout the day, whether for the ceremony, cocktail party or reception.

By investing in VIP armchairs for everyone, you create a welcoming and stylish atmosphere. Not only does this enhance the comfort of your guests, but it also provides unique photographic opportunities to capture casual and joyful moments throughout your special day. 🛋️🎉📸


Set up a cocktail or mocktail bar that tempts you. Colorful and refreshing drinks will add a festive touch and create perfect moments of conviviality. Each of your guests will be able to raise a glass when you make your entrance!

A fun cocktail bar is not only a refreshment option, it is an invitation to conviviality and unforgettable moments of celebration.

Colorful Cocktails

Opt for a selection of cocktails that not only delight the taste buds, but are also visually appealing. Vibrant drinks add a touch of festivity to each shot, creating a spectacle of color.

Personalization of Cocktails

Add a personal touch by creating personalized cocktails that tell your story. Whether using special ingredients or giving them names inspired by your journey, each sip becomes a unique experience.

Dynamic Bar Decor

Don’t neglect the bar’s decor. Lighted signs, floral elements, or even a board listing the daily specials add visual dimension to your cocktail bar, making it photo-op worthy.

Conviviality Zone

Arrange the bar space so that it becomes a convivial zone after your secular ceremony. High stools, lounge areas or even standing tables encourage your guests to sit down, chat and create happy memories.

Bartender Show

Turn cocktail making into a spectacle. A skillful bartender can not only create delicious drinks but also entertain your guests. Skillful gestures and dynamic presentation add a dose of positive energy to your entire ceremony.

By integrating a fun cocktail bar into your festive secular ceremony, you create a relaxed and festive atmosphere. Each glass raised becomes an opportunity to capture moments of conviviality, laughter and celebration, adding a touch of dynamism to your wedding photos. 🍹🎉📸


Because music creates the atmosphere, create a crazy playlist that will transform your festive secular ceremony into an unforgettable party. Catchy, personal songs aren’t just background music, they become the rhythm of every moment, inspiring spontaneous and memorable moments.

Variety of Styles

Mix genres to please everyone. From timeless classics to current hits, create a playlist that offers a variety of musical styles. Whether it’s smooth jazz during the ceremony or upbeat rhythms for the reception, every moment has its melody.

Personal Songs

Incorporate songs that have special meaning to you as a couple. Whether it’s the song you had your first kiss to or the one that makes you dance together in the living room, every note should resonate with your love story.

Progressive Rhythm

Structure your playlist to accompany the progress of the day. Soft melodies for the ceremony, cheerful songs for the cocktail, and amp up the intensity with danceable hits for the reception. Create a musical surge.

Spontaneous Reactions

Good music provokes spontaneous reactions. Impromptu dance moves, infectious laughter, and maybe even a few tears of joy. Choose songs that invite celebration and create a lively ambiance.

Collaborative Playlist

If you wish, involve your guests in creating the playlist. Create a collaborative playlist where everyone can add their favorite songs, ensuring a diverse selection that everyone will enjoy.

By creating a playlist that rocks, you set the tone for your wedding day. Each song becomes a note in the symphony of your love, adding a musical dimension to your memories. When your guests remember your wedding, they won’t help but smile when hearing these iconic melodies. 🎶🎉📸


Hire a pro who has an eagle eye and a style that resonates with yours. Someone who will turn every moment into a work of art. Discuss your expectations, and let her shoot your love from all angles.

Sharp eye

Opt for a photographer who excels at capturing spontaneous and authentic moments. An eagle eye means she spots those magical moments before they even happen, ensuring photos that tell a captivating story.

Style that Matches

Stylistic consistency is key to ensuring your photos have a harmonious vibe. Choose a photographer whose portfolio reflects a style that resonates with yours. Whether romantic, modern, or bohemian, make sure their artistic vision matches yours.

Transformation into a Work of Art

An exceptional photographer doesn’t just take photos, she transforms them into true works of art. From subtle edits to creative composition, she adds a magical touch that transcends simple photography.

Discussion of Expectations

Before the big day, arrange a meeting with your photographer. Discuss your expectations, share ideas, and make sure you’re on the same page. The more she knows your story and wishes, the more authentic she will be able to capture your day.

Shooting From All Angles

Let the professional do her job with complete confidence. A good photographer is not limited to conventional shots. She explores unique angles, creative perspectives, capturing every detail and emotion in different facets.

By hiring a legendary photographer, you are investing in timeless memories. Her talent will transform every moment of your secular ceremony into a gallery of captivating images, preserving the brilliance of your love for generations to come. 📸💫

What if this legendary wedding photographer was me?

Take the time to choose the wedding photographer who will immortalize your day in a memorable way, will take your desires into account and adapt to your needs and all this with a smile!

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    Castille ALMA

    Professional photographer specializing in wedding & family reporting. destination wedding photographer Ranked in the top 30 wedding photographers in the world