Emily + Luke’s Blue Hues

You’d think that after seeing and being a part of so many beautiful local weddings, we’d start to get used to all the raw love and emotion in the air around here. But, nope! Emily + Luke’s gorgeous wedding at Casas de Suenos brought happy tears to our eyes, even after all these years. It’s couples like these, Emily and Luke, that remind us of why we do what we do.

Captured by the always incredible Kayla Kitts Photography, it was the little details of this celebration that really plucked away at our heart strings. From the bride’s wide-as-the-Sandias grin, to the flowing, happy tears from the groom, every sentimental and exciting moment of this magnificent day was captured by Kayla’s lens and unique talent.

Blue hues, reminiscent of New Mexico‘s wide open skies, swirled around Emily and Luke’s ceremony, offering guests a hopeful sort of joy as they celebrated man and wife. Also present was their love for travel and adventure — which is almost as deep as their love for each other. From the little flags made of maps, to the suitcases full of goodies for attendees, the couple’s personality truly encompassed the day.

Scroll on to hear the couple’s love story, read a note from our darling Kayla Kitts, and to see for yourself just how inspiring this moment in time was.

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To say Emily + Luke’s wedding day was an epic celebration…well that would be putting it lightly.  You see, Emily and Luke are teachers that live in the Philippines.  But, it hasn’t always been that way – they met in Egypt, when Luke landed a job where Emily’s parents were his bosses!  He says he was excited about the new job, but even more excited about Emily.  If you ask him – he knew he’d marry her the moment he saw her.  He was head over heels for her, and I’d say that hasn’t changed a bit.  As time passed, they fell in love, and since then have continued their exploration of the world – but now, as they begin the school year in Manila, they’re officially Mr + Mrs!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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A big thank you to the talented vendors who made this day possible for Emily + Luke.

Photography | Kayla Kitts Photography

Venue | Casas de Suenos 

Dress | Ann Cuantico

Shoes |  Ecco

Hair | Kayla Chory with Heart + Soul

Makeup  |  Nina Simbana

Florist  |  Ansely

Rings  |  Tiffanys + Jared Jewlers

Suit  |  Ann Cuantico

Officiant  |  Hany Salam

Cake  |  Laura Keen

DJ  |  TJ

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

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Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets

One of the most fabulous parts of working with incredible, local wedding vendors is having the inside scoop on all things wedding planning. The downside? No one on our team is currently engaged (yet!), so what can we do with all these amazing tips and tricks?

Well, share them with you, of course! Whether it’s local deals and promotions, wedding budget calculators, or upcoming wedding shows, we always try to pass on these goodies to all the lovely brides in our sphere and around the world.

{Some say we’re terrible at keeping secrets, but really we’re just wedding enthusiasts.}

This time around, we asked some of our favorite local vendors to divulge their best kept secrets of the industry. So read on, bride-to-be! Check out these four ways to make the most of your wedding day.

 

Photo + Gown: Maggie Sottero

Remember to keep an open mind in terms of designer and style. A dress always looks different on the body than it does on the rack! Choose your consultation party wisely. When deciding who to bring, limit it to those whose opinions matter the most. Make sure to start looking for and order a dress early on! It can take can up to 3-9 months, especially for big designers, for a dress customized to your specifications to come in. If you’re a bride on a budget, don’t hesitate to ask your dress shop for discontinued dresses. You will almost always receive a bargain on those kinds of gowns.

– Darlene, with Bridal Elegance by Darlene

 

 

 

 

One of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks out there and one that can give you the biggest bang for your buck is here!  Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake-cutting, pictures, & feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all your wedding guests to enjoy. You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam. Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… trust us!”

Birdie, with The Cake Boutique

 

…the general advice you will get is to think about the basics:  the price and thecapacity. However, the process of selecting a venue can really make or break your planning experience. Once you have selected one, it should be a place that leaves you feeling completely confident about your big day, not frustrated or depleted. Once all of the planning is done, everything will come together and it will center around the venue,  so ask the tough questions and make sure that you trust the venue to execute your vision.

Lauren, The Event Center at Sandra Golf Club

 

 

 

 

Remember, this is the time in your life that you will be the most photographed.  Why not make the most of it and be camera ready at all times? When booking your wedding trial run with your hair and makeup artist, book your engagement pictures after. Or perhaps plan it to be done on the morning of your bridal shower, that way you can be camera ready for the shower.

Ric Kent, Hair and Makeup Artist

{Pssstt… Want more tips? Subscribe to our blog here for part two of this post!}

 

 

Anniversary Session at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument: Sarah + Jeremy

It’s very typical to see lots of engagement sessions and real weddings here at Perfect Wedding Guide and we can’t get enough of them! But we don’t always get to see the happy couple post nuptials, so we are just giddy to see this stunning anniversary shoot and share it with all of you!

As usual, our lovely Maura, of Maura Jane Photography, hit a home run with this stunning anniversary photo session at Tent Rocks National Monument. The iconic rock formations of Tent Rocks were the perfect backdrop for Sarah and Jeremy, who hiked the monument when they were dating.

The name Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs,” which offered gorgeous ombre hues to compliment the desert color pallet they chose for their photo session. With shades of blue, periwinkle and other natural tones, this photo shoot couldn’t have turned out more enchanting!

Jeremy and I met through a mutual friend on Facebook. I was hesitant to talk to him at first (stranger danger), but he pursued — for 5 years. We finally became friends and then he eventually came out to visit me while I was in school in Oklahoma. We had our first date on New Years Eve and we hit it off right away. Jeremy had me laughing the entire night. It was just natural.

Fast forward a couple of months and I came to visit him for the first time in Albuquerque. I am big into hiking so I begged him to take me to Tent Rocks. It looks so cool in pictures! We hiked all the way to the top to a beautiful overlook where Jeremy leaned over and asked me to be his girlfriend. I was a little stressed, because I thought I already was. This just made it official, I guess.

We wanted to do our anniversary shoot there because it was such a meaningful location to both of us. We didn’t get wedding pictures, so this was the first time we had our professional photos done! We couldn’t have picked a better spot!

— Sarah, Bride

For Sarah and Jeremy’s anniversary session, we hiked the Tent Rock Monument to a location dear to their heart. Sarah wore a flowy tulle blue skirt contrasting perfectly with the pink and white rocks. She carried a gorgeously messy bouquet from Floriography, full of desert flowers, pomegranates and roses. Sarah wanted her bouquet to have native flowers since New Mexico is where their love truly bloomed. Her hair and makeup by Genica Lee was simple yet truly complimented Sarah’s natural beauty. We tried to capture the effortlessness of Sarah and Jeremy’s love for each other as they danced and ran through the mountains hand in hand.

— Maura, Maura Jane Photography

Photos by Maura Jane Photography
Happy Anniversary, Sarah and Jeremy!
Meet the professionals who helped make their anniversary session possible:
 For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Pretty in Pink + White Wedding: Vanessa + Jaimé

Earlier this year, Vanessa and Jaimé tied the knot with a romantic ceremony and gorgeous reception at Isleta Resort & Casino on April 29, 2017, for a perfectly pastel spring wedding. Everything was simple, yet classy and oh so posh. Vanessa chose blush pink and white for her color pallet with a touch of lace and sparkles and a whole lotta glam!

The entire family was dressed to the nines with dusty pink dresses for the ladies and dashing grey suits for the gents from our favorite, Suits Unlimited. And did I mention the dress!? — oh my, the dress! The long, cascading train fanned out to create the most dramatic and stunning effect as Vanessa walked down the aisle.

The amazing photographer to capture this picture perfect wedding was Sandra Tafoya of Photographic Perspectives. As usual, Sandra did an incredible job of capturing and documenting Vanessa and Jaimé’s love story from start to finish. Shining through in every photo, their love for each other and their family is the perfect recipe for a happily ever after.

When we think of weddings, we typically picture a happy couple, which Vanessa and Jaime definitely are. But when I think of this special day, I can’t help but remember the joy on their daughters’ faces as their parents said I do! My favorite pics are of them dancing and the two of them on the golf course.

— Sandra, Photographic Perspectives

Photos by Photographic Perspectives

Congratulations, Vanessa and Jaimé!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Isleta Resort & Casino | Photographer: Photographic Perspectives | Men’s Attire: Suits Unlimited | Flowers: Bride

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

Destination Wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza: Lucy + Jeremy

The same time last year, Lucy and Jeremy were happily wed at the beautiful La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Traveling all the way from Minnesota to join hands is quite the compliment to our gorgeous state, but it was quite the honor for La Fonda on the Plaza to be the ceremony and reception venue these two would choose for their destination wedding more than 1,200 miles away from home.

In planning their wedding, Jeremy and Lucy took great care to keep the theme of their wedding in step with the southwestern style of Santa Fe. But one thing they did New Mexico style without any help from locals was bring the whole family. With everyone in tow their gorgeous wedding made for a momentous occasion spent with all the people they love most — and it wouldn’t have been complete without every member!

With cozy and charming accommodations at La Fonda on the Plaza, this lovely couple and their families felt completely at home every night of their stay. Come the morning of the big day, Lucy and her bridesmaids were pampered in her spacious bridal suite by Monica Stark of Makeup Santa Fe, while the team at La Fonda were busy with all the preparations. And with their in-house wedding planner, not a petal was out of place.

The ceremony took place on La Terraza (the terrace) overlooking the historic city. In the background, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi peeked overhead creating the perfect altar for any Santa Fe wedding. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests retired to the reception area where they were served cocktails and gourmet appetizers before partaking of the traditional Santa Fe dinner, prepared especially for the occasion.

To the sound of live music and celebration, they danced the night away to commemorate their happy union. Late into the night, Lucy and Jeremy stole away for some final romantic photos captured by Twin Lens Images beneath the twinkling stars of the desert southwest. Since their return to Minnesota, they haven’t forgot their picture perfect wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza, where people and place will be waiting to welcome them home.

Jeremy and I live in Minnesota so when we decided on New Mexico for our wedding, we knew we had to show a bunch of Minnesotans what Santa Fe was all about. From the venue and decor to food and drinks, we wanted to emphasize the unique charm of Santa Fe.

La Fonda on the Plaza was the ideal spot — it exudes history, culture, and style with kiva fireplaces, hammered tin chandeliers, ornate beams, terra cotta accents and original folk art. In keeping with the southwestern theme, we had lots of bright flowers, succulents, spicy food and margaritas.

We also chose La Fonda because we wanted a relaxed, outdoor ceremony. La Terraza at La Fonda was the perfect place. The private outdoor patio space overlooks the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the heart of downtown Santa Fe. We were spoiled with a beautiful, sun-filled, early September day that couldn’t be beat.

After the ceremony, we wanted a big party where our guests could have as good of a time as we were having. It started with drinks and appetizers on the patio and ended with a live band and dancing. In the end, we got our party — it took us over a week to recover and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.

— Lucy, Bride

Photos by Twin Lens Images

Congratulations, Lucy and Jeremy! From the team at Perfect Wedding Guide, we wish you a Happy Anniversary!

September 3, 2016

Check out this amazing video of their wedding by Luminance Wedding Films:

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Photographer: Twin Lens Images | Videographer: Luminance Wedding Films | Cake: American Pie Bakery | Floral: Margaret Bost Floral Design | Makeup: Makeup Santa Fe | Venue: La Fonda on the Plaza | Wedding Planner: In-House Wedding Planner, Samie Doerfler, La Fonda on the Plaza

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

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

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

Our Hacienda is Your Hacienda: Hacienda Doña Andrea De Santa Fe

One of my absolute favorite things about my job is discovering and writing about beautiful places to get married in New Mexico — places I didn’t know existed and I’m sure many of you probably didn’t know existed either. And best of all, I get to share my discoveries with all of you!

One look at Hacienda Doña Andrea and I was speechless! I thought, “Where has this amazing venue been hiding all these years!?” Hacienda Doña Andrea is a grand nine bedroom vacation home, perfect for a completely private and authentic Spanish wedding. With the capacity to accommodate 150 guests and 30 overnight guests, it’s perfect for large families or out-of-town guests.

With a spectacular view as far as the eye can see, Hacienda Doña Andrea is the picture perfect venue for local and destination weddings alike. About 50 miles north of Albuquerque, this beautiful hacienda sits majestically atop Montaña Del Oro surrounded by a natural picturesque landscape of piñon, juniper and cedar. Not to mention, the interior is quite spectacular as well!

Depending on your style, there are so many lovely venues to choose from in Albuquerque and Santa Fe — but I have to say, Hacienda Doña Andrea is definitely one of my personal favorites!

Hacienda Doña Andrea offers a multitude of old-world inspired space for relaxation, contemplation or celebration. Whatever your mood or special event, the hacienda will leave you refreshed and inspired.

— The Team at Hacienda Doña Andrea

Wedding Photos by Ashley Davis Photography, Cover Photo by Hacienda Dona Andrea

For a virtual tour with captivating photos and more information on booking Hacienda Doña Andrea for your wedding or next event, be sure to visit their website!

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