Mountainside Elopements: Nature’s Sanctuary

One of the many things I love about New Mexico are the varying landscapes within its borders. As you travel along the highway, you can pass through everything from deserts, farmland and open meadows of the Valles Caldera to majestic mountain peaks of the Sandias and Sangre de Cristos, all within a matter of hours. With such beautiful scenery across our diverse state, there is ample opportunity for romantic elopements.

If you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget (or not) and would rather bypass all the stress of a large wedding anyway, a whimsical outdoor elopement is perfect for you! Mountainside elopements are one of the hottest trends on the wedding scene — and for good reason. Not only are they naturally beautiful and fun, they are completely budget friendly. And with a wide variety of climates and landscapes to choose from in our gorgeous state, you don’t have to be limited to mountainsides.

First off, you still get to plan all the fun stuff like a wedding dress, bridal bouquet, photographer and wedding cake to complete your epic celebration. Lucky for you, New Mexico is home to amazing photographers and officiants who live for adventurous moments like this. Secondly, you get to save a ton of money on decorations because nature provides the best and most beautiful decor (no setup necessary). More importantly, your venue will cost so much as a day pass, if anything at all!

Another cool thing is that you get to share this special occasion with your closest family and friends — if, that is, you decide to include others. With a mountainside elopement, the pressure is off and you are free to plan and execute your wedding however you see fit! Check out this amazing mountainside elopement captured by Matt & Tish Photography at the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Photos by Matt & Tish Photography

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The Minimoon: A Local Honeymoon Staycation

Want to go on a luxurious, romantic honeymoon, but don’t want to break the bank? Minimoons, or local honeymoons, are the perfect solution. Rather than spending thousands of dollars to fly across the country (or the world) to stay a short time together in a foreign land with jet lag, invest in your future and go on local honeymoon instead — it’s just as fun and romantic without all the stress of traveling. Plus, you get to relax from all the wedding festivities!

Once you find the perfect minimoon spot, you can still do all the fancy things you would normally do on a conventional honeymoon far far away. You can still have a beautiful candlelight dinner, get a his and her massage or go sightseeing and discover new things about each other and your city on bike, horseback or trolley. Best of all, you don’t have to spend the first few nights as a married couple in crowded airports and rental cars!

Lucky for you, we have some of the most beautiful and relaxing honeymoon spots right here in New Mexico! Some of our favorites include Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, Sandia Resort & Casino, Hotel Andaluz, Girliebird & Co, La Fonda on the Plaza and Isleta Resort & Casino. And many of these gorgeous locations offer all the amenities you would want on a romantic honeymoon getaway and then some.

For instance, Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm offers a beautiful farm-to-table breakfast and dinner. Not to mention, they can make arrangements for a couples massage or local bike tour. If you would like a more intimate setting, Girliebird & Co is the perfect option. Like a home away from home, they offer a cozy honeymoon cottage and delicious homemade breakfast. It is so charming you won’t want to leave.

What about a romantic weekend at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe? Explore the historic sites of Santa Fe by day and relax with a rooftop dinner overlooking the city by night. Whether you’re staying in a friends cabin, a family vacation home or one of our honeymoon favorites, you don’t have to go in debt to have a romantic minimoon staycation. Besides, just being together is what a honeymoon is all about! ♥

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Photo by Kevin & Amanda
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Photo by Mike Crane Photography
Girliebird & Co
Girliebird & Co
La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe
La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe

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Make History at the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel

As you and so many other college students get ready for back-to-school, you may be trying to figure out how you’re going to manage your homework and plan your wedding all at the same time. In case you didn’t know, the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel is a charming wedding ceremony venue for any student, staff member or alumni of the University of New Mexico.

Adorned with traditional retablos and rustic iron candelabras, the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel will take your guests back in time as you exchange vows. With such a rich history, the UNM Chapel is not only beautiful, but it is also affordable. It’s true ladies and gents, you can have the traditional New Mexico ceremony you’ve always dreamed of, without breaking the bank!

Several years ago, I had the great honor of standing in a friend’s wedding that took place at the chapel and it was absolutely gorgeous. Another wedding that truly captured the old-world charm of the UNM Chapel was that of Paige and Nathan, last winter. Captured by Maura Jane Photography, these photos are truly an inspiration for anyone planning a wedding at the chapel.

From the quaint dressing room decorated with elegant, antique furniture to the carved altar pieces and wooden pews, every detail of the UNM Chapel is the perfect backdrop for any wedding ceremony. Not to mention, the outdoor areas surrounding the chapel are just as gorgeous for memorable photos. At the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel, your wedding will be a part of history.

Built in 1962 as a memorial to alumni killed in the nation’s wars, the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel has served the campus community in joyful and trying times… Thousands of weddings and numerous memorials have taken place within its walls.

— UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel (Website)

Photos by Maura Jane Photography

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Basic Invite: Your Colors, Your Style, Instantly

At Perfect Wedding Guide, we are all about local. We love to promote our local professionals and hook them up with brides and grooms to-be. Every once in a while, however, we come across a hidden gem that we can’t help but share with all of you! Located in Saint George, Utah, we are so excited to show some love to our Four Corners neighbors at Basic Invite.

Basic Invite offers a wide range of invitation and stationery options, unlike any other online invitation or stationery store. Basic Invite is truly a professional, high-quality and, of course, trendy online stationery boutique. And best of all, you can have custom invitations delivered right to your door!

Seriously! I perused through their wedding stationery and they offer everything from cool save the dates, invites and programs to menus and table place cards — you name it, they have it! And if your maid of honor is planning your bridal shower, they also carry cheap bridal shower invitations.

Not to mention, they also carry Pinterest worthy invitation styles including gold, rose gold and silver foil, real wood (yes, I said real wood) and their newest addition, clear! With countless customization options, you can be certain your invitation will truly be as unique as you! Take a look at some of their darling designs and custom options.

Almost Unlimited Colors

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card with over 180 mix and match color options. You can make sure your card is exactly how you want it — down to the smallest detail.

Instant Preview & Custom Samples

Basic Invite also allows customers the ability to instantly preview and order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how their unique design will look before they ever place their order. Once you receive your sample, you can make any changes to order exactly what you want.

Modern + Fine Script Fonts

Basic Invite has developed new technology to preview complex script fonts with all of the swirls and swashes you love. They offer high-quality fonts like those we see all over Pinterest (for a fraction of the price). And you can preview the text on your invite in any font instantly.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes

Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with their invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors so that they can make their invites stand out before they are ever opened. All envelopes are peel and seal so your envelopes can be quickly and easily secured.

Over 200 Wedding Invitation Sets

For your convenience, each of their wedding invitations are part of a set. You can find everything from save the dates to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards! You can easily design a cohesive look throughout your entire wedding stationery.

Free Address Collection Service

What’s worse than ordering beautiful invitations, only to have the presentation ruined by placing your recipients names and addresses on the envelopes with ugly labels or sloppy handwriting? Thankfully, Basic Invite offers free address collection service with just three simple steps: share a link, collect addresses and get free envelope printing!

Keepsake Guest Books

Perfectly personalized wedding guest books are the perfect addition to your wedding day stationery. Don’t settle for a mass-produced guest book from your local craft store. With a sophisticated cover and well-designed pages, it’s the perfect opportunity for your guests to leave sweet words and well-wishes with style in a custom wedding guest book.

Start designing your custom wedding invitations at Basic Invite today. You can quickly and easily create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind invitation at your convenience and from the comfort of your own home.

Did I mention? Basic Invite also has lots of freebies! Under printables, you can find gift tags, place cards and so much more. All for FREE!

For all your wedding stationery needs, be sure to visit Basic Invite!

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12 Months of Giveaways: Enter for Your Chance to Win!

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide we love to shower our local brides and grooms-to-be with gifts whenever we get the chance! One of the many ways we do so is with our annual 12 Months of Giveaways. Thanks to some very generous local wedding vendors, we have the great pleasure of presenting you with some very lavish prizes to make your wedding unforgettable!

Last year’s round of prizes were a huge success, but with a new year comes a new round of amazing prizes and they just keep getting better and better! If you would like your chance at one of these great prizes make sure to register! Every month a new winner will be chosen. Take a look at the 12 Months of Giveaways for 2017 and enter for your chance to win!

Briana Nicole Photography
  1. Engagement session, includes the session and the edited, high-resolution images with personal use/print rights valued at $400, courtesy of Matt Blasing Photography.
  2. 10 free centerpieces or 40 chair covers + $50 off the booking fee for City View Event Center valued at $400, courtesy of Simply Décor & City View Event Center.
  3. Two Carat Bridal Package and a 60 minute massage for the groom valued at $565, courtesy of The Remedy Day Spa.
  4. Complimentary ballroom space for your wedding valued at $3,000, courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Santa Fe.
  5. Two free hours of the photobooth at your wedding reception and a discounted rate for a coverage upgrade valued at $350, courtesy of Wedding Crashers Photo Booth.
  6. Free engagement session and $400 off a wedding package valued at $650, courtesy of Briana Nicole Photography.
  7. Bride-to-be package including an essential manicure, pedicure, signature body polish and facial. 4 1/2 hours of services valued at $350, courtesy of Isleta Resort & Casino.
  8. A 2 location adventure engagement, includes high-resolution edited images as well as a professionally produced album valued at $550, Shutter Force Photography.
  9. A special edition handmade keepsake photo album set which includes three photo albums. Inside each photo album you’ll find 40-50 heavy archival ivory paper pages with glassine interleaving to protect your precious photos. The three photo albums have a beautiful luminescent textured butter yellow Japanese book cloth spine paired with a traditional Florentine decorative paper with gold highlights valued at $350, courtesy of Peregrine Arts Bindery.
  10. Engagement session plus $200 product credit valued at $400, courtesy of Licht Photography.
  11. 2 body contouring, permanent fat removal session valued at over $300, courtesy of Renewal Health & Wellness.
  12. A two hour boudoir session, access to all the finished portraits and an 8×10 album of select finished portraits valued at $400, courtesy of Creative Portraits by Dolores.
Wedding Crashers Photo Booth
Shutter Force Photography

Only registered brides and grooms have a chance to win. For your chance, register HERE!

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Wedding Stationery 101

Over the years, wedding stationery has become so much more than invitations. In fact, it includes a whole myriad of paper confections! From announcements to thank you cards, wedding stationery is a fun way to give your guests a glimpse into your wedding!

With the help of Statistic Brain, we’ve compiled a list of the most standard stationery items you’ll need for your big day! And to help you stay on budget, we’ve included the average cost for each item so you can plan ahead.

By: Paper Antler

Standard Wedding Stationery

  1. Engagement Announcements. Average Cost: $150 plus postage. Engagement announcements are completely optional. Perhaps if you have a lot of family from out of town it would be a good idea!
  1. Save the Dates. Average Cost: $125 plus postage. Save the dates are a nice heads up for your guests, especially for those who are extremely busy and plan ahead. They aren’t necessary, but a good courtesy.
  1. Invitations & Reply Cards. Average Cost: $255 plus postage. Obviously, this is the most important part of your stationery. You can probably get by without the other items, but the invitation sets the tone!
  1. Ceremony Programs. Average Cost: $110. Ceremony programs are not necessary, but can be a fun way for your guests to engage in your wedding by making it into a game or keepsake.
  1. Place Cards. Average Cost: $84. Depending if you have assigned seating or not, place cards could be replaced with table numbers or discarded all together.
  1. Menus. Average Cost: $119. Menus are not exactly necessary, but they do add an elegant touch, especially if your wedding is on the formal side or even farm-to-table style.
  1. Thank You Notes. Average Cost: $94 plus postage. Whatever you decide, thank you notes are a must! Just be sure to send them within a few weeks of receiving a gift. Wait any longer and it may be considered bad taste.

As always, the items you will need completely depend on your style. If your wedding is formal, chances are you will need these items and then some. But if you’re planning something a little more laid back, you  are probably safe to pick and choose the items that will suit your wedding best.

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She’s Making a List, and Checking It Twice

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Perfect Wedding Guide’s Perfect Planning Tools

You said, “I do,” now what? With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, planning a wedding can be overwhelming — especially during the holidays. But we’re here to help! All you newly engaged and soon to be engaged brides can relax.

In case you didn’t know, Perfect Wedding Guide has free planning tools just for you! It’s fun, easy to use and takes all the guess work out of planning your perfect day.

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You can create a wedding budget, plan your seating chart, keep track of your guests, and even create a website. Did I mention it’s all free!? Best of all, you’ll have all the top, local wedding professionals at your fingertips!

Here’s a list we compiled, highlighting some of the tools available for you:

  1. Guest List – perfect for keeping track of all your guests and their RSVP’s.
  2. Seating Chart – giving you a clear picture of your reception layout.
  3. Checklist – to stay on top of all the details and to-dos.
  4. Budget Calculator – to help you keep your funds in check.
  5. Bookmarks – to track vendors, wedding songs and more.
  6. Inspiration Boards – to keep all your ideas in one place.
  7. Website – perfect for keeping your guests in the know and showing off your big day!

And FYI, a honeymoon planner and calendar will soon be added to this list of wedding planning tools!

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To start planning your wedding, just go to the Perfect Wedding Guide website and click on the “Tools” tab, or click here.

Once there, simply create an account and you’re in!

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