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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5. Favors in your favor
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.