Real Moments with Jacqueline Vega Photography

Photography is the story I fail to put into words.

– Jacqueline Vega

Before we welcome a local wedding professional to the Perfect Wedding Guide team, we usually have the pleasure of meeting with them and getting to know their business practices first. Rather than vetting, it’s our way of building a personal relationship with the magnificent people who make up Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s community.

With Jacqueline Vega, or Jackie, it was no different. {Although, I’ll admit, I definitely stalked her Instagram account before we met because, well, it’s beautiful.} Jackie’s sweet and amicable demeanor made the connection with our team almost instant, and we already can’t imagine our PWG photographer family without her. Not only did she take our new team headshots (blog on those coming soon!), but she even took family portraits of our publisher’s beautiful family.

Jackie’s love for photography came at a young age, and her talent at capturing real, authentic moments has been cultivated ever since. This natural inclination paired with her devotion to storytelling emanates from each of her photos, reminding us that photography is an art, not just a business. Though if you ask her, she’ll just say she feels blessed to be living her dream.

And well, we feel blessed to have her on our team! Did that rhyme? Guess her wild + whimsical vibes has me feeling a little poetic today.

I think I’ve gushed about her enough for now, so I’ll let her photos do the rest of the talking. Contact Jackie for questions, booking, and even more eye-candy here.

DSC_6716DSC_1549DSC_1987DSC_1239-2Jacqueline Vega Photography

 

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Bride’s Night Out 2018

Well folks, engagement season is finally wrapping up! It’s been such a wonderful time to watch adorable local couples take the next step in their relationship. From snowy mountaintop engagements pictures, to the most fantastically festive holiday proposals, it truly has been one of the best seasons yet.

So what’s the next step for freshly bloomed brides-to-be? Wedding shows of course! And we totally have you covered. The Diamond Dash is right around the corner, on March 4th from 12-4pm, but if you can’t break away from your busy schedule during the day, there’s always the famed Bride’s Night Out.

This year, on May 18th, your favorite local vendors are bringing their A-game for the BNO. It’s hard to pick favorites when every wedding show leaves our team feeling so inspired by our community, but Bride’s Night Out is definitely one of my personal faves. Boutique vibes, delicious cocktails + treat, all in one of Albuquerque’s most uniquely stunning venues: Hotel Andaluz. How could you not love it?!

{PLUS! The first 50 brides get a swag bag totally free, that’s totally jam-packed with goodies from local vendors. Right?!}

So come join us! For now you can live vicariously through these stunning photos from last year, courtesy of Matt Blasing Photography. Tickets to this event fly off the shelves pretty fast though, so lock yours down here!

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Can’t wait to see you there!

Grab your tickets here.

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The Groom’s Guide to Helping with Wedding Planning

Over the years, the responsibilities of today’s groom have definitely changed. Especially, when it comes to who pays for the wedding. Traditionally, the groom would only pay for his tuxedo, the wedding rings, the officiant and his bride’s bouquet. Other expenses may have included groomsmen’s gifts, corsages for his mother and hers and the honeymoon {or minimoon!}.

Meanwhile, his family would pay for the rehearsal dinner and the bride’s family the rest of the financial burden. But the average cost of today’s wedding has soared, with some estimates placing the cost of the “average” wedding at $20,000 or more. This has led to a change in attitudes among engaged couples and quite frankly, it just isn’t always practical to follow tradition.

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Briana Nicole Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nowadays, more couples pay for most of their wedding expenses and receive smaller contributions from their families. When families do help, a greater burden tends to fall on the groom’s family. In some cases, the groom’s family handles not only the traditional rehearsal dinner expenses, but they also cover the cost of wedding services including entertainment for the reception, transportation for the wedding party and photography or videography.

For most grooms, it’s no longer an option to show up to the church ready to wed. Although it’s still typical for brides to oversee wedding plans, more and more men dig into their wallets, handle a range of wedding-related responsibilities and make important decisions. After all, it only makes sense to have both of you involved in decisions like:

  • The budget
  • The ceremony and reception venue
  • The size of the guest list and who will be invited
  • The degree of formality for both the ceremony and reception
  • Which stores and specific items should be part of your gift registry
  • Where you will honeymoon and for how long
Elizabeth Wells Photography

Of course, these are just a few of the areas where your involvement could be helpful. You can and should tailor your involvement to match your interests and the needs of your bride. For example, if you’re interested in cars, handle the transportation arrangements. But remember, you have two very important responsibilities at your wedding ceremony that, if handled well, can make all the difference in the world:

  • Work closely with the best man and attendants to keep things moving smoothly, including assuring that guests are properly seated, the wedding rings are there and everyone understands the schedule of events and roles.
  • Collaborate with your vendors before the wedding. Your bride to be can only keep track of so many things! Let her handle the florist, while you straighten out details with the officiant, for example.

You should recognize that, despite the many distractions, you’re there to be married. The day belongs to you two, and mental and emotional preparation is key to its success.

Whatever expanded role you play in planning and holding your wedding, it will be memorable. And yet another reason for her to love you!

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Maura Jane Photography

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Wedding Photography Grant + Nicole Bradshaw Photography

As you must know by now, we’re a little bit obsessed with giveaways. What can we say? We love to spoil local brides (and even local vendors too!). From the 12 Months of Giveaways, to free copies of the guide, to our free engagement announcements… So when we heard that one of our favorite local wedding photographers had a gift of her own to pass on, we were ecstatic!

The darling Nicole Bradshaw, of Nicole Bradshaw Photography, is hosting a Wedding Photography Grant!

Here’s what that means: any lovely + local couple who has demonstrated a personal commitment to community service is invited to apply for the Wedding Photography Grant. In exchange for the efforts they’ve made to better the community we all live in, one couple will be awarded free wedding photography service, courtesy of Nicole Bradshaw.

{We’re so inspired by Nicole’s generosity, we wanted to jump in too! As an added little bonus, the winner of Nicole Bradshaw’s Wedding Photography Grant will also be awarded 3 free tickets to our March 4th Diamond Dash Wedding Show, and a free wifey tank top!}

Throughout the years, we’ve met many, many admirable brides and grooms, from school teachers, doctors, to volunteers — Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s best of the best. We’re so proud of Nicole Bradshaw Photography for generously donating her one-of-a-kind talent to give back to a local couple, and can’t wait to see the magic they create together.

{Details on applying + some of our favorite photos from Nicole below!}

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Nicole Bradshaw Photography

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For more information and to apply for the Wedding Photography Grant, click here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

A Jump-Start on Planning: 2018’s First Wedding Show

This year, we decided to make a New Year’s Resolution list as a team. Want to know the very first item on the agenda for 2018? Attend more wedding shows! 2017 was an incredible year for wedding shows, it’s true — from Bride’s Night Out to the Diamond Dashes — but we’ve shaken off the holiday sleepiness and we’re already excited for more!

First up on the calendar is a spectacular one, too. (Might as well hit the ground running, right?) The Wicked Wedding Show at the Albuquerque Sheraton Uptown is right around the corner: Friday, January 12th at 6-8pm. If you’ve been to one of the annual Wicked shows, you know too that they are one of the most unique + fun-filled events of the year. We’re still finding glitter in our files from last year’s Wicked Shimmer theme even!

For 2018, the amazing New Mexico Wedding Professional‘s team is pulling out all the stops. Shades of Gray Will Make You Blush is the central motif, and it’s sure to delight all the senses. From the sparkling champagne and lavish hors d’ouvres, to the Sheraton’s extravagant ballroom, to the absolutely fantastic {local!} fashion show, no bride or groom will leave uninspired.

Grab your tickets here before it’s too late!

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Photos courtesy of Bryan’s Photography.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

 

A Grand Beginning: Where Happily Ever After Begins

Meeting and building relationships with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local vendors is, by far, one of the most wonderful parts of being on the Perfect Wedding Guide team. Not only does it mean that I get to drink a lot of coffee with really inspiring business owners, but means that I get to meet and support people like Lynn Grand, with A Grand Beginning.

When I first met Lynn, her warmth and vitality were the first things I noticed. Next, was her amazing organization skills, of which I’m still extremely jealous. As an officiant, her ceremonies, which she tailors to fit the needs of each individual couple, are already written in a sample format (and packaged up in the most darling, color-coordinated binder). This makes it super easy + super seamless for engaged couples to pick and choose each line of their ceremony.

“You can tell that this is more than just a job for Lynn,” one of her brides, Jennifer, says. And it’s true — Lynn is big on customization because she herself had a slightly-less-than-traditional wedding ceremony. Her and her hubby, Warren, were married in their home by a local officiant on New Years Eve, surrounded by their family and children. Incorporated into their ceremony too, was the Unity “Family” Candle ceremony that their children all participated in, to represent the divine union of two people into one family.

She recognizes that each couple values different aspects of the customary ceremony format, and that some want to pull in puzzle pieces from their cultures or traditions, and that some want something completely new. The malleability of her ceremonies is matched too, but only by her unwavering support and dedication to crafting the perfect combination of words to symbolize a union of love.

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Lynn was just amazing. I couldn’t have walked down the aisle if it wasn’t for her. She not only delivered an incredibly beautiful ceremony but she treated my husband and I, and our entire family, with love and respect. Our guests couldn’t stop talking about her and the ceremony she gave us.

-Liz, recently married

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[Lynn] really made the process a breeze and the end result was extremely beautiful. We received so many compliments on how unique and personalized the ceremony was. I would highly recommend Lynn to anyone looking for an officiant. She is the perfect combination of warmth and professionalism and she’s affordable, too!

-Jennifer, recently married

To chat with Lynn about dates and availability, you can reach her here.

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico