Pastel Perfection: Real Wedding with Chrisi K Photography

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.

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Wedding Day Skincare {Guest Post!}

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!

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Alicia Lucia Photography

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. 

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Southwest Creative Co.

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, I  acknowledge 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?

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Zorn Photography

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. 

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Southwest Creative Co.

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.

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Zorn Photography

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.

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Timeless Touches: A Styled Shoot

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.

-Maura, Maura Jane Photography

 

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?!

{Check out the vendors, details, and more from Maura Jane Photography below!}

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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.

-Maura, Maura Jane Photography

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Design + Decor + Planning | A Beautiful Theme
Jewelry | Ooh Aah Jewelry
Invitations | Funky Olive Design
Bouquet Ribbons | Desert Garden Silk
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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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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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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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wedding planning photography styled shoot natural light outdoor elopement engagement New Mexico Albuquerque mountains Perfect Wedding Guide landscape natural desert

 

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

 

 

Hot Air Balloon Styled Shoot with Tori Photography

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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.

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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