Wedding Details Big and Small: Occasion Services Spotlight

You’d think that after watching the magic unfold from the Occasion Services & Events team at so many of our wedding shows, we’d be a little bit used to it by now, right? Wrong. Even via the digital world, we still find ourselves trying to catch our breath when we stumble across one of the many seemingly impossible, absolutely fantastical weddings Occasion Services & Events manifests all the time like it’s no big deal.

So, honestly, it’s pretty understandable that we do some occasional, light stalking of their team’s Facebook and website. Now, we agree, it’s a completely different experience to sit back and watch many hands flurrying about in unison as they, somehow, turn ballrooms and backyards into dreamscape wonderlands. But having the option to be spoon-fed photos of their mesmerizing decor at our fingertips? Well, now, maybe the internet isn’t such a dark place after all.

There you have it, the whole truth. We happened upon this fresh and fanciful wedding when we were Facebook stalking Occasion Services & Events, and we’re not afraid to admit it. Lively vines serpentining down long, farmhouse tables; accents of eucalyptus and greenery tucked in every possible corner; a delicate wooden arbor to frame the happy couple during their vows. How could we not share it?

With not a cloud in the sky, but plenty of rainy eyes, Brenna + Landon were married in our very own Santa Fe. Occasion Services + Events, with the help of some dedicated local wedding experts, made their wedding day as pure and invigorating as the couple’s love story. To book their team for your own celebration, you can contact them here.

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Photographer: Kayla Smith Photography

Florist: Bloomstream Flowers

Cake: American Pie Bakery

Venue: The Club at Las Campanas

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Story Time: Local Business Spreading Love

Being surrounded by proposals, engagements, weddings, ceremonies — and the business owners who make all those magnificent things possible — means that here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we’re never worried about any shortage of love. How lucky is that?! And because we feel so blessed, we do our darnedest to make sure we’re constantly showing gratitude to the people who make our world perpetually rose-colored.

Though it is a bit hard to not grow acclimated to the love and support around us, especially because it is so bountiful. Which is why we believe it’s important to share when, every once in awhile, something happens that tugs on our heartstrings a little bit more than usual, and encourages us to stop and spend a moment reflecting on how lucky we are to be a part of the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding community. Which is what we’re doing now, if you couldn’t tell already.

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Cutmaster Music, a team of DJs with unparalleled creativity and energy, has been a part of the Perfect Wedding Guide family for quite some time now. So, when something went awry with our 12 Months of Giveaways recently, we knew we could count on Cutmaster to lend us a helping hand.

The 12 Months of Giveaways is exactly what it sounds like: a year-round wedding giveaway, with new couples chosen for prizes every single month. The prizes, each valued at over $300, come from our local wedding professionals and change annually. A few months ago, a lovely engaged couple was chosen for the 12 Months of Giveaways, and decided to claim their favorite of the 12 prizes: a free photo booth for their reception!

Luckily, their wedding was still several months away. (Planning points to them!) Shortly after the couple chose their prize, the photo booth company that had offered their services had to shut down, due to health complications. That’s where Cutmaster Music came in!

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Founded with the intention of breaking the mold of traditional DJ services, Cutmaster has already garnered a reputation of generosity and dedication here in New Mexico. And it’s truly no wonder — their team stepped in and saved the day, offering their photo booth and technicians to the engaged couple, free of charge. The couple was able to keep the prize they truly wanted instead of having to choose a new one, and Cutmaster Music lived up to the expectations of integrity and excellence they promise their couples.

Thank you, Cutmaster! We’re eternally grateful for you. To book Cutmaster Music, and guarantee the highest quality of expertise and kindness, you can contact their team here.

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World’s Cutest Wedding Subscription Box

It’s true! We do hereby declare, with as much authority we can muster as a national wedding magazine, that Perfect Wedding Guide’s Wed Box is the cutest wedding subscription box in the world. And yes, the adorability scale is wildly subjective and dependent on each engaged couple’s personal taste, but that’s alright.

Even if you, personally, don’t think the Wed Box is adorable, we can all at least agree that it’s an efficient money-saver, a helpful wedding planning tool, and perfectly tailored to our local, Albuquerque + Santa Fe engaged couples.

(Not going to lie though, we do work very hard to make it cute, too.)

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But enough of the fluff — let’s get down to the ins and outs of the Wed Box. (Specifically the ins.) Nestled inside the craft box is a curated collection of coupons, gift cards, giveaways, and gifts all exclusively from local wedding professionals here in New Mexico. Sweet treats, cute and comfy tees, and substantial discounts on wedding services have been known to grace the box in years past, but everything, every year is brand-spanking new.

Unlike other subscription boxes, too, the Wed Box only comes around once a year, when the Spring/Summer edition of our print magazine is set to hit the streets. With a look at upcoming 2019/2020 shows, new and veteran vendors, and local inspiration, you’ll be one of the very first lucky-loos to grab ticket codes and other perks hidden within its pages.

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We’re very proud to be deeply ingrained into our local community, too. In fact, it’s our favorite part of being Perfect Wedding Guide! So, when the day comes for your Wed Box to arrive, it won’t come from FedEx. It will be hand delivered, after being hand packaged with products chosen by hand, right to your door by one of the lovely ladies who make up our woman-led, women-run team.

(Antisocial? We get it, and absolutely won’t take offense if you wait until we’ve driven away to sneak out and grab your Wed Box.)

Ready to grab yours? Click here to be one of the 25 engaged couples to receive a Perfect Wedding Guide Wed Box.

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First Day of Forever: New Mexico Love Story

As you probably well know by now, our Perfect Wedding Guide team is positioned between the local wedding professionals, and the engaged couples who work with them. So we’re often bouncing back and forth from brides to businesses — which, of course, we consider a lucky pendulum. But, every so often when the stars align, we’re lucky enough to have both our worlds collide!

Courtney is both one-half of a heartwarming love story — which we’ll get to, promise — and one of the lovely and dutiful members of the Nature Pointe team. For years now, we’ve had the opportunity to recommend and relish in the perfected beauty of the New Mexico wedding venue. So yeah, you could say we’re business buds!

Now, with something as delightful as a proposal, we’ve had the opportunity to interview Courtney as one of our featured love stories! Her other half, Joshua, planned a fantastic day that culminated with him popping the question, and we’re so happy to be able to share it here with you.

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When did you and Joshua first meet?

“We met in middle school during the 7th grade!”

When and how did he propose to you?

“He proposed to me with a culmination of all the ways he asked me to dances in high school. (We started dating during the summer before our junior year.) There was a scavenger hunt, a dozen roses, a line of Hershey’s Kisses, and chocolate melted down into letters asking if I’d marry him. Here’s the story: When I drove into the parking lot, I noticed his car and knew something was up.

I entered the office, and he was nowhere to be found. Instead, when I sat at my desk there was a note, the beginning of a scavenger hunt, and a single rose. Funnily enough, the note teased me about getting the scavenger hunt right this time. (I already messed up one in high school). I read the note and was immediately confused. I thought to myself “I guess I’m bound to mess this up too lol.” Instead of finding the next clue, I found the last clue that directed me out of the office and to a line of Hershey’s Kisses leading me to him.

When I got there, I asked if I had missed something and was turned around to go find the other clues. Back in the office, I found the second clue, another rose, and a note saying one reason why he loved me. Then, I went onto find 3 more clues, roses, and lovely notes. Finally, I was sure I found all of the clues and excitedly went out to see him. When I got there, he was down on one knee.”

How did you react to his proposal? Were you expecting it?

“I can’t even remember what he said, but I immediately said yes and gave him a big smooch! When we walked back into the office all of my co-workers cheered and congratulated us.

I had expected the proposal the next day seeing as it was our 7th dating anniversary. Joshua said that he had to do it the day before so that I’d be at least a little surprised. I was super excited and shaky the whole time. Emotional overload!”

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Albuquerque Wedding Planner Spotlight: NJR Event Planning

Whether you’ve been carefully crafting a collection of Pinterest boards (plural) dedicated to your upcoming wedding, or you’re hoping to leave the details of the day up to fate — every newlywed-to-be could use a hand with the whole process. Though we are lucky to be living in the digital age, so a healthy portion of your research, planning, and booking can happen from the comfort of your couch, if you so prefer. But that approach only works if you have the gaps of free time in your schedule to whip out your binders, highlighters, and snacks, to truly settle into the grind of planning a wedding all by your lonesome.

And if you’re like basically anyone in the year of 2019, though, you probably don’t have the luxurious option of scheduling a few days a week to calling and meeting DJs, florists, invitation companies, and the like. But you do have other options, and we’re sure you know where we’re going with this. Hire a local wedding planner!

(Specifically, NJR Event Planning.)

For nearly 3 decades, Naomi — the creative powerhouse behind NJR Event Planning — has been taking the inklings of dreams, and turning them into realities for New Mexico engaged couples. Her design expertise has weathered the storm through many a trend: cupcake-ballgowns, burlap + lace, bolero tops (Google it), puffed sleeves, etc…. Classic and modern though, the inherent talent of the NJR Event Planning team continues to evolve, meeting the needs of our generations respective trends like it’s second nature.

Luckily, as always, you don’t just have to take our word for it. It’s true we love NJR Event Planning because we’ve had the opportunity to work with Naomi for years, and can happily vouch for her expertise. But just to instill some additional confidence in our recommendation, come swoon with us over this perfectly articulated wedding shot by Alicia Lucia Photography.

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Santa Fe Celebration: Real Wedding with Maura Jane Photography

Well, well, well, another successful Front Cover Contest has come and gone yet again! Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with the competition via our Instagram, but if not, then have no fear. We offer local wedding professionals the opportunity to have their image featured on over 12,000 copies of our print magazine every year, twice a year. ‘Cause we love y’all like that.

This year was, by far, one of the most difficult go-arounds of the contest yet. Local photographers, wedding planners, videographers, and more sent in their strongest image, and we were totally blown away. With so many different styles and preferences on our team, nailing down our 3 finalists took longer than we’d like to admit. When we saw the gorgeous submission from Maura Jane Photography, though, we all nodded in solidarity. The ethereal, yet timeless photograph checked all our boxes: super unique, super New Mexican, and super, duper, unbelievably dreamy.

Caitlin + Justin, the newlyweds that we mistakenly took for models at first, grabbed our intrigue with the obvious love they have for one another. It nearly jumps off their wedding photos, and Maura Jane Photography captured the essence of their celebration to a stunning degree of accuracy. When Maura shared the details of their love story with us, too, we were absolutely sold, and knew we had to pass on the madly-in-love vibes to our fellow wedding nerds.

Without further adieu, Caitlin + Justin, as captured by one of Albuquerque’s favorite wedding photographers, Maura Jane Photography.

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Caitlin and Justin met within their first month of medical school. It wasn’t that hard to find the time to fall for each other as they shared classes, tutoring groups, and studied together. Years later, Justin planned a weekend trip for Caitlin at a vineyard.  During their walk they ‘”found” a large heart on the ground made of flower petals, (Arranged by his family in advance.) and this is where Justin got down on one knee.  They started medical school by finding each other, and they were going to end it by getting married.

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Caitlin and Justin chose to mix a classic and elegant style with a nod to hispanic culture. Since their wedding day landed on Cinco De Mayo, they made sure to add accents of bright warm florals, have a piñata for the kids, and serve margaritas and tacos. Inspired by the history of New Mexico, they gifted their bridal party beautiful turquoise cufflinks and necklaces, in homage to The City Different.

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The bouquets by Bloomstream matched the coral bridesmaid dresses perfectly. Caitlin wore her late grandmother’s Tiffany necklace, and earrings gifted to her by Justin’s mother, as she stunned everyone walking down the aisle in her elegant lace gown. Later guests enjoyed themselves to a traditional New Mexico dinner while sipping champagne and wishing the couple well wishes.

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Venue: Gerald Peters Gallery
Planner:  Just Lovely Weddings
Hair and Make Up: Madeline McCue Makeup
Dress Store: Julian Gold
Dress Designer: Christos Bridal
Tuxes: The Black Tux
Cake: ABC Cakes

2018 Four Seasons Connection Luncheon Recap

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.

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