Timeless Romance with Coryn Kiefer Photography

Timeless Romance with Coryn Kiefer Photography

“Life without love, is no life at all.” – Leonardo da Vinci

With springtime so gracefully happening all around us, vibrant colors and incredible new beginnings steal the show. It is no wonder local couples choose this time of year to have their jaw-dropping New Mexico weddings. Since we’re now learning to live with these unexpected changes, couples must reschedule their weddings. We want you to know that it’s 100% okay to be sad, and maybe even really angry, since you’ve been preparing for this moment your whole life. Good news, though! You now have plenty of time to get back to the drawing board, without any distractions, and get inspired.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again – one of our favorite ways to get inspiration for weddings is local styled shoots. New Mexico wedding vendors from all over the bring their talents together to create something magical. Our lovely Coryn Kiefer Photography wanted to bring her vision for timeless romance to life, so she did just that through incredible colors, textures, and scenery.

“While love remains timeless, traditional weddings are changing. Weddings today break free of monotony and add unique elements that tell the couple’s story and personality more than ever before. This styled shoot aimed to embrace the modern wedding while keeping the simplicity of love in the forefront.”

Coryn Kiefer Photography

The models are wearing a modern take on wedding attire – a pantsuit for the bride and a mismatched suit for the groom. While these elements of fashion are unconventional, they compliment each other and are a perfect match for the ornate decor that surrounds them. The decor + florals are fit for a queen. We get some serious fairytale vibes and all of our little girl dreams are coming true.

As we like to say, it’s all in the details. The hand lettering, the jewelry, and the cake are all exquisite. Check out the gallery below to see how Coryn + her team brought this fairytale to life:

“Tessa’s Rime Arodaky pantsuit was the epicenter. Pairing this modern fashion with the Old World style of the El Rey Court was the perfect fit. Elements of Mustard and Sage were added to highlight the whites and add a punch of color to the setting.”

coryn kiefer photography

Photography + Styling: Coryn Kiefer Photography Venue: El Rey Court Decor + Rentals: Darling Details Rentals Floral: Desert Flower Co. Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee Hand Lettering: Hello Jori Cake: Honey & Salt Cake Co. Jewelry: Ooh! Aah! Jewelry Bridal Attire: Rime Arodaky Groom’s Attire: J Crew Styling Assistant: Krissy Williams Models: Tessa & Deangelo

Let’s Plan a Party!

Let’s Plan a Party!

The Perfect Wedding Guide team loves, and I mean loves, a good party. We’re always ready to gather up our friends and loved ones to go have a good time, whether it’s gearing up for a wedding show, or attending a super fun murder mystery dinner. We can pretty much make a party out of every exciting occasion. There are certain parties that we don’t get to attend often, but help couples like you plan all of the time–bachelorette parties & bridal showers!

Just by reading the title of this blog, you can probably guess what it’s all about. We won’t explain every tiny detail of party planning, but we will get you on the right track with a local vendor that will help you nail your party… no pun intended. We want to introduce you to one of our newest members and one of Albuquerque’s up and coming event vendors, Paixao Beauty Bar & Event Boutique. These wedding party experts are unlike any other, providing a range of services to fit you and your needs, from nails to hairstyling services. The event space itself is chic, clean and just absolutely stunning. The entire boutique can be reserved for you and your friends to enjoy an exclusive experience. To top it all off, Paixao provides fresh flowers with every service. Who wants a day of pampering, an exclusive space, and fresh flowers? Um, we do! Get a sneak peek of the space located on San Mateo below:

We know you’re probably ready to go over to their website to book your party, but before you go, we want to give you a few party planning tips that apply to any kind of party you might be throwing–even you, dudes.

Tip #1 | Let someone else do the work for you, this is your time to have fun! Hire a local wedding planner who offers party planning services, or ask friends and family for some help planning.

Tip #2 | There’s no dress code when it comes to having a good time, whether that means you want to kick back and relax with your friends in your sweats or go out feeling the energy in your dancing shoes.

Tip #3 | Get creative, this is all about you, so put your personality into it! Love fishing? Take your friends out to the river and bring some food and drinks. Love being pampered? Book a spa day with your besties! Movie buff? Plan a movie night with popcorn and champagne.

No matter what you plan, it’s all about you, my friend. Have some fun!

Wedding Makeup Tips: A Guest Blog with Mesa Makeup

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

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

Embracing the Beauty of Change: Meghan’s Rainy Day Wedding Story

Embracing the Beauty of Change: Meghan’s Rainy Day Wedding Story

When everything is falling apart, or at least it feels like it is, sometimes it’s so hard to keep spirits high–especially when it comes to your wedding day. Months, and sometimes even years, go into careful searching, planning, and preparing to celebrate the first day of the rest of your lives together. To be honest, it really never all goes completely according to plan. And that’s just life.

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we see just about every perfect wedding out there, because every wedding is perfect in our eyes with the help of local New Mexico vendors. However, perfection is subjective and it isn’t necessarily measured by how successful we are in meeting our goals. It is truly measured by how we adapt and react to change.

For our sweet, kind, and radiant bride Meghan, her meticulously planned Santa Fe wedding didn’t go quite according to plan, but she embraced it like a queen. Aside from holes in Meghan’s wedding gown, their venue had to make some quick adjustments when the moody New Mexico skies decided to rain all over the outdoor ceremony space at the Museum of International Folk Art. Luckily for the couple, the museum has a spacious and artistic interior where they were able to pronounce their love for each other in front of friends and family without everyone getting soaking wet.

Meghan sent us the most incredible testimonial after she was able to process all of the chaos that ensued, and we would be crazy not to share something so powerful for the rest of our brides who fear the rain on their wedding day. Read her statement below:

Everyone hopes that it doesn’t rain at their outdoor wedding, but that’s not what the clouds had in store for us. A classic New Mexico monsoon was in full throttle right as we were taking our photos (outside) and everyone just started running. Having a full panic attack in front of all 160 of your guests isn’t ideal… but my husband held me, helped me breathe, and I looked at him, like really looked at him, and realized all of this didn’t matter: it’s me and him and it’s that simple. Then the power went out! In the moment, I was wrecked. I spent this entire year meticulously planning every detail to reflect my husband and me, researching vendors who aligned with both our values and budget, and all I could do was fake smile through the rest of the photos (and cry in-between every snap… my makeup didn’t budge a bit thanks to the amazing work of Genica). With time and perspective, I realized that while I was having my meltdown every single one of our guests mobilized. With our amazing day-of-coordinator (Symone of Simply Done Events) at the helm, cousins moved chairs, family friends brought wads of paper towels from the bathroom to wipe the floor, aunties arranged florals inside… all to make sure that Ryan and I had our day. I still some sometimes feel sad that this wasn’t the “best day ever” and it’s easy to be consumed with the negatives. And I think it’s important to share with couples that however you feel, even if it’s sad, that’s okay. But then I remember all the overwhelmingly beautiful things: my sweet husband’s vows promising to feed me forever, the hundreds of biscochitos Ryan’s cousins baked for us, our family and friends spanning continents and countries to celebrate with us namely my grandmother and uncle flying from the Philippines, the magical elote and amazing pies (Street Food Institute and Emerald Pie Bar), a friend composing a beautiful processional song, our DJ (Too Hot to Stop) throwing Burger King crowns during “Dancing Queen”, our parents’ love and support, oh, and of course the llamas passing out White Claw. There was so much of that day that was good. There was so much of that day that was us. So it wasn’t the best day, but it was our day, and that’s what makes a perfect wedding.

– Meghan Montelibano-Gorman, Bride

We are so grateful to Meghan and all of the amazing vendors who were able to tell such a wonderful love story. And that is what it is all about–the love.

Photos by Kady McKeehan Photography

Catering: Street Food Institute
Florals: Barton's Flowers
Venue: Museum of International Folk Art
Photographer: Kady McKeehan Photography
DJ: Too Hot to Stop
Pies: Emerald Pie Bar
Day of Planner: Simply Done Events
Rentals: American Tent Rentals
Booze/Bar: Kelly's Liquors
Llamas: Lllamas Del Sol
Hair/Makeup: Genica Lee MUA
Videography: Clay Carlson Films
Photo booth: Wedding Crashers
Groomsmen attire: Men's Wearhouse
Bridesmaids attire: Lulu's
Suit: Suit Supply
Wedding gown: Altar Bridal
Emergency alterations: Bella Tailor
Mariachi Mestizo: Absolute Entertainment
Heels: Nine West
Tennies: Kate Spade for Keds

How to Look & Feel Your Best on Your Wedding Day

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

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