Smallcakes, Big Hearts {Vendor Spotlight!}

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we don’t pick favorites when it comes to the incredible local wedding professionals in New Mexico. When every business contributes, in its own way, to the eclectic wedding market here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, providing engaged couples with so many options for their big day… well, how could we?!

Actually, never mind. We can do it just like this: Smallcakes is our favorite cupcakery in New Mexico. 

Whew! Feels good to get that out in the open and, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Smallcakes is the only team of bakers and makers in New Mexico who have specifically dedicated their talents to becoming cupcake experts. Although, that is a pretty good reason to love them, too.

Smallcakes: A Cupcakery is our favorite cupcakery in New Mexico because they actually do so much more than just cupcakes. Whatever you’ve previously believed about bakeries, cupcakes, wedding cakes, and the like — throw it out the window, because Smallcakes transcends all the customary boundaries. We’re not just talking your typical customization options, either.

Custom, handmade cookies? Check. Bachelorette parties? You got it. If that’s not enough for you either, they also do groom cakes — which we haven’t seen anywhere else — smash cakes, and gluten-free cakes. The best part too, is they have over 120 flavor choices for you to taste, delight in, and choose from.

Oh, and get this. Did you know that if you order your sweet treats from Smallcakes for your wedding day, you’ll also receive a complimentary couple’s cake for your one year anniversary?! There. Your anniversary dinner is already taken care of for you.

The team at Smallcakes: A Cupcakery is ceaselessly working to improve and elevate the wedding community here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, so yes. They are our favorite cupcakery. This might be controversial to some, but with the flavors, fun, and friendly faces, how could they not be?

To schedule a tasting for your custom wedding sweets, you can contact Smallcakes: A Cupcakery here.

be9d8543-954d-4ff3-8e9b-ce7131ef730aBlackBow1IMG_1941IMG_1913BlackBow6

Advertisements

Real Wedding at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The venue had everything we were hoping for: gorgeous scenery (the best we saw and we looked at more than seven venues), a diverse menu to choose from, the perfect amount of privacy for our intimate evening, and the staff was untouchable when it came to accommodations and service. While searching for our venue we didn’t have any “must haves,” but the second we stepped foot inside The Event Center we both knew “this was the place!!” One of the most memorable parts of the evening was when the doors opened for me to walk down the aisle, seeing my soon-to-be husband’s face light up against the most breathtaking backdrop of the Sandia Mountains. It was a moment I had always dreamt of. Words cannot describe the feeling I had.

-Shelbi, Bride

We, as Perfect Wedding Guide, have a unique position in the wedding community here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe. Forging the bridge between local engaged couples and the small businesses who diligently serve them, we truly have the best of both worlds. We get to see the elbow grease and unparalleled passion of the wedding professionals, and the perpetually inspiring love stories from couples — how could we ask for anymore?!

So it’s easy to stay inspired in what we do, but hearing such happy, happy words from Shelbi, a New Mexican bride, truly makes our hearts soar. Because, well, we know The Event Center at Sandia Club is one of the best venues in our gorgeous states, but seeing its breathtaking landscape become the backdrop for a real, local couple’s love story? It doesn’t get much better than that.

Not to mention, this wedding in particular was perfectly paired with the couple’s venue choice. Punctuated by deep maroons, the delightfully rich vibes of Shelbi + Michael’s special day mirrored the mountainous view, with its red-tinted glow from which the Sandias are named. Plus, the happy couple’s faces are so aglow, they shine through the photos and rival the shimmering gold details of their decor.

Scroll on to get lost in their love story, just as we did, and read what Lauren, The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club‘s Director of Catering, had to say about Shelbi + Michael’s fun-filled, spectacular wedding day.

{Or get a free copy of our printed magazine to see the love in three dimensions!}

EventCenterSandia5EventCenterSandia2EventCenterSandia4

It’s always such an honor to share in a couple’s wedding day and we were especially grateful when Shelbi and Michael selected The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club for their big day! When describing Shelbi and Michael’s wedding, the first word that comes to mind is fun! Shelbi and Michael are such a fun couple and you could see that in everything they were planning. If nothing else, they wanted to ensure their guests had a blast! Not only did they have all the typical elements to make for a fun wedding, but they added their own touch of an ice luge for shots, photo booth and yard games to really make it a unique and fun experience for their guests! There are definitely a lot of favorite moments from their wedding, but I have to say my favorite was seeing their love come full circle on that day with their sweet little boy standing by their side.

-Lauren, Director of Catering at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

EventCenterSandia8EventCenterSandia9EventCenterSandia6EventCenterSandia3

EventCenterSandia1EventCenterSandia7

Venue| The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Photographer| Taken by Tamara

Officiant| Geoff Romero

Cake| Simply Sweet by Darci

Decor| Occasion Services and Events

Makeup| Katlin Green

Behind the Booth at Wedding Shows

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s several local wedding shows throughout the year, then you probably know they’re quite the production. Take our Diamond Dash show, for example, with it’s elaborate decor, fashion show, and signature cake-diving event. {Eep! The Diamond Dash on October 28th is right around the corner now, too!}

Our team can only take credit for a portion of the grandeur, because while it is a Perfect Wedding Guide event, the heart of the day comes from the local wedding professionals who fill up Hyatt Regency Albuquerque‘s ballroom with goodies, gifts, and great advice. Which isn’t always easy, and only comes to fruition with the hard work and dedication of these business owners. To make things a bit easier for our local wedding champions though, our team put together a few tips and tricks for local vendors to help their day run smoothly.

So hey there, wedding professionals, this one is for you! For our fellow wedding-lovers and engaged couples though, stick around and get a sneak peak into the love and determination from Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding experts have cultivated in order to be there, for you, on your special day. {Plus you can check out some of our favorite booths from past shows too — it’s some serious, real-life wedding inspo!}

30709080_10156428120149114_414624056717869056_oBooth from Shayla Edenfield Photography

Getting an edge on your next wedding show


 

  1. Arrive early.  Wedding shows are automatically one of the best places to rekindle old friendships, start new collaborations, grab breakfast together, and showcase your products/services to the active movers and shakers in the wedding community.  
  1. Stay late.  Some of the most serious brides/grooms will linger through to the end of the show (as well as stay after to chat it up with their fave connections).  Don’t pack up early! 
  1. Be the expert.  Don’t just showcase YOUR products and services but show that you’re well connected and knowledgeable by asking about the bride’s other chosen vendors, venue, and decisions about her wedding.  Comment, engage, and show your enthusiasm for her choices.

25299480_10156054283314114_9113911760582019626_n

39543483_10156761868899114_6295161865286713344_oBliss Salon and Spa
  1. Have a strategy.  Not only do you want to have a follow up strategy for AFTER the show, but you want to have a good strategy for obtaining “hot” leads DURING the show.  Are you taking notes?  Are they filling out a short form with you? Instead of mass “it was nice to meet you” emails, try to personalize your follow up with special details you’ve noted about their wedding.  
  1. Share away.  Be sure to announce in the weeks leading up to the show that you’ll be there (via emails to your brides, announce it on your website, and share on your social platforms).  It’s a great way to encourage couples to stop by your booth…especially for any potential clients that haven’t solidified their contract with you. And, what a great way to show your potential and current clients that you specialize in weddings and are well-connected amongst the wedding community. 
  1. Be interested.  Ask questions, be engaging, and create memorable conversations. 
27982749_10156221234314114_7243046454168666338_oCasi Sueno Weddings + Events
  1. Set the stage.  Don’t sit down….stand and engage with clients at eye level.  Don’t put your table at the front of your booth…put it behind you to create a more inviting experience and less of a barrier for conversation. 
  1. Do contests.  Create fun social media tagging contests for all guests (not just the bride) to engage in with universal gifts as the reward for the winner (such as a Target gift card).  What a great way to elevate your social media experience and magnify your exposure to not just the bride’s friends, but to the bride’s guest’s friends too!   
 39589181_10156761868524114_6922236238783053824_oWilliam Sonoma
25299069_10156054267149114_6931178646239364789_nCasa Rondena Winery
27629271_10156221231669114_7818767282779275304_oElla Blu Bridal
27797504_10156221231239114_946640457785056628_o.jpgBlack Swan Events

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Why Your Photographer Thinks You Should Hire a Wedding Planner {Guest Post!}

A very special thank you to Beth Waldron Photography, a New Mexico photographer based in Corrales, for sharing her wedding expertise with us + allowing us to pass it on to our local engaged couples in this guest post!

unnamed-4

4 Reasons to Hire a Planner — from a Photographer’s Perspective

Planning your wedding can be really fun. It can also be a source of stress in what should otherwise be a joyful time. If you have room in your budget for a wedding planner, then here are four reasons to hire one, from a photographer’s perspective. 

1.

Your decor – This might be the first thing you think of when you hear “wedding planner.” A well dressed person running around with material swatches and flower arrangements.

They do so much more than this, but the gorgeous decor part is definitely true.

When you want your wedding decorations to be on point and everything to look amazing, hiring a planner is a great way to do that. They’ll get to know you and take everything you hope and dream about your wedding and make magic with your ideas to turn them into reality. It’s what they do. Especially if you have a vision of a wedding that is uniquely you. They work tirelessly behind the scenes and at all hours…building and crafting and designing and ironing. They create magic.

Truthfully, all weddings can be photographed beautifully. But if you read wedding magazines and blogs and you love how beautiful and styled everything is in the articles, and want your wedding to be like that … that wedding styling is generally the genius of a wedding planner. They make everything, including photographers, look good.

unnamed-7

2.

Your timeline – Your wedding day needs a timeline. And your wedding planning needs a timeline too. The reasons for this could fill another blog post. There are a lot of details to get done for your day to happen and run smoothly. Wedding planners know when things have to happen in order to get everything done in time for your wedding day. When do you need to have all of your ideas finalized so everything can be ordered or made in time? When do you need to order everything? When do you start making decor items you can’t buy somewhere? Anyone can be organized, so while the organization is great, it’s the experience and knowledge of a planner that makes them worth the expense.
A planner will help you build a realistic timeline for your wedding day. How much time do you need for getting ready? How much time will your wedding party need? Will you really have enough time to get from location A to location B? What will your guests do while you’re taking portraits with the photographer? Who will decide when to do toasts and cake cutting?

It’s true that your vendors can help you with your timeline. Your photographer can suggest you pad certain areas with more time and estimate how much time you’ll need for portraits. Your DJ can suggest when to have your toasts and when to cut the cake. Your hair and makeup team can estimate how long it will take to get everyone ready. But a wedding planner will have a vision for the day, pull all of the pieces together, and keep everyone to it as well as they can, while also handling any crisis that comes their way.

If you contract a wedding planner for day of services, then they’ll be there setting things up and keeping things running all day and you get to relax and be present. And then they clean up, which is awesome. Some wedding planners have a day of only service as well.

unnamed-2

3.

Your budget – Your planner will keep you on budget. A good planner evaluates what details  are most meaningful to you in your ideas. They’ll see where you can spend and where you should think about being more thrifty. And they keep you on track in your contracts and payments with vendors.

Your planner will have the hard discussions with you and manage your expectations. If your dreams don’t align with your budget, then your planner can help you find areas to spend less for more or where things can be made instead of purchased.

Wedding planners keep everything in one place. There’s a list of vendors working on the wedding with a timeline for when they get payment for their services.

unnamed-3

4.

Your vendors – Planners can recommend vendors to work with, which is a great thing. But even when you choose your own vendors, a planner keeps them informed about everything. Who’s doing what? Where do they go? When are they supposed to be there? What’s happening when? Who to talk to about what details? Are they delivering what they promised? Are they where they’re supposed to be? They might feel like they herd cats.

A planner is also a single point of contact for all of your vendors, and they defuse any situations that may arise, vendor and personal. And for any of you thinking, “It’s a wedding, what situations could there be?” Oh, it happens. It could be anything from “the bus arrived late to get the bride from the cabin where she’s getting ready with her bridesmaids and the bride will be at least 45 minutes late to the ceremony” (yes…this one is real) to a disagreement between vendors or an overly rowdy guest/family member.

As a vendor, it’s very helpful to have a point of contact for the entire wedding. Planners keep you informed and send you information you don’t even know you need until you need it. Amazing. If you want this level of detail, definitely hire a wedding planner and let your friends and family relax with you on your wedding day while someone else takes care of everything.

unnamed-5

If you’ve ever had the thought, “Do I really need a wedding planner? What do they do anyway?” or wished that someone who isn’t a wedding planner give you some real talk for why you should spend your money on a wedding planner, there it is. A good wedding planner is going to make sure your wedding is gorgeous and everything goes smoothly for you and your wedding vendors. Worth every penny.

unnamed

 

First Photoshoot of Fall: Black Bow Events

The season’s turn is a few weeks behind us now, but let’s be real. In our desert landscape, it takes a little while for summer to fully wane and for autumn to settle in. (Yes, it’s chilly this fine fall morning, but unfortunately, we’ll probably be regretting these cozy outfits when it goes back to being 80 degrees this afternoon!) Luckily for us though, we’re getting all the sweater-weather vibes from the shimmering golds, deep maroons and warm rose tones from one of Black Bow Events signature styled shoots.

If you’ve worked with Danessa, Black Bow Events founder, owner, and wedding expert,  then it’s no wonder she won our 2018 PWG Elite award for best wedding coordinator in Albuquerque + Santa Fe. Her vibrant passion for love and buoyant personality combine to make her not only a dedicated wedding planner, but a wonderful person to have on your team in general.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to  work with Black Bow Events just yet, then… It’s still no wonder! Because Danessa’s penchant for the divinely particular shine through in all her styled shoots.

Northern New Mexico is best known for its Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, mountainous landscapes, and countless art influencers. These are just a few of the reasons why I love New Mexico and everything it offers! Georgia O’Keefe said, “I found that I could see things with color and shapes that I couldn’t see any other way-things I had no words for.” —which describes perfectly why I choose to design and create such visions for my couples.

-Danessa, Black Bow Events

And Georgia O’Keefe would be proud, because Danessa has totally mastered the art of bringing unique shapes into her collaborative shoots. Reminiscent of New Mexico’s famed mountainous landscape, Danessa and her team of local wedding vendors incorporated the sacred geometry of triangles into the deeply contrasted shoot in a way we’ve never seen before.

While we’re always inspired by Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals, we’re especially touched by this teamwork from Black Bow Events, Jasper K Photography, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Mr. Tux and more, to elevate the artistic efforts in New Mexico. So, brides-to-be, without further adieu, come and bask in the real-life inspo that is this incredible styled shoot. You can contact Danessa with Black Bow Events here, and bring some unparalleled magic into your wedding day too!

BlackBow4

BlackBow3

BlackBow1

BlackBow2

BlackBow6

BlackBow5

BlackBow7

Coordination + Design: Black Bow Events

Photographer: Jasper K Photography

Dresses: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Flowers: The Flower Company

Makeup: Marisa Lux Makeup & Viva Grace

Desserts: Frank’s Eats & Sweets

Cake: Smallcakes

Jewelry: Lilly Barrack

Invitations: Cordially Invited Events

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Get $500 Off Your Wedding at the Diamond Dash!

Ah yes, our most popular event of the year has come around again. It’s the Diamond Dash! Famed for the apex of the event — the actual diamond dash, where a lucky few engaged couples get the chance to dive into a giant wedding cake to hunt around for diamond jewelry that’s baked inside — this year, it’s the very last wedding show of 2018, on October 28th.

Typically, the opportunity to win diamond jewelry, tons of other prizes + giveaways, all while enjoying cocktails and conversations with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding experts is enough to draw in all of New Mexico’s gorgeous engaged couples. But, there’s one more hidden little perk to doing your wedding planning in person at a Perfect Wedding Guide wedding show, and it only happens at the Diamond Dash

PWG Bucks.

30715505_10156428119019114_5010886942074601472_o

What are PWG bucks exactly? They’re essentially free wedding service coupons, except they’re totally customizable. So the power is totally in your hands and you get to choose what service to use them on. All participating vendors have special packages or services available that you can take up to $500 off of!

The best part is the PWG Bucks come in increments of $100. Which means you can spend five on five different wedding services, three on one big package, two on two, etc., etc. Big decisions, we know!

This next part is an important one though — how do you get the most bang for your PWG Buck?

Our advice is to start planning out your PWG Bucks budget the moment you register for the event. That way, you can come to the show already knowing which types of wedding professionals you still need to connect with. Then, when you walk in the door of the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, you’ll already know which booths to spend your $500.

30714194_10156428110604114_1767462330309804032_o

Perusing through the myriad of wedding vendor booths with your $500 in hand, you can absorb some IRL (in real life) wedding inspiration, chat with local professionals, and even snag some snacks and freebies from all the experts. Each professional who is currently participating in the PWG Bucks deal will have an adorable little sign on there table that clearly indicates that they will accept your PWG Bucks as a form of payment. Some more advice: if you see the sign, don’t be shy!

Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s vendors are wonderfully talented, it’s true, but they’re actually not mind-readers, if you can believe it! If you’re connecting with a local professional and want to use some of your $500 of free money, just let them know and get the conversation started. They’ll be happy to direct you to the packages available to you and let you know how many hundreds of dollars you can save.

Essentially, the PWG Bucks are your icebreakers and your wallet-savers in one.

30714921_10156428117834114_1131204423381417984_o

Lastly, remember that PWG Bucks themselves expire at 4pm, when the wedding show finally begins winding down and reaching a close. Luckily, because the local wedding professionals are constantly so considerate, most of them will allow you to redeem them up to a week — or even a month! — after the show. It’s all about the communication, so if you feel a connection with a vendor, but maybe need to talk it over with your partner before you book, just let your vendor know!

Ready to get started? Grab your tickets and secure your $500 by registering for the event here.

30739977_10156428114744114_412161356830081024_o

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

 

One Last Sweet Summer Wedding from Kayla Kitts Photography

Happy Fall, wedding-lovers! Are you ready for crisp mornings, warm wedding colors, and the changing of leaves? We definitely thought we were. Seems like we’ve been waiting all summer for the temperatures to finally drop, and now that the solstice is just behind us, we’re already missing the long, sunny days!

In honor of the bountiful summer months — or as wedding experts know it as, wedding season — we’re swooning over this shimmering gold wedding from Kayla Kitts Photography. Monica + Andrew’s beautiful day is the perfect testament to New Mexican summers: baked in the celebration of love, laughter shining through the air, and a rich history of friendship and triumph that paved the way to this union.

Andrew and Monica are high school sweethearts, and a couple who are filled to the brim with fun, laughter, and a whole lotta awesomeness. Something about them makes you feel so comfortable, so happy – like you could chit-chat and hang with them all day.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

An array of pinks and peaches, ranging from dusty to delicate, adorned Monica’s bridesmaids, framing her in the familiar hues of an early desert sunrise. Eucalyptus, fresh as always and reminiscent of summer nights, sprouted out from their bouquets offering little slivers of greenery between the roses.

No metaphor truly encapsulates the jovial vitality of Monica + Andrew’s June wedding, though. Luckily, not many are needed as Kayla Kitts Photography‘s dedicated documentation of the day transcends your typical photographs. We can practically smell the ephemeral summer rain, which graced their Albuquerque venue briefly, and feel the love between the couple.

To book Kayla Kitts Photography + her keen creative eye for your wedding, you can contact her here. Book the local wedding professionals who manifested Monica + Andrew’s dream wedding in to a reality below.

4kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-7

6kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-354

2kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-299

10kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-380.jpg

Their special day was full of excitement, support…and, a little bit of a road bump; the forecast predicted rain throughout the entire day. But, as I knew they would – Andrew and Monica rolled with it. They took deep breaths, crossed fingers hard, and hoped for the best. And the best is what we got! The clouds parted at just the right moment – and gave us the most perfect portrait time until it started sprinkling and A + M snuggled under the umbrella, and all was absolutely dreamy.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

8kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-302

1kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-455 (1)

5kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-409

7kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-223

3kaylakittsphotography-monica-andrew-wedding-390

This wedding’s magic-makers:

Photographer: Kayla Kitts Photography 

Ceremony: San Felipe de Neri 

Reception: Hyatt Regency Downtown Albuquerque

Dress: Bridal Elegance by Darlene 

Hair & Makeup: Lucy Garcia with Honeycomb 

Florist: Enchanted Garden 

Invitations: Pennysmiths 

Shoes: Dillards 

Jewelry & Rings: Enchanted Jewelers 

Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse 

Officiant: Andy Pavlak 

Cake: Bizzy B Cakes 

DJ: Cutmaster Music

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local