12 Months of Giveaways: Free Stuff for Engaged Couples Only

Was it Winston Churchill who said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give,” so many years ago? We’re sure it was, and we’re even more sure that he’s still absolutely right. Giving back to the community who supports our dreams has been and will always be the fuel and fire that keeps us doing what we do. (Which is fostering connections between engaged couples and the local wedding community, in case you forgot.)

But with such exciting things always happening in our little Perfect Wedding Guide world here in New Mexico — wedding shows, luncheons, the magazine, and much more — it would be very easy to hold this principle in abeyance, though. Which is why we created the 12 Months of Giveaways!

At first glance, the 12 Months of Giveaways is a totally free, totally local giveaway opportunity for engaged couples in New Mexico to win prizes from wedding businesses, valued at over $300, that happens every single month. (Yep, all twelve of ’em.) Digging a little deeper though, the 12 Months of Giveaways is also reminder for us to pause, reflect, and send some gratitude out into the world around us. This way, we have fun little monthly reminders to continue building the life we want to live.

This March, the contest resets for the year, and we have a fresh new batch of twelve incredible prizes for engaged couples to choose from! We’re lucky enough to also have twelve different wedding professionals providing their lovingly-crafted products and fine-tuned talents for the prizes, so every winner gets to choose the absolute best gift for their wedding.

So, without further adieu, let us give everyone a first look into the 2019 prize list! (And click here to enter the giveaway for yourself!)

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Lauren Cherie Photography

2019 12 Months of Giveaways Prize List

1. Complimentary boudoir session and 8×10 print – valued at $300, courtesy of Sheer Desire Boudoir. 

2. Day-of coordination and event management services – valued at $800, courtesy of Michelle Victoria Wedding & Event Planning. 

3. Complimentary three tier buttercream wedding cake with delivery in town serving 74 guests – valued at $325, courtesy of The Cake Boutique. 

4. Two for “Head to Toe Couples Package” includes a 90 minute couple’s treatment with Shea Butter wrap, scalp massage, and EcoFin for hands or feet. All day access to hot tub, sauna and relaxation lounge – valued at $330, courtesy of The Remedy Day Spa. 

5. Complimentary mini engagement session and mini boudoir session – valued at $500, courtesy of Lauren Cherie Photography. 

6. Complimentary two hour mirror photo booth package – valued at $700, courtesy of Magic Mirror. 

7. Complimentary boudoir photo session and 6×6 photo book – valued at $320, courtesy of Creative Portraits by Dolores.

8. “Bride To Be Package” includes an essential manicure, pedicure, signature body polish and facial. Totaling 4 1⁄2 hours of services – valued at $350 from Isleta Spa, courtesy of Isleta Resort & Casino.

9. Complimentary three tier classic wedding cake serving approximately 75 guests – valued at $300, courtesy of Smallcakes A Cupcakery.

10. Complimentary hair, makeup, and false lash services for the bride and one bridesmaid – valued at $300, courtesy of Bombshell Hair and Makeup.

11. Complimentary engagement session – valued at $375, courtesy of Coryn Kiefer Photography.

12. “The Lovers Delight Package” includes a private introductory couple’s horse lesson and photography session with the horses – valued at $300, courtesy of ABQ Horse Breaking + Training LLC.

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Smallcakes A Cupcakery 

World’s Cutest Wedding Subscription Box

It’s true! We do hereby declare, with as much authority we can muster as a national wedding magazine, that Perfect Wedding Guide’s Wed Box is the cutest wedding subscription box in the world. And yes, the adorability scale is wildly subjective and dependent on each engaged couple’s personal taste, but that’s alright.

Even if you, personally, don’t think the Wed Box is adorable, we can all at least agree that it’s an efficient money-saver, a helpful wedding planning tool, and perfectly tailored to our local, Albuquerque + Santa Fe engaged couples.

(Not going to lie though, we do work very hard to make it cute, too.)

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But enough of the fluff — let’s get down to the ins and outs of the Wed Box. (Specifically the ins.) Nestled inside the craft box is a curated collection of coupons, gift cards, giveaways, and gifts all exclusively from local wedding professionals here in New Mexico. Sweet treats, cute and comfy tees, and substantial discounts on wedding services have been known to grace the box in years past, but everything, every year is brand-spanking new.

Unlike other subscription boxes, too, the Wed Box only comes around once a year, when the Spring/Summer edition of our print magazine is set to hit the streets. With a look at upcoming 2019/2020 shows, new and veteran vendors, and local inspiration, you’ll be one of the very first lucky-loos to grab ticket codes and other perks hidden within its pages.

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We’re very proud to be deeply ingrained into our local community, too. In fact, it’s our favorite part of being Perfect Wedding Guide! So, when the day comes for your Wed Box to arrive, it won’t come from FedEx. It will be hand delivered, after being hand packaged with products chosen by hand, right to your door by one of the lovely ladies who make up our woman-led, women-run team.

(Antisocial? We get it, and absolutely won’t take offense if you wait until we’ve driven away to sneak out and grab your Wed Box.)

Ready to grab yours? Click here to be one of the 25 engaged couples to receive a Perfect Wedding Guide Wed Box.

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Albuquerque Wedding Planner Spotlight: NJR Event Planning

Whether you’ve been carefully crafting a collection of Pinterest boards (plural) dedicated to your upcoming wedding, or you’re hoping to leave the details of the day up to fate — every newlywed-to-be could use a hand with the whole process. Though we are lucky to be living in the digital age, so a healthy portion of your research, planning, and booking can happen from the comfort of your couch, if you so prefer. But that approach only works if you have the gaps of free time in your schedule to whip out your binders, highlighters, and snacks, to truly settle into the grind of planning a wedding all by your lonesome.

And if you’re like basically anyone in the year of 2019, though, you probably don’t have the luxurious option of scheduling a few days a week to calling and meeting DJs, florists, invitation companies, and the like. But you do have other options, and we’re sure you know where we’re going with this. Hire a local wedding planner!

(Specifically, NJR Event Planning.)

For nearly 3 decades, Naomi — the creative powerhouse behind NJR Event Planning — has been taking the inklings of dreams, and turning them into realities for New Mexico engaged couples. Her design expertise has weathered the storm through many a trend: cupcake-ballgowns, burlap + lace, bolero tops (Google it), puffed sleeves, etc…. Classic and modern though, the inherent talent of the NJR Event Planning team continues to evolve, meeting the needs of our generations respective trends like it’s second nature.

Luckily, as always, you don’t just have to take our word for it. It’s true we love NJR Event Planning because we’ve had the opportunity to work with Naomi for years, and can happily vouch for her expertise. But just to instill some additional confidence in our recommendation, come swoon with us over this perfectly articulated wedding shot by Alicia Lucia Photography.

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2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Save the Dates: Setting the Tone for Your Wedding {Guest Post!}

Our deepest thanks to the wonderful team of experts over at Paperlust for sharing their wedding expertise with us + our local wedding community through this awesome guest post!

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A save the date is one of the first pieces of wedding stationery that your guests see. It is an opportunity to create cohesion with your wedding invitation and on-the-day stationery, giving everyone a glimpse of what the most special day of your life will be like. There are many ways to do this, and we’ve compiled a list of tips to get you started.

Your Signature Style

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If you have a trademark style or have picked one for your nuptials, why not give everyone an idea of what it is from the outset? Your whole wedding will have a fantastic sense of unity and guests can know what to expect. For example, if you’re planning to host a formal wedding, an overly casual save the date will give people the wrong idea (and they may not come dressed how you want them to). Some design elements that suit formal events are gold foiling, letterpress, formal wording and limited colour. On the other hand, if you’ve got an off white knee length wedding dress and plan to walk down the aisle in your family’s barn, kick off the rustic vibes with a sweet kraft paper invite.

A Theme to Build Around

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Many an engaged person has balked at the enormity of the task that planning a wedding presents. Where do you even start? A wedding has to be built around something, so if you’re struggling for inspiration, why not build it around a theme that is unique to you and your love? If you two regularly argue about who could have a career in stand up comedy, a humorous save the date might be just the thing to kick off the festivities with a laugh. Get creative with the wording and give all your friends a giggle as they see your save the date on their fridge leading up to the wedding. Alternatively, your theme could be related to a certain region, like French (red, white and blue on your save the dates and baguettes as your starters) or Australiana theme. Whatever theme you pick should ideally be included the rest of the way through your wedding, but don’t feel the need to be too obvious. After all, less is more.  

The Reoccurring Motif

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You might be thinking, ‘Wait, aren’t a theme and motif the same thing?’ Basically, a theme is a key idea while a motif is a reappearing symbol, image or idea. If your wedding has a tropical theme but you think the palm leaf or wave invitations are played out, consider including pineapples as an image that repeats throughout not just your stationery, but for your whole wedding. You could even secretly weave pineapples into unexpected parts of your day and see who notices. Themes and motifs aren’t about how loud you can be, so aim for something tasteful. Flowers are another example of a motif to include in your save the date to give loved ones a hint without explicitly stating that you’re hosting a spring garden wedding.

Storytelling As an Art

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Every couple has a story to tell – so why not share it with those you love most during your special season in a way that is unique to you? While there are many ways to tell a good tale, pictures can be an easy and practical way to get creative. Use photocards to give the story in ‘chapters’, starting with your save the date. You could stick to black and white, frame the idea in terms of movie scenes or make every bit of stationery totally unique. That’s the best part – it’s all about you and your partner! Brainstorm some ideas then grab a camera (or hire a photographer) and start shooting.

 

Save the dates are more important than you might have first thought. Send these trend setters out at least 10 weeks before your wedding, or longer for a destination wedding, and all of your guests will know what they’re in for. Plus, the more notice they have, the more likely they are to be free to come. Happy planning!

 

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5 Rules For Choosing A Wedding Venue

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we get to work one-on-one with Albuquerque’s best florists, officiants, photographers, and the like, every single day. So it’s safe to assume that we might know a bit more about weddings than your average Joe or Joanne. While we like to think that we’re somewhat of experts though, we always turn to our local vendors for the real knowledge. When you need to know who the best wedding professionals are — turn to us. For the nitty gritty wedding planning details — we turn to them.

Like when our local officiants dropped some serious education on us about why hiring a professional is so important for your wedding. Or when Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup gave us some incredible tips for your wedding day hair care, and Beth Waldron Photography told us why your photographer thinks you should hire a wedding planner. There’s such a wealth of knowledge in the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding community, and we’re just here to harness it!

Which is why we’re so happy to have this super helpful info from the delightful Embassy Suites, on the whats, whys, and hows, of choosing a venue for your wedding day. Of all the wedding professionals you hire for your ceremony, your venue is going to be up there in the top three most important. Because, well, it’s going to set the tone for the whole day! So it pays to know how to choose the venue that’s right for you, your future spouse, and your budget.

Without further adieu, we’ll let Jonathon, with Embassy Suites, tell you how to do that — he’s the real expert. (Photos by Alicia Lucia Photography.)

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1 | BACKTRACK.

 

A lot of times, it’s good to start things “backwards,” if you will. Start by putting a rough budget together. Guestimate how many guests you think will attend. The number doesn’t have to be exact, and details may change throughout the duration of your planning. But it’s good to have some kind of  number in mind before you even walk into a venue for pricing.

2 | EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM.

If you can help it, try to start venue shopping at least a year out from your special day (or as early as you possibly can). Choosing a venue is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in planning a wedding. You want to give yourself enough time to explore your options and find the best fit for you.

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3 | ASK, ASK, ASK!

Any time a question pops into your head, ask away! Our motto here at Embassy is that it’s better to ask as many questions and obtain as many answers early on than to be stressed out and asking on your special day.

4 | KEEP IT IN WRITING.

Planning a wedding can be exciting, but it’s not without its difficulties. You’re going to have so many details in your head at any given time throughout the planning process that a detail may slip here or there. A best practice is to back up all your details in writing – either via e-mail, via handwritten notes, etc. Whenever you sit down with your coordinator in person, or even when you speak to him/her over the phone, have your notes in front of you.

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5 | LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

 

Always keep the location of your venue in mind – even more so if many of your guests will be travelling from out of town. How accessible is your venue? Is it easy to find? Also, if you will be hosting your ceremony and your reception in two separate venues, just make sure to factor travel time into the equation. For venues that are farther apart, always plan ahead for unexpected hiccups. An accident on the highway one hour before your reception may lead to your guests frustrated and sitting in traffic.

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Marriott Pyramid North: Upscale in Albuquerque

If you’ve been anywhere near the heart of Albuquerque, you’ve probably noticed the captivating and strange skyline, shaped by the city’s architecture. (If you haven’t been to heart of Albuquerque, well, what are you waiting for!?) Of them all though, Marriott Pyramid North absolutely wins the award for being the most eye-catching. As their name would suggest, the outline of the hotel + venue mimics that of the pyramids, alluding to both Egypt’s constructions and its luxurious culture.

With such an impressive exterior, you’d be inclined to believe the interior would match. And you’d be absolutely right. From the moment you step in to their grand atrium-foyer, you’ll forget you’re in the land-of-mañana and casual attire. That is, until you catch a glimpse of the venue’s incredible views — the Sandia Mountains only slightly beating out the hotel when it comes to grandeur.

For engaged couples, the magic only begins when you enter the venue. With wedding specialists on staff, the Marriott Pyramid North creates something new and unique for every new and unique couple that comes through their doors. Covered outdoor ceremony space, indoor ballrooms, custom catering and AV options, an on-site restaurant, indoor + outdoor pool, and plenty of space for your bridal party to get ready… There really isn’t much that you don’t get with the Marriott Pyramid North!

Ashley + Phillip, local newly-weds, knew this had to be their space when they got engaged. Luckily for us, Tori Photography, one of Albuquerque’s favorite wedding photographers, was there to capture every moment.

Ashley and Philip are truly perfect for each other, they compliment each other fabulously. If you were to ask them why they love one another they can go on and on for hours. They have a bond that will just keep growing. They were married in the courtyard of the Marriot Pyramid on September 15th 2018, surrounded by family and friends who loved and supported them. We then enjoyed a fantastic reception in one of the hotel’s grand ballrooms. Filled with dancing, cake, a clown and even a lap dance…. they ended the night as man and wife, and began their happily ever after.

-Tori, Tori Photography

Here’s your chance to start mentally planning your wedding at the Marriott Pyramid North with this gorgeous wedding as a template. Or to book your own in-real-life tour of the magnificence, contact the venue’s event manager, Sara, here.

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