Emily + Luke’s Blue Hues

You’d think that after seeing and being a part of so many beautiful local weddings, we’d start to get used to all the raw love and emotion in the air around here. But, nope! Emily + Luke’s gorgeous wedding at Casas de Suenos brought happy tears to our eyes, even after all these years. It’s couples like these, Emily and Luke, that remind us of why we do what we do.

Captured by the always incredible Kayla Kitts Photography, it was the little details of this celebration that really plucked away at our heart strings. From the bride’s wide-as-the-Sandias grin, to the flowing, happy tears from the groom, every sentimental and exciting moment of this magnificent day was captured by Kayla’s lens and unique talent.

Blue hues, reminiscent of New Mexico‘s wide open skies, swirled around Emily and Luke’s ceremony, offering guests a hopeful sort of joy as they celebrated man and wife. Also present was their love for travel and adventure — which is almost as deep as their love for each other. From the little flags made of maps, to the suitcases full of goodies for attendees, the couple’s personality truly encompassed the day.

Scroll on to hear the couple’s love story, read a note from our darling Kayla Kitts, and to see for yourself just how inspiring this moment in time was.

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To say Emily + Luke’s wedding day was an epic celebration…well that would be putting it lightly.  You see, Emily and Luke are teachers that live in the Philippines.  But, it hasn’t always been that way – they met in Egypt, when Luke landed a job where Emily’s parents were his bosses!  He says he was excited about the new job, but even more excited about Emily.  If you ask him – he knew he’d marry her the moment he saw her.  He was head over heels for her, and I’d say that hasn’t changed a bit.  As time passed, they fell in love, and since then have continued their exploration of the world – but now, as they begin the school year in Manila, they’re officially Mr + Mrs!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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A big thank you to the talented vendors who made this day possible for Emily + Luke.

Photography | Kayla Kitts Photography

Venue | Casas de Suenos 

Dress | Ann Cuantico

Shoes |  Ecco

Hair | Kayla Chory with Heart + Soul

Makeup  |  Nina Simbana

Florist  |  Ansely

Rings  |  Tiffanys + Jared Jewlers

Suit  |  Ann Cuantico

Officiant  |  Hany Salam

Cake  |  Laura Keen

DJ  |  TJ

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

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Wedding Videography: New Mexico’s Best

Everyone knows the importance of wedding photography. Because, well, of course you need a professional there whose only mission is to capture the intimacy and love of your big day. But wedding videography is often still looked at as an “add – on” to your services, and not as the highly important and wonderfully magical essential piece that it is for your wedding day. Luckily, a few of New Mexico’s very best photographers + filmmakers are changing that connotation, and showing brides just how very special the medium is.

Take Glory Ranch Films, for example. Husband and wife filmmakers, Tom and Jenny Ragan have dedicated their lives to storytelling, and it shows in their work. More than just documenting the event, their wedding videography always encapsulates each couple’s unique sort of devotion. Precise camera work and high quality equipment make a big difference in film, it’s true, but the fondness they feel for each union is what truly cements their talent. They offer couples a chance to not only look back on their wedding day, but to truly relive it, to be completely immersed in its memory.

We showcased Glory Ranch Films not too long ago here, but just to make sure you can really see what kind of talent we’re talking about, check out Tom Ragan’s updated reel below. You won’t regret it.

The best part about the upward trend of wedding videography too, is that with more talented filmmakers offering their talent to engaged couples, there are more styles for you to choose from. It’s just like choosing a photographer — you want someone whose style is similar to your own. You definitely can’t go wrong with any Albuquerque + Santa Fe videographers (it must be something in the air here), but each couple now has the opportunity to work with someone who shares the same visions as them.

Maybe you’ll connect with the ever-talented Brad Tillotson of Southwest Wedding Films, whose 4k coverage of weddings always leaves us breathless…

 

Or maybe you’ll opt for the magnificent team over at Photographic Perspectives, who always manage to capture our events perfectly, and for that, we trust + recommend them endlessly…

 

Or Briana Nicole Photography — we were SO excited when we found out that not only is Briana going to continue offering her natural talent + sunny disposition to local couples, but also wedding videography too!

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Though, of course, no wedding would be complete without Complete Weddings + Events. (See what we did there?) To be frank, Complete has it all. We’re focusing on wedding videography, yes, but with Complete you also get to supplement the film with photos, a photo booth, lighting and DJ services. Need we say more?

We could go on bragging about our local vendors forever, but we’ll end it here with a cherry on top. Or cherie, actually — Lauren Cherie Photography! Lauren’s work is incredible, that’s for sure, but her pure and unbridled love for weddings is what truly makes her stand out as a photographer + videographer.

 

Want more? Check out more Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding videographers here! We’re going to go binge-watching their reels too, so don’t feel guilty if you spend a couple hours doing the same.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets

One of the most fabulous parts of working with incredible, local wedding vendors is having the inside scoop on all things wedding planning. The downside? No one on our team is currently engaged (yet!), so what can we do with all these amazing tips and tricks?

Well, share them with you, of course! Whether it’s local deals and promotions, wedding budget calculators, or upcoming wedding shows, we always try to pass on these goodies to all the lovely brides in our sphere and around the world.

{Some say we’re terrible at keeping secrets, but really we’re just wedding enthusiasts.}

This time around, we asked some of our favorite local vendors to divulge their best kept secrets of the industry. So read on, bride-to-be! Check out these four ways to make the most of your wedding day.

 

Photo + Gown: Maggie Sottero

Remember to keep an open mind in terms of designer and style. A dress always looks different on the body than it does on the rack! Choose your consultation party wisely. When deciding who to bring, limit it to those whose opinions matter the most. Make sure to start looking for and order a dress early on! It can take can up to 3-9 months, especially for big designers, for a dress customized to your specifications to come in. If you’re a bride on a budget, don’t hesitate to ask your dress shop for discontinued dresses. You will almost always receive a bargain on those kinds of gowns.

– Darlene, with Bridal Elegance by Darlene

 

 

 

 

One of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks out there and one that can give you the biggest bang for your buck is here!  Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake-cutting, pictures, & feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all your wedding guests to enjoy. You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam. Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… trust us!”

Birdie, with The Cake Boutique

 

…the general advice you will get is to think about the basics:  the price and thecapacity. However, the process of selecting a venue can really make or break your planning experience. Once you have selected one, it should be a place that leaves you feeling completely confident about your big day, not frustrated or depleted. Once all of the planning is done, everything will come together and it will center around the venue,  so ask the tough questions and make sure that you trust the venue to execute your vision.

Lauren, The Event Center at Sandra Golf Club

 

 

 

 

Remember, this is the time in your life that you will be the most photographed.  Why not make the most of it and be camera ready at all times? When booking your wedding trial run with your hair and makeup artist, book your engagement pictures after. Or perhaps plan it to be done on the morning of your bridal shower, that way you can be camera ready for the shower.

Ric Kent, Hair and Makeup Artist

{Pssstt… Want more tips? Subscribe to our blog here for part two of this post!}

 

 

Red: A Storybook Styled Shoot

The first time we saw these photos from magic-maker, Maura Jane Photography, our jaws quite literally dropped. That’s because when we hear the words “winter wedding styled shoot,” we think muted hues, cozy cups of hot chocolate, and maybe a faux fur shawl or two. We were totally unprepared for this striking, fairytale-esque shoot straight from wedding heaven!

(Although, we shouldn’t have been surprised that Maura Jane gave life to such a remarkable concept. She has a way of enchanting everything she photographs.)

From the perfect plum lip to the balanced-yet-wild bouquet, Maura and her dream team of local vendors truly brought their A-game to this sophisticated and invigorating shoot. We’re expecting to see this deep contrast and bold color scheme popping up in winter weddings everywhere this 2018 because, well, how could you not be inspired to do the same?!

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Inspired by the beautiful winter weather and the moodiness of the red riding hood fairy tale we decided to put together a winter bridal portrait session with a little bit of a fairy tale twist. Using the deep color of Marsala as opposed to bright red, we wanted to add more mood to the shoot as well as inspire brides getting married in colder months. Protea and berries were added to the bouquet complete with long feathers for something unique.

-Maura Jane, Owner of Maura Jane Photography 

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Meet the vendors who made this fairytale possible:

Concept + Photography: Maura Jane Photography | Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee

Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Floral: The Flower Company 

Model: Jaiden Mazon

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Expert Tips for Glowing Skin at Your Winter Wedding

Nothing says cold weather in New Mexico like green chile roasting over an open flame and luminarias framing walkways. Unfortunately, another telltale sign of cold weather in our dry desert climate, is dull, dry skin. The only thing worse than chilly temperatures, is the dry skin that accompanies it — especially, when you’re planning a winter wedding.

Not to worry, however, the experts at Bliss Salon & Spa and Gypsy Trail Makeup & Hair gave us some great tips to help you look your best for your winter wedding. Once you get started with these exclusive tips, you’ll be well on your way to glowing skin after a summer spent at the beach. But first, we want to get you started with a few easy tips of our own.

  1. Stay Hydrated: First and most obvious, drink lots of water. If you’re not keeping hydrated from the inside, it’s going to be more difficult to keep your skin healthy and hydrated on the outside.
  2. Eat Healthy: Eat a balanced diet rich in plant based foods and healthy fats. Foods like these help to plump the skin from the inside out. And avoid processed and sugary foods as much as possible
  3. Switch Moisturizers: Like the seasons, our skin changes and has different needs throughout the year. Use a richer moisturizer during the winter to help combat dryness. If you’re like me and don’t like the feeling of heavy moisturizers on your face during the day, find one you can use at night.
  4. Keep Moving: We tend to slow down during the winter, but it will do your skin wonders if you continue to workout. Fight the winter blues and get out of your warm bed to go for a morning run or yoga session before you get pampered on your big day. Exercise will open your pores and get your blood flowing for a natural, radiant glow.
  5. Avoid Hot Water: While steamy-hot showers feel good during the winter, the hot water actually does more to dry out your skin than anything else. Shower with warm water to avoid stripping your skin of natural oils.
  6. Cover-Up & Stay Warm: If you’re going to spend a long stretch of time outdoors this winter, do your best to keep your face protected. The cold air drys up your skin, and if exposed for long periods of time, it can also get chapped.

Now for some tips from the experts…

First up, Bliss Salon & Spa

Start off with a hydrating facial including a microdermabrasion treatment and hydrating mask. Follow with alternating a glycolic or lactic cleanser and a cream cleanser. Exfoliate three times a week and make sure to use a richer moisturizer.

— Angelique, Bliss Salon & Spa

Finally, a few tips from Gypsy Trail Makeup & Hair

  1. Moisturize: Every skin type needs to be moisturized. Regardless of how oily you are, your skin still needs moisture.
  2. Protect: Wear sunscreen everyday! Sun does so much damage to our skin — even under our makeup. It’s hard to accomplish a great glow when your body is fighting battles beneath your skin.
  3. Avoid Tanning Beds: They suck the moisture right out of your skin, which takes away that beautiful, natural glow. There are some great spray tans out there — that aren’t orange! Get a lavender based spray and you’ll save your skin now and in the future.
  4. Exfoliate: And not once the night before your wedding. Months before, to assure your skin won’t react with a harsh breakout. Exfoliation is a process. You want your best skin to shine through!
  5. Routine is Key: Find a skincare regimen you love the moment you become engaged and stick to it. Discipline and consistency results in glowing bridal skin.

— Macey, Gypsy Trail Makeup & Hair

Photos by Blue Rose Photography

To get started on your skincare regimen, get in touch with one of these amazing beauty experts today!

Smallcakes: The Only Way to Celebrate Everything!

What better way to celebrate the holidays, or any occasion for that matter, than with delicious, mouthwatering cupcakes!? But not just any cupcakes, the one and only Smallcakes in all of Albuquerque!

As you may know, Smallcakes is a nationwide franchise with national recognition, including The View, Food Network and USA Today. Lucky for us, we have our very own Smallcakes right here in the Duke City.

With more than 120 flavors to choose from, the possibilities are endless! From Pink Chocolate and Lemon Drop to Peaches & Cream and Birthday Cake, you are sure to find the flavor of your cupcake dreams.

Aside from their amazing cupcakes, however, they also make the most beautiful wedding cakes. Check out this gorgeous cake the folks at Smallcakes made for a recent Earthy Autumn styled shoot.

Photos by Briana Nicole Photography

More deliciousness from Smallcakes…

Check out this brief history of our local Smallcakes

Can’t get enough of Smallcakes!? Stop by to get your fix today! 🙂

Lori & Trevor’s Dîner en Blanc Wedding at ABQ BioPark

Dîner en Blanc is a worldwide event spanning six continents, in which people flash-gather in a public space and set up a temporary, chic dining area. Guests attend in white attire to enjoy gourmet food and wine and, of course, a once in a lifetime experience. Dîner en Blanc comes to Albuquerque each year, but this was Albuquerque’s first ever Dîner en Blanc wedding!

Once they arrived to the Dîner en Blanc event, family and friends received invites at their seats instructing them to head to the ceremonial garden at a certain time. It was only when the ceremony started that they realized it was a wedding! With a starry night, a magical venue, and thousands of new friends around you, anything is possible at a Le Dîner en Blanc event!

Best of all, two of our nearest and dearest wedding professionals were there to contribute to this amazing wedding in their areas of expertise. King Mobile Music created a truly electric atmosphere with their expert use of lighting and state-of-the-art equipment in the lawn area while Matt Blasing Photography was there to capture it all with impeccable skill and detail.

Photos by Matt Blasing Photography

Congratulations, Lori and Trevor!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Photographer + Ceremony Lighting: Matt Blasing Photography | Lawn Lighting Equipment + Electric Atmosphere Specialist: King Mobile Music | Venue: ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden | DJ Services + Ceremony Lighting: A Perfect Night DJ Services | Event Producers: Dîner en Blanc