You're Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

Your partner popped the big question and you said yes–congratulations! Although the excitement of your engagement has your stomach filled with butterflies and you wish you could hold onto these perfect and stress-free moments forever, you are probably starting to wonder when the chaos of wedding planning is going to begin. More importantly, you’re probably wondering where to start, and that is where we come in! Before we go any further, we want to tell you that planning your wedding is meant to be filled with personality, joy, laughter, and bonding. It can truly be an amazing experience for you AND your loved ones, and we encourage you to have some fun!

The First Steps

Let’s take a deep breath. Sit down. Close your eyes. Imagine your ideal wedding. What do you see? What does your dress look like? What does your suit look like? Is your wedding inside or outside? Do you see trees? What about a chapel? How many people do you want surrounding you while you say ‘I do’? These thoughts can quickly become overwhelming and we know that money and time are the first things that come to mind. For just a moment, imagine that these concepts don’t exist and then open your mind to the possibilities! Instead of seeing them as negative thoughts, turn them into opportunities. This is the moment where you let your personality and imagination take control. After you’ve designed your ideal wedding, now you can take it to the drawing board and decide on the details.

However, we know that some people enjoy having a professional to guide them in their first steps, and that is why wedding + event planners exist! One of our own lovely wedding planners, Danielle of D Events and Weddings, is an expert in her craft and offers full service event planning just for you from beginning to end. Remember that wedding you just imagined, the one that seemed impossible? She’s here to make it possible–and she’s done it countless times before. Yup, you can breathe easy now.

Jasper K Photography | Black Bow Events

Local Wedding Vendors

So you’ve reached out to your wedding planner, or maybe you’ve decided to DIY, but either way you’re ready to start building your team of love experts. Find your venue, caterer and get all of the high priority planning squared away. Your wedding planner will be right by your side during this process for smooth sailing and emotional support (it’s not in their job description, but we know that they must be pretty good at it). After that, it’s time to grab your gals or your bros and have some fun. Dress and suit shopping, creating ‘save the dates‘, florals–local wedding vendors will have everything you need without the hassle of ordering online and waiting to see your product. We do love a good Etsy shopping spree, but we also encourage you to support your community because they’re kind of flippin’ awesome.

You can also get discounts on local vendors when you have a wedding planner like Black Bow Events, another local business who has years of experience planning amazing weddings. We love that event planners are there every step of the way and have cultivated connections with the wedding community so that planning your wedding can be stress-free and budget friendly.

Brandon Harwell Photography | D Events and Weddings

Just Months and Even Days Away

The wedding is months away, and everything is pretty much settled. Well, as settled as it can be–we get it. Now it’s time for all of the final preparations, like teeth whitenings, spa days, gym memberships, guest accommodations, etc. A wedding planner can help you get set up with all of these things if you’ve lost the energy! But beyond all of this, it’s your time to rest and focus on the love between you and your honey. These moments before the big day are unique and exciting, they should be embraced. So put down your notebook filled with wedding planning notes, go grab the love of your life, and remember why you’re doing it all–for the love.

Feel like you need more wedding planning help + inspiration? You can check out our own website here where you can find upcoming wedding shows, local vendors, discounts, and giveaways. We would be honored to be a part of your planning process and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Lavel Marie Photography | D Events and Weddings + Black Bow Events

Header photo: Lavel Marie Photography

Wedding Makeup Tips: A Guest Blog with Mesa Makeup

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we get to see countless stunning photographs of brides and grooms sharing their special moments together. Everything is always picture perfect, from the venue to the gown, but there is something that absolutely emphasizes the radiance of couples in love: wedding day makeup. We’ve asked one of our newest members, Mesa Makeup, to give you some tips + tricks when it comes to looking fabulous for your wedding day. Summer and Erica share a bit about who they are, what they do, and what you can do to make your makeup experience the best yet! Read what they have to say below.

Mesa makeup puts makeup on a bride.
via Mesa Makeup

Meet Mesa Makeup

Hi lovely NM brides! We are Summer and Erica of Mesa Makeup and are super excited to be a part of the Perfect Wedding Guide family! Before we get into our top 10 dos and don’ts of wedding makeup, we wanted to tell you a little bit about our business and what we think sets us apart. 

When we decided to pool our talents into Mesa Makeup, we wanted to create an experience for our brides rather than just a makeup service. In order to do that, we spend a little more time on skin prep so that everyone feels relaxed and pampered before the makeup magic begins! We are also the only makeup artists in New Mexico to offer a full makeup and skincare application using only clean cosmetics – meaning those products are free from chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, and other potentially unsafe ingredients. We have spent a lot of time researching and testing different “clean” products to ensure that these items meet our standards for long lasting, gorgeous makeup! In addition, we can assist you in creating a gift package for your bride tribe containing some of our favorite New Mexico-made skincare, spa, and beauty products!

FUN FACTS | Before we started Mesa Makeup, we both were students at the University of Minnesota at the same time but didn’t actually meet until makeup school! Summer is fluent in Spanish and Erica is a polymer scientist. 

Now For Our Top Ten!

  1. DO start a skincare routine as soon as possible! Makeup will look better and last longer if your skin is healthy and well cared for. We recommend figuring out your skin type (normal, dry, oily, or combo) and concerns (fine lines, acne, age spots, etc.) and talking to an esthetician to help you get a skincare routine established. 
  2. DON’T try out any new products within a few weeks of your wedding date. Sometimes an ingredient in a new product may irritate your skin. We also recommend avoiding any harsh skincare treatments (e.g. chemical peel, waxing) within a week or two of your wedding for the same reason. Remember MUAs can cover discoloration but we can’t get rid of texture!
  3. DO have a trial makeup run beforehand. This lets you get to know your artist and their makeup style to see if you vibe well. Plus, it’s one less thing to worry about the day of if you already know your makeup is going to be perfect! It’s also nice to schedule this before an engagement shoot so you can see how the makeup photographs. 
  4. DON’T worry about changing your mind about your makeup on the day of your wedding! It happens frequently and we promise it won’t hurt our feelings if you want something changed!
  5. If you aren’t doing a trial DO bring pictures of makeup styles you like. This also goes for anyone in your bride tribe or bridal party having makeup done. It helps get you and your artist on the same page from the beginning so there are no surprises at the end!
  6. DON’T be afraid to wear a little more makeup than you usually wear on your wedding day. We want you to look good both in person and in your photos so we may suggest a deeper eyeshadow or lip color than you originally thought so you don’t look washed out in photos. 
  7. DO respect the timeline you and your MUA establish. No one likes to be running late so ensuring you and your party are on time and ready to start at their allotted times!
  8. DON’T be afraid to try fake eyelashes. We have a ton of different styles to choose from and can customize any lash to you! We also have lashes that work well for first timers that are very comfortable to wear. 
  9. DO ask us about our clean cosmetics package, what our favorite products are, and where we get them! Also DO pick Erica’s brain on ingredient safety and where you can learn more about it. 
  10. DO leave your vendors a review. It lets us know how we did, helps us improve, and also helps other brides in their search to find professionals best suited to their styles/needs!

We can’t wait to meet you and we hope you have a Happy New Year!

Want to get in touch with Mesa Makeup? You can visit their page here.

2019 Diamond Dash Wedding Show: The Recap

The time has finally come! The photos from our November Diamond Dash Wedding Show at the Hyatt Regency are in and we just can’t wait to share them with all of you. This year we were so fortunate to have so many bright and beautiful faces at the show. The decor was dazzling, the laughter echoed throughout the ballroom, and the energy was incredible! We love a good wedding show, and this year’s Diamond Dash was one for the books.

If you don’t know what Diamond Dash is and want to know more about it, keep on reading because you’re in for a treat. This recap is going to go into a little bit more detail on what the event is all about, how the whole day plays out, and how the show can benefit a soon-to-be-married bride and/or groom like you!

What is Diamond Dash?

Well, the name comes from the cake dive for diamond jewelry that happens later during the wedding show–but we will cover that bit later. The show itself is put on by yours truly, the local Perfect Wedding Guide team. This show is an opportunity for local couples to get out and have some fun with wedding planning. When the couples arrive, our team will give you a bag of goodies and $500 of PWG Bucks to spend on participating vendors inside the ballroom. Get there early and enjoy the VIP Pre-Party, which we will tell you more about right now.

VIP Pre-Party

The VIP Pre-Party is an exclusive gathering that happens just before the wedding show begins. Join other couples while sipping mimosa’s and getting pampered by local wedding professionals. This year, we had an amazing DJ, Dream Factory Productions, and a top-notch expert wedding panel. Bridal Elegance by Darlene provided a veil try-on station, Blo Blow Dry Bar provided a braid bar, Photo Booth Rentals of New Mexico provided a photo booth, Charlotte’s Flowers brought some gorgeous flower stems, and The Cake Boutique set up a DIY dessert station. How fun is that?! Make sure to get your ticket as an add-on to the main show for next year’s Diamond Dash if you want to be part of the excitement!

Fashion Show + Giveaways

Another unique and truly entertaining aspect of the Diamond Dash Wedding Show is the fashion show that, literally, takes center stage for the majority of the event. The latest trends and styles are modeled by local models of every gender and age for you to find inspiration. And guess what? This year, all of the styling was done locally by Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Suits Unlimited, and Blo Blow Dry Bar! Throughout the show, our fave wedding show MC, Brad King of King Mobile Music, announces the winners of our unique door prizes provided by local wedding vendors.

Vendors

This is really what the show is all about–providing you with all of the best resources to plan your perfect wedding. We invite the best of the best local wedding vendors to set up a booth and meet with prospective brides and grooms. This provides you with a wide variety of wedding photographers, stylists, cake shops, venues, and beyond! We would be lying if we said it will be easy to pick out a vendor, so come with an open heart and be ready to note your best conversations and options.

The Diamond Dash Cake Dive

And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for–the reason for the name! Toward the end of every Diamond Dash Wedding Show, all of the guests and vendors gather around the stage to watch as 5 lucky brides/grooms are chosen to put on a cute apron, tie back their hair, and prepare to get a little messy. These lucky folks have been selected to dig into a cake all at once for the chance to find the box with diamond jewelry inside. Everyone will win a prize, but only 1 of the 5 will walk away with brand new diamond jewelry! This year’s stunning cake was hand-crafted by Honey & Salt Cake Co. and we were absolutely in love with it–even after it was smashed into pieces by eager brides.

This past Diamond Dash was one of our favorites, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and talent of our sponsors. The Perfect Wedding Guide gals are so grateful for those who participated and came out to enjoy all of the vendors and the fun! We want to give a special thank you to our videographers, Journey Home Media, and our photographers that provided all of the amazing photos in this recap, Photographic Perspectives!

Photographic Perspectives
Journey Home Media

EVENT SPONSORS | Blo Blow Dry Bar, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Charlotte’s Flowers, Enchanted Events, Honey & Salt Cake Co., Hyatt Regency, King Mobile Music, NMWP, Photographic Perspectives, Skinny Secrets, and Suits Unlimited

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Flowers

With 2020 approaching and new wedding trends making their way into the spotlight, we are seeing a shift in traditions. More and more couples are choosing to find unconventional wedding venues, from coffee shops to their own backyards, and we dig it. The possibilities are truly endless! However, there are some wedding traditions that never seem to change, one of them being a fan favorite–wedding flowers.

Your wedding day is getting nearer and nearer and we get it, everything seems to be hitting you all at once. We’re here to help ease that tension and make wedding planning an enjoyable experience. When it comes to floral arrangements, planning is really easy. There are so many options for wedding flowers out there and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming–but it is actually a blessing in disguise. The Perfect Wedding Guide team has spent years working with the best florists in New Mexico, and in doing so, we’ve learned a lot of insider secrets to help out our local couples. Whether you are looking for a environmentally friendly option for your wedding day, or want to design your wedding venue to look like a floral wonderland, our local wedding florists can do it all.

We thought that we would give you a little guide to finding the right flower options for your wedding, because we are your guide to a perfect wedding after all. Plus, we have included some of our favorite local vendors for your convenience. Who knows, maybe today is the day that you book your new floral bestie!

Getting started + planning it all out

The first step in booking a florist is taking into consideration your color palette, the season, and the flower type. Here are some tips:

Colors | Think about your accessories and your bridesmaids! Are they wearing pastels? Or is it more of a moody wedding with maroons and navy blues? Choose colors that compliment your wardrobe and the decor, or choose colors that are complete opposite to create contrast. Be bold and have fun with this part!

A classic white rose bouquet to compliment the white gown. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Briana Nicole Photography
An elegant + moody rose and succulent arrangement. Bouquet by Arranged Elegance || Fender Photography
Vibrant jewel tones + pops of contrasting colors that look incredible together. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design

Season | There are some flowers that are only available seasonally, so you want to make sure that the flowers you have your eye on are going to work with your wedding date. It is possible, though, to find a flower out of season, it might take a little more effort as a result. We want to help you make picking out your flowers as smooth as possible, so we suggest you take into consideration all of the options available to you ahead of time. Choose colors that compliment the season, from springtime pinks to winter blues.

Lovely pastel + succulent arrangement for the warmer seasons. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Lauren Cherie Photography
A stunning bouquet with a focus on seasonal sunflowers. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design
The most charming holiday floral arrangement with an ornament. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || via Bosque Flower Studio

Flower Type | We have a quite a few options now when it comes to preserving wedding day flowers. Everyone loves a good living flower that smells fresh and can be pressed and saved for years to come, but there is another option that we have been loving lately–silk flowers. We get to see plenty of real and artificial flowers in the wedding business and we’re gonna tell you a secret… we can’t tell the difference most of the time. They are all SO lovely.

Flawless silk floral arrangement with embellishments. Bouquet by Charlotte’s Flowers || T. Rayne Photography
A wide variety of gorgeous flowers. Arrangement by Flowers and Things || Via Flowers and Things
A centerpiece with just a pop of color and mostly focused on leaves and embellishments. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || Kayla Kitts Photography

Perks of hiring a wedding florist

They are the experts. They have years of experience in this business and know just exactly what flowers compliment other flowers and embellishments. The styling and arranging is like second nature to these wedding professionals! When the big day comes, you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong because you chose someone who was dedicated specifically to making your perfect arrangements happen.

You can relax. All of the “doing” and “making” is done by the pros, so you get to focus on the other details of your wedding. Although it might be fun to gather up your gal and guy pals and create an assembly line of matching, cutting, and trimming, it’s not for everyone. Take some time for yourself and let a dedicated florist do what they do best. You won’t regret it!

You can be silly and make your wildest dreams come true. Like we said earlier, anything is possible. We mean it! The best thing about hiring a florist is that they are there to help you develop and carry out your vision–even if it means creating flower crowns for you, your bridesmaids, AND your furry friend.

A flower crown made specially for your best friend. Made by Charlotte’s Flowers || Maura Jane Photography

Want to see a list of our fave florists that take flower power to a whole new level? Check them out here!

Our Favorite 2020 Wedding Trends

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, the end of the year means planning, preparing, and jumping for joy because we get to learn about all of the upcoming trends for next year! We would by lying if we told you that we aren’t a little sad to see 2019 go, though. This year was definitely one for the books, filled with the most beautiful weddings and exciting wedding shows & events. We loved hearing all of your perfect wedding stories and having the honor of sharing them with other brides and grooms that are looking for some inspiration.

As our pinky promise to you, we will continue to provide you with the most current and trendy tips and inspiration each and every year because we think you’re the best. We are so eager to share what is in store for next year that we are going to give you some insider knowledge right now that the Perfect Wedding Guide team picked up at this year’s Wedding MBA Conference in Las Vegas. Yesterday we hosted our annual Wedding MBA Recap Breakfast at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club and got to hear some notable takeaways from our fellow local wedding professionals that also attended the conference.

We thought that we would have a little fun with this one and look back at some of the decade’s biggest wedding trends while introducing the future forecast for wedding trends in 2020.

First, the oldies, but goodies.

2019 | Private ceremony + elopement locations

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | Animals in weddings

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | White weddings

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pastels, pinks, and blushes

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pear-shaped rings

Maura Jane Photography

2019 | Romantic lighting rentals

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Unique venues

Lauren Cherie Photography

2019 | Specialty cakes

Maura Jane Photography

And now for the upcoming trends for 2020!

2020 | The “Roaring 20s” (of course)

Via todaysbride.com

2020 | Bright & bold pops of color

Al Gawlik Photography

2020 | Ceiling installations

Anna Jones Photography

2020 | Textures

Via HiMissPuff.com

2020 | Greens + grasses

Via Happywedd.com

2020 | Mirrored floors

Darin Images

2020 | Cake backdrops

Buffy Dekmar

2020 | Texture, minimalism, capes, and beyond

2020 | Donuts, mini cakes, & tall cakes

2020 | Sustainability

Via thegoodbeginning.com

So there you have it, a decade of trends and some new ones to welcome to the table. We’re ready for you, 2020!

How to Look & Feel Your Best on Your Wedding Day

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we totally understand that every bride wants to look her very best on the big day– and it’s important because not only are you the center of attention, but also the VIP guest who deserves to feel healthy, happy, and stress free. Looking good & feeling good are two very different things, but they don’t have to be mutually exclusive! We are here to tell you that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to showing off your shine, inside and out. All of our amazing beauty experts have your back, we promise.

We’ve gathered some of our personal favorite beauty tips that we’ve been so kindly given by our wedding experts to share with you, because let’s face it, sometimes we need a little help from our friends when wedding stress levels are at an all time high.

Tip #1 – Start Early

• Search online (and in the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine) to find a beauty expert that fits with your vibe!

• Book an early consultation with a beauty expert so that they can guide you in the right direction.

• Start a healthy skincare routine & focus on eating clean so you feel your best when the day arrives.

Tip #2 – Try on, sample, and explore

• Make sure to try out all of your beauty products ahead of time. We cannot stress this enough since you don’t want to have a bad reaction to a product or hate your hair accessories on the day of.

• Order free samples and book consultations to make sure that you make the best choices on products and styles.

• Explore new trends by looking online and talking to local wedding vendors to expand your horizons!

Tip #3 – Treat yo self

• Treat yourself to a yoga session, massage, wax, facial, and/or spa day before the day of the wedding.

• Take the pressure off your hands by letting a beauty expert guide you. Give yourself a mental break because a healthy mind is a healthy bride.

• Do what makes you feel happy, even if it means eating all of those delicious donuts.

Need some suggestions on who to reach out to? Let’s start with these faves: Paixão Nail and Beauty Bar, Waxing the City, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Skinny Secrets, Rodan and Fields, K and C Naturals, and Blo Blow Dry Bar. You can see more of our talented beauty vendors here.

So, that is our take on bride-to-be self-care, but sometimes it is nice to hear directly from the beauty gurus themselves! Here are some BONUS tips from the lovely ladies at Blo Blow Dry Bar:

BONUS TIPS FROM BLO BLOW DRY BAR

Patricia “Bar Boss”

Favorite hairstyle: “Red Carpet”

Favorite product: “Second day” | Texturizer paste that gives a very soft look

Janessa “Style Boss”

Favorite hairstyle: “Pillow Talk”

Favorite product: “Texturize It” | Volumizer to make hair feel lush and soft

The big day is approaching! Here are some tips:

  • Brides should come in 6 weeks before the day of the wedding
  • Bring all of the hair accessories you plan to wear (veil, clips, flowers, etc.)
  • Get your hair done on the day of your dress fitting

The big day is here! Here are some (more) tips:

  • Come in with clean and dry hair, no products should be in the hair
  • Be 5 minutes early
  • Relax & breathe

Blo Blow Dry Bar has the most exciting bridal hair + makeup menu yet filled with unique options for every bride or bridesmaid. We absolutely ADORE the way that Blo created their own booklet with charming illustrations of the hairstyles they have to offer. You can learn more about them here!

Header photo via Paixão Nail and Beauty Bar

Texture & Light: A Styled Shoot with Carissa + Ben Photography

Dreamy black and white photographs always evoke a nostalgia that is beyond compare. A photograph does so much more than just capture a moment in time, but also preserves the feeling of the moment to be experienced again and again. Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we see so many awe-inspiring shoots by so many talented wedding photographers and we can’t seem to get enough. Bring on your light and airy or dark and moody—we want it all!

Without a doubt, we love styled shoots, which is why we’ve featured them so many times before. However, you might be wondering, what exactly is a styled shoot and why are they so special? First and foremost, styled shoots give the local wedding community a chance to work together as one big team to create something completely their own and totally unique. They can showcase their talents in a team setting to bring dream weddings + elopements to life! Secondly, it is rare that wedding photographers and vendors get a chance to have complete creative control over a shoot, so this gives them the opportunity to focus on creativity rather than conventionality.

“For this styled shoot, we drew inspiration mainly from black and white images. We wanted to challenge ourselves creatively to focus more on shape, form, texture and light than we normally would. Our vision was for stark contrast, and striking shapes, and we achieved it by shooting the way we would if we were only shooting black and white film.

This shoot at the Rosewood Inn of The Anasazi was cultivated by a group of local wedding professionals and conceptualized by Manmade & Sage. Carissa + Ben Photography captures rich colors, textures, and colors in this styled shoot by focusing on elements of shape and form. The black and white images are reminiscent of analog film with contrast and moodiness. Carissa + Ben play with the dancing light and use it to enhance the small details of raw human emotion and physicality.

The team was absolutely incredible, and we’re so grateful that Amanda and Melissa were on the same wavelength from the start! The result is a styled shoot that made us think outside the box, and stretch our creative muscles while producing some of our very favorite images this year!” 

The venue, the concept, the decor, and so much more goes into creating the final, and heart wrenchingly beautiful, product. You can view the full gallery and visit the vendors below!

Photography | Carissa & Ben Photography
Concept + Styling | Manmade & Sage
Planning | Candace Noel Events
Videographer | Kevin Guevara Photography/Design
Florals | Renegade Floral
Hair | Jewel Hair Design
Makeup | Betty Rose by Alanna
Garter | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Suit | Suits Unlimited
Jewelry | Peyote Bird Designs
Venue | Rosewood Inn of The Anasazi
Models | Tonya + Ryan