Royal Wedding, New Mexican Style

If you’ve picked up on anything from reading our little New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide blog here, then you know a couple things. First, we love love. Like, a lot. Second, we’re obsessed with high-quality, jaw-dropping weddings and styled shoots that prove our state is on par with coastal trends, despite being oh so landlocked. And third, we have a special affinity for weddings with super strong New Mexican vibes, for obvious reasons.

So when a photo comes across our desks that combines all three of those elements…well, let’s just say we do a lot of happy dancing in our office. And happy dance we did, the moment we saw this collab between a few of our very favorite local wedding businesses. Housed by the undeniably southwestern, yet luxuriously curated Hacienda Dona Andrea, Shayla Edenfield Photography came together with some incredible local vendors like Mr. Tux and The Flower Company to create a shoot that rivals royal weddings, with an added New Mexican flair.

Hacienda Dona Andrea, a traditional adobe structure, began as a 9-bedroom home to the Contreras in the 16th century. The home, which is actually more castle than townhome, is imposingly venerable in the best possible way, and now generously hosts weddings for New Mexican natives, and those otherwise enchanted from far-off places. With impeccably carved furniture around every bend, and of course debuting within the shoot itself, and hand-crafted fixtures hanging from above, the hacienda made the perfect venue for this dignified and colorful styled shoot.

Bright florals enhanced the already-bursting colors of the venue, from the traditional Spanish art and hand painted tiles, to the oriental rugs. It would all have been for naught, of course, if there weren’t any turquoise jewelry; luckily the darling bride wore the traditional stone across her neck. And thank goodness for Shayla Edenfield‘s light and bright style — as sunshine-y and heartwarming as the personality behind the lens — which captured it all in its shining, regal glory.

To book Hacienda Dona Andrea for your wedding, you can contact their team of dedicated creatives here.

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Photographer: Shayla Edenfield Photography

Floral: The Flower Company

Tux: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Dress:  Borrowing Magnolia

Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna

Cake: Cake Fetish

Turquoise Jewelry: Turquoise Direct

Furniture: Hacienda Dona Andrea

Stationery: Cordially Invited Events LLC

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Wedding Venue Hotspots in New Mexico {Part One!}

When you stop and consider the New Mexico landscape for a moment, it really comes as no surprise that visual industries are on the rise in our home state. Film, design, fine art, architecture — every medium has an inspiration because, well, we have everything! Mountains and mesas, high and low desert, urban cityscapes, lush forests, and small towns are all in abundance, which makes for varied and personal experiences with the state for all who visit or reside.

Finding a wedding venue, then, is at once the easiest and most difficult decision you’ll have to make while planning your wedding in New Mexico. Easier than ever before because, as wide a range of landscapes to choose from, is the type of venue within those places. From traditional New Mexican adobe and Spanish-inspired cathedrals, to crisp modern art spaces and whimsical woodland cabins, there’s a venue for pretty much every vibe. So whatever dream wedding fantasy you’ve got tucked away on your Pinterest or even just your subconscious, New Mexico has you covered.

With such an incredible variety to choose from though, and every option is gorgeous in its own exceptional way, the decision-making can become a bit overwhelming. So we, from our unique vantage point between engaged couples and local wedding businesses, compiled 18 of New Mexico’s hottest spots for ceremonies and receptions. Starting with the just the first three in the series, these venues have been vetted and are certified beautiful, with incredible teams of dedicated wedding pros behind the curtains. Keep an eye out for the rest of our absolute favorite venues as part of the hotspots feature!

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Shutterfreek Photography

1. Eldorado Hotel & Spa

Eldorado Hotel & Spa offers unique and elegant venue spaces for the perfect Santa Fe wedding. La Capilla de Oro, the stunning non-denominational chapel, features natural and customizable lighting with an artisan-crafted gold leaf alter as the backdrop.

The rooftop presidential suite has gorgeous views of the city as well as the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Historic Casa España, the stylish and antique filled club, is available for unforgettable receptions as well as the 7,000sq. ft. Eldorado Grand Ballroom (the largest in Santa Fe).

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Emily Joanne Wedding Films and Photography

2. El Monte Sagrado Spa and Resort

With unparalleled amenities, mountain views, lush landscapes, and 7,000 square feet of event space, El Monte Sagrado Spa and Resort is the perfect destination for an unforgettable Taos wedding. Couples can say “I do” in the Sacred Circle, an intimate outdoor space encircled by mature willows and cottonwoods. 

Ceremonies and receptions in the elegant Rio Grande Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 guests. There is a wide variety of rooms and settings from which to choose, from the intimacy of the Library to the Grand Bohemian Gallery overlooking aspen trees and waterfalls.

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Talitha A. Tarro Photography

3. Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

From jaw-dropping views to high-end finishes, the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club provides a one-of-a-kind venue to say “I Do.” With expansive glass windows bringing in gorgeous natural-light, views of the pristine golf course and dramatic views of the Sandia Mountains, you won’t have much need for additional décor!

The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club is the perfect spot for an intimate, casual wedding, but if high-end is your dream, pulling off a sophisticated soiree is easily done! For a unique, gorgeous place like no other in New Mexico, we promise you won’t be able to get enough of this gorgeous venue!

 

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Europa: New Mexico’s New Favorite Contemporary Wedding Venue

In our modern world of digital spaces, instant gratification, and an overwhelmingly vast number of options to choose from when it comes to buying almost anything, the monotony and speed can become, well, a bit overwhelming sometimes. We, New Mexico’s Perfect Wedding Guide team, are lucky enough that we get to slow down, spend time with small, local businesses, and really get to know our community. Frankly, that’s one of the most remarkable and fulfilling parts of being here at our home base in Albuquerque.

It comes as no surprise too, that the desire for local, handcrafted, made-with-love goods and services continues to grow outside of our team as well. There’s an undeniable richness of feeling like you belong somewhere, having a community, and knowing the people who make your food and grow your flowers. The quotidian nature of this relationship transcends your everyday decisions and quality of life though, especially when it comes to events of particular importance, like your wedding day.

Having a foundation of trust with the people and businesses you choose to work with makes the months, weeks, and days approaching your wedding full of excitement, not apprehension. So when we found Europa, a new bakery slash wedding venue slash floral farm slash fantastical fairy farm wonderland in Los Lunas, we were over the moon. Founded on the principles of European communities — tight-knit, rich with culture, and deeply supportive — Europa is the homegrown, local, operated-with-love wedding businesses of our dreams.

Enveloped in open fields more akin to an Irish countryside than just a few minutes outside of Albuquerque’s bustling noise, coming to Europa is like taking a breath of fresh air — literally and figuratively. Organic crops and blooming wildflowers polka-dot the delicate landscape and contribute to Europa’s overall charm and services. With three venue spaces to choose from, farm-fresh food available daily and for wedding catering, and those wildflowers easily made into unforgettable, perfectly balanced bouquets and arrangements — having Europa on your wedding-day team is like having Cinderella’s enchanted field mice as your support system, fluttering about and making magic from thin air. (Only much more sanitary, of course.)

The creative forces behind Europa are doing, quite simply, what they love to do. We, and now you too, just happen to be lucky enough to enjoy the outcome of their passion-driven dedication to experiential dining and living. To book Europa for your wedding, you can contact their team here.

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Smitten Ceremony: Real Wedding in Albuquerque with Kayla Kitts Photography

They’re smitten, adorable, and officially Mr. + Mrs.!

Kayla Kitts Photography

Since we, Perfect Wedding Guide, exist in a liminal space between engaged couples and local wedding pros, we have quite the vantage point over the love stories that begin, and begin again, here in New Mexico. With so many weddings, each intricate and impossible to replicate, you’d think it’d be the details that really set apart certain weddings for us. But to burst your bubble, it’s actually quite the opposite — the common threads of love which weave in and out of every individual story, that’s what really makes our hearts beat in overtime.

After all these years, we’ve come to learn a few things about those common threads which unite every love story together in pure, unadulterated experiences of life. Nikki and Bobby, happy newlyweds married last year at Hotel Albuquerque, remind us so clearly of one of those lessons in particular.

When you look back, every tiny decision made was actually an enormous leap in the direction of your fate.

Like when Nikki and Bobby both happened to join the same softball team. Minimal in the moment, maybe, but that choice brought them close enough together so that love, mysterious and mercurial as it can be, could do the rest of the work. Which, of course, it did in no short time.

Thankfully, Kayla and Dominic of Kayla Kitts Photography also made a series of choices that brought them into collaboration with Nikki and Bobby for their wedding. Knowing the Kitts‘ romantic, fun, and impossibly sweet personalities, we can’t imagine a better photographer in Albuquerque to capture the all the smiles and scintillations of their wedding day.

{Pssst… This wedding + more will be featured in the 2019 Spring/Summer edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine. Preorder your free copy here!}

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Photographer: Kayla Kitts Photography Venue: Hotel Albuquerque Florals: Shannon Loves Flowers Dress: Ann Matthews Bridal Officiant: Randy Joslin Makeup: Chelsea LeMendola Hair: Ashlee Mendoza with Amp’d Up Salon DJ: Cutmaster Music Shoes: Dillard’s Jewelry: JC Penny Rings: Ben Bridge Jeweler and Zales Men’s Attire: Mens Wearhouse Cake: BitterSweets Bakery

 

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12 Months of Giveaways: Free Stuff for Engaged Couples Only

Was it Winston Churchill who said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give,” so many years ago? We’re sure it was, and we’re even more sure that he’s still absolutely right. Giving back to the community who supports our dreams has been and will always be the fuel and fire that keeps us doing what we do. (Which is fostering connections between engaged couples and the local wedding community, in case you forgot.)

But with such exciting things always happening in our little Perfect Wedding Guide world here in New Mexico — wedding shows, luncheons, the magazine, and much more — it would be very easy to hold this principle in abeyance, though. Which is why we created the 12 Months of Giveaways!

At first glance, the 12 Months of Giveaways is a totally free, totally local giveaway opportunity for engaged couples in New Mexico to win prizes from wedding businesses, valued at over $300, that happens every single month. (Yep, all twelve of ’em.) Digging a little deeper though, the 12 Months of Giveaways is also reminder for us to pause, reflect, and send some gratitude out into the world around us. This way, we have fun little monthly reminders to continue building the life we want to live.

This March, the contest resets for the year, and we have a fresh new batch of twelve incredible prizes for engaged couples to choose from! We’re lucky enough to also have twelve different wedding professionals providing their lovingly-crafted products and fine-tuned talents for the prizes, so every winner gets to choose the absolute best gift for their wedding.

So, without further adieu, let us give everyone a first look into the 2019 prize list! (And click here to enter the giveaway for yourself!)

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Lauren Cherie Photography

2019 12 Months of Giveaways Prize List

1. Complimentary boudoir session and 8×10 print – valued at $300, courtesy of Sheer Desire Boudoir. 

2. Day-of coordination and event management services – valued at $800, courtesy of Michelle Victoria Wedding & Event Planning. 

3. Complimentary three tier buttercream wedding cake with delivery in town serving 74 guests – valued at $325, courtesy of The Cake Boutique. 

4. Two for “Head to Toe Couples Package” includes a 90 minute couple’s treatment with Shea Butter wrap, scalp massage, and EcoFin for hands or feet. All day access to hot tub, sauna and relaxation lounge – valued at $330, courtesy of The Remedy Day Spa. 

5. Complimentary mini engagement session and mini boudoir session – valued at $500, courtesy of Lauren Cherie Photography. 

6. Complimentary two hour mirror photo booth package – valued at $700, courtesy of Magic Mirror. 

7. Complimentary boudoir photo session and 6×6 photo book – valued at $320, courtesy of Creative Portraits by Dolores.

8. “Bride To Be Package” includes an essential manicure, pedicure, signature body polish and facial. Totaling 4 1⁄2 hours of services – valued at $350 from Isleta Spa, courtesy of Isleta Resort & Casino.

9. Complimentary three tier classic wedding cake serving approximately 75 guests – valued at $300, courtesy of Smallcakes A Cupcakery.

10. Complimentary hair, makeup, and false lash services for the bride and one bridesmaid – valued at $300, courtesy of Bombshell Hair and Makeup.

11. Complimentary engagement session – valued at $375, courtesy of Coryn Kiefer Photography.

12. “The Lovers Delight Package” includes a private introductory couple’s horse lesson and photography session with the horses – valued at $300, courtesy of ABQ Horse Breaking + Training LLC.

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Smallcakes A Cupcakery 

Banque Loft Ballerina Shoot by Local Wedding Photographer

The best kind of love is the kind that takes your breath away year after year, moment after moment.

Coryn Kiefer Photography

For friends who have been hanging out here on the New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide blog for a while, the name Coryn Kiefer should ring delightful little bells in your head. We took some time to feature her incredible rock cabin styled shoot last Valentine’s Day because we fell in love with her creative finesse of a camera lens. And frankly, we’re still trying to catch our breath, so maybe this, right here, is the best kind of love!

We know that we’re not unique in this love-bordering-on-obsession with Coryn‘s wedding photography, though. How could we be, when her work so clearly reflects her passion and dedication to the craft? It comes as no surprise to discover her first steps into a dark room occurred over 20 years ago, or to discover the myriad of glowing reviews that follow her business’s digital footprint everywhere.

With our affection for her perfection in mind, and the fact Albuquerque already feels as balmy and breezy as it does in May, it feels only right that we share this ballerina-inspired styled shoot to usher us into spring.

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The inspiration behind the setting was to combine the airy elegance and beauty of a ballerina with a raw palette of an industrial wedding venue. Modern and vintage decor elements were artfully tied together to help bring this vision to life.

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With the softness of a ballerina in mind, the primary colors of this wedding are blush, green, and white. Accents of bronze, natural wood, and robin blue were added to round out and modernize the airy palette.

Coryn Kiefer Photography

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Photography | Coryn Kiefer Photography

Dress | Lace + Liberty

Florals | Floral Fetish

Venue | Banque Lofts

Jewelry | Shelton Jewelers

Decor | Rust Vintage Rentals

Staging | For the Love Events

Cello for Weddings: Vendor Spotlight

When the day finally arrives — yes, you know which day we’re referring to — the whole rest of the world melts away. Or at least it does when your wedding is coordinated by local professionals who have dedicated their talents to making dreams come true. The details, the timing, everything is handled. So, really, all you have to do is be there, be yourself, and marry the love of your life. 

With Cello for Weddings, releasing the stress of planning a wedding comes as an easy, full exhale. Ryan Smith, the musical talent behind the name, has cultivated an appreciation and understanding of sound for many years, so that every wedding may have the opportunity to be elevated by live cello. Whether it is accompanied by other instruments to round out the harmonies, or solo, amplified acoustic cello, you have a guarantee that the music will reach the ears and hearts of all of your guests. 

We’ve all watched movies, seen plays, and even some well-executed commercials whose carefully timed use of music creates an emotional vitality that forces us to be present and acknowledge our tenderness. Incorporating live music into your wedding ceremony or reception produces this kind of  experience for your guests, which is not one that will leave their minds for long after. 

From sweeping, classic ballads to modern love songs, Cello for Weddings has a range of tonal talent that ensures your personality can shine through. Lustrous and heroic in Beethoven and John Mayer alike, Ryan is proud to approach his playing with a collaborative spirit so your wedding feels and sounds like your wedding. As Cello for Weddings, Ryan even offers to learn a new song for each couple, should his vast library of available songs be missing your favorite one. 

Spend some time visiting with Cello for Wedding’s transcendentally vibrant music with the samples available below, and contact Ryan here to have it present for your wedding day.  

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