Toby + Dan’s Intimate Santa Fe Wedding [with Kayla Kitts Photography!]

I’d like to say that fate put these two in the same place at the right time.  They met in St Louis, half a world away from Toby’s home.  And there in that city was Dan – and they say they knew right away that it was something special.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

If you didn’t know already, our little perch in the New Mexico wedding community happens to be right in between local engaged couples and the wedding professionals who serve them. So, luckily for us, we’ve been able to watch some serious magic happen in our desert state. Which, you might be thinking something along the lines of: come on, it’s weddings, love, and celebrations, so of course incredible, heartwarming, and tear-jerking stories come to Perfect Wedding Guide pretty much every day.

But what we want to chat about today is a more subtle kind of magic — like whatever unidentifiable force brought Toby and Dan together, and then together again with Kayla Kitts Photography. Because this trend of somehow managing to find the exact vendors who vibe with a couple’s personality happens all the stinking time here. Is it something in the air, in our Land of Enchantment? Maybe.

Or is it because engaged couples actually have a surprising amount of resources to make connecting with local small businesses who have dedicated their talents to weddings a bit easier? Also maybe. Or perhaps it’s a combination of both, or something else entirely. What matters, and what keeps our heart here in the wedding world of New Mexico, is that it happens so frequently.

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Kayla and her hubby Dominic, of Kayla Kitts Photography, are self-proclaimed belly laughers and people persons, and world renowned rays of sunshine. It’s a simple fact that we’ve all come to know as their photography craft has grown and evolved throughout the years of creative practice. Toby and Dan, two sides of the same coin, have a love grounded in a deep friendship and balanced with a sense of levity and humor. Their beaming smiles and bursts of laughter jump off their wedding photos and it’s not hard to imagine the giggles coming from behind the camera, too.

The collaborative and comfortable way Kayla and Dominic interact with couples and their wedding guests was the perfect approach for Toby and Dan’s intimate celebration in Santa Fe. As a couple of people who feel like your close friends even upon first meeting, we’re sure Toby and Dan’s actual close friends and family welcomed Kayla and Dominic’s presence with open arms. We just feel lucky enough to have lived vicariously through it!

To connect with Kayla Kitts Photography for your wedding or engagement, you can contact Kayla and Dominic here.

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They laughed hard as they told me about Dan “super cheesily” proposing on Valentine’s Day, and looked at each other sweetly as they told me about their special day.  As we sat and sipped coffee and cracked up over and over again, I knew that photographing their wedding was going to be awesome – and it was!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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Venue  |  Neptune Gallery and Studio Event Space + Dinner at The Compound Restaurant
Florist  |  Bloomstream Floral
Attire  |  Mr. Tux
Officiant  |  Erin Whitcomb
Cake  |  American Pie Bakery
Ceremony Musician  |  Cello for Weddings
Caterer  |  Walter Burke Catering
Coordinator  |  Lauren Mestas with Just Lovely Wedding + Event Planning

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Cello for Weddings: Vendor Spotlight

When the day finally arrives — yes, you know which day we’re referring to — the whole rest of the world melts away. Or at least it does when your wedding is coordinated by local professionals who have dedicated their talents to making dreams come true. The details, the timing, everything is handled. So, really, all you have to do is be there, be yourself, and marry the love of your life. 

With Cello for Weddings, releasing the stress of planning a wedding comes as an easy, full exhale. Ryan Smith, the musical talent behind the name, has cultivated an appreciation and understanding of sound for many years, so that every wedding may have the opportunity to be elevated by live cello. Whether it is accompanied by other instruments to round out the harmonies, or solo, amplified acoustic cello, you have a guarantee that the music will reach the ears and hearts of all of your guests. 

We’ve all watched movies, seen plays, and even some well-executed commercials whose carefully timed use of music creates an emotional vitality that forces us to be present and acknowledge our tenderness. Incorporating live music into your wedding ceremony or reception produces this kind of  experience for your guests, which is not one that will leave their minds for long after. 

From sweeping, classic ballads to modern love songs, Cello for Weddings has a range of tonal talent that ensures your personality can shine through. Lustrous and heroic in Beethoven and John Mayer alike, Ryan is proud to approach his playing with a collaborative spirit so your wedding feels and sounds like your wedding. As Cello for Weddings, Ryan even offers to learn a new song for each couple, should his vast library of available songs be missing your favorite one. 

Spend some time visiting with Cello for Wedding’s transcendentally vibrant music with the samples available below, and contact Ryan here to have it present for your wedding day.  

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Rockin’ Piano Party: Live Wedding Performance

Whatever your vantage point may be, it’s no secret that today’s world has quite a bit of turmoil and tumult. Which, in our humble opinion, is probably why the current trend of experiential weddings has risen, and continues to evolve with each passing month. Couples want to create an experience for their guests, rather than just the typical Sunday-in-June, afternoon ceremony. Because, well, sometimes life is hard! Or boring, or stressful, or just plain ol’ exhausting.

But weddings shouldn’t be — they should be fun, inspiring, memorable, and a reminder of all the secret moments of happiness and love that the world has to offer. Luckily, with local wedding professionals like Jorge, of Rockin’ Piano Party, they can be all of those lovely things and none of those daily-life things. Yes, you might still spill coffee down the front of your dress, just like you would at work, but at least now it’ll be because you’re dancing.

The Rockin’ Piano Party first began as a nascent, but quickly growing, love of music from Jorge. Being raised in a musically inclined family definitely helped, and Jorge’s passion for innovation and fun carried the idea to fruition. His first drum set was a hand-built, lovingly crafted collection of five-gallon buckets!

Today, Rockin’ Piano Party‘s wedding packages don’t include any five-gallon buckets, unfortunately. No need to worry though, because they do include two baby grand pianos, an advanced sound system monitored by experts, specialized event lighting, and extra microphones, so guests can jump in on the action, if they feel so inclined. Which, of course they will! The Rockin’ Piano Party is high-energy and interactive, so it’s downright impossible to not want to participate.

With two available shows — dueling pianos, or a single player — every type of wedding vibe can be bolstered with the unparalleled sound of live piano. To see videos, get more information, and book Rockin’ Piano Party for your wedding, you can contact Jorge and his team here.

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2018 Wedding Trend: Live Music

Have you heard, bride-to-be? Tides are shifting in the world of weddings! The budget-friendly option of preset playlists and iPods on shuffle for reception music were all the rage for a little while there, but it’s time to hang up the aux cord. Live, professional music is back in style! {Though in our opinion, it never really left.}

It’s no wonder either, especially here in New Mexico, where there are so many options for brides who want a genuine, authentic experience for their wedding day. Luckily too, the variety of choices available mean you don’t have to break the bank to switch out your brother-in-law’s Spotify playlist for the ever-romantic option of a live musician.

No need to feel overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of individuals that are here to make your celebration unforgettable this wedding season. We picked three amazing musicians that are local and ready for you to book for your wedding, because we love you.

From guitar, to harp, to full band, it’s hard to choose our favorite live musicians from Albuquerque + Santa Fe, but luckily we don’t have to. The reputation of these talented artists speaks for themselves. {It’s no surprise they all have 5-star reviews on Perfect Wedding Guide!}

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Ryan Smith, of Cello for Weddings

is the perfect fit if you’re looking to add an unparalleled touch of elegance to your ceremony or reception. Not only does he offer traditional wedding music, but also pop, rock, acoustic, soundtrack/classical, country, folk, motown, and oldies! Even custom arrangements, if your heart should so desire. Does it get better than that?

Book him here!

Absolute Entertainment

Absolute Entertainment‘s own band Soulstice,

has been voted as Santa Fe’s leading event band by brides. And of course they have! Graceful or groovy, the band plays everything from cross-generational classics to today’s hits. Whatever vibe {or vibes!} you choose, Soulstice delivers above and beyond expectations every time.

Book Soulstice here!

Last, but very certainly not least,

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Sandi Ludescher, Albuquerque’s favorite Harpist

has graced couples with her delightful music, and several of our events too, since 2005. With a broad range of available compositions, there’s a spot in every celebration for her harp! {Highly customizable as well, Sandi once played my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song for me on her harp — it was unforgettable!}

Book Sandi here!

 

Want more?

You can find local musicians, bands, and DJs available for your wedding here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Devoted Love at Prairie Star {Video Feature}

Yes, yes, we did just feature a gorgeous wedding at Prairie Star. But what can we say? We’re suckers for the quiet serenity of the venue. Nestled in the Santa Ana Pueblo, the traditional adobe mansion is only a few minutes from downtown Albuquerque, and one of our favorite places to visit in New Mexico.

Prairie Star‘s stunning views and amazing team make every wedding + celebration there one for the books. If you really want to take advantage of the little slice of heaven though, the only way to make it even better is to pull in an equally incredible, just as local, entertainment company like COMPLETE Weddings + Events. Which Tara + Kevin did! {Not to mention, the other local vendors who came together as the cherry on top of a perfect day. Listed below!}

We’re so thankful that Luminance Wedding Films was there to capture their heartfelt + tastefully vintage wedding day. Cementing in memory the unparalleled way in which Prairie Star + COMPLETE collaborated to make Tara + Kevin’s day undeniably elegant and insanely fun — we’re just dying to share this Luminance wedding film with you all.

Turn up your volume, or pop in some headphones for this one. Maybe grab some tissues too, because Tara + Kevin’s radiating love and devotion is giving us — well, me, at least — some serious wedding fever.

Love You More….Tara {+} Kevin Wedding Short Film~Prairie Star from Luminance Wedding Films on Vimeo.

 

Cinematography | Luminance Wedding Films
Editing/Color Grading | Sarah Kanafani of Luminance Wedding Films
Venue | Prairie Star
Bridal Consultant | Vicki Newsom of Orange September
Photographer | Jones Photo Art
D.J. | Justin with COMPLETE Weddings + Events
Floral Design | Say Something Special With Flowers
Cake | Cake Fetish

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Get the Party Started with Bad Dog Multimedia

Since 2013, Bad Dog Multimedia has been serving up unforgettable entertainment across the state, including Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Los Lunas, Santa Fe, Farmington and beyond! Locally owned and operated by the Mora family, this amazing and talented multi-generational team does everything from weddings and graduations to anniversaries and school events.

Bad Dog Multimedia offers a variety of packages so you can have the custom, one-of-a-kind event you’ve always dreamed of. And with a wide variety of services, including disc jockey, master of ceremonies, lighting, photography, photo booths and projection, they’ve got you covered! Not to mention, they also provide water based fog so you and your love can feel like you’re dancing on cloud nine.

With a young and lively team of professional DJs, your guests will be off their seat and on their feet from start to finish. Using the latest technology and modern equipment, Bad Dog Multimedia puts on a full production experience with the best songs to keep your guests on the dance floor. As the best in the west, the team at Bad Dog Multimedia knows how to get the party started!

Our number one goal is to make sure that your event is exceptional and exactly what you envision to ensure that every guest at your event has an amazing and memorable experience!

— The Team at Bad Dog Multimedia

Contact Bad Dog Multimedia to book your event today!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Haute Pink Wedding: Brooke + Mitch

If you follow our Blissful Bridal Blog, I’m sure most of you had a peek of Brooke and Mitch’s Haute Downtown Engagement. In case you haven’t, be sure to take a look at this stunning shoot! For the rest of us anticipating the theme of their gorgeous wedding, however, here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for…

Kate Spade New York!

Their Kate Spade inspired wedding was so chic, it might as well be a spread in the next Vogue! Everything worked so well together from the black and white stripes and the grooms polka dot tie to the hot pink flowers and golden accents. It was classy meets edgy with a dash of sparkle and a whole lotta haute!

Taking place at the elegant NOAH’S Event Venue, Brooke and her crew started out by getting pampered in the luxurious bridal suite. And what better way to get dolled up with all your BFFs, than by watching the hilarious Bridesmaids movie? Aside from it’s keen accuracy on comedic bridesmaid drama, a lighthearted film like this does well to set the tone and ease the nerves.

Once they were ready for their close up, the couple met outside for their first look and gorgeous photos before making it official at the LDS Temple. And later on at their reception, the biggest surprise of the night came when Brooke’s brother serenaded the couple and then surprised his sis with a mariachi band!

Brooke couldn’t be happier with this unforgettable moment, but more importantly, the couple couldn’t be happier about their new life together. To bring the night to a close, their friends and family showered them with a sea of sparklers — certainly a symbol of their bright future together.

Since Brooke’s family is in the land of enchantment, the wedding took place at the LDS temple here in Albuquerque with the reception at NOAH’S Event Venue. Brooke, who is quite the fashionista, loves all things Kate Spade and knew she had to incorporate it into her wedding. From the darling black and white Kate Spade heels with accent bows that graced her feet to the striped table clothes that hung on the tables, every detail was executed perfectly.
Brooke wore a stunning long sleeve lace dress from Alta Moda Bridal and held beautiful bright pink peonies in her hand. Aubrey, of Aubrey’s Petals filled the ballroom full of gold candles, orange roses and, of course, the bright colored peonies flown in from Israel. Guests were served some of Brooke’s favorite New Mexican dishes while they sipped yummy and unique sodas created especially for the couple and devoured the delicious cupcakes brought in by Smallcakes.
Perhaps our most favorite part of the evening is when Brooke’s brother sang a traditional Mexican song and surprised the couple with a Mariachi Band who joined in. The expression on Brooke’s face was priceless! This unique wedding was definitely one to be remembered and we wish the newlyweds nothing but the very best!

— Maura, Maura Jane Photography

Photos by Maura Jane Photography

Congratulations, Brooke and Mitch!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Venue: NOAH’S Event Venue | Dress: Alta Moda Bridal | Dress Designer: Jean & Jewel | Shoes: Kate Spade New York | Cake: Smallcakes | Bridesmaids: New York & Company | Florist: Aubrey’s Petals | Hair + Makeup: Monica Gallegos | Photography: Maura Jane Photography | Entertainment: Mariachi Nuevo Sonido | Video: Jordee Arvin Pictures

And a special shout out to Brooke’s bridesmaids!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com