Turquoise Tenderness: Southwestern Styled Shoot

Turquoise, ristras, and adobe — does it get any more New Mexican than that!? We’ve been sending so much love to our home place recently, what with the venue features and      wedding spotlights. But it seems like we aren’t the only ones who have caught the bug and are showing more and more appreciation to this beautiful state! Briana Nicole Photography, one of Albuquerque’s finest wedding professionals, channeled her inherent creativity into a gorgeous, Southwestern-vibe styled shoot that we are absolutely swooning over.

Yes, we would have adored this shoot because of its New Mexican vibes and the heart behind the process, but what makes is it that makes this shoot so special to us? Briana Nicole Photography collaborated entirely with local, wedding experts to bring this styled shoot to life. Each facet of the shoot was cultivated lovingly by our local pros, and that reveals something very special about New Mexico, besides the turquoise, ristras, and adobe: community.

It’s not the first Southwestern-inspired work of art to exist, and it surely won’t be the last, but Briana Nicole Photography and her team of hardworking, dedicated vendors made something new and beautiful from the vein of inspiration that has been touching hearts for centuries. So, if you want to pay homage to our stunning landscapes and rich culture, these are the wedding professionals to call! You can rest assured in their ability to incorporate New Mexican style into your wedding in new, fresh, and deeply appreciative ways.

Scroll on to contact these vendors, get lost in some incredible Southwestern wedding inspo, and hear what Briana Nicole has to say about the shoot.

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I love this beautiful state we live in — we have some of the most spectacular views and amazing culture surrounding us daily. With this shoot we really wanted a Southwestern vibe, but more importantly a New Mexico vibe, too. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya was a perfect location because their resort has an amazing view of our Sandia Mountains and their entire resort is covered in Navajo art and pottery. Black Bow Events styled our tables with chile ristras and turquoise accents, and Maggie’s Wedding Cakes provided a perfect tribal designed cake that tied the whole look together. Our beautiful bride wore handmade turquoise jewelry from Larry Martinez Jeweler, and we took their portraits with the open desert as our background. I’m so thankful for the amazing team of vendors who contributed!

Briana Nicole Photography

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Planner | Black Bow Events
Photographer | Briana Nicole Photography
Linens | Simply Decor + Events
Venue | Hyatt Regency Tamaya 
Cake | Maggie’s Wedding Cakes
MUA + Hairstylist | C. Johnson Makeup
Dress | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Tuxedo | Suits Unlimited
Bride | @__katrina__anne
Jewelry | Larry Martinez Jewelry

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Venue Spotlight: Casa Perea Art Space

If you didn’t know by now, there are three things that our Perfect Wedding Guide team loves the most: weddings, New Mexico, and weddings in New Mexico. Which is why we feature historic venues, Southwestern inspired styled shoots, and New Mexico’s rich lineage so frequently — they combine our three favorite things!

So, when Casa Perea Art Space joined our Perfect Wedding Guide family, we were over the moon. Fondly described as “an excellently preserved example of New Mexico territorial architecture,” the home-turned-venue was built by a family of landowners and vintners in the 1800’s. Now, centuries later, the venue still stands proudly on the bank of the Rio Grande, fully restored and ready to host the most gorgeous celebrations New Mexico has to offer.

Looking for a stunning space for your wedding that also has historical character that would be impossible to replicate elsewhere? Yep, you just hit the jackpot. Newly refurbished, the venerable adobe now features whitewashed walls, wooden beams, mullioned windows, exposed vigas, and so many fireplaces, each member of your wedding party can have one to themselves.

Plus, of course, there’s a full kitchen, plenty of bathrooms, three brick patios, a small vineyard, generous parking space, and handicap access waiting for you at Casa Perea, too. We don’t know about you, but that just checked all of our boxes for a perfect venue — even a few boxes we didn’t know we had until just now!

{Oh, and how could we forget? There’s also a hundred foot long pergola crawling gracefully with wisteria, climbing roses, and trumpet flower vines. Seriously.}

If Casa Perea Art Space sounds lovely on paper, just wait until you see it for yourself. To tide you over until then, feel free to drool wholeheartedly over this perfectly fantastical styled shoot at the venue. Courtesy of the ever-talented Maura Jane Photography, you can practically smell the roses growing on that hundred foot long pergola now.

{To actually smell the roses in real life, you can contact Casa Perea Art Space here.}

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To Boudoir or To Not Boudoir? 5 Reasons Every Bride Should Have A Shoot

Not every wedding trend is going to be your jam, obviously. Maybe you opted for deep, jewel tones instead of the traditional muted hues and pastels. Maybe you went totally 1940’s classic chic as opposed to the rustic, burlap-and-lace vibe. Or maybe you threw out the whole wedding, and instead had a styled elopement! {Like this — totally one of our favorites.} Isn’t that the great part of weddings? How truly collaborative and customizable the whole experience is?

Okay but wait, before we get carried away talking about how much we love weddings, there’s one wedding trend that truly transcends all personal aesthetic choices: boudoir photography. It’s a bit controversial, sure, but regardless of your style, there’s space in your wedding planning for a boudoir shoot. We promise.

Though not every bride-to-be is sold on the idea of getting super vulnerable in front of the lens. {Which, as a fellow shy person, I understand and couldn’t imagine doing it myself.} But when we sat down with one of our favorite photographers, Shannon MacLean from Chandelier Studio, to chat about boudoir photography — her speciality — it totally changed the way we think of the art form.

My absolute favorite part of each shoot is the reveal, because as fun as it is to create ‘pretty pictures,’ creating lasting love for who she is as a woman is far more rewarding.

Shannon, Chandelier Studio

So we asked Shannon to come up with her top 5 reasons why every bride should do a boudoir shoot. Scroll on, friend! You can book Chandelier Studio for your personalized shoot here.

{Not sold yet? Don’t worry, you will be by the reason #5 and can book using the link at the end.}

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1. Get comfortable in front of the camera. Because let’s face it, most brides are regular human people, and many of us human people feel uncomfortable having our photo taken. Don’t wait until your wedding to try and rectify this anxiety — get cozy with a Canon before your big day and have one less thing to worry about.

2. It’s the perfect wedding day gift. Stuck trying to figure out something meaningful to pass on to your soon-to-be spouse? Not anymore!

3. Capture your ‘wedding bod’ while it’s extra fabulous. Disclaimer: all bodies are beautiful, and your body will be beautiful on your wedding day and on your 40th anniversary. But if you’ve been putting in some extra work to feel particularly perfect on your big day well then, hello! Let’s celebrate that!

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4. Learn posture and posing techniques to look great in your wedding photos. ‘Cause again, there are going to be a lot of cameras trained on you for your big day. We all know our best angles when it’s just us alone in the mirror, of course, but with a boudoir shoot as a practice round, you can learn to manifest those killer poses even outside of your bathroom.

5. The first wedding anniversary theme is paper — gift your spouse with an album! Already got the perfect, meaningful gift for your wedding day? Not a problem. Have your gorgeous photos made into an album or print, and ta-da! You’ve got the first anniversary covered ahead of time.

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Book Chandelier Studio for your wedding + boudoir shoot here!

 

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Andrea + Rebecca’s Real + Rosy Wedding

In Albuquerque alone, there’s an estimated 5,000 marriage licenses given out every single year. Which, if you’re ever feeling down about the state of the world, is a beautiful statistic to consider. (5,000 couples pledging their love to each other!) But it’s also a little overwhelming. How can we possibly give the attention and recognition that each wonderful marriage deserves?!

Realistically, we can’t. Luckily though, weddings like Andrea + Rebecca’s make us forget about all others. Not because it was a wedding from the royal family or America’s equivalent — the Kardashian’s — but because there’s something distinctly universal about the love that emanates from Andrea + Rebecca.

Maybe it’s the full-bellied laughter that accompanied the misty eyes during their ceremony, or the secret lover’s dance captured by Matt Blasing Photography, or just a combination of all the tiny, exquisite moments from their day. Whatever it may be, Andrea + Rebecca’s wedding calls to mind the memory of a pure, unbridled kind of joyous love.

Though, not everything about their celebration was universal. Sidestepping tradition, Rebecca + Andrea walked down the aisle hand in hand, with Rebecca in a bright red dress that accentuated both brides’ rosy cheeks and Andrea’s tie, of course. {Plus the day took place at the unparalleled venue, Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm, which is truly a one-of-a-kind space.}

Somehow, as always, the husband and wife duo that is Matt Blasing Photography managed to capture the couple in all their uniqueness and wholeness. Through their lens we’re able to participate, albeit from a distance, as two distinct individuals come together in a brand-new, unique union, while also recognizing the ubiquitous nature of their love and how it mirrors all the love that came before them.

Thank you, Andrea + Rebecca, and Matt Blasing Photography, for sharing this special day with us so we could, in turn, share it with our lovely readers.

{To book Matt Blasing Photography for your wedding, contact them here!}

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Simply Sweet Summer Styled Shoot

When vendors come together to let someone’s dream become a reality, that is what a wedding is.

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We couldn’t agree more, Tori. One thing though, are sure you didn’t accidentally make our wedding dreams a reality? Because this styled shoot is giving us all the feels. From our collaboration dreams for local wedding professionals, to wedding-day fantasies, this shoot fulfilled all our hopes and expectations.

A delicate floral backdrop for the sweetheart table, perfectly paired silk florals from Charlotte’s Flowers, all captured by the perpetually creative Tori Photography. Really though, what more could you ask for? Tiffany Burke Events, event planner extraordinaire, coordinated the styled shoot between a fabulous handful of local wedding vendors, and all the magic took place in one of Albuquerque’s favorite venues, The Canyon Club.

As for the sweethearts themselves, two lovely local models, cruised around The Canyon Club with an adorable golf cart and love in their eyes. Punctuated by splashes of sparkles and lace, no detail of this shoot went unnoticed, and all came together to create such a wonderfully delicate and elegant moment in time. Fashioned by the veteran vendor Mr. Tux, the groom wore a light gray suit — the perfect fresh and airy fit for the southwestern sun. And the bride… well, you’ll just have to see the photos for yourselves. Her gown was breathtaking, and it’s better we try not to describe it with words.

A very special thank you to these wedding professionals, who worked together to manifest this wedding-day fantasy, showcasing their incredible talent and offering local brides some IRL inspiration. For a full list of the participating vendors, scroll on! Links to contact and book the professionals included.

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Photography | Tori Photography

Decor & Planning | Tiffany Burke Events

Venue |The Canyon Club

Cake | The Cake Boutique

Hair + MUA | C. Johnson Makeup

Suit | Mr. Tux Formalwear

Dress | David’s Bridal

Floral | Charlotte’s Flowers

Invitations | Pennysmiths Paper

Decor | Simply Decor and Events

Ceremony Chairs | America Tent Rentals 

 

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Bliss Salon and Spa: A Review of Albuquerque’s Finest

Who could have known, when Bliss Salon and Spa first opened their doors in 2009, that they would grow to be one of Albuquerque’s most beloved one-stop beauty shops? Well… actually, most of their clients probably did. The family owned and operated business has been famed for its welcoming environment for 9 years now, and the quality of their services has only continued to evolve with each passing year.

Most often, when we highlight a local business or wedding professional, it’s because their products or services have taken the wedding world by storm. We’ll hear about them from locally engaged couples, other wedding vendors, wedding guests — you name it. This is true of Bliss, of course, but we also have personal experience with the salon and spa.

Not only does their team provide the hair and makeup for our models at the Diamond Dash and Wedding Gallery couture fashion shows, but recently I also had the opportunity to come in the shop for a pedicure. Let me tell you, my toes have never been happier. From the moment I walked in, I was greeted with the warmth of a regular, and treated with the utmost kindness. While their nail artist made my feet look like that of a princess, we chatted amicably about her time in cosmetology school, and how lucky she felt to work at Bliss Salon and Spa with her best friend and some of the most talented people in Albuquerque.

Then, as if the glorious pedicure wasn’t enough for me, I mentioned to the front desk receptionist that I needed a hair trim and that I should make an appointment for the following week. Before I could blink they had a chair open for me and a cape around my neck. The same lovely and talented nail artist pulled out her scissors and started trimming my hair.

Normally would have been hesitant, as I’ve only ever had my hair cut professionally one other time, but I remembered the raving reviews for Bliss Salon and Spa that litter their listing on the Perfect Wedding Guide site, and felt totally confident in their team’s abilities. I was right, too! She took my overgrown, mostly dead hair and transformed it into a chic bob with the perfect amount of messiness to match my personal style.

While it might not be on the visible horizon for me just yet, I know without a doubt which team of stylists I want there with me on my wedding day. {It’s Bliss Salon and Spa, if that wasn’t already abundantly clear.} After seeing so many brides, bridesmaids, and models have their natural beauty illuminated with care and consideration by their team, I know how comfortable and confident I’d feel having Carmen Joe, Bliss Salon‘s owner, and her team of incredible women styling me for such an important day.

Thank you to the whole team for working so diligently to provide Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s wedding parties with the best service our state has to offer! We’re so grateful for you.

{See the team in action at during the couture bridal fashion show at our next event — the Wedding Gallery Wedding Show! Grab your tickets here.}

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The women (and men) who make the Bliss Salon run are wonderful, sweet, and compassionate people. They work with your budget, accommodate your needs, and provide a great salon and spa experiences you can have in the city of Albuquerque.

-Courtney

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Splendid Spring: Real Wedding at Los Poblanos

Perfect in every way.

That’s how Lauren, of Lauren Cherie Photography, describes Valeria + Brian’s wedding day. Looking at these incredible moments Lauren captured too, it’s easy to see why perfect is the adjective she choose! From Valeria’s lace-covered gown, to Brian’s bespoke gray suit, and all the tiny gold and purple details, this day truly was as effortlessly stunning and inspiring as the couple themselves.

Los Poblanos, famed lavender farm and historic inn here in Albuquerque, has been known for it’s world-class weddings for quite some time now. The venue stands so regal and beautiful, that inherently, little decor is needed. Adding delicate details that complimented the antique farmhouse vibe of the venue though… Well, Valeria + Brian took the space to a whole new level by doing so! Brush copper bottles lined the tables for their guests and held delicate sprigs of fresh floral arrangements, bringing beauty and life to the indoors.

Matching the coppery-gold belt Valeria paired with her gown too, the metallic motif carried on throughout the whole day, reflecting the light and love all around. Lauren Cherie Photography, a detail-oriented yet exceedingly creative team, encapsulated the tenderness and vibrance of the spring celebration through their dedicated craft.

The husband and wife duo, Lauren and Chris,  somehow manage to bring devotion to life for every one of their couples. How do you do it, y’all?! Actually, don’t reveal your secrets — we’re happy to just be admirers, and are so grateful to have your talent here in New Mexico.

Congratulations to Valeria + Brian — may your married life together be as splendid and bright as your wedding day!

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Photography + Videography | Lauren Cherie Photography, LLC
Venue | Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm
Officiant | A Grand Beginning
Hair + Makeup | Genica Lee, Makeup Artist
DJ | Too Hot to Stop Dj
Bridal Gown | @jbridalboutique
Bridesmaids dresses |  Dillards + Amazon
Groom/Groomsmen Suits |  Men’s Wearhouse