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.

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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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Behind the Booth at Wedding Shows

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s several local wedding shows throughout the year, then you probably know they’re quite the production. Take our Diamond Dash show, for example, with it’s elaborate decor, fashion show, and signature cake-diving event. {Eep! The Diamond Dash on October 28th is right around the corner now, too!}

Our team can only take credit for a portion of the grandeur, because while it is a Perfect Wedding Guide event, the heart of the day comes from the local wedding professionals who fill up Hyatt Regency Albuquerque‘s ballroom with goodies, gifts, and great advice. Which isn’t always easy, and only comes to fruition with the hard work and dedication of these business owners. To make things a bit easier for our local wedding champions though, our team put together a few tips and tricks for local vendors to help their day run smoothly.

So hey there, wedding professionals, this one is for you! For our fellow wedding-lovers and engaged couples though, stick around and get a sneak peak into the love and determination from Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding experts have cultivated in order to be there, for you, on your special day. {Plus you can check out some of our favorite booths from past shows too — it’s some serious, real-life wedding inspo!}

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Getting an edge on your next wedding show


 

  1. Arrive early.  Wedding shows are automatically one of the best places to rekindle old friendships, start new collaborations, grab breakfast together, and showcase your products/services to the active movers and shakers in the wedding community.  
  1. Stay late.  Some of the most serious brides/grooms will linger through to the end of the show (as well as stay after to chat it up with their fave connections).  Don’t pack up early! 
  1. Be the expert.  Don’t just showcase YOUR products and services but show that you’re well connected and knowledgeable by asking about the bride’s other chosen vendors, venue, and decisions about her wedding.  Comment, engage, and show your enthusiasm for her choices.

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  1. Have a strategy.  Not only do you want to have a follow up strategy for AFTER the show, but you want to have a good strategy for obtaining “hot” leads DURING the show.  Are you taking notes?  Are they filling out a short form with you? Instead of mass “it was nice to meet you” emails, try to personalize your follow up with special details you’ve noted about their wedding.  
  1. Share away.  Be sure to announce in the weeks leading up to the show that you’ll be there (via emails to your brides, announce it on your website, and share on your social platforms).  It’s a great way to encourage couples to stop by your booth…especially for any potential clients that haven’t solidified their contract with you. And, what a great way to show your potential and current clients that you specialize in weddings and are well-connected amongst the wedding community. 
  1. Be interested.  Ask questions, be engaging, and create memorable conversations. 
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  1. Set the stage.  Don’t sit down….stand and engage with clients at eye level.  Don’t put your table at the front of your booth…put it behind you to create a more inviting experience and less of a barrier for conversation. 
  1. Do contests.  Create fun social media tagging contests for all guests (not just the bride) to engage in with universal gifts as the reward for the winner (such as a Target gift card).  What a great way to elevate your social media experience and magnify your exposure to not just the bride’s friends, but to the bride’s guest’s friends too!   
 39589181_10156761868524114_6922236238783053824_oWilliam Sonoma
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27629271_10156221231669114_7818767282779275304_oElla Blu Bridal
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Get $500 Off Your Wedding at the Diamond Dash!

Ah yes, our most popular event of the year has come around again. It’s the Diamond Dash! Famed for the apex of the event — the actual diamond dash, where a lucky few engaged couples get the chance to dive into a giant wedding cake to hunt around for diamond jewelry that’s baked inside — this year, it’s the very last wedding show of 2018, on October 28th.

Typically, the opportunity to win diamond jewelry, tons of other prizes + giveaways, all while enjoying cocktails and conversations with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding experts is enough to draw in all of New Mexico’s gorgeous engaged couples. But, there’s one more hidden little perk to doing your wedding planning in person at a Perfect Wedding Guide wedding show, and it only happens at the Diamond Dash

PWG Bucks.

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What are PWG bucks exactly? They’re essentially free wedding service coupons, except they’re totally customizable. So the power is totally in your hands and you get to choose what service to use them on. All participating vendors have special packages or services available that you can take up to $500 off of!

The best part is the PWG Bucks come in increments of $100. Which means you can spend five on five different wedding services, three on one big package, two on two, etc., etc. Big decisions, we know!

This next part is an important one though — how do you get the most bang for your PWG Buck?

Our advice is to start planning out your PWG Bucks budget the moment you register for the event. That way, you can come to the show already knowing which types of wedding professionals you still need to connect with. Then, when you walk in the door of the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, you’ll already know which booths to spend your $500.

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Perusing through the myriad of wedding vendor booths with your $500 in hand, you can absorb some IRL (in real life) wedding inspiration, chat with local professionals, and even snag some snacks and freebies from all the experts. Each professional who is currently participating in the PWG Bucks deal will have an adorable little sign on there table that clearly indicates that they will accept your PWG Bucks as a form of payment. Some more advice: if you see the sign, don’t be shy!

Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s vendors are wonderfully talented, it’s true, but they’re actually not mind-readers, if you can believe it! If you’re connecting with a local professional and want to use some of your $500 of free money, just let them know and get the conversation started. They’ll be happy to direct you to the packages available to you and let you know how many hundreds of dollars you can save.

Essentially, the PWG Bucks are your icebreakers and your wallet-savers in one.

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Lastly, remember that PWG Bucks themselves expire at 4pm, when the wedding show finally begins winding down and reaching a close. Luckily, because the local wedding professionals are constantly so considerate, most of them will allow you to redeem them up to a week — or even a month! — after the show. It’s all about the communication, so if you feel a connection with a vendor, but maybe need to talk it over with your partner before you book, just let your vendor know!

Ready to get started? Grab your tickets and secure your $500 by registering for the event here.

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Local + Lovely: Albuquerque’s Favorite Wedding Show

SNAG YOUR TICKETS HERE!


 

Okay, so maybe the Diamond Dash is actually your favorite wedding show. Which makes sense — where else do you have the opportunity to dive into a giant wedding cake and dig around for diamond jewelry? {No, seriously, is there somewhere else you can do that? Because we’d love a shot at it ourselves…} But the Wedding Gallery Wedding Show is my personal favorite, and I’ll tell you why.

First, Sandia Resort and Casino — the famed location of the Wedding Gallery — provides the perfect backdrop for the event. Each little corner and crevice is filled with local wedding professionals who have dedicated their entire Sunday to making the wedding planning process a little bit easier for you. Sounds like a wedding show, right? Well, what makes the Wedding Gallery different in this aspect, though, is how each booth is meticulously curated.

Last year’s theme, for example, was greek chic. When our team walked into the ballroom and saw not only the stage for the couture fashion show, but each local professional‘s hard word and dedication to this theme, our jaws dropped. As the morning continued, our jaws stayed on the floor with every impeccable detail that was added. From Black Swan Events‘ multi-table spread, to Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup‘s boho-greek space, not an ounce of the ballroom was left untouched by love.

For the discerning couple, this is the place to do your planning. Some of the vendors even recruited one another to ensure their booths were perfectly enticing and aligned with the theme. Not only was it magical to watch this greek chic dream suddenly solidify in reality, but witnessing the wedding experts build each other up made the whole day unreal. And isn’t that the whole point of a wedding show? To see how local businesses can take a vision and bring it to life, while working together with the other wedding experts on the big day?

{Oh! I almost forgot to mention — the cocktails, food stations, wedding inspo, VIP bridal couture fashion show, giveaways, games, and prizes are pretty incredible, too. But you probably already knew that.}

See you there!


SNAG YOUR TICKETS HERE!

 

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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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Real Wedding with Matt Blasing Photography: Instagram Takeover

If this wedding looks familiar, it’s not just because the love between Katie + George is so pure and comforting. {Though it totally is.} You’re probably remembering the incredibly thoughtful details from our Instagram story a couple weeks ago. Captured by the ever-talented Matt Blasing Photography, the local photography team allowed us a behind-the-scenes look at Katie + George’s celebration at Nature Pointe.
 
Taking all of us along on their journey to express the couple’s love story through the lens, Matt Blasing Photography showed us not only how stunning the day was, but also the magic that spawns from combining two unique lives into one. Now, with the final photos from the team, even more intimate details are clear. From the muted blue hues of the bridesmaids gowns, to the carefully considered features of their menus and invitations, Katie + George elucidated their values as a couples, and the intricate components of their love.
 
Blending their home states of New Mexico and Texas, Katie + George had a wedding logo created to represent their coalescence. Featured on their cake topper, paper products, and even some delicious cookies, the logo polka-dotted the details of the day, reminding guests and loved ones of just how special was this union.
 
Matt + Amy, of Matt Blasing Photography, were the first and only choice for Katie + George. After meeting the wedding professionals at a wedding show, the couple knew they were the perfect match. {They even booked Matt Blasing Photography before they had a venue!}
 

The morning after our wedding and we are still grinning ear to ear. The Blasing duo are the best wedding photography team any couple could dream of! […] Their kindness and friendliness from the start made us feel so comfortable! 

George, groom

 
And the feeling was mutual! Amy, when describing Katie + George’s wedding day, called it a labor of love.
 

Their families were both so supportive, and their wedding was truly a labor of the love of family and friends. Many pre- and post-wedding events were hosted by friends and family to celebrate their marriage.

We’re so grateful to have been a part of this wedding day, albeit only tangentially. Thank you Katie + George for allowing us a peak into your day of love, and to Matt Blasing Photography for capturing it so beautifully, as always!
 


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Special Thanks to these vendors
Venue: Nature Pointe Weddings and Events
Photography: www.mattblasing.com
Video: Southwest Wedding Films
DJ: Nathan Duran with Too Hot to Stop DJ Service
Floral: Shannon Loves Flowers
Wedding stationary, programs, and menus: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Hair/Makeup: Genica Lee, Makeup Artist
Officiant: Stephen Nickle
Catering: Mike Tafoya
Cake/Desserts: Le Chantilly Fine Pastries, Rude Boy Cookies, and Mike Tafoya
Dress Provided By: The Dressing Room West
Suit Provided By: Mr. Tux Formal Wear
Live Music: Hillary Smith and Chill House


 

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