Exquisite Details: Local Styled Shoot Spotlight

How blessed are we to live in a city with such an abundance of wedding expertise? Getting married in New Mexico means you have a huge array of choices for the wedding professionals you decide to hire. Which then means, of course, you get to choose to work with people on your special day who you actually get along with, on a human level. Being able to connect with your wedding pros before your wedding ensures that on the big day, things are smooth as can be, because everyone is on the same page.

Even with this connection though, we’re still continuously amazed with how Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding businesses manage to perpetually go above and beyond with the love they bring and showcase for every couple. Which is why we adore styled shoots so much, too. What better way to illuminate the dedication to detail and venerable knowledge each professional has about weddings?

This styled shoot was coordinated and cultivated by the New Mexico Wedding Professionals — a group of likeminded, hardworking wedding businesses who are experts at their craft. From venues, to florists, to officiants and more, the New Mexico Wedding Professionals are an eclectic bunch who all have one thing in common: excellency.

Shot at Isleta Resort and Casino by one of our most beloved photographers, Photographic Perspectives, this styled shoot was all about highlighting that excellency.

An evening of romance, exquisite details, and the exploration of the uniqueness of Isleta Resort and Casino took place. From using custom-made Renee linens for the Santa Fe Opera, to the whimsical florals and carefully chosen lace gown and veil, the vision of sophistication and elegance was truly captured.

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This gorgeous moment, captured in time forever more by Photographic Perspectives, was the amalgamation of so many moving parts, that came together for one, collaborative manifestation of a dream.

To meet these vendors in person, connect with them over mutual love of weddings, and chat about the excellency they can incorporate into your wedding day, you can stop by the first wedding show of 2019: the Wicked Wedding Show! This years theme is Elegance at an Angle — RSVP here, before it’s too late.

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Concept: New Mexico Wedding Professionals Photographer: Photographic Perspectives Venue: Isleta Resort & Casino Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene Men’s Attire: Suits Unlimited Linens & Decor: Occasion Services & Events Officiant: Amor Ceremonies    Florals: Something Special with Flowers

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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.

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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.

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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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2018 Wedding Gallery Recap

Since our last wedding show of the year has, tragically, already come and gone, we think it’s only fair to spend a little bit of time reminiscing on one of our favorite shows of 2018. While all of our Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding shows are things we celebrate and enjoy, my personal favorite of the year was the Wedding Gallery show at Sandia Resort and Casino.

On the sunny morning of August 5th this past year, our Perfect Wedding Guide team arrived bright and early at Sandia Resort to watch the magic unfold in one of their most grand ballrooms. And let us tell you, folks, it really did. We got to watch — and lend a helping hand, of course — as dozens of vendors filled the room, bringing their best decor, goodies, flyers, and free stuff to one space for you, our local couples.

The theme of this year’s Wedding Gallery show was jeweled elegance, and my gosh, was it rich. Bright golds and silvers complimented the deep maroons and greens, blues and mustards throughout the ballroom. Every vendor carefully coordinated their corner of the space to showcase and showoff all the enchanting things they can make possible, and it came together in the most cohesive, jewel-toned wonderland you can imagine.

After the mingling and connecting of local vendors to the hundreds of engaged couples who graced us with their presence, then came the fashion show. With styles from Suits Unlimited for the fellas, and Bridal Elegance by Darlene for the ladies, every couple got a New York worthy dose of in-real-life wedding fashion inspiration, that was also tied in with our overall theme for the event. Velvet, vintage couches headed the runway, and Brad with King Mobile Music lit the stage to perfectly illuminate the fine details on the gowns and tuxes.

Lastly, there were, of course, tons and tons of giveaways and prizes. With free goodies from venues, florists, officiants, and more, so many couples walked a way with a spring in their step after winning some serious discounts and freebies.

We couldn’t have done it without our incredible sponsors, or the amazing couples whose love stories are what make the whole day worthwhile. So, from the bottoms of our hearts, thank you!

(Especially to Sandra + her team at Photographic Perspectives, for capturing the glamour with her magical photography powers!)

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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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Custom Wedding Jewelry: Vendor Spotlight

With November nearly behind us, and the holiday season coming on the horizon, there’s not much we want to do except lay in our cozy, warm beds and scroll through the wedding section of Pinterest, if we’re being honest. Though the holiday season is known in the wedding world as engagement season, so there’s still much to be done. In times like these, we look to our local wedding professionals for a little boost and a little inspiration.

Jewelry by Josana, a local, custom jewelry business, is exactly what the doctor ordered. Josana’s work, riddled with sparkles and captivating to see in the light, is what we need to bring a little bit of warmth and sunshine back into these chilly almost-winter days. As a wonderfully spiritual and intuitive person, Josana endows each of her custom jewelry pieces with intention, love, and blessings for their wearers.

Jewelry by Josana started several years ago when Josana herself began to recognize the importance of jewelry for herself. Now, after 50 happy years of marriage to her hubby, Josana makes jewelry for engaged couples to wear on their wedding day and beyond, so they too, can have this physical connection to something beautiful.

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It is exhilarating for me to see their smiles and excitement when they receive their jewelry! There is nothing like beautiful jewelry to heighten a person’s self esteem.

-Josana, Jewelry by Josana

Using only the finest quality of metals, gemstones, and beads in their work, Jewelry by Josana helps couples choose their pieces to emphasize their wedding colors and add personal touches to reflect their love story within the jewelry.  From hypoallergenic metals and crystals, to freshwater coated pearl, cultured pearls, Preciosa, Australian Crystal, Crackled Crystal, and so much more, the shape, size, and color combinations are nearly limitless for your jewelry.

If you’ve been planning your wedding, or are just obsessed with weddings like we are, then by this point, you probably cringe when you hear about something to make your wedding unique. But truly, each celebration of love is as individual and unrepeatable as your relationship with your soon-to-be-spouse, and highlighting that is one of the most fun parts about your wedding — besides the actual marrying your sole mate part, of course.

Having custom-made, handcrafted jewelry for you and your wedding party is simply one of the easiest, and most affordable ways to do just that. Oh, and did we mention? Your jewelry package order comes with a flower girl set at no extra charge, just to sweeten the day even more. Leave your bridesmaids and partner with tangible memories of the beginning of your life together to cherish for the rest of your forever.

To contact Jewelry by Josana for your custom jewelry today, you can contact her here.

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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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Nativo Lodge: New Mexican Wedding Venue Spotlight

You probably already know this, but at Perfect Wedding Guide, we get to work face-to-face with hundreds of local, small businesses at our networking events, wedding shows, Elite Awards, coffee meet ups, and a whole lot more. Although, despite this simple fact, it’s true we’ve been accused of favoring the members of our PWG family over others. And we think we know where this belief may be coming from…it’s because our vendors and members are the best in Albuquerque + Santa Fe!

When you work with the best local wedding businesses, it’s easy to seem a bit biased towards the hardest working, kindest teams and experts. But we can assure you, we love working with any and every small business in New Mexico, and we don’t discriminate. It just so happens to be that the wedding professionals we work with the most, also happen to be some of the highest ranking and most well-loved around.

Take Nativo Lodge, for example. When their team of wedding experts and event coordinators joined the Perfect Wedding Guide family, we were over the moon. Because, while we adore all wedding businesses, one very real, very obvious bias we have is for New Mexican vibes and venues. Every inch of Nativo Lodge is covered in our distinct southwestern charm, and the venue as a whole draws heavily on Native American influences to pay homage to indigenous people. And, each individual room in the spacious hotel + venue was designed and painted by local, Native American contemporary artists.

The bounteous and fertile culture of our home state is what sets us apart from the mainstream wedding community, what with their penchant for minimalism and all. Of course you can find perfectly beautiful blank canvas venues in New Mexico, but incorporating the history of your home into your wedding day? Well now, that’s how you get a truly memorable, personal, and intrinsically unique celebration.

Luckily for us, local photographers Loren X Chris captured the perfect example of a wedding day with unparalleled richness and love at the Nativo Lodge. Alex + Mike tied the knot with their dearest loved ones and southwestern opulence abound.

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