Casa Perea Art Space: Historic Adobe Abode Spotlight

Let’s take a moment on this lovely morning to stop, breathe, and flex our brain’s inherent storytelling abilities. You are hereby given permission to pause whatever work you’re doing to indulge in the following: Imagine your wedding guests, many of whom will have traveled far and wide for your celebration, being greeted by your venue with a bubbling fountain, the comforting sight of traditional adobe, and a luscious garden of fruit trees, sweet-smelling herbs, and wildflowers. Sounds lovely, right? It gets better.

Casa Perea Art Space, established in the 19th century by the Perea family, is so excellently preserved, the State Register of Cultural Properties describes the wedding venue as an apt example of New Mexico Territorial Architecture. Beyond its fountain and wrought iron gates lies a 100-foot-long pergola, crawling with trumpet vines, climbing roses, and the ever-fantastical wisteria.

Within the adobe abode, the Casa Perea team describes the space as “New Mexican and Spanish Colonial antiques that evoke historic New Mexico architecture and style.” Which, if you know anything about the Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we go absolutely nuts for everything traditional New Mexico. Casa Perea Art Space might be the most historical New Mexican venue too, considering the fact it served as the Sandoval County Courthouse following our home’s statehood in 1912. We only freaked out a little bit when we found that out. Or maybe a lot.

There’s nothing to fear for engaged couples though, the venue is used only for romantic courting now. With every inch of the space already carefully cultivated by hand, minimal additional decor is required, especially if your desires are centered around incorporating your home state’s rich cultural history into your celebration — which we highly recommend.

To book Casa Perea Art Space for your wedding celebration, you can contact their team here. In the meantime, feel free to extend the dream and swoon over this styled shoot from Tiffany Burke Events + Carissa and Ben Photography at the historical venue.

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T. Rayne Photography {Local Vendor Spotlight!}

I love to freeze moments in time that would otherwise fade away.

That’s what motivates one of our new favorite wedding photographers here in Albuquerque, T. Rayne Photography. It’s also what makes her take on the age-old craft stand out from the crowd with its intrinsic uniqueness.  Well, that and her superhero-like ability to make every couple, group, and human feel comfortable and relaxed, even with her lens trained on them. Which we all know is no small achievement, even in the digital age!

I have always had a hard time feeling beautiful, especially in photos, but she made sure I felt like a beautiful bride and it shows. I am absolutely obsessed with our wedding pictures!

-Ashley, local bride

We all want to look and feel at ease in our skin every single day, but a wedding day comes only once, and simply can’t be left up to fate or hope. Taylor, the name and creative force behind T. Rayne Photography, knows this and that’s why she strives to create a gentle and contented atmosphere for her couples. Reflected in each and every one of her photos, Taylor cuts through the clutter and captures the essence and personality of her couples with her clean and refreshing photographic style.

It’s really no wonder T. Rayne Photography is able to accomplish such feats for our local engaged couples in New Mexico — at least it’s not when you consider the lifelong bond she’s had with the medium. Even as a little girl, Taylor carried around disposable cameras with her everywhere she went! And how lucky are we, that her devotion to photography and diligence in creating safe atmospheres, is longstanding, and not a passing hobby? T. Rayne Photography truly elevates the photographer community here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, and we’re grateful that she’ll be sticking around for awhile to continue the good work.

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From Albuquerque to Iceland: Real Winter Wedding

With the winter chill covering our Sandia Mountains in crisp, white snow, but not gracing the city with the same, it’s no wonder we’re feeling a bit envious of this real wedding from local couple, Sara-Irene + Alex. Can we all just pack up our things and hitch it over to Iceland, like the lovebirds did for their wonderfully intimate, wintery wedding?

Alas, there’s much to do in here in New Mexico, so we’ll have to live vicariously through the photos of their breathtaking ceremony. Luckily Maura Jane Photography was there to capture every detail and darling moment between the couple. With her magic-making gear in tow, Maura hopped on a plane to Iceland with just the couple and their officiant after they decided to switch up their plans.

Sara-Irene and Alex had originally planned a large local wedding here in Albuquerque. After a month of planning, they realized that the upcoming wedding didn’t portray the two of them very well. It didn’t feel like they thought their wedding should. It didn’t take long for them to flirt with the idea of an elopement. After all, Sara-Irene already had her dress and none of the invites had been sent. After scouring Pinterest for ideas, they fell in love with and settled on Iceland. One quick phone call and they changed their plans and dates to head to the land of fire and ice.

Maura Jane Photography

While we don’t advocate for ever leaving our Land of Enchantment — why would you ever want to?! — we’d be lying if we didn’t say it was the perfect move for Sara-Irene + Alex. Ultimately, each wedding serves as a reflection of the values and love between its respective couple, in all their deeply unique and incomparable ways.

It may have been cold but the wind blew Sara’s bouquet ribbons in the most beautiful fashion adding to the ethereal look of all their photos. It also made it so only they themselves could hear each other say their vows, adding to the intimacy of the day. Afterwards we traveled around the island to some of the most picturesque locations for photos that you have ever seen. From the black sand beaches in Vik to the icy glaciers on the south side of the island, we were all completely awestruck by its beauty. Sara-Irene and Alex could not have picked a more ideal place to say I do. With their adventurous hearts and desire to keep their wedding intimate, it all fell together perfectly.

Maura Jane Photography

A hearty and warm congratulations to Sara-Irene + Alex for leaping together into the evolution of their love story. And, of course, thank you to Maura Jane Photography for ensuring that the moment will be preserved in their hearts, and ours, for lifetimes to come.

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Photographer: Maura Jane Photography Venue: Reynisfjara, and Jökulsárlón Dress Store: A Dressy Occasion Dress Designer: Mon Cheri Veil: Bridal Elegance by Darlene Ring: Heidi Gibson Ribbons: Table and Vase Flowers: Upplifun, Be Inspired – bækur, blóm og gjafavara Desserts: Alchemy Confections Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery Officiant: Tryggvi Gunnarsson of  Sidmennt

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Where Are They Now? Genevieve + Ricky’s Post-Wedding Perfection

Beginnings are always so beautiful, aren’t they? And what are weddings, except for a celebration of a new life beginning together? Yes, it’s easy to get lost in the tulle and sparkle of a wedding day, but in our opinion, what comes after is massively underrated. We’re not talking about the honeymoon, though those deserve more recognition too, but it’s the heart of true love that we really adore — the middle part that comes in between the sparkler send-off and the ’til death do us part.’

Which is why we’ve been catching up with some darling local couples whose weddings and relationships really touched our hearts. Genevieve + Ricky are one of those couples — their wedding was captured by one of our favorite photographers in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, Briana Nicole Photography, but we were already well acquainted with Genevieve before her gorgeous celebration came to fruition. {She was one of our 12 Months of Giveaways winners, and one of the engaged-experts on our Bridal Board!}

Genevieve was one of the loveliest brides we’ve had the chance to work with, so hearing about her wedding firsthand was such a treat. Though the day wasn’t without its hiccups, as one would expect, their love preserved and the clouds dissipated to reveal the sun — warm and familiar, like the love that emanates from this couple.  We simply had to share!

Genevieve + RIcky

We were married on September 23, 2017 at Paa-ko Ridge Golf Course. That morning was extremely emotional for me as I was watching a storm pass through a tiny window in my bridal suite. Chairs were flipping over, glasses were breaking and tablecloths were soaked – every bride’s nightmare. About 20 minutes before our ceremony was supposed to start the rain eased up, the clouds parted and the sun shined through.

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The amazing Paa-ko staff went into beast mode and had everything perfectly set up as guests were arriving. The rain held off through the bulk of our ceremony but started to lightly sprinkle as we kissed and made our way down the aisle as Mr. + Mrs. By the time our reception started, the sky was clear and weather was perfect. The weather certainly made for some amazing photos too! Our wedding day ended up perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing!

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We waited a couple of months to go on our honeymoon, but we spent a very relaxing weekend in Los Cabos. We rang in the New Year sipping margaritas on the beach and watching fireworks over the ocean. It was the perfect way to wrap up our wedding story. And now, we are anxiously awaiting our little honeymoon souvenir — due in October! It certainly has been a magical year for us.

Genevieve, bride

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Local + Lovely: Albuquerque’s Favorite Wedding Show

SNAG YOUR TICKETS HERE!


 

Okay, so maybe the Diamond Dash is actually your favorite wedding show. Which makes sense — where else do you have the opportunity to dive into a giant wedding cake and dig around for diamond jewelry? {No, seriously, is there somewhere else you can do that? Because we’d love a shot at it ourselves…} But the Wedding Gallery Wedding Show is my personal favorite, and I’ll tell you why.

First, Sandia Resort and Casino — the famed location of the Wedding Gallery — provides the perfect backdrop for the event. Each little corner and crevice is filled with local wedding professionals who have dedicated their entire Sunday to making the wedding planning process a little bit easier for you. Sounds like a wedding show, right? Well, what makes the Wedding Gallery different in this aspect, though, is how each booth is meticulously curated.

Last year’s theme, for example, was greek chic. When our team walked into the ballroom and saw not only the stage for the couture fashion show, but each local professional‘s hard word and dedication to this theme, our jaws dropped. As the morning continued, our jaws stayed on the floor with every impeccable detail that was added. From Black Swan Events‘ multi-table spread, to Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup‘s boho-greek space, not an ounce of the ballroom was left untouched by love.

For the discerning couple, this is the place to do your planning. Some of the vendors even recruited one another to ensure their booths were perfectly enticing and aligned with the theme. Not only was it magical to watch this greek chic dream suddenly solidify in reality, but witnessing the wedding experts build each other up made the whole day unreal. And isn’t that the whole point of a wedding show? To see how local businesses can take a vision and bring it to life, while working together with the other wedding experts on the big day?

{Oh! I almost forgot to mention — the cocktails, food stations, wedding inspo, VIP bridal couture fashion show, giveaways, games, and prizes are pretty incredible, too. But you probably already knew that.}

See you there!


SNAG YOUR TICKETS HERE!

 

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Andrea + Rebecca’s Real + Rosy Wedding

In Albuquerque alone, there’s an estimated 5,000 marriage licenses given out every single year. Which, if you’re ever feeling down about the state of the world, is a beautiful statistic to consider. (5,000 couples pledging their love to each other!) But it’s also a little overwhelming. How can we possibly give the attention and recognition that each wonderful marriage deserves?!

Realistically, we can’t. Luckily though, weddings like Andrea + Rebecca’s make us forget about all others. Not because it was a wedding from the royal family or America’s equivalent — the Kardashian’s — but because there’s something distinctly universal about the love that emanates from Andrea + Rebecca.

Maybe it’s the full-bellied laughter that accompanied the misty eyes during their ceremony, or the secret lover’s dance captured by Matt Blasing Photography, or just a combination of all the tiny, exquisite moments from their day. Whatever it may be, Andrea + Rebecca’s wedding calls to mind the memory of a pure, unbridled kind of joyous love.

Though, not everything about their celebration was universal. Sidestepping tradition, Rebecca + Andrea walked down the aisle hand in hand, with Rebecca in a bright red dress that accentuated both brides’ rosy cheeks and Andrea’s tie, of course. {Plus the day took place at the unparalleled venue, Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm, which is truly a one-of-a-kind space.}

Somehow, as always, the husband and wife duo that is Matt Blasing Photography managed to capture the couple in all their uniqueness and wholeness. Through their lens we’re able to participate, albeit from a distance, as two distinct individuals come together in a brand-new, unique union, while also recognizing the ubiquitous nature of their love and how it mirrors all the love that came before them.

Thank you, Andrea + Rebecca, and Matt Blasing Photography, for sharing this special day with us so we could, in turn, share it with our lovely readers.

{To book Matt Blasing Photography for your wedding, contact them here!}

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Best Outdoor Venues in Albuquerque

Here’s the thing about New Mexico: it’s very easy to forget how lucky we are living in this state, especially when it comes to the weather. {Yes, we know it’s been pretty toasty lately, but take a trip somewhere a little closer to sea level and you’ll be missing the dry heat, we promise.}

It’s true that our lovely desert climate — minus the windy spring season — is relatively mild all year long.  Even when it rains, seasoned New Mexicans rest assured knowing it’ll only last 5 minutes, 10 maximum. Which, obviously, makes this state one of the best places for an outdoor wedding! If we had to guess, that’s probably why we’re blessed with so many options for outdoor ceremony and reception venues.

How do you choose though, when they’re all so lovely? Well, research of course. But even then, sometimes a venue seems perfect on screen, but might not measure up in person. Which is why we took the liberty of choosing five of our favorites to showcase here, for you. While there are many more incredible venues in New Mexico aside from these five, these are venues we’ve visited, spent time in, and even hosted events in some! So we can say, with the utmost confidence, that these venues will not disappoint.

{Plus we thew in some of the always invaluable reviews + opinions from local brides too, just in case you need a little extra assurance.}


Casa Rondeña

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Casa Rondeña, a gorgeous and fully-functional winery in the heart of the South Valley, has more charm than you’d think even possible for just one venue. With indoor spaces available as well, the possibilities for indoor-outdoor receptions and ceremonies are {almost} endless!

The venue is absolutely gorgeous, and though we don’t have our professional pictures back, even the pictures our guests took are breathtaking. They went on Facebook where everyone just oohed and aahed over how gorgeous the lawn of the 1629 Club is, and how beautifully everything reflects off the water there.

-Heather, bride

For availability at Casa Rondeña, you can book the venue here.


Prairie Star

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Prairie Star, you beautiful venue, you! The serenity at this venue is very much unrivaled, as the space is nestled in the quiet of the Santa Ana Pueblo and is surrounded by rolling hills of lush greenery. Punctuating the property is the proud adobe mansion, whose regality is also unparalleled.

I choose this venue mostly for the scenery. When I found it, I fell in love. Even better, it’s so reasonably priced compared to other venues. I received so many compliments on the location, it was beautiful. […] I am so incredibly glad I found this place and got to have my ceremony and reception here. Also, it’s very convenient to have a place where you can have the ceremony outside and reception inside!

-Alexandria, bride

For availability at Prairie Star, you can book the venue here.


Hacienda Dona Andrea

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Ashley Davis Photography

Honestly, of all the venues in all the world, Hacienda Dona Andrea just might be the most romantic. With old-world vibes, hand-crafted details, and stunning views, this venue is a perfectly secluded escape from reality for you and your soon-to-be spouse.

The place decorates itself – the architecture is southwestern and unique. the views are gorgeous and the place is perfectly secluded, yet there is still access to the funky little town of Madrid close by. We couldn’t have picked a better spot for our intimate family wedding. The team at the Hacienda made planning from a distance very easy for us and we were well taken care of. We are truly so happy with our choice to get married at Hacienda Dona Andrea!

-Alexis, bride

For availability at Hacienda Dona Andrea, you can book the venue here.


El Monte Sagrado

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Chrisi K Photography

Oh, El Monte Sagrado, where to even begin? Photos of the property showcase quite clearly how venerable and awe-inspiring the trees and scenery of the property truly are, but trust us when we say, it’s even better in person. See more from this darling real wedding here.

Honestly, I didn’t know places like this still existed. Besides El Monte Sagrado being breathtakingly beautiful, the customer service was out of this world. I had my wedding here at the beginning of the year and everyone at the resort made sure that my family, friends, husband and I had everything we needed!

-Jillian L., bride

For availability at El Monte Sagrado, you can book the venue here.


Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm

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Lauren Cherie Photography

Of course, no list of New Mexico venues would be complete without Albuquerque’s golden child, Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm. But the space is famous for good reason — it truly is one of the most magnificent places in our city. With rolling fields of lavender, chic farmhouse architecture, and several different options for ceremony space, there’s no facet of Los Poblanos that doesn’t live up to its reputation.

What an amazing venue!! I fell in love with this place from the first time I set foot on the property. It feels like you are out of town even though you are in the middle of the city. The architecture of the buildings and the surrounding gardens are gorgeous! It is definitely a venue that requires very little in the way of providing your own decor; the venue speaks for itself.

-Catie, bride

For availability at Los Poblanos, you can book the venue here.


 

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