Let’s take a moment on this lovely morning to stop, breathe, and flex our brain’s inherent storytelling abilities. You are hereby given permission to pause whatever work you’re doing to indulge in the following: Imagine your wedding guests, many of whom will have traveled far and wide for your celebration, being greeted by your venue with a bubbling fountain, the comforting sight of traditional adobe, and a luscious garden of fruit trees, sweet-smelling herbs, and wildflowers. Sounds lovely, right? It gets better.
Casa Perea Art Space, established in the 19th century by the Perea family, is so excellently preserved, the State Register of Cultural Properties describes the wedding venue as an apt example of New Mexico Territorial Architecture. Beyond its fountain and wrought iron gates lies a 100-foot-long pergola, crawling with trumpet vines, climbing roses, and the ever-fantastical wisteria.
Within the adobe abode, the Casa Perea team describes the space as “New Mexican and Spanish Colonial antiques that evoke historic New Mexico architecture and style.” Which, if you know anything about the Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we go absolutely nuts for everything traditional New Mexico. Casa Perea Art Space might be the most historical New Mexican venue too, considering the fact it served as the Sandoval County Courthouse following our home’s statehood in 1912. We only freaked out a little bit when we found that out. Or maybe a lot.
There’s nothing to fear for engaged couples though, the venue is used only for romantic courting now. With every inch of the space already carefully cultivated by hand, minimal additional decor is required, especially if your desires are centered around incorporating your home state’s rich cultural history into your celebration — which we highly recommend.
Perhaps we use the adjective perfect a little bit too frequently…But we are the Perfect Wedding Guide, after all! Plus, every wedding that graces our pages, both print and digital, was conceptualized and executed to perfection. But don’t let that fact dilute the word, because Aja + Johnny’s celebration of love was — yes we’re going to use it again — absolutely perfect.
When we say perfect, we don’t necessarily mean without hitch or hiccup as the traditional definition would suggest. Anyone whose been to a wedding, whether attending as a guest or collaborating as a vendor, knows that no celebration so large, so detailed happens without a few little bumps. Especially when a healthy number of family members are gathered in one place, if you know what we mean. What makes weddings like Aja + Johnny’s perfect is their persistence.
Despite the hours of calling, researching, and booking local wedding professionals, despite New Mexican weather that stays finicky all year long, despite all the budgeting, the love persists. Because the love between Aja + Johnny is bigger than any wedding-related trial or triumph — it steadfastly remains the focal point of their celebration, no matter the circumstance. We’re lucky Chrisi K Photography was there to capture this facet of their love, and ensure every detail was solidified in memory for their lifetime. Because, well, their life together as husband and wife began on this glorious and bright summer day, but the love that brought them there had already been existing and persisting all the while.
And, as if this simple truth didn’t make their wedding day perfect enough already, the couple truly slayed the summer wedding palette, and incorporated some of the most darling details we’ve seen to date. From the paper parasols to shade their guests from the New Mexican sun, to the adorable and surprisingly realistic succulent cupcakes, to the buoyantly cheerful bouquets of rose that complimented the bridesmaids donned in ethereal pastel. Aja + Johnny cared for every detail of their wedding day, and Chrisi K Photography cared for every moment.
Tis the season for rejuvenation, fine-tuning, self-care, and feeling beautiful in your skin. That’s why we’re so excited to share these expert tips from Marisa Lux Makeup on long-term skin care for feeling your absolute best on your wedding day.
Marisa has been doing makeup for 13 years, and she’s also a licensed esthetician with 10 years of experience. Marisa Lux Makeup specializes in doing makeup for wedding parties here in Albuquerque + Santa, and in particular, professional airbrush application. Which is perfect for weddings because it provides all-day stay, flawless finish, and minimal makeup that results in a lovely, natural look. Thank you Marisa for sharing your vast amount of beauty knowledge!
Many brides start thinking about their skin and skincare a bit more once the wedding date is approaching, and I am here to help you with that. I will guide you through what you should and should not do leading up to your wedding.
Some brides decide 6-12 months out that they want to start a regular skincare routine or upgrade their current skin regimen.Some start by getting regular facials. Some brides may have problematic skin (i.e. acne or light acne, post inflammatory pigmentation, acne scarring, rosacea, discoloration or extremely dry or oily skin) and want to learn how to best take care of it. Other brides decide they will just get a facial a week or a few days before their wedding. Since getting a facial right before the wedding is one of the more common things brides think of doing, let me tell you why, from an esthetician’s point of view, that is NOT a good idea. You are probably thinking, wait, what?!? Let me explain.
I always recommend brides start working on their skin anywhere from a few months to a year before their wedding. I know some people can’t afford to get facials monthly which is why a consultation with a professional can help you learn what your options are. For example, if a person has very problematic skin and they find a great esthetician in New Mexico who can assist them in choosing the correct products and treatments, it can be life changing, especially for brides.
I have had many brides who struggled with acne and/or could not get control of dark spots on their face from acne in the past. With the appropriate professional skincare products and applying the best treatments, I have literally transformed peoples’ skin. I will explain a little more about treatments and products later.
Now, why shouldn’t you just get a facial a week or a couple of days before your wedding? You will most likely just choose a spa that maybe sounds relaxing or you heard offers good facials. The issue is that you are exposing your skin to products you have never used before; you are receiving a facial treatment you have never had before; and you are working with an esthetician who doesn’t really know your skin. Now don’t misunderstand me, I respect people in my profession, but I can tell you from first hand experience not all estheticians are created equal. The first thing that can go wrong is some products used during the facial or even the skincare line used might not agree with your skin. Yes, Iacknowledge the odds of this happening are not high, but it is possible. What IF you have some sort of reaction to the products used? What IF the facial makes you break out? What IF you have an allergic reaction? What IF your skin gets red or itchy afterwards? What IF the esthetician uses too strong of an exfoliant and your skin starts flaking? Although the likelihood is low, do you want to risk any of these things happening right before your wedding day?
This is why I always suggest starting facial treatments at least a few months before your wedding. Or, if you are just wanting to get a facial right before your wedding, my recommendation is this: instead of getting a facial a few days before your wedding, get the exact same facial a month or two before your wedding as a trial run to make sure your skin does well with it. Also see the same esthetician both times. That way they will have notes on your skin and products they used so they can use all the same products or make adjustments, if necessary. Doesn’t that make sense?
I am not trying to scare anyone, but, trust me, I have heard stories of brides getting facials or waxing for the first right before their wedding and their skin freaked out. So my advice is to find a reputable esthetician (you can always look up estheticians in your area on Yelp and Perfect Wedding Guide to see who has the best reviews) and choose wisely based on someone’s education and experience in the field. Some of us estheticians have many years of experience and are vastly knowledgable about specific products, and, especially, active ingredients that will work to treat your specific skin concerns or just the most appropriate products for your skin type. Some of us take continuing education and trainings to stay up to date with all the new advancements in the skincare world. This is the type of esthetician you want. Someone who has vast knowledge of the skin and how it works.
Now regarding different facial treatments, let me give you general information regarding some of the more popular treatments. A regular or custom facial is good for all skin types. The esthetician will analyze your skin, perform a gentle, hydrating facial and talk to you about what products you are currently using and probably make some suggestions on products or skin regimens that would be beneficial for your specific skin. A deep cleansing facial with extractions is good for people who may have a bit of a more oily skin type, larger pores and possibly some acne. Typically these facials will include steam, cleansing, appropriate exfoliation; maybe a light enzyme exfoliant that will help with cell turn over and can soften the pores to help with extractions. This is usually followed with an appropriate mask, serums and moisturizers.
If you have severe acne you may want to start with an esthetician and work with her and her skincare product recommendations. Depending on the type of acne, certain active ingredients sometimes you can get it under control. Sometimes you make also need to look into things like diet, supplements, bad habits like not washing your face at night, or maybe other culprits. If you are not getting the desired improvement, the esthetician may also refer you to a dermatologist for prescription recommendations, but most good estheticians can really help with acne. Some other treatments that can be highly beneficial are microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, hydrafacials and possibly even peels that can even out skin clarity and lessen light scarring and discolorations.
I will do a more in-depth post on treatments and what is most beneficial for different skin issues. If you don’t know what any of the treatments are or you are thinking, “OMG a peel; I don’t want my face to turn beet red and have my skin fall off,” I promise I will go into more detail about what each one of these entails.
My recommendation for the best facial you can do before your wedding (keeping in mind you want to do one at least a month or two prior to make sure your skin does well) is an oxygen facial. Some people have heard of them or heard the name while other people have never heard of them.Let me explain why this is my go-to facial for brides. It is calming, soothing, extremely hydrating, meant to plump the skin and make it look flawless.
These are what many people refer to as “The Red Carpet” facial because many celebs like to get this facial before they attend an event like the Academy Awards. The reason is no super strong exfoliants or aggressive products are used. The main thing that sets this facial apart is that an airbrush dispenser is used to mist a highly active serum onto the skin and then uses compressed oxygen to drive the ingredients into the skin. It is a very cool, relaxing experience, with zero discomfort and no downtime. You walk out and your skin looks beautiful and results typically last up to a week.
If you would like any more information about facials and what I might recommend for your skin type, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I absolutely love skin care and helping people learn how to get the skin they want. I offer facials at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, if you would like to come see me. AND, yes, I offer my favorite facial “The Oxygen Facial” there. I will work with you and your skin needs to get you where you want to be with your skin so that your wedding makeup will look gorgeous because your skin will be in the best shape possible.
I hope this is all helpful information. Follow me on Instagram to see photos of some of my clients and how I helped make their wedding day even more special.Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Have the most beautiful wedding by looking and feeling your best.
On the sunny morning of August 5th this past year, our Perfect Wedding Guide team arrived bright and early at Sandia Resort to watch the magic unfold in one of their most grand ballrooms. And let us tell you, folks, it really did. We got to watch — and lend a helping hand, of course — as dozens of vendors filled the room, bringing their best decor, goodies, flyers, and free stuff to one space for you, our local couples.
The theme of this year’s Wedding Gallery show was jeweled elegance, and my gosh, was it rich. Bright golds and silvers complimented the deep maroons and greens, blues and mustards throughout the ballroom. Every vendor carefully coordinated their corner of the space to showcase and showoff all the enchanting things they can make possible, and it came together in the most cohesive, jewel-toned wonderland you can imagine.
After the mingling and connecting of local vendors to the hundreds of engaged couples who graced us with their presence, then came the fashion show. With styles from Suits Unlimited for the fellas, and Bridal Elegance by Darlene for the ladies, every couple got a New York worthy dose of in-real-life wedding fashion inspiration, that was also tied in with our overall theme for the event. Velvet, vintage couches headed the runway, and Brad with King Mobile Music lit the stage to perfectly illuminate the fine details on the gowns and tuxes.
Lastly, there were, of course, tons and tons of giveaways and prizes. With free goodies from venues, florists, officiants, and more, so many couples walked a way with a spring in their step after winning some serious discounts and freebies.
We couldn’t have done it without our incredible sponsors, or the amazing couples whose love stories are what make the whole day worthwhile. So, from the bottoms of our hearts, thank you!
(Especially to Sandra + her team at Photographic Perspectives, for capturing the glamour with her magical photography powers!)
Like all our favorite things — wine, cheese, Golden Girls reruns — the Perfect Wedding Guide Diamond Dash just continues to get better with age. Which, if you happened to catch any of our stories or posts from Sunday on social media, you’ll know it was one for the books! The energy and liveliness of the wedding show paralleled no other, and left us feeling inspired, reinvigorated, and so grateful to be a part of the local wedding community here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe.
With another round of wedding shows down for the entire year as well, we can’t help but to reflect on what made 2018 so spectacular. For us, it was undoubtedly the wedding professionals, like the ones who brought their A-game to the Diamond Dash, who we have the chance to support and be supported by. Being members of the New Mexico Wedding Professionals, or NMWP for short, is just one of the ways we get to do so, by working with and for the small businesses owners who make up the group of experts.
And when we say experts, we mean it. Florists, officiants, venues, photographers — if you can name it, there’s a dedicated member of NMWP who can do it. So when this styled shoot came to fruition from their wedding-obsessed minds, we were absolutely swooning.
We had a wonderful time capturing the essence of a wedding day at this beautiful venue! The eclectic decor was a perfect setting for the elegant styles of the bridal outfits and flowers, each working together for a unique photo shoot every bride dreams of. The dramatic New Mexico skies presented a perfect background for this couple from the wrap around balcony overlooking the picturesque city of Albuquerque! Appreciation to all who participated in sharing their time and talents.
The season’s turn is a few weeks behind us now, but let’s be real. In our desert landscape, it takes a little while for summer to fully wane and for autumn to settle in. (Yes, it’s chilly this fine fall morning, but unfortunately, we’ll probably be regretting these cozy outfits when it goes back to being 80 degrees this afternoon!) Luckily for us though, we’re getting all the sweater-weather vibes from the shimmering golds, deep maroons and warm rose tones from one of Black Bow Events signature styled shoots.
If you’ve worked with Danessa, Black Bow Events founder, owner, and wedding expert, then it’s no wonder she won our 2018 PWG Elite award for best wedding coordinator in Albuquerque + Santa Fe. Her vibrant passion for love and buoyant personality combine to make her not only a dedicated wedding planner, but a wonderful person to have on your team in general.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to work with Black Bow Events just yet, then… It’s still no wonder! Because Danessa’s penchant for the divinely particular shine through in all her styled shoots.
Northern New Mexico is best known for its Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, mountainous landscapes, and countless art influencers. These are just a few of the reasons why I love New Mexico and everything it offers! Georgia O’Keefe said, “I found that I could see things with color and shapes that I couldn’t see any other way-things I had no words for.” —which describes perfectly why I choose to design and create such visions for my couples.
And Georgia O’Keefe would be proud, because Danessa has totally mastered the art of bringing unique shapes into her collaborative shoots. Reminiscent of New Mexico’s famed mountainous landscape, Danessa and her team of local wedding vendors incorporated the sacred geometry of triangles into the deeply contrasted shoot in a way we’ve never seen before.
As a wedding photographer, I strive to create images and memories for my clients that they can look back on years from now and still love. This was the main motivation behind this photoshoot. Creating something that we can still appreciate 10, 20, 30 years from today.
We’re total wedding-trend groupies, and honestly, we’re not afraid to admit it. Following along the perpetual evolution of decor, floral arrangements, and gowns while each facet of the wedding world grows and adapts to fit the needs of current trends is ceaselessly inspiring. Especially when we get to watch up-close as Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals match — and even exceed! — trends from New York and L.A. without charging New York or L.A. prices.
But there is one downside to the ephemerality of wedding trends, and it’s simply that: they’re ephemeral! Think of your parents’ wedding photos — what with their sepia tones and overabundance of taffeta. The endlessly evolving trends are exciting to keep up with, it’s true, but it also means certain styles and details can carbon-date your wedding photos, and might warrant teasing from your future grandchildren.
So there’s something to be said for choosing to work with what is classic, like Maura Jane Photography did with this shoot at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Lavender Farm. Rather than limiting the creative possibilities by skirting around current trends, the restriction offers talented local professionals — like A Beautiful Theme, who designed this shoot — the opportunity to showcase their innovative problem-solving skills.
Together, this team of Albuquerque’s best wedding experts manifested a dusty-blue dream and we’re willing to place bets on the fact we’ll still love this shoot in 10 years time. How could we not?!
Wedding trends have always come and gone, from mason jars and burlap, to dresses with puffed sleeves, and cakes with fountains. However, a wedding that is timeless can always be appreciated. We wanted to create an inspiration photoshoot with a classic and elegant theme. A wedding with timeless touches that also incorporates certain trends that are popular now with some of the most beautiful and stylish weddings of today. We used the popular color of dusty blue throughout the shoot, from the yummy macaroons on the dessert table to beautiful earrings that graced the bride’s ears and the pumps on her feet. She wore her hair in a classic chignon while the groom looked equally as dashing in a navy suit. Exquisite peonies and eucalyptus hung from the mint blue classic getaway car and down the long wooden tables. Ornate mirrored signs with effortless calligraphy decorated the entrance to the reception area and the dessert table.