3 Reasons the Wedding Gallery is Different from Other Wedding Shows in New Mexico

If you haven’t already noticed, weddings are kind of a big deal in our state. Which is lucky for us, whether we’re natives, transplants, or traveling from afar to have a destination wedding in New Mexico. With a venue to match every vibe, troves of dedicated local wedding professionals, and completely unparalleled landscapes to surround your ceremony, you really can’t go wrong with a southwestern wedding here.

But that can also make it bit harder to nail down the details. It’s much more difficult to choose between twenty talented and innovative local florists than it is to choose between five. Especially when almost all of planning a wedding happens online! You can always check the reviews a wedding professional has, but we don’t blame you if that’s not enough verification to book them. Plus, good photos can be deceiving and if you’re choosing between twenty florists, you don’t want to leave it up to a nice shot on Instagram.

Of course, when you find a local wedding professional, you can always sit down for a face to face consultation to really get to know their values and talents. For most of us though, trying to schedule meetings on top of our jobs, families, and other responsibilities isn’t a walk in the park.

You see where we’re going with this, right?

The obvious answer to the age-old dilemma is this: wedding shows! We’ve already discussed whether or not wedding shows are worth it (hint, they totally are), but with the Wedding Gallery show right around the corner on August 4th, the real question is — what makes this show different from the rest?

1. It’s curated.

Each year, we choose a super strong theme to be at the center of the Wedding Gallery show. Each wedding professional who chooses to be a part of the Wedding Gallery show brings their absolute A-game to showcase that theme. In doing so, engaged couples from all across the state can get lost in the collective cohesion from New Mexico’s best wedding businesses, check out what they’re truly capable of, and know that the professionals they book here will put just as much heart and soul into the them of their wedding.

 

2. There’s a couture fashion show.

Yes, it’s true, we also have a fashion show at the Diamond Dash wedding shows in the fall and spring. We love showcasing local bridal fashion, can you blame us?! At the Wedding Gallery show, however, the fashion show is couture and also, like the vendors and all other details of the show, highly curated. The fashion-forward, bold approaches to tradition that were previously reserved for coastal states and bustling cities is here, too.

3. And a VIP experience.

The couture fashion show isn’t just a free-for-all. Because the Wedding Gallery is catered to discerning, committed couples in the midst of wedding planning, each step of the way is created to mimic the high-end experience that New Mexico can offer. With swag bags upon entering, genuine attention and kindness from local wedding professionals throughout the morning, and front-row seats to the fashion show to round out the day, couples of New Mexico can expect to be pampered while they plan their wedding at the Wedding Gallery show.

 

VIP seats are limited, click here to reserve yours.

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Engaged Couples Dish About Wedding Planning in New Mexico

When it comes to planning a wedding in New Mexico, we think its safe to say that we might be getting pretty close to expert status. After all, we have been connecting engaged couples with the local wedding professionals who serve them for over 10 years! But even with a decade of living vicariously through wedding parties and planners, shows and stories doesn’t compare to the actual nitty gritty of planning a wedding as an engaged couple.

So we, Perfect Wedding Guide, look to the bonafide experts of wedding planning — New Mexico’s very own residents — for advice, adjustments to our approaches, and affirmations. DIY or otherwise, we invited several couples in the midst of planning their wedding in the Albuquerque + Santa Fe area to come and enjoy some delicious treats (courtesy of the Street Food Institute!) while revealing one of the industry’s most pondered questions: what’s it like to plan a wedding in New Mexico?

What followed was a no-holding-back, anything-goes, super honest conversation that revealed more about the wedding industry and our local community than any number of sideline observations could have. Which is why we’re such big proponents of genuinely engaging with our community,  instead of staying behind our computer screens making cold calls and creating content.

Because there’s a lot you can learn simply by listening to the people around you.

Of course, it wouldn’t be in PWG style to not share all we took away from our fabulous eat + dish group session with local engaged couples here, with you. So whether you’re a wedding professional looking to answer the needs of local couples, or a local couple yourself — scroll on, lover of love, and hear what your peers have to say about the New Mexico wedding community.

1. Digital Planning

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We’re sure you’re aware of this by now, but in case you aren’t: the internet has taken over the wedding planning process. We were stunned, and delighted of course, to hear that one of the more streamlined aspects of wedding planning was the online tools, like budget calculators and wedding websites.

The digital takeover, while inevitable, is also great for introverts, busy-bees, and business owners who might not have time to meet with every single vendor or every single couple. By putting reviews, high-quality photos of past work, and clear details on prices and packages, both the business and the couple get to pre-qualify each other before ever speaking.

(And yes, those three things are exactly what couples are looking for when vendor hunting. One couple even decided against booking one of New Mexico’s best wedding DJs, simply because there were no reviews for this company online, despite a stellar word-of-mouth reputation.)

As important as your website is, our couples stated that their preferred way to reach out to businesses and vendors is via social media — and we don’t blame them. Don’t worry shy brides and grooms, the age of phone calling is on its way out the door!

2. In-Person Planning

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We’ve already gone into some depth on why wedding shows are important for brides and businesses alike, but having that reaffirmed by actual engaged couples? Well, now, it doesn’t get much sweeter.

What New Mexico engaged couples appreciate about Perfect Wedding Guide shows here is the organization. You can meet and connect with officiants, DJs, bakers, florists, and pretty much every other service you need to book all in one place.

According to our couples they’re pretty fun, too, what with the giveaways and games and drinks and fashion shows and such.

So, yes, dear internet, we won’t be getting rid of you any time soon. But for when you need to look someone in the eye before handing over hundreds of dollars, wedding shows are the place to go.

On the radar for future events per these couples’ requests: a groom’s night out, perhaps?

3. Physical Planning

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Yes we’re aware that we started this round-up of takeaways praising the internet, and then proceeded to list all the alternatives to planning your wedding solely on the internet. It’s a nuanced thing, wedding planning!

Because, as magnificent as it is to be able to compare vendors price points and aesthetics from the comfort of your bathtub, the rapid evolution of the webscape has lead to quite a bit of digital clutter. How do we counteract this?

Good, ol’ fashioned print. Like the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine!

This collection of couples favored the PWG magazine for a couple reasons: it’s purse-sized, it’s tangible, and it’s local to our beautiful state. Oh, and that it’s free.

What they want more of (AKA, what you’re likely to see hitting the streets soon): more tips, tricks, and industry secrets, projected trends of wedding colors and aesthetics, and sample templates for toasts, vows, and speeches.

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Are Wedding Shows Really Worth It?

We’ll be real with you: yes we host several wedding shows in New Mexico throughout the year, so yes we are slightly biased in favor of the events. But we do have a few self-proclaimed introverts on the team, so we know that not every wedding show is the right vibe for every couple. The high energy, loud crowd, and bustling business of some, larger wedding shows can be exhilarating for some and overwhelming for others.

With our Bride’s Night Out wedding show happening in just a couple days — eep! — we thought we’d  offer a little insight in what to expect from a wedding show by answering the 3 questions we get the most. Because our wedding shows vary in size, time, venue, and vibe, though, we’re pretty confident that there’s at least one out there that’ll be perfect for you — it’s more just figuring which one that is. (Spoiler: if you are an introvert, or just like things a bit more low-key, Bride’s Night Out is the show for you.)

So scroll on to figure out which wedding show in New Mexico would best suit your personality, schedule, wedding date, etc., and grab your tickets while you can. The fashion show seats, VIP pre-parties, and swag bags attached to their respective wedding shows fill up pretty far in advance. (Plus, spoiler #2: there might be some hidden BOGO ticket codes below!)

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1. What kind of vendors/wedding professionals will be there?

Starting off with the easiest answer of them all: tons. For all our wedding shows we invite wedding professionals from all across the board to come and show off their talent.

Depending on the size of the show, we typically cap the category at about 5 wedding professionals each. So you never have to worry about buying a ticket for a room full of photographers — there will always be a wide range of wedding professionals available to connect with you, from officiants and DJs, to bakers and caterers.

2. What’s the difference between the wedding shows? What will the crowd be like?

These questions are smushed together because we hear them so frequently, and they’re intricately connected to each other.

To start with the largest and most energetic show, we have the Diamond Dash, which happens twice a year. With interactive games and giveaways throughout the entire show, it’s pretty hard not to have at least a little bit of fun, but that also means that occasionally people get a bit rowdy. Especially when the crowning event, a cake dive for $1,000 worth of diamond jewelry, comes around. The Diamond Dash also has the most wedding professionals, and the opportunity to spend $500 in PWG Bucks as well though, so the fun is fruitful, too.

Next is Wedding Gallery, which comes around every August. Because it’s our most carefully curated show, the energy of this crowd is quite a bit different, though it is our 2nd largest show as far as attendance goes. A larger emphasis is put on theme both through our efforts as Perfect Wedding Guide, and through the efforts of the wedding professionals who participate. It’s called the Wedding Gallery because it does truly become a gallery space for vendors to show off the absolute peak of their abilities through their booths and the couture fashion show.

And lastly, our Bride’s Night Out event. As our most intimate show of the year, the vibe is less wedding-show-weekend, and more swanky cocktail hour party. Complete still with dozens of wedding professionals to meet with, and plenty of giveaways and opportunities to win substantial prizes, the Bride’s Night Out definitely holds its own compared to the other wedding shows. The focus of this show is pampering, so come expecting cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, special treatments and goodies from each and every wedding professional, and a calm space to chat and connect with these vendors, too. See why it’s the most popular among our engaged introverts?

You can register for any of these wedding shows by clicking their names, or by visiting nm.pwg.com. When you get there, use code BOGOBLOG for buy one, get one free tickets for whichever wedding show sounds like the best time for you and your wedding party.

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3. Do you actually save any money?

Short answer to the most important question: yes.

Long answer: yes you do, but it manifests in different forms for different shows. For example, we offer $500 in PWG Bucks for the first 100 couples through the door at our Diamond Dash wedding show. So you automatically know that, as long as the vendor you love is participating in the PWG Bucks program, you can save anywhere from $100 to $500 off their packages and/or services.

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At other shows, like the Wedding Gallery and Bride’s Night Out, most wedding professionals offer substantial discounts on their products and services if you book at the show, or shortly after — like, within that same week.

At all of the wedding shows, we call door prizes and giveaways throughout the entire event, so your chances of winning an impressive gift or discount are actually pretty high. (They’re definitely higher than entering a random giveaway online — we can promise that! Unless it’s the 12 Months of Giveaways, since we pick those winners from our pool of local engaged couples, too.)

 

There you have it — a brief lowdown on New Mexico wedding shows. Ready to snag your tickets for the one that best matches your personality? Click here to do exactly that.

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What Local Engaged Couples Have to Say About Planning a Wedding in New Mexico

So, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most people in New Mexico know Perfect Wedding Guide for our wedding shows. Which makes sense, considering how many hundreds of engaged couples and local wedding professionals come together to make shows like the Diamond Dash, Bride’s Night Out, and the Wedding Gallery possible. We’re not really complaining, promise, but we actually have a lot of love and appreciation from some of our smaller events, like the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer!

The 2019 edition of the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer flew past us just this last week. (Of course months of planning, collaborating, and designing goes by in a dizzying but beautiful flash!) All we want to talk about is all the amazing nuggets of knowledge we learned, but wait…

What even is the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer?!

Great question, reader! This particular event was conceptualized to fill the gap between local engaged couples and the wedding professionals who serve them. (Sound familiar?) Essentially, the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer is oriented like a research or focus group. We invite around 10 engaged or recently married couples from the local community to come share their insights, triumphs, complaints, compliments, woes, worries, and wonders about the wedding planning process in New Mexico. 

Then, with bellies full of a complementary, gourmet dinner, the wedding professionals from all over New Mexico take note, adjust their practices, ask questions, and, hopefully, grow! It’s one of the few opportunities you have in any business-client relationship to truly hear and communicate with one another. It’s how we’re able to keep the eclectic New Mexico wedding market moving and evolving in the right direction.

Ready to learn what the engaged couples who have come before you have to say about the wedding planning process in New Mexico? Let’s jump in with our 3 main takeaways.

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1. Inclusivity is Key.

Another word for inclusivity here could be clarity. When we asked the couples, “What is the most important quality you are looking for when hiring a wedding professional?” the conclusion was the same across the board. Couples look for those who exude kindness and personality, and vendors who actually listen to their vision without imposing their own ideas on the couple. 

When we asked the couples what the vendors they choose did to earn their business, what we heard reaffirmed these values. They appreciated (and went on to book) the professionals who didn’t exclusively brag about themselves, whose websites were clear and communicative, and whose work accurately represented the couples they want to work with.

For example, if a wedding professional exclusively promotes straight couples on their website and social media channels, the chances of reaching LGBTQ couples are pretty much nil.

To sum: be clear, be kind, be inclusive, and listen well.

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2. Stick to Email, Folks.

Yes, the digital world is ever changing, and it’s so tempting to make texting your main form of communication. (You can do it from bed, from the gym, from the couch with Netflix playing in front of you, so we totally get it.)

But, because lots of couples create a specific email address for wedding planning, keeping all communications in one place is best. There’s higher visibility of conversations in email as well, so accountability comes much easier.

Also, hate is a strong word, but our couples felt strongly about this: they hate phone calls. Like, really and truly. Most couples are at work during a business’s hours of operations, or they’re at home with their partners and families.

Remember: stick to email.

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3. Yes, Social Media is Still Important.

Your website should still be the home of your business, but social media is where the vast majority of couples look for wedding inspiration. The two top contenders, which you might be able to guess already, are Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram is a great platform to utilize, according to the local couples, because it’s easy to return to feed posts for references — though they love seeing stories, especially of behind-the-scenes previews for styled shoots and weddings. Pinterest is beneficial for businesses as well because it’s so visually-oriented. Then, there’s always the concept of pinfinity, too!

(Pinfinity = the fact your pins continue to be recirculated by pinners long after you post them, whereas Instagram posts are usually only seen within the first 48 hours of posting.)

Here’s your excuse to log on, friends, and show the world what you’re working with.

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A very special thank you to all the incredible local businesses who made this awesome, collaborative event possible: Embassy Suites, for generously hosting us and feeding all our guests a marvelous meal; De Novo Pastoral Services for being our informed and entertaining emcee; Beth Waldron Photography for capturing all the fun above; Estella Floral Design for our darling centerpieces; Funky Olive Designs for our pretty little invitations; Cello for Weddings for serenading all our guests with delightful live cello music; and Black Swan Events, for transforming the ballroom into a conducive, inspiring space.

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2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show Recap

Did you hear about the absolutely magical, high-energy, fun-filled, spectacular something that happened this past October? We hope you did, or even better, we hope you were one of the hundreds of local, engaged couples and wedding professionals who joined us for our 2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show!

Every year, we have the opportunity to host what is essentially a giant party, here in Albuquerque, for all our local engaged couples who are in the throes of wedding planning. And yes, we host lots of parties and wedding shows, but this one is the Diamond Dash, which makes it inherently special. See, if you don’t already know, this particular wedding show gets its name from the culminating moment of the show.

After engaged couples spend the day in the Hyatt Regency Downtown‘s vast and beautifully curated ballroom, chatting with local wedding professionals, winning prizes and coupons off services, watching a couture bridal fashion show, and spending their $500 in PWG Bucks, then comes the actual dash for diamonds.

This year, we invited 5 brides-to-be from the crowd of hundreds to come and don the signature aprons and tiaras required to jump into the baked goodness. Kindly made by Cake Fetish, the glamorously towering black wedding cake had, of course, diamond jewelry (valued at over $1,000) along with four other prizes hidden inside.

With their cake-diving gear on and ready to go, and the rest of the crowd anxiously awaiting the victory, the five awesome ladies tore into the beautiful cake and one by one, pulled out their prizes. We love the competitive spirit that comes out when diamond jewelry is involved, so when this year’s festivities resulted in some harmless catfighting, we were thrilled.

Check out all the incredible details from every vendor through the lens of Photographic Perspectives below, and take a peek at the live action with the incredible recap video from Glory Ranch Films! To register for the next Diamond Dash Wedding Show, click here!

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2018 Wedding Gallery Recap

Since our last wedding show of the year has, tragically, already come and gone, we think it’s only fair to spend a little bit of time reminiscing on one of our favorite shows of 2018. While all of our Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding shows are things we celebrate and enjoy, my personal favorite of the year was the Wedding Gallery show at Sandia Resort and Casino.

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!)

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Dramatic New Mexican Skies with Local Wedding Professionals

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.

With the stage set at The View Event Center — whose booth at the Diamond Dash was gorgeous, by the way — Kevin’s Photography captured the urban magic of the venue perfectly. Charlotte’s Flowers, one of the many talented wedding veterans of Albuquerque + Santa Fe, arranged the gorgeous modern bouquets, while Bridal Elegance by Darlene and Suits Unlimited outfitted the couple.

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.

Kevin, Kevin’s Photography

We second that Kevin! So much appreciation to all who participated in the styled shoot, and continue to serve local, engaged couples with their wedding expertise and industry knowledge.

 

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Concept: New Mexico Wedding Professionals

Venue: The View Event Center

Photographer: Kevin’s Photography

Florals: Charlotte’s Flowers

Decor: Simply Decor & Events

Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Suits Unlimited

Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Hair + Makeup: Bliss Salon & Spa

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