Desert Elopement on White Mesa {Styled Shoot}

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At this point, you’d be hard pressed to find a local engaged couple that hasn’t yet been inspired by one of Maura Jane Photography‘s styled shoots or wedding photos. For 9 years, Maura has been capturing weddings in New Mexico and beyond, adding her signature touch of radiance to every shoot. Her sweet demeanor and dedication to the craft shines through her work — how lucky are we to have her here in our beautiful state?!

Constantly drawing inspiration from her Southwestern surroundings, Maura and her team effortlessly blend the ephemerality of a moment with the enduring grandeur of local landscapes. Pretty much every time she shares a shoot with us — from her Storybook Styled Shoot in the snow, to the Romantic Mountain Elopement in the Sandias — we all agree that this one is our favorite so far. But don’t let our obsession diminish what you’re about to read:

This one is our favorite so far. 

With the White Mesa as a focal point, each detail of this styled shoot both blends with and enhances the others. From Teresa Romero‘s Victorian-inspired gown, to Darling Details‘ vintage couch, it’s clear that Maura’s talent extends past photography and makes her a master of collaboration as well.

Quite frankly, we’re floored by what local wedding professionals are creating with just a little bit of inspiration and a whole lot of teamwork.

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Its so easy to find inspiration in the beautiful landscape that surrounds us in our state of New Mexico. From the pink Sandia mountains that tower over Albuquerque’s city to the unique white mesa’s that wind through the Land of Enchantment’s desert.

Maura, Maura Jane Photography

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Photography + Concept | Maura Jane Photography

Gown | Teresa Romero Atelier 

Floral | Table and Vase

Hair + Makeup | Genica Lee, Makeup Artist

Furniture | Darling Details

Ribbon | Desert Garden Silk 

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

 

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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!}

 

 

 

 

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!

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Photos courtesy of Bryan’s Photography.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

 

Diamond Dash 2017: Recap

A lot of beautiful and wonderful things have happened at Perfect Wedding Guide this year. We got to publish dozens of local engagement announcements, host and be apart of tons of wedding shows, not to mention all the magical styled shoots + real weddings we got to share with you all. Really though, our favorite part of the year was our Diamond Dash Show.

Yes, we know, we always say, “This was the best show yet!” But seriously, this was our best show yet. 

The stunning and very accommodating Hyatt Regency Albuquerque was packed nearly to the brim with excited engaged couples and vendors. Between the free samples, goodies, and IRL (in real life) wedding inspiration, it’s no wonder everyone stuck around. We have our incredible local vendors to thank for that — from King Mobile Music‘s games and giveaways, to Cake Fetish‘s teeny tiny {but very delicious} cupcakes, to Charlotte’s Flower‘s touchable arrangements, each business reminded brides — and us! — just why New Mexico’s vendors are the absolute best.

Check out more photos from our Diamond Dash here. Thank you Photographic Perspectives!

{Psst… there are free tickets hidden below!}

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Want in on the fun? Come hang out with local wedding professionals, get some Inso from the bridal couture fashion show, and $500 in PWG bucks! Who knows, maybe you’ll be chosen to jump into a giant wedding cake to dig around for diamond jewelry. Grab your tickets for the next show, coming March 2018, before they’re gone! Use the code blog when you register online for BOGO tickets.

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Don’t forget to grab your tickets! 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Emily + Luke’s Blue Hues

You’d think that after seeing and being a part of so many beautiful local weddings, we’d start to get used to all the raw love and emotion in the air around here. But, nope! Emily + Luke’s gorgeous wedding at Casas de Suenos brought happy tears to our eyes, even after all these years. It’s couples like these, Emily and Luke, that remind us of why we do what we do.

Captured by the always incredible Kayla Kitts Photography, it was the little details of this celebration that really plucked away at our heart strings. From the bride’s wide-as-the-Sandias grin, to the flowing, happy tears from the groom, every sentimental and exciting moment of this magnificent day was captured by Kayla’s lens and unique talent.

Blue hues, reminiscent of New Mexico‘s wide open skies, swirled around Emily and Luke’s ceremony, offering guests a hopeful sort of joy as they celebrated man and wife. Also present was their love for travel and adventure — which is almost as deep as their love for each other. From the little flags made of maps, to the suitcases full of goodies for attendees, the couple’s personality truly encompassed the day.

Scroll on to hear the couple’s love story, read a note from our darling Kayla Kitts, and to see for yourself just how inspiring this moment in time was.

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To say Emily + Luke’s wedding day was an epic celebration…well that would be putting it lightly.  You see, Emily and Luke are teachers that live in the Philippines.  But, it hasn’t always been that way – they met in Egypt, when Luke landed a job where Emily’s parents were his bosses!  He says he was excited about the new job, but even more excited about Emily.  If you ask him – he knew he’d marry her the moment he saw her.  He was head over heels for her, and I’d say that hasn’t changed a bit.  As time passed, they fell in love, and since then have continued their exploration of the world – but now, as they begin the school year in Manila, they’re officially Mr + Mrs!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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A big thank you to the talented vendors who made this day possible for Emily + Luke.

Photography | Kayla Kitts Photography

Venue | Casas de Suenos 

Dress | Ann Cuantico

Shoes |  Ecco

Hair | Kayla Chory with Heart + Soul

Makeup  |  Nina Simbana

Florist  |  Ansely

Rings  |  Tiffanys + Jared Jewlers

Suit  |  Ann Cuantico

Officiant  |  Hany Salam

Cake  |  Laura Keen

DJ  |  TJ

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets

One of the most fabulous parts of working with incredible, local wedding vendors is having the inside scoop on all things wedding planning. The downside? No one on our team is currently engaged (yet!), so what can we do with all these amazing tips and tricks?

Well, share them with you, of course! Whether it’s local deals and promotions, wedding budget calculators, or upcoming wedding shows, we always try to pass on these goodies to all the lovely brides in our sphere and around the world.

{Some say we’re terrible at keeping secrets, but really we’re just wedding enthusiasts.}

This time around, we asked some of our favorite local vendors to divulge their best kept secrets of the industry. So read on, bride-to-be! Check out these four ways to make the most of your wedding day.

 

Photo + Gown: Maggie Sottero

Remember to keep an open mind in terms of designer and style. A dress always looks different on the body than it does on the rack! Choose your consultation party wisely. When deciding who to bring, limit it to those whose opinions matter the most. Make sure to start looking for and order a dress early on! It can take can up to 3-9 months, especially for big designers, for a dress customized to your specifications to come in. If you’re a bride on a budget, don’t hesitate to ask your dress shop for discontinued dresses. You will almost always receive a bargain on those kinds of gowns.

– Darlene, with Bridal Elegance by Darlene

 

 

 

 

One of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks out there and one that can give you the biggest bang for your buck is here!  Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake-cutting, pictures, & feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all your wedding guests to enjoy. You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam. Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… trust us!”

Birdie, with The Cake Boutique

 

…the general advice you will get is to think about the basics:  the price and thecapacity. However, the process of selecting a venue can really make or break your planning experience. Once you have selected one, it should be a place that leaves you feeling completely confident about your big day, not frustrated or depleted. Once all of the planning is done, everything will come together and it will center around the venue,  so ask the tough questions and make sure that you trust the venue to execute your vision.

Lauren, The Event Center at Sandra Golf Club

 

 

 

 

Remember, this is the time in your life that you will be the most photographed.  Why not make the most of it and be camera ready at all times? When booking your wedding trial run with your hair and makeup artist, book your engagement pictures after. Or perhaps plan it to be done on the morning of your bridal shower, that way you can be camera ready for the shower.

Ric Kent, Hair and Makeup Artist

{Pssstt… Want more tips? Subscribe to our blog here for part two of this post!}

 

 

Red: A Storybook Styled Shoot

The first time we saw these photos from magic-maker, Maura Jane Photography, our jaws quite literally dropped. That’s because when we hear the words “winter wedding styled shoot,” we think muted hues, cozy cups of hot chocolate, and maybe a faux fur shawl or two. We were totally unprepared for this striking, fairytale-esque shoot straight from wedding heaven!

(Although, we shouldn’t have been surprised that Maura Jane gave life to such a remarkable concept. She has a way of enchanting everything she photographs.)

From the perfect plum lip to the balanced-yet-wild bouquet, Maura and her dream team of local vendors truly brought their A-game to this sophisticated and invigorating shoot. We’re expecting to see this deep contrast and bold color scheme popping up in winter weddings everywhere this 2018 because, well, how could you not be inspired to do the same?!

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Inspired by the beautiful winter weather and the moodiness of the red riding hood fairy tale we decided to put together a winter bridal portrait session with a little bit of a fairy tale twist. Using the deep color of Marsala as opposed to bright red, we wanted to add more mood to the shoot as well as inspire brides getting married in colder months. Protea and berries were added to the bouquet complete with long feathers for something unique.

-Maura Jane, Owner of Maura Jane Photography 

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Meet the vendors who made this fairytale possible:

Concept + Photography: Maura Jane Photography | Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee

Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Floral: The Flower Company 

Model: Jaiden Mazon

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico