Hot Air Balloon Styled Shoot with Tori Photography

The pre-spring winds here in New Mexico aren’t the only thing blowing us away today! Mimicking the buoyancy and uninhibited joy that is riding in a hot air balloon, this inspired shoot by Tori Photography has swept us off our feet. {Puns always intended.}

We have always been impressed with Tori, the creative behind Tori Photography of course, and her attention to detail… But this shoot has us stuck in a summer daydream! Splashes of vibrant primary colors contrasts energetically with the serene landscape of Tanoan Country Club, and the bursting bouquet frames the lighthearted couple perfectly.

Red, blue, and yellow pop off Tori Photography‘s stunning photos, Differently Designed‘s invitations, and Black Bow Event‘s tablescape. You can practically smell the honeysuckle that was surely blooming just out of frame, and feel the gentle summer breeze. Pairing Tori’s keen eye and innate ability to make her models comfortable, this shoot proves something we’ve known all along: Albuquerque + Santa Fe‘s creative collaborations always result in magic.

That, and that there is no wrong way to do a wedding! Straying from the traditional muted hues, lace edges, and sprigs of baby’s breath, this shoot stands out with it’s unapologetic vivaciousness and vitality. Now, there’s no need to throw out the lace entirely yet — because, c’mon, it’s beautiful — but let this out-of-the-box shoot change the way you think about your own future wedding. You can have anything your heart desires, no matter the theme, color palette, or style, and know that there are wedding professionals here in New Mexico who will make your dreams come true with elegance and perseverance.


Photography: Tori Photography
Video: Avid Pictures
Planner: Black Bow Events, LLC
Location: Tanoan Country Club
Flowers: Lavish Floral Boutique
HMU: C. Johnson Makeup
Invitations: Differently Designed
Couches: Darling Details Vintage Decor Rental Co.
Crown: Wild Grace Boutique
Cupcakes: Amanda J Moore & Smallcakes: A Cupcakery ABQ


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Pro-Tip: Wedding Day Hair Care

We know wedding planning is not always a walk in the park. Sure, it’s magical and wonderful and leading you toward the day you say I do! to the love of your life. But sometimes all the details, vendors, prices, fabrics, taste-testings, dress-fittings start to pile up, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Lucky for you, we’re about to add one more thing to your yard-long to-do list! Yes, you read that right, but here’s the thing: it’s fun.

{Surely you’ve read the title of this post by now and, with your super-sleuth skills, have figured out we’re talking about hair care with pro-tips from one of the loveliest of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s Hair + Makeup Artists.}

But we’re also talking about self care in general, because you probably have a lot on your plate right now. It’s easy to get caught up in planning your wedding day and accidentally put yourself on the back burner. A little self-care in the weeks or months leading up to your wedding can go a long way for your mental health, and if you pair it with these pro-tips too, also your physical health! Well, your hair’s physical health. Same thing, right?

So scroll on for the wisest of words from Macey, Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup‘s magnificent owner, and be keeping in mind how you can incorporate these little hair-care rituals into your own life. They’re simple, little ways you can bring your hair to its fullest potential, and also carve out some me-time in your busy schedule.

Arielei Kinzer Photography {full shoot here!}

1. Get a good hair oil!

One of the easiest + most life saving tips. After every wash apply hair oil from mid hair down.

2. Deep condition hair once a month.

Remember those self-care rituals we mentioned? Here’s the perfect one! Wrap those locks up in a deeply moisturizing conditioner, pop on a re-run of Friends, and maybe even do a face mask too. If anyone asks: you’re planning your wedding!

3. Get rid of those split ends.

Remember the vigor with which you cut people from your guest list to save on catering? Do that to your split ends. And — keep up the trimming every 6 weeks, says our beauty expert Macey. Sounds like a perfect excuse to grab some coffee and vent to your stylist if you ask me, and that is truly the epitome of modern-day self care.

a4a06bd4-9f92-47ac-8887-e7af42be64d2Hair + MU by Gypsy Trail Makeup + Hair {more here!}

4. Avoid washing hair daily.

Now this one might raise some eyebrows, but Macey swears by it. Your hair loves its natural oils! Stripping them with your shampoo every day is pretty harsh, so try washing every other day to start. For those prone to greasy hair, try using dry shampoo between washes, says Macey. Your hair will thank you, and if you shower in the morning like I do, you can use that extra time to lay in bed with your fiancé before work. Who doesn’t want that?

5. Avoid using hot tools daily.

Now, after your wedding, you’re absolutely welcome to do whatever pleases you with your hair. I’m emotionally attached to my blow dryer, I could never give it up cold-turkey, so I get it. But in the months leading up to your wedding, it’s a good idea to cut back. Opt for a cute braid or messy bun, Macey suggests, and if you’re going to use heat, always use a heat protectant first. And again, less time spent on your hair in the morning = more time snuggling and/or eating breakfast with your love.

Briana Nicole PhotographyHair + MU by Gypsy Trail Makeup + Hair {full shoot here!}

One last note:

If coloring or highlighting your hair for your wedding, go to your regular stylist you trust. Schedule your appointment one to two weeks prior to your wedding. This will give you time to ‘live in’ your color and time for any touch ups.

Macey Robinson, Gypsy Trail Makeup + Hair 

A very, very special thank you to Macey for allowing us to share her expertise! We hope these easy-peasy tips inspired you to indulge in a little self-care hair maintenance. To book Macey’s sweet + talented self for your own big day, you can contact her here.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

{Psst… Got a useful or unique hair tip of your own? Comment below!}





Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re putting together the final pieces of a V-Day scavenger hunt for your lover, or hibernating until the 15th when all the candy goes on sale, we have a little something for you. Come enjoy some of this visual deliciousness in honor of Valentine’s Day! We promise, this isn’t your typical holiday shoot.

Coryn Kiefer Photography, an East-coaster whose fallen in love with the Southwest, brought her 20+ years of photography experience and her unparalleled artistic visions together for this out-of-the-box Valentine’s shoot. Collaborating with some incredible local creatives to manifest a modern look on their model, the sequins and bursting blooms contrasted with their location perfectly. Shooting in the Juan Tabo Rock House, the combination of the two elements seemed to reflect Albuquerque as a whole: tied to a deep, rich history, but forward-thinking and always evolving.

Everything we do here at Perfect Wedding Guide is done for love, and we adore watching local businesses keep love at the forefront of their practices as well. So thank you, Coryn + team, for the sweetest peak into a shoot which helped to remind us how lucky we are to live and work here in New Mexico with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s most magnificent vendors. 

Wishing a wonderful Valentine’s Day to all of New Mexico’s darling engaged couples, business owners, and single-pringles too! Enjoy!

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Bringing a bit of sparkle to the rustic New Mexico landscape with our Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day inspired shoot. With blankets on hand we hiked up through the snow to one of the remaining rock cabins nested amongst boulders in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. The modern bridal fashion of a rose gold sequin dress and brilliant blooms brought warmth to the abandoned cabin built over 90 years ago. It is believed that the name Sandia, which is Spanish for watermelon, was given to the mountains for the pinkish color they turn at sunset which our dress and blooms complemented beautifully.

Coryn, Coryn Kiefer Photography

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Thank you to each + every vendor who turned this vision into a reality!

Photography | Coryn Kiefer Photography

Floral | Stephanie Yardman

MUA | Betty Rose by Alanna

Hair | Joshua Halladay 

Rings | Shelton Jewelers 

Dress | Honey Qiao


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Erin + Zach’s Timeless Celebration

It was easy to see that Erin carries herself with such class, and Zach is absolutely smitten with everything about her.  I knew right away that their wedding day would be filled with poise and joy, and I was absolutely right.

Kayla Kitts Photography

— And boy, was Kayla right! Living vicariously through our photographers isn’t always ideal. If we could, we would totally dedicate our lives to attending all the incredible weddings that happen in our city.  Luckily for us though, Kayla makes it easy to pretend we’re right there, in this case, at Casas de Suenos.

{Because, well, we can’t retire and become perpetual wedding attendees quite yet.}

Capturing the even the tiniest details and expressions, Kayla paints us a perfect picture of Erin + Zach’s stunning wedding. As a focal point, Erin’s high-neck, retro-but-classic gown set the tone for the ceremony. Timeless and stylish in any era or locale, it’s a lot like the love between the happy couple. After meeting in Colorado, moving to Arizona, and celebrating their union in New Mexico, it’s pretty obvious that Erin + Zach’s love knows no geographical bounds.

They fell in love quickly too, which makes their story even sweeter. Don’t we all dream of that one person that, upon first glance, know we’ll be making whiskey toasts to at our wedding, some years later? Now, I can’t guarantee that was what went through Zach’s mind when he met Erin, but the unbridled adoration he has for her makes it clear — their love is one for the books.

A very special thank you to one of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s finest photographers for letting us sneak in on their day. To Casas de Suenos {and every other darling vendor as well!} thank you for collaborating together to make this travelin’ couple’s dreams come true here, in our home state.


Thank you again to the vendors who made this day possible!

Venue  |  Casas de Suenos
Dress  |  David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  Salon Helena
Florist  |  Enchanted Garden
Shoes  |  Amazon
Jewelry  |  Brides Family
Paper Products  |  The American Wedding
Suit  |  Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Jim Hering
Cake  |  ABC Bakery
DJ  |  Dream Factory Productions


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Real Wedding at La Fonda | Ginny + Kolton’s Laid Back Celebration

We’re not exactly sure how Maura Jane Photography always gets to work with the most unique brides, but we’re starting to suspect there’s some magic involved here. Or, it could be because Maura herself is one of the most charming and down-to-earth photographers here in Albuquerque, so she attracts brides with similar vibes. (We like the idea of Maura casting spells to manifest interesting couples in her life, though.)

Either way, Ginny + Kolton’s cooler-than-cool ceremony at Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi might just be our favorite wedding at the Santa Fe venue of 2018 so far. Plus, a reception at La Fonda is always a good choice! Utilizing Santa Fe’s relaxed and restorative energy, the out-of-state couple made their wedding like a vacation for their guests, rather than a big production.

Keeping the event low-key didn’t detract from the day, though. Pops of blue {2018 wedding trend prediction anyone?} sparkled throughout the venue, the invites, and of course, New Mexico’s trademark skies — which dimmed respectfully as their guests enjoyed margaritas on La Fonda‘s terrace during the day’s finale.

Somehow, Ginny + Kolton got the best of both worlds: a relaxing celebration of their love AND the collection of tiny details that, when merged, created an absolute masterpiece of a day. We’re thankful that Maura was there to capture each moment. Savor what her lens captured below, and send a little thought of gratitude to the other vendors who made this day possible — also listed below.

{And may Ginny + Kolton live happily ever after! New Mexico already misses you both.}



Venue | Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi + La Fonda on the Plaza
Floral | Bloomstream Floral
DJ | DJ John Edwards
Dress | Saks 5th Avenue
Designer | Halston
HMU | Genica Lee, Makeup Artist

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!


Photos courtesy of Bryan’s Photography.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico