Let’s take a moment on this lovely morning to stop, breathe, and flex our brain’s inherent storytelling abilities. You are hereby given permission to pause whatever work you’re doing to indulge in the following: Imagine your wedding guests, many of whom will have traveled far and wide for your celebration, being greeted by your venue with a bubbling fountain, the comforting sight of traditional adobe, and a luscious garden of fruit trees, sweet-smelling herbs, and wildflowers. Sounds lovely, right? It gets better.
Casa Perea Art Space, established in the 19th century by the Perea family, is so excellently preserved, the State Register of Cultural Properties describes the wedding venue as an apt example of New Mexico Territorial Architecture. Beyond its fountain and wrought iron gates lies a 100-foot-long pergola, crawling with trumpet vines, climbing roses, and the ever-fantastical wisteria.
Within the adobe abode, the Casa Perea team describes the space as “New Mexican and Spanish Colonial antiques that evoke historic New Mexico architecture and style.” Which, if you know anything about the Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we go absolutely nuts for everything traditional New Mexico. Casa Perea Art Space might be the most historical New Mexican venue too, considering the fact it served as the Sandoval County Courthouse following our home’s statehood in 1912. We only freaked out a little bit when we found that out. Or maybe a lot.
There’s nothing to fear for engaged couples though, the venue is used only for romantic courting now. With every inch of the space already carefully cultivated by hand, minimal additional decor is required, especially if your desires are centered around incorporating your home state’s rich cultural history into your celebration — which we highly recommend.
Perhaps we use the adjective perfect a little bit too frequently…But we are the Perfect Wedding Guide, after all! Plus, every wedding that graces our pages, both print and digital, was conceptualized and executed to perfection. But don’t let that fact dilute the word, because Aja + Johnny’s celebration of love was — yes we’re going to use it again — absolutely perfect.
When we say perfect, we don’t necessarily mean without hitch or hiccup as the traditional definition would suggest. Anyone whose been to a wedding, whether attending as a guest or collaborating as a vendor, knows that no celebration so large, so detailed happens without a few little bumps. Especially when a healthy number of family members are gathered in one place, if you know what we mean. What makes weddings like Aja + Johnny’s perfect is their persistence.
Despite the hours of calling, researching, and booking local wedding professionals, despite New Mexican weather that stays finicky all year long, despite all the budgeting, the love persists. Because the love between Aja + Johnny is bigger than any wedding-related trial or triumph — it steadfastly remains the focal point of their celebration, no matter the circumstance. We’re lucky Chrisi K Photography was there to capture this facet of their love, and ensure every detail was solidified in memory for their lifetime. Because, well, their life together as husband and wife began on this glorious and bright summer day, but the love that brought them there had already been existing and persisting all the while.
And, as if this simple truth didn’t make their wedding day perfect enough already, the couple truly slayed the summer wedding palette, and incorporated some of the most darling details we’ve seen to date. From the paper parasols to shade their guests from the New Mexican sun, to the adorable and surprisingly realistic succulent cupcakes, to the buoyantly cheerful bouquets of rose that complimented the bridesmaids donned in ethereal pastel. Aja + Johnny cared for every detail of their wedding day, and Chrisi K Photography cared for every moment.
Okay, so maybe we’re a bit nostalgic, but is that so wrong? Especially since we’re only a few days into 2019, and here in New Mexico, 2018 was one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s best years yet. We had wedding shows, luncheons, and parties galore, plus relationship building, contest-throwing, giant giveaways, and more. The only way to rectify our desperate reminiscing is to start look eagerly toward our upcoming events, which we’re definitely doing, don’t get us wrong.
But before we jump ahead, we have to spend at least a moment discussing the experience of our Four Seasons Connection Luncheon that was in December of 2018. Because that’s exactly what it was — an experience. Four Season‘s unparalleled elegance, the crisp, clean air of Santa Fe, and Alena Bard LLC.‘s wisdom all combined to create a truly moving afternoon.
Lucky for us, Keara Lloyd Photography was there to capture every moment, too, from the first course to the last lingering conversation. The former being, if you can believe it, warm quail on a bed of roasted fennel salad, decorated with a complimentary beet puree, roasted almonds, and white balsamic glazed blueberries. Then came the duel entrees: slow braised short ribs with green chile mashed potato, and chorizo and macadamia roasted Chilean sea bass.
Accompanying every bite was a light and refreshing sparkling wine that prepared the palette for our team’s personal favorite, the dessert: strawberry trifle with sponge cake, vanilla and Chantilly cream. The only thing that rivaled the dessert’s sweetness was the absolute treat of hearing local wedding planner Alena Bard LLC. share her knowledge to the group of local business owners. She talked finding your purpose, holding onto it, and weaving passion and self-compassion into your business practices. We walked away feeling filled to the brim with inspiration and delectable cuisine.
The best part of being positioned between local engaged couples and the businesses who serve them is being able to spoil both parties. For our engaged couples, it’s through our giveaways, wedding shows, online tools, print guide, etc., etc., etc. And for the local wedding professionals, who work so hard to elevate and evolve Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s market, it’s through indulgent, invigorating, innovative days like this.
I love to freeze moments in time that would otherwise fade away.
That’s what motivates one of our new favorite wedding photographers here in Albuquerque, T. Rayne Photography. It’s also what makes her take on the age-old craft stand out from the crowd with its intrinsic uniqueness. Well, that and her superhero-like ability to make every couple, group, and human feel comfortable and relaxed, even with her lens trained on them. Which we all know is no small achievement, even in the digital age!
I have always had a hard time feeling beautiful, especially in photos, but she made sure I felt like a beautiful bride and it shows. I am absolutely obsessed with our wedding pictures!
-Ashley, local bride
We all want to look and feel at ease in our skin every single day, but a wedding day comes only once, and simply can’t be left up to fate or hope. Taylor, the name and creative force behind T. Rayne Photography, knows this and that’s why she strives to create a gentle and contented atmosphere for her couples. Reflected in each and every one of her photos, Taylor cuts through the clutter and captures the essence and personality of her couples with her clean and refreshing photographic style.
It’s really no wonder T. Rayne Photography is able to accomplish such feats for our local engaged couples in New Mexico — at least it’s not when you consider the lifelong bond she’s had with the medium. Even as a little girl, Taylor carried around disposable cameras with her everywhere she went! And how lucky are we, that her devotion to photography and diligence in creating safe atmospheres, is longstanding, and not a passing hobby? T. Rayne Photography truly elevates the photographer community here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, and we’re grateful that she’ll be sticking around for awhile to continue the good work.
That’s what fuels our wedding fire — the best friend connection that so obviously shines through when two puzzle pieces fall inline together. We’re lucky to have a myriad of incredible photographers in New Mexico, too, to ensure that moment of coalescence is always captured forever. Today, we’re especially grateful for Briana Nicole Photography, whose crisp and modern photography style records the romance and personality of all her couples.
Sherah + Greg’s unique personalities were at the forefront of their wedding ceremony, and Briana Nicole Photography told their love story in exquisite detail. The muted and regal tones of their wedding colors enveloped the couple throughout their day at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, and complimented the all-white ballroom perfectly. Pops of purple in the bouquets from Albuquerque Florist and in the detailing of the decor showcased the couple’s humor and friendship, and rounded out the day into a full on celebration of their love.
The couple’s gifts to one another made them both cry, and proved just how deeply and truly they are connected. For Greg, Sherah surprised him with two thoughtful and heartwarming cards, detailing the unique facets of their love. To accompany her eloquent words, too, was a set of cufflinks featuring the faces of their fur babies. The second card was, of course, from the aforementioned puppies, thanking Greg for being the best dad ever.
It’s the precious, incomparable moments and details like this that accumulate to tell one, beautiful story of love and friendship. Briana Nicole Photography, who is a self-proclaimed romantic at heart, knows this so clearly and allows it to shape her work. Thank you, Briana, for allowing us a sneak peak into this celebration, so we might be touched by Sherah + Greg’s love in the same way.
Tis the season for rejuvenation, fine-tuning, self-care, and feeling beautiful in your skin. That’s why we’re so excited to share these expert tips from Marisa Lux Makeup on long-term skin care for feeling your absolute best on your wedding day.
Marisa has been doing makeup for 13 years, and she’s also a licensed esthetician with 10 years of experience. Marisa Lux Makeup specializes in doing makeup for wedding parties here in Albuquerque + Santa, and in particular, professional airbrush application. Which is perfect for weddings because it provides all-day stay, flawless finish, and minimal makeup that results in a lovely, natural look. Thank you Marisa for sharing your vast amount of beauty knowledge!
Many brides start thinking about their skin and skincare a bit more once the wedding date is approaching, and I am here to help you with that. I will guide you through what you should and should not do leading up to your wedding.
Some brides decide 6-12 months out that they want to start a regular skincare routine or upgrade their current skin regimen.Some start by getting regular facials. Some brides may have problematic skin (i.e. acne or light acne, post inflammatory pigmentation, acne scarring, rosacea, discoloration or extremely dry or oily skin) and want to learn how to best take care of it. Other brides decide they will just get a facial a week or a few days before their wedding. Since getting a facial right before the wedding is one of the more common things brides think of doing, let me tell you why, from an esthetician’s point of view, that is NOT a good idea. You are probably thinking, wait, what?!? Let me explain.
I always recommend brides start working on their skin anywhere from a few months to a year before their wedding. I know some people can’t afford to get facials monthly which is why a consultation with a professional can help you learn what your options are. For example, if a person has very problematic skin and they find a great esthetician in New Mexico who can assist them in choosing the correct products and treatments, it can be life changing, especially for brides.
I have had many brides who struggled with acne and/or could not get control of dark spots on their face from acne in the past. With the appropriate professional skincare products and applying the best treatments, I have literally transformed peoples’ skin. I will explain a little more about treatments and products later.
Now, why shouldn’t you just get a facial a week or a couple of days before your wedding? You will most likely just choose a spa that maybe sounds relaxing or you heard offers good facials. The issue is that you are exposing your skin to products you have never used before; you are receiving a facial treatment you have never had before; and you are working with an esthetician who doesn’t really know your skin. Now don’t misunderstand me, I respect people in my profession, but I can tell you from first hand experience not all estheticians are created equal. The first thing that can go wrong is some products used during the facial or even the skincare line used might not agree with your skin. Yes, Iacknowledge the odds of this happening are not high, but it is possible. What IF you have some sort of reaction to the products used? What IF the facial makes you break out? What IF you have an allergic reaction? What IF your skin gets red or itchy afterwards? What IF the esthetician uses too strong of an exfoliant and your skin starts flaking? Although the likelihood is low, do you want to risk any of these things happening right before your wedding day?
This is why I always suggest starting facial treatments at least a few months before your wedding. Or, if you are just wanting to get a facial right before your wedding, my recommendation is this: instead of getting a facial a few days before your wedding, get the exact same facial a month or two before your wedding as a trial run to make sure your skin does well with it. Also see the same esthetician both times. That way they will have notes on your skin and products they used so they can use all the same products or make adjustments, if necessary. Doesn’t that make sense?
I am not trying to scare anyone, but, trust me, I have heard stories of brides getting facials or waxing for the first right before their wedding and their skin freaked out. So my advice is to find a reputable esthetician (you can always look up estheticians in your area on Yelp and Perfect Wedding Guide to see who has the best reviews) and choose wisely based on someone’s education and experience in the field. Some of us estheticians have many years of experience and are vastly knowledgable about specific products, and, especially, active ingredients that will work to treat your specific skin concerns or just the most appropriate products for your skin type. Some of us take continuing education and trainings to stay up to date with all the new advancements in the skincare world. This is the type of esthetician you want. Someone who has vast knowledge of the skin and how it works.
Now regarding different facial treatments, let me give you general information regarding some of the more popular treatments. A regular or custom facial is good for all skin types. The esthetician will analyze your skin, perform a gentle, hydrating facial and talk to you about what products you are currently using and probably make some suggestions on products or skin regimens that would be beneficial for your specific skin. A deep cleansing facial with extractions is good for people who may have a bit of a more oily skin type, larger pores and possibly some acne. Typically these facials will include steam, cleansing, appropriate exfoliation; maybe a light enzyme exfoliant that will help with cell turn over and can soften the pores to help with extractions. This is usually followed with an appropriate mask, serums and moisturizers.
If you have severe acne you may want to start with an esthetician and work with her and her skincare product recommendations. Depending on the type of acne, certain active ingredients sometimes you can get it under control. Sometimes you make also need to look into things like diet, supplements, bad habits like not washing your face at night, or maybe other culprits. If you are not getting the desired improvement, the esthetician may also refer you to a dermatologist for prescription recommendations, but most good estheticians can really help with acne. Some other treatments that can be highly beneficial are microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, hydrafacials and possibly even peels that can even out skin clarity and lessen light scarring and discolorations.
I will do a more in-depth post on treatments and what is most beneficial for different skin issues. If you don’t know what any of the treatments are or you are thinking, “OMG a peel; I don’t want my face to turn beet red and have my skin fall off,” I promise I will go into more detail about what each one of these entails.
My recommendation for the best facial you can do before your wedding (keeping in mind you want to do one at least a month or two prior to make sure your skin does well) is an oxygen facial. Some people have heard of them or heard the name while other people have never heard of them.Let me explain why this is my go-to facial for brides. It is calming, soothing, extremely hydrating, meant to plump the skin and make it look flawless.
These are what many people refer to as “The Red Carpet” facial because many celebs like to get this facial before they attend an event like the Academy Awards. The reason is no super strong exfoliants or aggressive products are used. The main thing that sets this facial apart is that an airbrush dispenser is used to mist a highly active serum onto the skin and then uses compressed oxygen to drive the ingredients into the skin. It is a very cool, relaxing experience, with zero discomfort and no downtime. You walk out and your skin looks beautiful and results typically last up to a week.
If you would like any more information about facials and what I might recommend for your skin type, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I absolutely love skin care and helping people learn how to get the skin they want. I offer facials at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, if you would like to come see me. AND, yes, I offer my favorite facial “The Oxygen Facial” there. I will work with you and your skin needs to get you where you want to be with your skin so that your wedding makeup will look gorgeous because your skin will be in the best shape possible.
I hope this is all helpful information. Follow me on Instagram to see photos of some of my clients and how I helped make their wedding day even more special.Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Have the most beautiful wedding by looking and feeling your best.
Did you hear about the absolutely magical, high-energy, fun-filled, spectacular something that happened this past October? We hope you did, or even better, we hope you were one of the hundreds of local, engaged couples and wedding professionals who joined us for our 2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show!
Every year, we have the opportunity to host what is essentially a giant party, here in Albuquerque, for all our local engaged couples who are in the throes of wedding planning. And yes, we host lots of parties and wedding shows, but this one is the Diamond Dash, which makes it inherently special. See, if you don’t already know, this particular wedding show gets its name from the culminating moment of the show.
After engaged couples spend the day in the Hyatt Regency Downtown‘s vast and beautifully curated ballroom, chatting with local wedding professionals, winning prizes and coupons off services, watching a couture bridal fashion show, and spending their $500 in PWG Bucks, then comes the actual dash for diamonds.
This year, we invited 5 brides-to-be from the crowd of hundreds to come and don the signature aprons and tiaras required to jump into the baked goodness. Kindly made by Cake Fetish, the glamorously towering black wedding cake had, of course, diamond jewelry (valued at over $1,000) along with four other prizes hidden inside.
With their cake-diving gear on and ready to go, and the rest of the crowd anxiously awaiting the victory, the five awesome ladies tore into the beautiful cake and one by one, pulled out their prizes. We love the competitive spirit that comes out when diamond jewelry is involved, so when this year’s festivities resulted in some harmless catfighting, we were thrilled.