How to Plan Your Ideal Honeymoon

The Wedding Collective team is dreaming about the sound of waves crashing upon the shore and, surprisingly, even the chaotic nature of navigating our way through theme parks. Along with our engaged couples, we’re especially dreaming about romantic getaways with our partners.

Although going on a romantic getaway seems unheard of these days, it doesn’t mean that it is going to be this way forever. In fact, we’re anxiously awaiting safer and brighter days where we can hop on the next flight to Disneyland! Now is the perfect time to plan ahead, make must-see lists, and get hyped up for your future honeymoon with the love of your life. For many engaged couples, planning a honeymoon may seem like the last thing you want to worry about, and it is often seen as a stressful task.

Were here to make planning your future honeymoon enjoyable and easy with some tips and tricks, all while connecting you with some of our favorite local wedding travel gurus. Tip #1…

1. Make Lists + Brainstorm

This is first on our list because, well, we love lists for planning, and second, it is the best way to stay organized throughout your planning process. Creating a list gives you something to refer back to as you move forward and will keep you on track! Plus, it’s exciting to actually write down all of the travel ideas that you’ve had in your head and see them become a reality.

When listing, start with all of the places you want to go for your romantic honeymoon – do you want to travel to a different country or domestically? Will you take a road trip or hop on a plane? What kind of lodging do you want? Break it up into categories and start looking at your options. Talk to your significant other about their desires and see what you can narrow it down to. You can download the template below to help you plan your dream honeymoon:

2. Budget, budget, budget

This may seem like the dreaded aspect of planning a honeymoon, but it is really the most important part of the process because it will keep you realistic about your options. I know, sadly, not everyone has a million bucks to drop on a romantic private seaside retreat with a personal chef, and if you do, mind taking us along with you? In all seriousness, though, budgeting helps you travel without the stress of running low on funds and will result in a more enjoyable vacation with your honey.

There are lots of free budgeting apps for your phone, or you could do it the old fashioned way. Another option is to have your travel agent help you out with your budget and spending limitations. Cue the gurus!

3. Find a Travel Agent

This is where some of our wedding travel gurus come in – hurray! Working with a travel agent is important because they are incredibly knowledgable on everything travel related and can ensure you’re getting the best for your budget, time, and energy. With your interests in mind, travel agents will take the stress out of booking lodging, finding flights, and site-seeing.

Many agents specialize in certain destinations, like our own lovely Renee Cuessy with Rope Drop Travel. Renee works with couples and families to plan Disney, Universal, cruise and all-inclusive vacations. As Disney and Universal lovers ourselves, we’re pretty jealous that she gets to do this as her job! If you’re looking to bring some magic into your honeymoon, then she’s your gal! You can get in contact with Renee here for more information.

4. Research the Local Culture

Once you’ve planned your destination, you can start creating your itinerary and get familiar with the local culture. If you’re traveling out of the country, let’s say to a resort off the coast of Mexico, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared to be able to communicate with the locals in order to get around and immerse yourself with new friends you’ll make a long the way. Exploring new food options, clothing, and languages is all part of the experience. Even if you’re staying in the states, respecting cultures should be your top priority in any place you’re unfamiliar with – and having fun + relaxing comes next!

If you want to plan your honeymoon at an awesome resort out of the country, or even in the country, another great local travel guru is Travel To Amazing Places. They will help you plan the most romantic getaways yet, all around the world! From that lovely resort off the coast of Mexico to hot-spots in Hawaii, the options are endless. You can get in contact with these experts here for more information.

5. Finally, Have Fun

Ah, the best part. You’re embarking on your first big, or even little, journey as newlyweds. The planning is over and now it’s all about having fun and getting your romance on. Keep a daily journal about your adventures and take plenty of photos that you can look back on in the future. It might even be a good idea to “disconnect” from your phone and social media so you can focus on your love for each other.

No matter what, you did it. You successfully planned a wedding AND a vacation and the rest of your life is ahead of you. Next step: share your wisdom with future brides + grooms. Do you have honeymoon tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below!

Header photo by Cam Storie Photography

Stress-free DIY Beauty at Home with Glam by Jeet

Here at Wedding Collective, despite the freedom that comes with wearing cozy clothes all day, one thing that we really miss is getting dolled up, makeup and all. We know that you stunning brides might feel the same and are using this time to find a skin-care routine to prepare for your wedding day. This is why we’ve teamed up with a local beauty expert, Glam by Jeet, to give you all of the guidance you need to feel beautiful without leaving the house. We can’t wait to get started on this exclusive makeover (while also wearing our adorable jammies, of course)!

Let’s create a routine

Hi ladies! My name is Jeet Bahra and I own Glam by Jeet, a mobile beauty business that brings all of your makeup and hair styling needs to your doorstep! One of the special services that I offer is my Shop and Learn class – a personal shopping experience where you and I go shopping at one of my favorite stores, Target, to get customized skincare, makeup products and hair tools that work for your complexion, features and needs! Afterwards, we go back to your home to go over how to use everything effectively and how to create a simple, work-appropriate look that can be turned into a date night look easily! I would love to share some of the helpful tips I’ve learned over the years to help you get ready at home, stay stress free, as well as inspired during this unprecedented time!

 Let’s go over a few things you can do at home to relax, feel beautiful, and take care of yourself during quarantine. These tips can also help you doll up for that FaceTime date you have with your fiancé on Friday night as well! 


A simple change every woman can make in general AND during quarantine is to develop a skincare routine. It gives you a chance to start and end your day with self-care and you can work in a facial + neck massage twice a day as well! There are many affordable products out there that are available at Target like I mentioned above (thank goodness for their Pick Up Option!) or Amazon Prime if you don’t live near one. 
Part one of a simple skincare routine that you can implement is washing your face twice a day, in both the morning and at bedtime. A simple cleanser such as Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial scrub which is gentle on everyone ($5-$6 on Amazon Prime) or Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash ($6-7 on Amazon Prime) is great! As a rule of thumb, if you tend to have dry skin, you will want to find a creamy, gentle, foam-free cleanser, and conversely if you tend to have oily skin, you want a gentle foaming cleanser! I do not believe in using harsh products on the skin. On days that you wear makeup, double cleanse your face + neck, and make sure that your makeup comes off in the first round of washing and your skin is being cleansed in the second round. 

For part two of this simple skincare routine, you should invest in a daytime moisturizer with at least SPF 15 in it (especially with our New Mexico sunshine!), and a nourishing night cream. Again, I love the skincare lines that Aveeno carries and recommend the Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($12-13 on Amazon Prime) and the Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream ($13-14 on Amazon Prime) because they are gentle on everyone and work on most complexions. If you have the budget for more, they sell eye cream, serum, and more! They also have acne fighting and age defying lines if you prefer those- so take some time for yourself and pick the line that works for you the best! Feel free to mix and match radiance for daytime and age defiance for night time for example.

After washing your face in the morning, take the time to massage your face + neck in gentle circles and apply your daytime moisturizer until it melts into your skin, and do the same thing with face wash and night cream before bedtime! Cleansing, moisturizing and nourishing your skin guarantees that makeup goes on smoother, so it’s well worth the investment!


Time to get glammed up

A basic makeup routine includes cleansing, moisturizing, applying a base, mascara, bronzer and blush, and lip product. Of course some wear more, and some wear less – but this is a very condensed version of my makeup application process on every client, so I highly recommend it! If you’re looking for quick coverup and don’t mind sheer coverage, a great tip is to put a quarter or half the amount of your daily foundation into your moisturizer in the morning for a quick, easy, DIY BB cream! You can layer more foundation on the areas where you need some extra coverage such as the under eye or a blemish if you’d like. If you’re prone to creasing or shine, you can lightly set your problem areas with translucent powder and a fluffy, big brush or damp beauty sponge. 


Pro Tip: If your under eyes give you issues, apply some eye cream or moisturizer in that area, and then apply a peach corrector in a sheer layer for lighter skin tones, and orange corrector if you have deeper skin tones and see how big of a difference it makes! It’s truly magical. 


Another great tip for minimalism and turning makeup products into multi-use tools is to use your bronzer and blush as eyeshadow and lip color in addition to contour and cheek color! This method creates a beautiful monochromatic look that is fresh, clean and does the job! Powder or liquid blush looks great on the lips if you layer a clear gloss on top as well! If you have time or feel like playing with a little more makeup than this, you can smudge some black or brown eyeliner along your lash line for a beautiful enhancement, and lightly fill in your brows with some brow powder that is a shade lighter than your hair color! 

This tip is a blessing during these times – a beauty trend that is taking the makeup world by storm right now is bushy, thick brows. This means that your brows being grown out more than usual is not a bad thing at all! If you’re afraid to butcher your eyebrows that your esthetician has spent so much time shaping for you- do not worry. Consider plucking only stray hairs and then use brown mascara on your lashes AND your brows to fill them in and set them! Just gently brush the brow hair upward and let them dry. It’s a fun, different look worth trying and is all over celebrity beauty pages on Instagram!  Check out @nikki_makeup for some inspiration and amazing Sunday tutorials! When quarantine is over, you can decide to keep the natural, full, bushy look going or you can go right back to your esthetician with your head held high – butcher free! 

I wanted to show you some past clients with different skin and hair tones that are examples of very light makeup application using moisturizer, foundation + concealer only where necessary (under eyes and blemishes), light brow powder or eyeshadow to enhance brows, liquid blush on the lips/cheeks/eyes, bronzer or bronzer toned shadows to enhance bone structure and eye shape, smudged pencil eyeliner along the lashline, and light false lashes because the makeovers were done for photo shoots or weddings- however to modify for our current situation, a couple of layers of good mascara look gorgeous and will do the trick for a beautiful every day look. 

Feel free to schedule a one-on-one FaceTime consultation with me on my website contact form (www.glambyjeet.com) if you’d like a personalized lesson or help shopping on amazon! I’d love to help you feel your best! 


Stay safe and hope these tips make you feel beautiful! 

You can learn more about Glam by Jeet by visiting her here.

12 Months of Giveaways, Just For You

Hey you! We know that you love giveaways, because we do too – especially awesome wedding giveaways. You’ve worked tirelessly to plan your wedding, or maybe you’re just getting started, but either way you’re looking for ways to 1) save money 2) get the vendors you want and 3) execute the best wedding possible. Hint: we’re about to give you some special giveaway news that you might not know yet and you’re in for a treat!

You might have seen a spread in our adorable little guide that looks something like the image above, and you might have wondered, “what is this all about?” The “12 Months of Giveaways” is the wedding community’s way of saying thank you for being you and congratulations on your engagement all wrapped up in one pretty package of giveaway goodies! Each participating vendor chose something special that they thought local couples will fall in love with, and to make it even more exciting, each giveaway prize is valued at $300 or more. A lucky couple is chosen each and every month (from April 2020 to April 2021) to select a prize from the list. Yep, it’s happening all year long, and you get to choose your prize.

Here is a list of this years amazing giveaway prizes:

1. Designer’s Luxe bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere package that includes a 1 hour complimentary “Wedding Overview” one-on-one coordination session – valued at $375, courtesy of Bosque Flower Studio.

2. “Couples Spa Day Away” including a 90 minute couple’s massage with choice of shea butter or hot stone enhancement, spa lunch for two, and all day access to spa amenities – valued at $350, courtesy of The Remedy Day Spa.

3. A hard side luggage set to be delivered right to your doorstep – valued at $350, courtesy of Lucky n Love Travel.

4. Ten complimentary table linen runners – valued at $300, courtesy of Simply Decor & Events.

5. A bridal bouquet and matching boutonniere – valued at $300, courtesy of The Flower Company.

6. A complimentary engagement session and an 11×14 matted print – valued at $375, courtesy of Briana Nicole Photography.

7. A 5 hour rental of any flower wall available in the Albuquerque Area including delivery, setup, and breakdown – valued at $450, courtesy of Wall of Enchantment.

8. A $300 gift card good towards any wedding decor (bouquet, hair pieces, table swag, etc.) – valued at $300, courtesy of Simply Sola Decor.

9. Complimentary engagement session and a custom framed canvas – valued at $360, courtesy of Moon + Midnight Photo.

10. Two complimentary makeup applications – valued at $300, courtesy of Betty Rose by Alanna.

11. Lash application – Vixen Initial Application + two (2 week) touch ups – valued at $307, courtesy of The Lash Boutique.

12. “Invite and RSVP Coordination” which includes invitation selection, design, assembly, mailing, and RSVP tracking – valued at $360, courtesy of Wild in Wonder Events & Design.

Ready to enter to win? Here’s how you do it:

  1. Head over to https://www.weddingcollectivenm.com/deals-tips/12-months-giveaways
  2. Peruse all of your awesome options.
  3. Scroll down to enter to win!
  4. Boom! You’re all done!

May the odds be ever in your favor.

DIY Catering with Gourmet Table Catering

We love food and we love our catering vendors. There are so many different options, from full course meals to tasty hors d’oeuvres. We are all about the traditional menu options, but have you ever thought of choosing a more creative option when it comes to catering? For example, something more interactive and fun that will have all of your guests creating unforgettable memories together?

Gourmet Table Catering offers the most unique experience ever: DIY meals at your very own table. They’re taking “do-it-yourself” to a whole new level by providing guests with their own mini stove tops, pans, and supplies to cook a meal at the comfort of their seat–and what’s the best part? You can cook the food to your liking! Not only is this loads of fun, but the menu is delicious, too! Want to take a peak at the menu? Check it out here.

Jamie + Matt founded Gourmet Table Catering, and their story is a special one for sure because the business came to life on the day of their own wedding. Jamie wanted to find a way to combine the table-top DIY meal experiences she had as a child with unique and affordable catering, thus this incredible business was born. If we could describe GTC in three words, it would be: creative, unique, and affordable.

Their home base is in Las Cruces, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to that area. They offer a wide range of services to local couples all around New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. That’s one little perk when it comes to prepping your own meal at the location of your wedding–the food can travel longer distances than traditional catering!

If you’re looking for catering for your wedding and want to have an unforgettable meal experience, look no further than Gourmet Table Catering. With years of experience and plenty of praise, you can’t go wrong. To learn more and get in contact, you can check them out here.

What is ‘Wedding Collective Cash’?

We are just days away from the one, the only, Diamond Dash Wedding Show! Before we head to the Hyatt Regency ABQ, though, we’re giving you the inside scoop on Wedding Collective Cash. We have to inform you before we go any further, we’re not handing out the real Benjamin’s. After all, we can’t all be as cool as The Oprah Winfrey Show. Instead, we’ve created these adorable little wedding service coupons, valued up to $500, that can be used toward participating vendors that you meet at the show.

How do you get your hands on these little gems, you ask? The early bird gets the worm! You must be one of the first 200 brides/grooms to sign in at registration to receive your five $100 dollar coupons, along with some other awesome goodies.

The first guests heading into the ballroom at the 2019 Diamond Dash Wedding Show | Photographic Perspectives

Each vendor gets to choose how much Wedding Collective Cash they accept. For example, a floral vendor might accept $100 toward a service, while a DJ might accept all $500 toward a service. It is important to check in with them and see what they’re willing to offer you because you might just get a sweet deal on your dream vendor! While perusing all of your options, and trust us, there are a lot, you’ll notice that participating vendors will have sign on their booth indicating that they accept Wedding Collective Cash. As we’ve said time and time again: if you see the sign, don’t be shy! 

Here’s a little tip: start thinking about the vendors you know you absolutely want to meet with before you head into the ballroom filled to the brim with experts and excitement. It can become overwhelming having so much wedding inspiration all around you, so make sure you prioritize your to-do list before you get sucked into the other fun stuff. This gives you the chance to make it to your vendors early, and they’ll be sure to let you know if they accept your Wedding Collective Cash so you can secure your spot with them.

Wedding Collective Cash expires the day of the show when all of the vendors leave, but sometimes our dedicated and oh, so loving vendors will let you use them up until a later date. It’s really up to their discretion, and we’d like to keep it that way. They’re there to help YOU create your most memorable wedding, and sometimes you need a little bit of extra time to decide. Wedding vendors totally understand and will have your back. Just make sure to ask them when they expire–communication is key! There’s a little marriage advice to you, too, free of Wedding Collective Cash charge. Hehe.

We can’t wait to see all of you this Sunday, the 23rd, at the Hyatt Regency ABQ!

12pm – 1pm – First Look Wedding Lounge | GET TICKETS HERE

1pm – 4pm – Diamond Dash Wedding Show | GET TICKETS HERE

You’re Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

Your partner popped the big question and you said yes–congratulations! Although the excitement of your engagement has your stomach filled with butterflies and you wish you could hold onto these perfect and stress-free moments forever, you are probably starting to wonder when the chaos of wedding planning is going to begin. More importantly, you’re probably wondering where to start, and that is where we come in! Before we go any further, we want to tell you that planning your wedding is meant to be filled with personality, joy, laughter, and bonding. It can truly be an amazing experience for you AND your loved ones, and we encourage you to have some fun!

The First Steps

Let’s take a deep breath. Sit down. Close your eyes. Imagine your ideal wedding. What do you see? What does your dress look like? What does your suit look like? Is your wedding inside or outside? Do you see trees? What about a chapel? How many people do you want surrounding you while you say ‘I do’? These thoughts can quickly become overwhelming and we know that money and time are the first things that come to mind. For just a moment, imagine that these concepts don’t exist and then open your mind to the possibilities! Instead of seeing them as negative thoughts, turn them into opportunities. This is the moment where you let your personality and imagination take control. After you’ve designed your ideal wedding, now you can take it to the drawing board and decide on the details.

However, we know that some people enjoy having a professional to guide them in their first steps, and that is why wedding + event planners exist! One of our own lovely wedding planners, Danielle of D Events and Weddings, is an expert in her craft and offers full service event planning just for you from beginning to end. Remember that wedding you just imagined, the one that seemed impossible? She’s here to make it possible–and she’s done it countless times before. Yup, you can breathe easy now.

Jasper K Photography | Black Bow Events

Local Wedding Vendors

So you’ve reached out to your wedding planner, or maybe you’ve decided to DIY, but either way you’re ready to start building your team of love experts. Find your venue, caterer and get all of the high priority planning squared away. Your wedding planner will be right by your side during this process for smooth sailing and emotional support (it’s not in their job description, but we know that they must be pretty good at it). After that, it’s time to grab your gals or your bros and have some fun. Dress and suit shopping, creating ‘save the dates‘, florals–local wedding vendors will have everything you need without the hassle of ordering online and waiting to see your product. We do love a good Etsy shopping spree, but we also encourage you to support your community because they’re kind of flippin’ awesome.

You can also get discounts on local vendors when you have a wedding planner like Black Bow Events, another local business who has years of experience planning amazing weddings. We love that event planners are there every step of the way and have cultivated connections with the wedding community so that planning your wedding can be stress-free and budget friendly.

Brandon Harwell Photography | D Events and Weddings

Just Months and Even Days Away

The wedding is months away, and everything is pretty much settled. Well, as settled as it can be–we get it. Now it’s time for all of the final preparations, like teeth whitenings, spa days, gym memberships, guest accommodations, etc. A wedding planner can help you get set up with all of these things if you’ve lost the energy! But beyond all of this, it’s your time to rest and focus on the love between you and your honey. These moments before the big day are unique and exciting, they should be embraced. So put down your notebook filled with wedding planning notes, go grab the love of your life, and remember why you’re doing it all–for the love.

Feel like you need more wedding planning help + inspiration? You can check out our own website here where you can find upcoming wedding shows, local vendors, discounts, and giveaways. We would be honored to be a part of your planning process and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Lavel Marie Photography | D Events and Weddings + Black Bow Events

Header photo: Lavel Marie Photography

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

New Mexico History & Culture: Celina’s Biscochitos

Beloved New Mexico, you never cease to amaze us with your abundance of talented people who have a strong connection to their culture. We are so fortunate to work with a quite a few of these individuals who let their passions and love of their history guide them through their work. We would be silly if we didn’t share these local wedding vendors with the world, so without further ado, we would like to introduce you to Celina’s Biscochitos!

Celina’s Biscochitos started when Celina decided to carry a family tradition by reimagining what she could do with her grandmother’s recipe for biscochitos. Like many of our other driven vendors, Celina was able to create a successful business from the ground up with her love of “sweetness” guiding the way. What makes Celina’s Biscochitos unique, though, is that she did it all in just about 6 years and was able to put her own spin on a classic tradition.

via @celinasbiscochitos

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we love to take risks and try new things. This is why we admire Celina’s Biscochitos so much, because her company takes it to the next level and they aren’t afraid to be different. In fact, they completely embrace it! Have you ever heard of a green chile pecan biscochito? What about a pumpkin pie biscochito bar? Yep, it was a first for us too! These are just a couple of the delicious flavors that they offer alongside the traditional biscochito that we New Mexicans love so much. We can’t forget to mention the special shapes cookies that they have to offer as well!

Pumpkin Pie Biscochito bars and Pecan Pie Biscochito bars via @celinasbiscochitos

Classic. Authentic. Delicious. This is how we would describe Celina’s Biscochitos. Even though the company prides itself on innovation and uniqueness, Celina still believes that the classic ingredients of a biscochito and the family traditions behind the recipe build the foundation of a great cookie. And we love that.

via @celinasbiscochitos

We’re getting hungry just thinking about all of these sweets—we wish we could get cookies delivered straight to Perfect Wedding Guide‘s door. Actually, come to think of it, we can! Celina’s Biscochitos ships goodies Monday through Friday to almost everywhere in the United States (some restrictions do apply). If you’re a local or just visiting Albuquerque, make sure to stop by their shop at 404 Osuna Rd. NW, Ste A, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM  87107.

Zero-Waste Wedding: 5 Ways to Get There

If you know anything about your New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we love two things. One, New Mexico; two, weddings. Which seems pretty obvious, but it really is as simple as that.

Only, our love for New Mexico transcends an affection for the rich cultures, venerable mesas and mountains, and traditional architecture that surrounds us. There’s a foundation of respect for our home that supports the love we feel for all of those beautiful and inspiring New Mexican features. So, in our small ways, we try very hard to preserve the perfection of our wild state.

Whether it be through recycling, supporting local, or educating our community, each little step culminates to make a powerful act of love for New Mexico. Though of course, we adore weddings as much as we do our state, so combining values to create a zero-waste wedding that uplifts our local community, creates a killer party, and offers some kindness back to the land — does it get much better than that?

Chances are, if you’re reading about how to incorporate zero-waste principles into your wedding, then you know it really doesn’t get better than that. Before we jump in though, give your self a little pat on the back for taking extra steps to support your community by booking local vendors and reducing the waste your wedding creates. Every little thing counts!

So — after consulting with the local wedding professionals who are experts in their respective crafts — we’ve pulled together 5 simple tips to reduce waste at your wedding in New Mexico! Because we all get to enjoy the landscapes around us, let’s do our best to make sure the generations after us get to enjoy them, too.

1. All reusable, all the time.

VanArsdale & Sanchez Wedding - PreCeremony-43
Matt Blasing Photography

Whether you’re having a small, intimate elopement, or inviting every single cousin, people will come expecting to eat at your wedding. Eating as a group, as lovely and communal as it can be, also offers up a lot of waste if you use single-use materials.

Luckily, with local and environmentally-conscious catering companies like Cafe Venture or Blue Plate Catering, you can have all reusable serving ware! Think cloth napkins, silverware, ceramic plates, and the like. Not only will this give your wedding a higher-end vibe, but all these things can be washed and reused after your wedding, instead of sitting in a landfill for the next several hundred years.

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Matt Blasing Photography

If the local catering company you’re working with doesn’t offer reusable serving ware, linens, and china like these guys do, then don’t fret! Thrift stores can still be your best friend. Grab vintage, reusable silverware and dishes, and pull it all off with an eclectic, artistic vibe. Then afterwards, you can give away the thrifted materials, or just donate them right back!

If you go this route, be sure to communicate with your caterer ahead of time, so no wires get crossed on the day of your wedding.

2. Power in the Flowers

Tori Photography

When it comes to floral arrangements, the best advice we have is to go silk! Does that seem counterintuitive?

While its true that flowers are compostable, you’ll want to pause before tossing them in your garden or local composting center. A majority of live flowers are treated with preservatives to ensure their long-lasting scent and beauty makes it through your ceremony. So before you bury them, be sure your florist sources from an organic farm like Europa, otherwise all those preservatives end up in your soil and, subsequently, the groundwater.

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With silk arrangements — like the gorgeous, can’t-believe-it’s-not-alive bouquets from Charlotte’s Flowers — you have a bit more wiggle room for reusing. The immortal bouquets can be rearranged into home decor after the wedding, used in future craft projects, or gifted to a friend.

Whether you go with organic live flowers, or silk arrangements, or just a bundle of chamomile from Trader Joe’s, you can always reuse the flowers from your ceremony for your reception. Chances are you and your bridal party aren’t going to be carrying your bouquets all night long, so repurpose them! It’ll save you money and reduce your floral carbon footprint.

3. Something old, nothing new.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

It’s true — the thought of buying a wedding dress from a thrift store sounds a bit horrifying to some. After all, this is the gown you’ll be wearing in hundreds of photographs, videos, and memories, is it worth it to risk it?

Thankfully, we have amazing local wedding professionals who can make a less-new dress totally risk-free. With shops like Bridal Elegance by Darlene, you can buy a gown ‘off the rack.’ Which, for those who don’t live and breathe bridal, just means it’s a sample of the gown, not one that was ordered, manufactured, and shipped just for you. With in-store seamstresses available for your wildest alteration dreams, too, there’s hardly a worry about making sure it fits in all the right places.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

Or you can opt for a second-hand gown from specialty shops like The Dressing Room West in Santa Fe. This local shop carries off the rack gowns as well, but they come as excess directly from designers who need to make space in their warehouses. Or sit down with Terese Rose Designs, a local custom bridal gown designer, and have a chat about sourcing fabrics and potential choices for your gown.

Last option, and a favorite for your wallet, is to haunt thrift stores and vintage shops. With seamstresses across the state, there’s some serious magic that can happen with a secondhand gown. It’s worth it to give new life to an old gown that might have just gone into the trash, if not for the power of a trained eye and tuned sewing machine.

4. Make things easy for your guests.

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Kayla Kitts Photography

As someone who personally composts, I’ll be honest: I don’t always compost when I’m out and about. Mostly because compost bins aren’t readily available around our state yet, and holding on to my food waste until I’m able to get home is smelly, messy, and not super convenient when I’m running around the town.

So you can expect a similar response at your wedding, even from your greenest of green friends. But luckily, you can mitigate this with a little bit of foresight during your wedding planning process.

Chat with your venue coordinator! When booking a venue, ask the coordinator ahead of time if they have enough trash cans to have one for landfill trash, recyclables, and compostables, all separated and labeled clearly. If not, bring your own!

Plus, if you’ve decided to book a local invitation and stationery company like Funky Olive Design or Pennysmith’s Paper, you can have your trash labels custom made. Then, there’s no sacrificing aesthetics for environmental-consciousness. Take it a step further by reusing the signs in your own home too, to make it easier for guests and kids that might be around to throw things away.

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5. Favors in your favor

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Chrisi K Photography

As much as your friends and family love you, they might not love your favors. Which is okay! A lot of personalities are coming together in one space to celebrate you and your partner, so trying to please all of them is virtually impossible.

Keep this in mind when choosing your favors. If 1, 10, or 100 guests don’t take home their favors, what will happen to them?

You can go with an adorable little plant like Aja and Johnny did for their wedding — so in the off chances these get tossed outside, at least they’ll compost. (Or root and grow right there!) Plus the metal tins are reusable in a million different ways, so if the succulent gets replanted, the tin hopefully won’t go to waste. And anyways, how cute are they?!

Or be like Lynsey and Kent, who had one of our very favorite apple orchard weddings.

Arielei Kinzer Photography

Their apple-themed favors were not only delicious and charming, but super earth-friendly! For those who opted not to take their little jars home, the couple got some extra homemade apple butter for their own family. For those who did decide to enjoy the treat, they got a reusable jar and a delectable spread to remember the wedding by.

So, whether it’s through your dress, venue, or favors — whatever steps you decide to take to preserve all the beauty of New Mexico, we thank you. We’d like to keep loving this state and the weddings in it for many more generations to come, and a few choices on your part help to ensure that’s possible.

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3 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Ring in New Mexico

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we try to not make too much of a fuss about any one particular facet of the wedding planning process. Instead, we keep it light to remind engaged couples that, despite the budgets, in-laws, and hundreds of tiny details they’re in the midst of dealing with, it’s all bringing them closer to a happy new life.

That being said, when it comes to your rings — a little bit of fuss is usually recommended! While you’re actually talking to the person holding it, your engagement ring is still the very first ‘yes’ in a long line of wedding-related proclamations. Then, later, your wedding ring becomes a staple part of your every day life, living as a sparkling reminder of your vow to love til death do you part.

So, not to stir up unnecessary anxieties, but we don’t want you to live the rest of your life feeling anything but that same joy you felt when you said ‘yes’ every time you look down at your hands. Luckily, the incredible wedding jewelers of New Mexico feel the same way. Which is why local shops like Ooh Aah Jewelry have dedicated their expert knowledge of jewelry-making to their community of engaged couples.

After 30 years of operating in Albuquerque’s central hub, Nob Hill, Ooh Aah Jewelry has become a beloved landmark of the area. It’s the expertise of their team which elevates the jewelry scene in New Mexico to new heights, and offers couples a sense of confidence moving forward with their jewelry choices.

So, along with some brand new designs that show off Ooh Aah‘s impeccable ability to blend the modern with the timeless, we have 3 expert-approved tips for choosing your wedding and engagement rings. To contact their team for even more advice, guidance, and gorgeous gems, you can reach Ooh Aah Jewelry here.

1. Start early, like, even earlier than you’d expect

If you have the time in your busy schedules, start your ring shopping early. Once you’ve done some research on your budget, local jewelry shops, and the stone + cut combinations you like, try to jump right in to actually trying the rings on.

If you can choose your wedding ring and engagement ring together — even better! You only really need 3-4 months before your wedding date to ensure there’s plenty of time for your jeweler to make custom changes and size the ring. But if you can get them both together, that’s one less step to worry about in the middle of planning a wedding, and it means you don’t have to go hunting for something to match your engagement ring, especially if its unique.

2. Keep your current and future lifestyles in mind

What does your life look like on a daily basis? Are you or your partner in the military? Do either of you play a sport or work out daily? Do you play an instrument? Are you planning on starting any of these activities sometime soon? All of these things, which might not come to mind right away, can seriously affect your wedding ring choice.

While your jeweler at Ooh Aah Jewelry will know what you can wear while playing a violin or being deployed, they won’t know what to recommend for you if they don’t know about these aspects of your lifestyle. So, if there’s anything that could affect the wear of your ring, be sure to let them know! A simple fix like thinner bands, different gem stones, or stronger metals will be in your future.

3. Switch things up a bit

Some engaged couples have been dreaming of their wedding rings since childhood, and some haven’t given them a second thought until just now, when they started reading this blog post. Whichever party you fit into, it usually bears repeating that switching things up a bit will do you some good.

We, as people, get stuck in our styles and habits pretty fiercely. Behind the glass counter though, a lot of jewelers have seen magical things happen when a couple decides to try on a ring that’s completely different from what they’ve had in mind. Now, you might not switch from a simple band to an ornate vintage cut on a whim, but it could open you up to different style combinations. So, especially if you’re having trouble falling in love with a ring, try on something a little out of character, and see where it takes you!