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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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.

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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

 

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Announcing the 2018 PWG Elite Award Winners!

Ah yes, the morning after an incredible night. It seems like we spend all year long waiting for our favorite event, the Vendor Appreciation Party, and then suddenly it’s here and over far too quickly. Luckily our henna tattoos and memories of gold + glam will last a lifetime, even if the Bollywood-themed night couldn’t!

A very special thank you to The View Event Center by Simply Decor for truly tantalizing the senses with authentic chai, stunning performances, and a breathtaking space for us to celebrate and appreciate all of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s best, local wedding professionals.

In the midst of all the glitz, we also awarded some particularly dedicated local wedding experts with well-deserved awards in categories like Best Floral Designer, Best Bridal Gown Shop, and Best Photographer. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to take our word for it that these vendors were worthy of awarding — they were chosen by local, engaged or recently married couples just like you!

So without further adieu, scroll on to get the scoop on the best wedding vendors Albuquerque + Santa Fe has to offer, as chosen by real local couples!

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2018 PWG Elite Award Winners:

Best Wedding Coordinator | Black Bow Events

Best Bridal Beauty Expert | Makeup by Kim Fisher

Best Spa or Place to Relax | Bliss Salon and Spa

Best Place to Order a Wedding Cake | Cake Fetish

Best Catering or Restaurant | Blue Plate Special

Best Place to Have a Bachelorette Party | Duke City Pedaler

Best Place to Have a Reception | The View Event Center by Simply Decor

Best Location to Have a Ceremony | Casa Rondena Winery

Best Wedding Officiant | Amor Ceremonies

Best Floral Designer | All The Pretty Flowers

Best Event Decor | Simply Decor & Events

Best Rental Company | Occasion Services & Events

Best Bridal Gown Shop | Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Men’s Formalwear Shop | Suits Unlimited

Best Place to Order Invitations | Funky Olive Design Invitations & Stationery

Best Disc Jockey | Dream Factory Productions

Best Live Ceremony Musician | Cello for Weddings

Best Local Band | Absolute Entertainment

Best Photographer | Matt Blasing Photography

Best Cinematographer | Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photo Booth Rental | Snapshot Selfies

Best Unique Wedding Service | Bombshell Fitness

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Our sincerest gratitude to the magnificent sponsors, who made our Vendor Appreciation Night the speculator party it was!

The View Event Center by Simply Decor | King Mobile Music | Tori Photography | Little Bear Media | Cafe Venture Catering | Funky Olive Invitations | The Acre Restaurant | Hacienda Del Rio | Jaz Catering | Magic Mirror NM Photo Booth | Tully’s Catering | Simply Decor

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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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Coffee Culture for ABQ Brides

What does coffee have to do with wedding planning, you ask? Well, actually, it’s an integral part of the entire process. First, coffee calls us all into the living world. No great wedding was ever planned without some sort of caffeine to boost motivation and research skills. {Don’t fact check us on that one.}

Then there’s the meetings. Meetings with florists, officiants, DJs, oh my! Sure a lot of wedding professionals will have brick and mortar offices for you to come explore their services or products — a gown shop, for example — but many vendors operate on the fly, like some freelance makeup artists. What better place to meet and chat than one of Albuquerque’s several darling coffee shops?

{Not to mention, both local coffee shops below carry the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine. So, really, you can do all your wedding planning in one spot!}

And just to make things a little easier for you — ’cause wedding planning is genuinely hard work — we decided to visit a coffee shop or two and give you our honest opinion. Because we love our local engaged couples, and because we love coffee, of course. So stay tuned for more ratings and ravings on coffee and tea, and check out our critique of Breve and Trifecta Coffee below!

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Breve

I was instantly drawn to the fact that Breve had doddle notebooks and chalk on their tables for guests to use while they enjoyed their delicious coffee or crepes. The manager was super friendly and accommodating to my preference in iced chai tea, although it was not on the menu. It was the perfect space to gather for any planning, hang outs or to work on some homework. I will definitely be back!
Imyraly

Breve has a welcoming and open environment full of creative spaces such as doodle pads open to anyone. I enjoyed a Thai Tea, something that was new to me. This was a wonderful blend of spices and sweetness that did not disappoint!
Bellah

Teddy (the manager) took great care of us with quickly capturing our orders without affecting the quality…and my Vietnamese Coffee (coffee made with sweetened condensed milk poured over with ice) was the best way to start the day!  It’s rich, cold, sweet goodness didn’t need any added cream or sugar….was perfect the way it was.

Shauna


Breve has been set up for distribution for a while and are always so accommodating, friendly and kind! They just switched to a wire rack for distribution because they are such a popular place to pick up a guide. When we went there for coffee, I had the white mocha with coconut milk and no whip and it was amazing!!

Jennifer

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 Trifecta Coffee

I got their hot version of the White Cin. It was warm and delicious with the perfect touch of sweetness from the cinnamon! I never knew I loved cinnamon in my coffee so much until I had this coffee!

Jenna


Trifecta coffee served a delicious “White Cin” coffee — sweet, but not too sweet. The space was decorated with super cool paintings of all of the countries where there coffee beans were from; it was a great unique touch! The baristas there were nothing but sweet and welcoming!

Bellah


From the moment I walked into the coffee shop, I was warmly greeted and immediately noticed the yummy array of baked goods. One of the employees noticed me eyeing the scones and told me that all their baked goods were baked fresh daily. Of course, I was sold once she mentioned that! I had the lemon cake which was super moist! The icing had a strong lemony zest to it. I also ordered The White Cin, which you can order hot or cold. I ordered mine cold. It contained two shots of espresso, white mocha, milk and is topped with cinnamon. If you love strong coffee, this is your place! I was also able to try, The Reload which is blended with ice and hot, provided by the local personal trainers, espresso, coconut milk, banana, cocoa powder, egg white protein and vanilla. I will definitely be back for that one! I love supporting local shops because they are always so happy to greet their customers!
Imyraly
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So pick up a copy of the guide, grab a White Cin or iced chai, and get to wedding planning! Breve + Trifecta Coffee will both welcome you with open arms.
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Meet Albuquerque’s PWG Team

Since the rebirth of the Albuquerque + Santa Fe Perfect Wedding Guide team ten years ago, the driving motivation behind everything we do has been our local wedding community. Having a personal relationship with some of the most inspiring business owners makes the hard work we put in to every event, giveaway, and of course, our magazine, totally worth it.

Not only do we love being able to introduce local engaged couples to photographers, officiants, DJs that we know on a first name basis, but it’s important to us that we match up couples with vendors that we know can make their dreams come true. We can only do that by really getting to know each business — their goals and dreams, and even their personality quirks, which we find endearing.

So, why not share the same courtesy with our amazing readers and engaged couples?! Our team is tight-knit and we rely on each other a lot, but we’re also constantly learning more about one another too. We often do little games during our Monday morning meetings, and wanted to introduce ourselves to you with a particularly fun one. We made acronyms describing our personality using the letters in our names which, I must add, is much harder than it sounds if you have a “z” in your name.

Grab some tea or coffee and scroll on! Meet our team and comment your own acronym below.

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{Very, very thankful to the darling Jacqueline Vega Photography for rockin’ out our new headshots! Book her for your wedding here.}

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Create and Cultivate: Speed Networking at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

It’s that time again and we couldn’t be more excited! Our annual business-to-business speed networking event is taking place, once again, at the lovely Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. If you have not had a chance to visit Los Poblanos, this is the perfect opportunity to see and experience this hidden gem in the heart of the city! Not only will you bask in the beautiful surroundings, but you will also cultivate vital relationships with other local wedding professionals to take your business to the next level.

WEDNESDAY,  JULY 12 | 6-8 PM

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm | 4803 RIO GRANDE BLVD NW

Seating is limited to 100 and we only have a handful of seats left! Don’t wait, registration is required to attend this one-of-a-kind event. Not to mention, cost includes a complimentary cocktail and gourmet hors d’oeuvres.

PWG Member Registration | $25

Non-Member Registration | $40

Remember, business opportunities come from a variety of sources and referrals are certainly one of them. To gain referrals, however, you need to make meaningful face-to-face connections. So do yourself a favor and give your business a boost at this speed networking event unlike any other. And make sure to bring a networking buddy or wedding colleague!

By attending, you will:

  • Generate social media buzz about your brand.
  • Give your business a stronger presence in the wedding community.
  • Properly position yourself to stand out from your competitors.

More importantly, you will cultivate long lasting business relationships to:

  • Maximize your time by meeting a host of professionals in one setting.
  • Do more than just pass a card — chat one-on-one!
  • Expand your connections and increase your circle of influence.
  • Exchange ideas, contacts and share your vision!

Once all participants are seated, the speed networking sessions will begin. During each fast-paced session, participants will network face-to-face. At the end of each session, participants will quickly alternate their seating arrangements for their next networking opportunity. In just a few minutes, participants will share business cards, bios, history and offer new contacts with valuable information about their business.

FOR EXAMPLE

  • Who do you know that might need their services?
  • Who has a similar client base and might refer engaged couples?
  • How might each company do business with one another?
  • Can you introduce them to anyone who can help them?

CREATE & CULTIVATE MENU

HORS D’OEUVRES

CHARCUTERIE | assorted imported & local cheeses | housemade crackers | grilled bread |roasted salted nuts | marinated olives | housemade pickles | seasonal fresh or dried fruit

BEET TARTAR | potato coin | crème fraîche | fresh herbs

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SKEWERS | seasonal spicy aioli

DESSERT STATION

HOUSEMADE COOKIES |  lavender shortbread

S’MORES STICKS  |  homemade marshmallow dipped in decadent dark chocolate rolled in homemade graham cracker crumbs

We would like to thank Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm and Arielei Kinzer Photography for being so generous with your products and services and making last year’s speed networking event a huge success! We couldn’t have done it without you and we are sure this year’s event is only going to be more fabulous!

— Perfect Wedding Guide Team

Photo by Arielei Kinzer Photography

Hope to see you there!

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