Six Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Officiant

Recently, the team at Perfect Wedding Guide met with a group of local wedding professionals in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The meeting turned out to be quite fruitful and one of the topics that came from the meeting was the importance of hiring a professional officiant.

Unfortunately, the officiant isn’t always a big deal to the bride and groom so this very essential part of the wedding is often overlooked. After discussing this important topic, however, this inspiring group came up with a list of major reasons you definitely want to hire a professional.

De Novo Pastoral Services, Photo by Think Harris Photography

Six Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Officiant

  1. Hiring a professional officiant to create a ceremony for you, as opposed to asking your uncle Jim (who just got his reverend certificate on the internet), will prove to be a good investment. Professionals offer a guiding hand through this transitional time in your life. Essentially, they are the compass at the start of your new journey together.
  2. If you wouldn’t want uncle Jim holding your hand while you give birth to Junior (or some other significant life event), you probably don’t want him to officiate the wedding because this event is just as important.
  3. Almost every wedding officiant is going to be over the moon to create a custom ceremony for you and your fiancé. Incorporating pieces of your love story, sense of humor, religion and personalities into a beautiful ceremony is what they do best.
  4. The officiant’s energy sets the tone for the entire ceremony and you want one who makes your guests feel inspired and full of joy — sans awkward moments and embarrassing stories from uncle Jim.
  5. Most officiants will want to meet with you a handful of times before the wedding in order to craft the perfect ceremony. Establishing a relationship of trust and friendship with your officiant ensures that you will be comfortable for your wedding. Not to mention, many offer premarital counseling including De Novo Pastoral Services, to ensure you get off on the right start.
  6. Professional officiants not only know how to coordinate the ceremony but also to collaborate with photographers and wedding planners to ensure every moment is smooth and perfect.
Awakening JOY Ministries

Professional officiants know to step away when the big kiss happens so they don’t accidentally photobomb the special moment.

— Arielei, Arielei Kinzer Photography

De Novo Pastoral Services, Photo by Maura Jane Photography

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Celebrate Freedom! Five Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Planner

Wedding planners and designers don’t always get the credit they deserve. I suppose it comes with the territory when providing a service that is predominantly behind-the-scenes, so we want to show some love to our amazing planners and designers right here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

As you get inspo from this elegant Americana styled-shoot, celebrate freedom from planning your wedding with one of these exquisite planners. They have the creativity and expertise to make your wedding unforgettable. In fact, they are so good, your ideas will come to life right before your eyes.

When we see weddings and styled-shoots like these, it seems so easy to pull off, but wedding planners and designers — usually one in the same — are the glue that pull and keep everything together. To help you decide if a wedding planner is right for you, keep reading to find our list of five major things your planner does so you don’t have to.

Five Things Your Wedding Planner Does So You Don’t Have To

  1. Book and coordinate all vendors
  2. Maintain order and organization of all the moving parts
  3. Meticulously carry out logistics
  4. Creatively design and execute the details
  5. Make your dream a reality!

We want your wedding to be everything you imagine and more. With a variety of wedding planners in and around the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas to help you plan your big day, you can be sure to have the wedding you have always dreamed of.

— Perfect Wedding Guide Team

Photos by Arielei Kinzer Photography

Meet the professionals who helped make this styled-shoot possible:

Venue: Falcon Ranch | Photography: Arielei Kinzer Photography | Wedding Planner: Magnolia Event Company | Flowers: Floriography | Dress: Borrowing Magnolia | Desserts: American Pie Bakery | Calligraphy: Ashley Rose Hamilton | Makeup Artist: Makeup Santa Fe | Hair: Mandy Salazar

From all of us at your local Perfect Wedding Guide, Happy Fourth!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

How to Survive Your First Bridal Appointment

It can be a daunting task. Choosing the perfect wedding gown, that is. After all, picking out your wedding dress is the second most important decision to picking out your fiancé! To help you survive this fun, but sometimes overwhelming task, we compiled a short list of tips to get you on your way.

Don’t worry, you can thank us later!

Photo by The Dressing Room West, Santa Fe

Tip #1

Don’t Get Frustrated with Your Consultant’s Nosiness

She’ll probably ask about your venue, the proposal, your theme, the colors you’ll be using and even your budget. Just keep your cool. Especially when it comes to your budget. They just want to make sure they’re on the same page as you. And they certainly don’t want you to waste 90 minutes of your precious planning time looking at gowns you hate.

Tip #2

Bring Photos

Your Pinterest wedding board (or boards, if you’re a crazy planner like we are) is quite handy! You can show your consultant gowns you like, or even gown silhouettes for a general idea. Photos will help your consultant see your vision and guide you to specific designers and dresses that will fit the bill!

Tip #3

Come Prepared

In this case, we’re not talking about your typical, “Make sure you bring a camera and a bottle of champagne!” No. What we’re talking about is underwear. Don’t get us wrong, going commando is a personal preference and we respect that. But if you don’t wear underwear, unfortunately, they can’t let you try on their gorgeous gowns.

Save yourself the headache and a trip to Victoria’s Secret. And just remember to wear full-coverage underwear to your first, second, third, fourth, and hundredth bridal appointment. We’re not joking about this.

Tip #3 1/2

Cover Up the Goods

Building on that thought, full-coverage underwear is always a very, very good idea. Consultants don’t necessarily mind what kind of underwear you wear, but they do want you to be comfortable. They will be in the dressing room with you to help you try on gowns and if you don’t want them to see you in anything revealing, take the necessary steps to cover up.

As always, you’re welcome to the disposable underwear they keep in store, though they aren’t very flattering! The upside, however, is that their disposable underwear option also saves yours from getting caught in the zipper, which tends to happen with lacy and stringy underwear. And they don’t want your expensive undies to get ripped any more than you do.

Tip #4

Leave the Entourage at Home

Because your wedding is going to be absolutely amazing, a lot of people will want to accompany you every step of the way. But it’s okay to say no! In fact, our tip number four is to actually limit the number of people you bring to your bridal appointment.

Not only can it get crowded in the store, but it can be really, really overwhelming for you as the bride (and your consultant!). Keeping your entourage to one or two trustworthy, honest and supportive peeps is the best thing to keep the experience fun and fruitful — as it should be.

Plus, if your loudly opinionated Aunt Betty insists on coming with you, simply make a separate appointment after you decide on a gown. That way, she’ll still get a sneak peak and feel included. You can even make 200 appointments just to try on the same gown, they don’t mind at all.

Tip #5


Our last tip probably should have been #1 because it is very, very important. And we get it, we really do. You don’t want to be bloated, or sluggish while you’re trying on gowns, but please trust us when we say you must eat. You’ll be in and out of heavy gowns very quickly and it can get pretty warm beneath all those layers of tulle. In fact, some consultants have actually had girls pass out mid-appointment, because all they had that day was a venti caramel macchiato. Don’t be that girl!

Photo by Bridal Elegance By Darlene, K. Mari Photography

To recap, here’s what you need for your appointment: food, underwear, your two best friends and an idea of what you want. Yes, that is in descending order of importance. In fact, if all you do is eat a full meal and wear underwear, you’ll probably have a pretty successful shopping trip.

Good luck! And make sure to try the amazing bridal shops we have right here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Wedding Stationery 101

Over the years, wedding stationery has become so much more than invitations. In fact, it includes a whole myriad of paper confections! From announcements to thank you cards, wedding stationery is a fun way to give your guests a glimpse into your wedding!

With the help of Statistic Brain, we’ve compiled a list of the most standard stationery items you’ll need for your big day! And to help you stay on budget, we’ve included the average cost for each item so you can plan ahead.

By: Paper Antler

Standard Wedding Stationery

  1. Engagement Announcements. Average Cost: $150 plus postage. Engagement announcements are completely optional. Perhaps if you have a lot of family from out of town it would be a good idea!
  1. Save the Dates. Average Cost: $125 plus postage. Save the dates are a nice heads up for your guests, especially for those who are extremely busy and plan ahead. They aren’t necessary, but a good courtesy.
  1. Invitations & Reply Cards. Average Cost: $255 plus postage. Obviously, this is the most important part of your stationery. You can probably get by without the other items, but the invitation sets the tone!
  1. Ceremony Programs. Average Cost: $110. Ceremony programs are not necessary, but can be a fun way for your guests to engage in your wedding by making it into a game or keepsake.
  1. Place Cards. Average Cost: $84. Depending if you have assigned seating or not, place cards could be replaced with table numbers or discarded all together.
  1. Menus. Average Cost: $119. Menus are not exactly necessary, but they do add an elegant touch, especially if your wedding is on the formal side or even farm-to-table style.
  1. Thank You Notes. Average Cost: $94 plus postage. Whatever you decide, thank you notes are a must! Just be sure to send them within a few weeks of receiving a gift. Wait any longer and it may be considered bad taste.

As always, the items you will need completely depend on your style. If your wedding is formal, chances are you will need these items and then some. But if you’re planning something a little more laid back, you  are probably safe to pick and choose the items that will suit your wedding best.

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Share the Love: Pennysmiths Paper

Recently, I had the pleasure of stopping by Pennysmiths Paper to do a brief interview with the manager, Crissi — who, by the way, is an absolute delight. With all the recent engagements and wedding plans quietly coming to life in the minds of brides across the city, we wanted to let you in on the hidden gem that is, Pennysmiths. The colorful papel picado hanging across the ceiling and the fancy stationeries placed intricately throughout the shop makes this sweet boutique a paper lover’s dream!

As a lifelong resident of the north valley, I have been a regular at Pennysmiths, which has been locally owned and operated for 38 years. Like my own family, Pennysmiths has been serving generations of families within the community and beyond. Crissi explained that it’s not unusual to have out of state guests drop by just to have their invitations and stationery created by Pennysmiths.

The moment you walk in, you will be greeted by the sweet team of fellow paper connoisseurs, eager to help you find the perfect gift for a loved one or start creating your invitations and wedding stationery from scratch. Specializing in creative invitations and fine stationery, including save the dates, place cards, programs, agendas and so much more!

For everyone looking to have custom invitations, Pennysmiths offers a free one hour consultation. Not only will you receive one-on-one attention, but you will have the freedom to choose quality paper from top paper companies along with in-house printing services. Whether you want five invitations or 500, they can deliver! Take a look at some of their amazing work:

Photos Via: Pennysmiths Paper

Before leaving, I made sure to ask Crissi if she had any advice for those of you in the market for wedding invitations. Of course, she had some awesome advice to share with us! Jot down these tips to get your plans started in the right direction:

  1. It is never too early to get started! Everything starts with the invitation. It sets the tone, so you want to create something that will reflect the event and give guests a glimpse into what they can expect.
  2. When planning your guest list, give a writing pad to both sets of parents to write down names of guests. As you compile your master list, you will be able to compare notes, ensuring you don’t forget ol’ aunt Betty!

At Perfect Wedding Guide, we love to build community one perfect wedding at a time! If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Pennysmiths Paper, stop by today and start planning yours.

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Trending in 2017: Modern Stationery

Now that you’ve set a date and your wedding plans are underway, you’re probably antsy to get your save-the-dates in the mail! But one thing remains, you still need to figure out the style you want for your wedding stationery so you can get your invitations off the press and in the hands of your guests.

Before you settle on any old invite, however, we want to let you in on the stationery trends of 2017 and save you from making the much dreaded mistake of outdated design — and whatever you do, don’t go rustic on us! These days, it’s best to think outside the box with textural, watercolor, geometric and informal stationery designs.


When it comes to texture, don’t be afraid to rock the natural designs of agate, geodes and marble on your invitations. This new craze is everything but traditional and sending an invite like this is sure to leave an impression!

Photo By: Emily Katharine Photography
Photo By: Emily Katharine Photography


Watercolors are the perfect choice if you want to set a softer tone with a modern edge. A watercolor style stationery is the perfect balance between modern and whimsical if you’re designing a wedding with nature in mind.

Photo By: Bright Room Studio
Photo By: Bright Room Studio


With the craze for all things modern, geometrical style invitations are the way to go! Geometrical designs demonstrate the innovation of the millennial generation and our modern age, without skimping on beauty.

Photo By: Dahlia Press
Photo By: Dahlia Press


These days, millennials are more interested in spending their money on experiences than material possessions and their wedding is no exception! Not only do they want to have fun, but they want their guests to have fun as well! Informal invitations like these, definitely set the tone for a wedding that is sure to entertain.

Via:, By: Geekink Design

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Tips to Get the Most Out of the Diamond Dash Wedding Show

Planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Besides, your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and it will be of great benefit to you to be prepared. See, a bridezilla awakens when a bride loses control of her wedding! But I have faith that won’t happen to any of you!

It just so happens, I have the prescription to keep a bridezilla from rearing its ugly head — Diamond Dash! Your local wedding show is the perfect place to start planning your wedding and get on the right track. Lucky for you, the Diamond Dash Wedding Show is this Sunday! And to help you get the most of the wedding show, we’ve compiled a few tips to get you in the right direction.

Diamond Dash Wedding Show

  1. Preregister – This is a no-brainer. Save time and money by preregistering here!
  2. Arrive Early – It’s been said, “The early bird gets the worm.” The same is true of a wedding show. Not only will you avoid lines, but you will be first to get all the goods! For exclusive wedding show access, join us for the First Look Wedding Lounge one hour before the show!
  3. Dress for Success – Oftentimes, weddings shows have countless vendors and if you’re not dressed accordingly, trekking through the many displays in heels can be tiresome, so be sure to wear tennies and comfy clothes! Besides, you might get a little messy if you get to dive into a wedding cake in search of FREE diamond jewelry!
  4. Energize – Although there will be lots of samples and goodies to go around, it’s a good idea to eat a little something before you go to make sure you have enough energy to get all the show has to offer.
  5. Bring Cash – It’s always a good idea to bring cash just in case vendors don’t accept credit cards at the show.
  6. Bag It! – There will be lots of freebies, so make sure to bring something like a tote bag or back pack to carry your stuff in.
  7. Pen and Page – A wedding show is a good place to network and get your plans off the ground. Bringing a notebook and pen will give you the tools to write down ideas and services from vendors and fellow brides.
  8. Create Labels – If you really want to be on top of everything, you may want to create labels with your name and contact info to fill out vendor info cards. Not only will this give you more time for all the fun stuff, but it will show vendors that you’re serious about your plans.
  9. Collaborate – You may want to bring your fiancé, a friend, or, if your you’re really brave, your soon-to-be mother-in-law! Sharing ideas with each other will help you stay on task and keep you from making decisions on impulse. If you choose to bring your mother-in-law, allowing her to be a part of the planning process will give you an opportunity to bond.
  10. Have Fun – Most of all, enjoy yourself! The organizers and vendors work hard to bring the very best the city has to offer so take advantage of the offers they present to you and have fun meeting new people!
Diamond Dash Wedding Show, Photo and Gown Via: Maggie Sottero
Diamond Dash Wedding Show, Gown & Photo Via: Maggie Sottero

And after you get your ideas flowing at the Diamond Dash Wedding Show, get organized with our online planning tools. Take a look at the post, She’s Making A List, and Checking It Twice to get started!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: