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!}

30709080_10156428120149114_414624056717869056_oBooth from Shayla Edenfield Photography

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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39543483_10156761868899114_6295161865286713344_oBliss Salon and Spa
  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. 
27982749_10156221234314114_7243046454168666338_oCasi Sueno Weddings + Events
  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
25299069_10156054267149114_6931178646239364789_nCasa Rondena Winery
27629271_10156221231669114_7818767282779275304_oElla Blu Bridal
27797504_10156221231239114_946640457785056628_o.jpgBlack Swan Events

 

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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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Coffee Culture for ABQ Brides

What does coffee have to do with wedding planning, you ask? Well, actually, it’s an integral part of the entire process. First, coffee calls us all into the living world. No great wedding was ever planned without some sort of caffeine to boost motivation and research skills. {Don’t fact check us on that one.}

Then there’s the meetings. Meetings with florists, officiants, DJs, oh my! Sure a lot of wedding professionals will have brick and mortar offices for you to come explore their services or products — a gown shop, for example — but many vendors operate on the fly, like some freelance makeup artists. What better place to meet and chat than one of Albuquerque’s several darling coffee shops?

{Not to mention, both local coffee shops below carry the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine. So, really, you can do all your wedding planning in one spot!}

And just to make things a little easier for you — ’cause wedding planning is genuinely hard work — we decided to visit a coffee shop or two and give you our honest opinion. Because we love our local engaged couples, and because we love coffee, of course. So stay tuned for more ratings and ravings on coffee and tea, and check out our critique of Breve and Trifecta Coffee below!

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Breve

I was instantly drawn to the fact that Breve had doddle notebooks and chalk on their tables for guests to use while they enjoyed their delicious coffee or crepes. The manager was super friendly and accommodating to my preference in iced chai tea, although it was not on the menu. It was the perfect space to gather for any planning, hang outs or to work on some homework. I will definitely be back!
Imyraly

Breve has a welcoming and open environment full of creative spaces such as doodle pads open to anyone. I enjoyed a Thai Tea, something that was new to me. This was a wonderful blend of spices and sweetness that did not disappoint!
Bellah

Teddy (the manager) took great care of us with quickly capturing our orders without affecting the quality…and my Vietnamese Coffee (coffee made with sweetened condensed milk poured over with ice) was the best way to start the day!  It’s rich, cold, sweet goodness didn’t need any added cream or sugar….was perfect the way it was.

Shauna


Breve has been set up for distribution for a while and are always so accommodating, friendly and kind! They just switched to a wire rack for distribution because they are such a popular place to pick up a guide. When we went there for coffee, I had the white mocha with coconut milk and no whip and it was amazing!!

Jennifer

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 Trifecta Coffee

I got their hot version of the White Cin. It was warm and delicious with the perfect touch of sweetness from the cinnamon! I never knew I loved cinnamon in my coffee so much until I had this coffee!

Jenna


Trifecta coffee served a delicious “White Cin” coffee — sweet, but not too sweet. The space was decorated with super cool paintings of all of the countries where there coffee beans were from; it was a great unique touch! The baristas there were nothing but sweet and welcoming!

Bellah


From the moment I walked into the coffee shop, I was warmly greeted and immediately noticed the yummy array of baked goods. One of the employees noticed me eyeing the scones and told me that all their baked goods were baked fresh daily. Of course, I was sold once she mentioned that! I had the lemon cake which was super moist! The icing had a strong lemony zest to it. I also ordered The White Cin, which you can order hot or cold. I ordered mine cold. It contained two shots of espresso, white mocha, milk and is topped with cinnamon. If you love strong coffee, this is your place! I was also able to try, The Reload which is blended with ice and hot, provided by the local personal trainers, espresso, coconut milk, banana, cocoa powder, egg white protein and vanilla. I will definitely be back for that one! I love supporting local shops because they are always so happy to greet their customers!
Imyraly
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So pick up a copy of the guide, grab a White Cin or iced chai, and get to wedding planning! Breve + Trifecta Coffee will both welcome you with open arms.
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PWG Elite Awards: Vote Now!

While it’s true that we, the Perfect Wedding Guide team, do have some authority when it comes to showcasing Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals, we fully admit to not knowing everything. To stay humble, each year we reach out to hundreds of local engaged — or recently married couples — to get the full scoop on what it’s like to work with vendors like Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, or Prairie Star.

{Because, if we could get to see these professionals in action by having a wedding every weekend, we totally would. Unfortunately, half our team is already married.}

Then we take all this incredible info from real couples, and we bestow the Perfect Wedding Guide Elite Awards to the hardest working, kindest, and most deserving wedding vendors! And guess what?

Voting for 2018 is open NOW!

Here’s your chance to, with a few clicks, pass on all you learned while planning your own wedding, to other engaged couples! Your vote is essentially your recommendation to all the amazing love-birds of Albuquerque + Santa Fe. So if you really vibed with or were impressed by a wedding professional who worked to make your day special, here’s a super simple way to pass back some of the love they showed you!

{Not married yet? That’s alright too — feel free to vote for any vendors who have made your planning process a little more enjoyable, because that’s just as important too.}

You can vote for your favorite business owners HERE

Then, keep an eye peeled for the winners who will be announced later this year, and see if your fave team made the cut!

Oh yeah, and those amazing vendors we mentioned at the beginning of this post? {Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, and Prairie Star} They’re just a few of last year’s venerable winners. You can check out the rest of 2017’s PWG Elite Award Winners here, and follow the links included to book them for your wedding, too!

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now outdoor marriage engagement

Matt Blasing Photography

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now venue marriage Prairie Star ceremony

Prairie Star by Maura Jane Photography

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now officiant ceremony local award winner

Kelly Atkin, of Amor Ceremonies

 

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12 Months of Giveaways {Enter for your chance to win!}

As much as we love to make magic happen from behind our computer screens, the most fulfilling part of our Perfect Wedding Guide work is getting to make a real difference for one, lucky local couple. So… we do it 12 times a year!

{Which might seem indulgent, but it’s actually pretty easy when we have so many incredible business owners to help make it happen.}

If you haven’t heard of the 12 Months of Giveaways before, now is your chance to toss your name in the running. It’s a local-only, monthly wedding giveaway with prizes for you to choose from that are all valued at over $300!

{Out-of-state couples who are planning a wedding in New Mexico can apply too, of course, because we’re so happy to have you here in our gorgeous state.}

Okay, okay, on to the good part: the prizes from local vendors are listed below! You can register for your chance to win at the button below, or by clicking here. It’s as simple as that! You’ll receive a free copy of the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine, and have a chance to win every month of 2018.

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Maura Jane PhotographyMaura Jane Photography

2018 Prize List

1.  Complimentary engagement session and 8×8 album book – valued at $395, courtesy of Tori Photography

2. A free bridal bouquet – valued at $325, courtesy of The Flower Co.

3. A personalized, and fully officiated wedding ceremony as well as preside over the rehearsal – valued at $250, courtesy of A Grand Beginning.

4. Complimentary filming of your love story (digital proposal story) – valued at $375, courtesy of Loving Image Videography.

5. A REVEAL boudoir experience gift card (The Bombshell Session) – valued at $325, courtesy of REVEAL.

6. Four hours of DJ and emcee services for a wedding reception – valued at $375, courtesy of Mixx The Beat Productions.

7. Gold photo booth package to include 4 hours of photo time, 2 full-time hosts, standard backdrop, unlimited color prints, prop box, and deluxe memory book – valued at $800, courtesy of Selfie Sensations by Wimberly Productions LLC.

8. Special edition keepsake photo album set includes three photo albums, one 12×12”, and two 6×8” albums – valued at $325, made by Peregrine Arts Bindery in Santa Fe.

9. 10 free centerpieces or 40 chair covers – valued at $400, courtesy of Simply Decor & Events, and $50 off the booking fee for The View Event Center.

10. Bride and Groom Bliss Spa Day package to include two 60 minute massages, two 60 minute facials and all day access to hot tub, sauna, and relaxation lounge – valued at $370, courtesy of The Remedy Day Spa.

11. One night complimentary stay in our bridal suite, including breakfast for two – valued at $300, courtesy of Hacienda Dona Andrea.

12. Bride To Be Package: includes an Essential Manicure; Pedicure; Signature Body Polish & Facial. 4 ½ hour of services – valued at $350 from Isleta Spa, courtesy of Isleta Resort and Casino.

 

enter to win

Lauren Cherie PhotographyLauren Cherie Photography

 

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Trend Alert! Snow in Spring with Cutmaster Music

Happy spring equinox, you beautiful brides-to-be! This winter was pretty mild here in New Mexico, but we can still celebrate the warmer weather coming, right? Right. Unfortunately though, with such a pleasant holiday season behind us, our chances for seeing one of the most magnificent natural occurrences is behind us now.

{Snow!}

It’s true! Even if you’re not a fan of the cold, like me, you have to admit that snow, with all its delicate glistening glory, is unlike anything else. Nothing beats watching your whole city wake up softened and calmed by a blanket of powder, all from the haven of your toasty warm bed. Plus, if you’re living in the desert like we are, it’s rare presence is all the more special.

{Getting a little carried away here, can you tell we’ve been feeling very snow deprived?}

So thank goodness for Cutmaster Music! As if their team wasn’t already known for the unparalleled fun they bring to every wedding, party, and event, now they’re offering falling snow. Yes, you read that right — falling snow for your wedding!

No matter the time of year now, with the help of Cutmaster Music, you can beckon the ephemeral elegance of a gentle winter snow to celebrate your union of love. Does it get anymore romantic than that?

{But wait — is it messy? That was my first thought too. Well, second thought — my first was “That’s amazing, can I hire them to just make it snow outside my bedroom window?” But the answer is no — it’s not even a little messy! Instead of pieces of plastic, paper, or anything else that might leave a trace, this snow evaporates before it even hits the floor. No cleaning, just dreamy.}

Cutmaster Music team, thank you so much for this. The Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding community had no idea we what we were missing.

Contact Cutmaster Music for your wedding or celebration here, and get a little taste of the snowflakes below! Videography by Emily Joanne.

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Talitha Tarro Photography

Venue: Nature Pointe Weddings

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Inside Scoop on PWG Buck {$500!}

If you’ve had the opportunity to attend one of our PWG Wedding Shows, then you’ve probably heard the term PWG Bucks tossed around a few times. Sometimes we do little giveaways on our Snapchat {pwgnm} or Instagram too, but typically the $500 is reserved for the beautiful engaged couples who attend our Diamond Dash shows.

But wait… What are PWG Bucks exactly?

They’re basically like free wedding service coupons except — get this — you choose what service to use them on. Each participating vendor will have a special package or service available to you that you can take up to $500 off!

But how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your $500 in PWG Bucks?

Our first tip is to start thinking about PWG Bucks when you register for the event. Come to the show already knowing which vendors you still need to connect with. That way, when you one of our lovely team members checks off your name with a smile and hands over your $500 in PWG Bucks, you’ll know where you’re going to use them.

The Bucks come in $100 increments, which means you can spend 5 on 5 different vendors, or 3 on 1 vendor, etc., etc. Big decisions, we know. After you’re all checked in for the event though, you’re ready to jump into the ballroom that’s packed full of local photographers, officiants, invitation companies, and everything else you need to plan a wedding. {Not to mention, snacks, champagne, a couture fashion show, and door prizes given away ever 30 minutes but, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.}

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With your $500 in hand, you can peruse the incredible display booths, chat with vendors, and fill up on little freebies from the local wedding professionals. Each vendor who is participating in the PWG Bucks program will have a little sign on their booth clearly indicating that they will accept the Bucks as a form of payment. So here’s our next tip: if you see the sign, don’t be shy! 

Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s vendors are incredible, it’s true, but unfortunately they’re not mind-readers. If you think you might like to spend a few of your PWG Bucks on one of their services, let them know! They’ll direct you to whichever packages are available to you, how much you can save with the PWG Bucks, and really, it’s just a great way to get the conversation going. Essentially, the PWG Bucks are your icebreakers and your wallet-savers in one.

Lastly, don’t forget to ask when they expire. PWG Bucks themselves expire at 4pm, when the wedding show comes to a close. But luckily, because the local wedding professionals are ever so kind, most of them will allow you to redeem them up to a week — or even 6 weeks! — after the show. 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! It’s all about communication.

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So there you have it, the briefest of rundowns on how to get the most out of your $500 in PWG Bucks. Because not ever budget is limitless, and not every bride is going to splurge or save on the same services. Use this cash however you’d like, so long as it’s going toward creating the wedding day of your dreams.

 

Questions? Leave your comment below!

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