Networking with Heart

The world is going through some big changes right now, and our lives have been put on hold for the most part. It’s the perfect time to do you – read that book that has been sitting on the shelf, unopened, for years, manifest your dreams + goals, call an old friend, and learn something new that can help you and your business thrive.

Here at Wedding Collective, we are all about learning from our wedding community, and we hope to do the same for all of you! In fact, our own founder/CEO, Shauna Pointer, recently shared some of her wisdom, alongside Amy Weir with Delineate Your Dwelling, at the community at the amazing “Love Your Community” event at the Hyatt Regency ABQ on February 7th, 2020. The event was created on behalf of a road trip with Natalie Franke with Rising Tide Society and hosted by our local lovelies: Kayla Kitts Photography and Julie Haider Photography. In case you missed it, we’re here to share her wise words about networking + fostering genuine connections.

Let’s start by imagining…

“Imagine the first time you were putting yourself and business out there at an event that involved people (real people in the flesh).
Were you nervous, anxious, excited? Did you try on like 5 different outfits, rehearse your so-called 30 second elevator pitch that so many hardcore networkers encourage? Did you feel you like didn’t belong? Weren’t good enough? Intimated by the thought of not knowing anyone in the room? Remember how you wanted to make a good impression and connection? We are in a small business community of working with real people. And networking with heart is about the people behind their passion and their purpose.”

Shauna Pointer, Founder/CEO of Wedding Collective NM

Many of you will have experienced these emotions and thoughts, and you’re not alone! It’s important to remember that we are all human, and our mental processes are very similar. Shauna explains that even if you are a veteran business owner, it’s never too early or too soon to put yourself out there in a networking setting.

She also emphasizes the importance of creating a “tribe” comprised of your fellow community members. These are the people who are always showing up for you, supporting you, and rooting for your success + happiness. This is key, because without each other, we have nothing. By encouraging support for each other, all things are possible for even the smallest of businesses – and hey, that might be you!

“I want to encourage you to seek out others that need shepherding, encouragement, and pull them into your tribe and genuinely connect them with other like-minded creatives. Networking is about real connections and getting to know the people behind the passion.”

Shauna Pointer, Founder/CEO of Wedding Collective NM

We love our vendors + our couples, which is why we are focused on cultivating relationships with creative crews and bride tribes. However, it is important to keep in mind that a genuine and lasting relationship with anyone doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time and authenticity. Here are Shauna’s “tactical tips” to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t shove a business card at someone that you’ve just met for the first time. Take genuine interest in their passion and services over yours.
  2. Be a Go Giver – And GIVE because you love to, not because it’s a strategy. But because it’s a way of life. Givers naturally
    attract others. Give guidance, give advice, give time and energy, and when an opportunity pops up – give good referrals.
  3. Focus on one person at a time – don’t try to “work the crowd”.
  4. Don’t just ask for business referrals, make friendships that turn into referrals.
  5. Seek out others that possibly came by themselves and pull them into your group. Shepherd them into your flock.
  6. Abundantly place other people’s interests over your own.
  7. The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. Be yourself, not what others expect you to be. Don’t be like me at my first event – trying to act older, dress older, say what others wanted to hear.
  8. Be someone else’s raving fan. Be their cheerleader – online as well as in person.
  9. Allow someone else to make a great connection with you. Think of referrals and others you can introduce them to + and they will be endeared to you when they have an opportunity to reciprocate.

We’re thankful that you are a member of our tribe. During these chaotic times, we all need a little help from our community, so reach out, support, and show up for the people around you. Nothing gets us through hard times more effectively than working together… from a distance, that is! #SocialDistancing

Meet the Wedding Collective Team

It’s been awhile since we have given you a little behind-the-scenes, and now that we have transitioned into Wedding Collective, we found it only fitting to introduce ourselves.

We’re the ladies behind the scenes helping our New Mexico wedding community foster connections, dream big, and create the best weddings yet. As a team, we work in a charming little space nestled in the North Valley where we feel right at home – at least we should since it is quite literally a house. If you’ve ever dropped by for a meeting or just to say hello, you know that we’re not kidding when we say “unconventional office space”!

To give you a better idea of what each of us do here at Wedding Collective, we’ve written a bit about ourselves. We hope you enjoy getting to know us + our individually quirky personalities. Brace yourselves – we’re actually really cool.

Meet Shauna

Founder, CEO, Fearless Leader

Hello, Shauna Pointer here! I am the founder and CEO of Wedding Collective New Mexico, formerly Perfect Wedding Guide. When I am not in the office, I am spending time with my adorable family going on adventures or playing board games.

I chose “CHALLENGE” as my word for 2020 because I want to challenge myself to learn new things; challenge myself to embrace unending change with courage; challenge our status quo as a company; challenge our team members to push themselves to achieve great things, and challenge the wedding community to love more, love harder, and never give up.

Traveling with my family is my absolute favorite thing to do, because of all of the unique experiences we have together along the way – like sleigh rides!

Meet Jenna

Creative Director, Crafty Queen, Dog-Lover

Hey guys Jenna here, Wedding Collective’s Creative Director!
At the start of the year, each of our team members chose a challenge or focus word for the year. My word is “CONFIDENCE”. When asked at the beginning of 2020 what word we would choose for ourselves, my hand was the first to shoot up (sounds confident already, haha). I knew that my word had to be confidence. It’s something I need to work on both personally and professionally.

Words of affirmation is not my love language so I’ve discovered my confidence can’t come from others telling me I did a good job or complimenting my work. That just makes me blush lol I know I have all the confidence I need but in those tough moments I need to remind myself of that. We all know our minds battle against us sometimes though, who’s with me?

So this year, its all about the little victories for me. Stepping out of my comfort zone and really pushing myself so I can feel those “I’ve got this” moments. It will help me be a better co-worker, leader, friend, wife, believer, and resource for our friendors. Let’s do this 2020!

Meet Jennifer

Social Media Maven, Super Mom, #HairGoals

Hey guys! This is Jenn, Wedding Collective‘s Social Media Maven.

At the beginning of the year, each of our team members chose a challenge or focus word for the year. I chose “BALANCE“. I want my focus in 2020 to be on creating a balance in my life+work, a balanced (+engaging) experience for our followers in terms of content, and a balanced following of creatives, entrepreneurs, engaged couples, and all the movers+shakers+doers.

The hardest challenge for me will be the life+work balance. I think it can be SO easy to lose track of yourself within your work. There is always one more email, one more project, one more issue to fix, and the list goes on and on and on. I get so busy with being busy that I forget the importance of balance.

Only if you are able to strike a balance between all the significant facets of life, will you have the courage to go ahead and chase bigger goals. In order to provide the best balanced experience for our followers (plus the balance that my family needs), I also need to focus on my own balance. So the next time you get an email from me past “normal business hours”, remind me about balance.

Meet Imyraly

Client Experience Guru, Proposal-Planner, Country Girl

“Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

-Jennifer Lee

Hi, lovelies! Imyraly Garcia, Wedding Collective‘s Client Experience Guru here. Formerly Imyraly Corral, Office Assistant. My last name has since changed because I recently got married to my sweetheart, yay! My job title has also changed. This year is all about out with the old, in with the new! LOL.

When I was first asked what my word for the year is, I said, “determined” because this year I am determined more than ever to pursue my passion and everything I always wanted to do but never did, out of fear of what others would say and the overarching fear of failure. That’s when I quickly realized that my word for the year should reflect me stepping out of fear and being, “FEARLESS“!

This year I started my very own proposal planning business called Marry Me Sweetly and I dove into the acting world. Although I have a daily mind battle of whether I am cut out for the business or the acting world, going after my dreams has never felt more right.

The best part of 2020 was marrying the love of life! We had a How I Met Your Mother themed ceremony, hence the yellow umbrella, because we are the real-life Lily and Marshall. At least we’d like to think so.

Meet Alissia

Brand Ambassador, Social Butterfly, Thai-Food-Lover

Hi, friends! It’s ya girl Alissia here, Wedding Collective’s Brand Ambassador! You’ve probably seen my face on our stories, or around town dropping off guides.

Our team chose a word for the year and my word is intent. For 2020, I want to focus on living my life with “INTENT“, and hopefully make a habit of doing so. I want to be able to take control of my life, and not let it control me.  This means being mindful of how I spend my time (and with whom I spend it, because that MATTERS, my friends).

I tend to always be looking toward the future (big time dreamer over here, people), and if I am living with more intention, I can truly live in the moment and appreciate the journey instead of trying to reach the destination. So, this year I am trying to slow down and appreciate everything that life has to offer—good or bad. And honestly, I’ve realized that not every “bad” situation actually has to be bad. It just depends on how you let it impact you.

Meet Kayleigh

Content Writer, Storyteller, Snack-Lover

“You don’t just wake up and become the butterfly. Growth is a process.”

– Rupi Kaur

Hi lovelies! I’m Kayleigh, the Content Writer for Wedding Collective. I chose the word “GROWTH” because, first of all, I am the newest addition to the team, so I hope to grow a lot in my experience writing all about the wedding community! I also have a goal to make this year my most transformational yet, for myself, my passions and my health.

Growing and learning go hand in hand, and I strive to always be learning. I get so busy thinking about the future and what it holds that I forget to live in the moment and remind myself that I will grow into whoever and wherever I am meant to be. I can’t wait to take on the rest of 2020 with the growing wedding community!

I chose a recent photo of me with my family at my college graduation because it was a huge step in my growing process and I couldn’t have done it without my support system. #AdultLife here I come!

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Wedding Collective is more than just a magazine, we’re a community, and because of this, we spend everyday showcasing New Mexico infused content to inspire. Whether this means creating blog posts to showcase local vendors, or hosting wedding shows for engaged couples, we’re here to help you!

2019 Diamond Dash Wedding Show: The Recap

The time has finally come! The photos from our November Diamond Dash Wedding Show at the Hyatt Regency are in and we just can’t wait to share them with all of you. This year we were so fortunate to have so many bright and beautiful faces at the show. The decor was dazzling, the laughter echoed throughout the ballroom, and the energy was incredible! We love a good wedding show, and this year’s Diamond Dash was one for the books.

If you don’t know what Diamond Dash is and want to know more about it, keep on reading because you’re in for a treat. This recap is going to go into a little bit more detail on what the event is all about, how the whole day plays out, and how the show can benefit a soon-to-be-married bride and/or groom like you!

What is Diamond Dash?

Well, the name comes from the cake dive for diamond jewelry that happens later during the wedding show–but we will cover that bit later. The show itself is put on by yours truly, the local Perfect Wedding Guide team. This show is an opportunity for local couples to get out and have some fun with wedding planning. When the couples arrive, our team will give you a bag of goodies and $500 of PWG Bucks to spend on participating vendors inside the ballroom. Get there early and enjoy the VIP Pre-Party, which we will tell you more about right now.

VIP Pre-Party

The VIP Pre-Party is an exclusive gathering that happens just before the wedding show begins. Join other couples while sipping mimosa’s and getting pampered by local wedding professionals. This year, we had an amazing DJ, Dream Factory Productions, and a top-notch expert wedding panel. Bridal Elegance by Darlene provided a veil try-on station, Blo Blow Dry Bar provided a braid bar, Photo Booth Rentals of New Mexico provided a photo booth, Charlotte’s Flowers brought some gorgeous flower stems, and The Cake Boutique set up a DIY dessert station. How fun is that?! Make sure to get your ticket as an add-on to the main show for next year’s Diamond Dash if you want to be part of the excitement!

Fashion Show + Giveaways

Another unique and truly entertaining aspect of the Diamond Dash Wedding Show is the fashion show that, literally, takes center stage for the majority of the event. The latest trends and styles are modeled by local models of every gender and age for you to find inspiration. And guess what? This year, all of the styling was done locally by Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Suits Unlimited, and Blo Blow Dry Bar! Throughout the show, our fave wedding show MC, Brad King of King Mobile Music, announces the winners of our unique door prizes provided by local wedding vendors.

Vendors

This is really what the show is all about–providing you with all of the best resources to plan your perfect wedding. We invite the best of the best local wedding vendors to set up a booth and meet with prospective brides and grooms. This provides you with a wide variety of wedding photographers, stylists, cake shops, venues, and beyond! We would be lying if we said it will be easy to pick out a vendor, so come with an open heart and be ready to note your best conversations and options.

The Diamond Dash Cake Dive

And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for–the reason for the name! Toward the end of every Diamond Dash Wedding Show, all of the guests and vendors gather around the stage to watch as 5 lucky brides/grooms are chosen to put on a cute apron, tie back their hair, and prepare to get a little messy. These lucky folks have been selected to dig into a cake all at once for the chance to find the box with diamond jewelry inside. Everyone will win a prize, but only 1 of the 5 will walk away with brand new diamond jewelry! This year’s stunning cake was hand-crafted by Honey & Salt Cake Co. and we were absolutely in love with it–even after it was smashed into pieces by eager brides.

This past Diamond Dash was one of our favorites, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and talent of our sponsors. The Perfect Wedding Guide gals are so grateful for those who participated and came out to enjoy all of the vendors and the fun! We want to give a special thank you to our videographers, Journey Home Media, and our photographers that provided all of the amazing photos in this recap, Photographic Perspectives!

Photographic Perspectives
Journey Home Media

EVENT SPONSORS | Blo Blow Dry Bar, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Charlotte’s Flowers, Enchanted Events, Honey & Salt Cake Co., Hyatt Regency, King Mobile Music, NMWP, Photographic Perspectives, Skinny Secrets, and Suits Unlimited

Create & Cultivate: 2019 Speed Connecting Event at Four Seasons in Santa Fe

We, your Perfect Wedding Guide team, want to give our vendors every opportunity possible to make connections with local couples. It’s our mission! However, we realize that the first step to any successful wedding business starts with a strong presence in the wedding community, which is why we host our speed connecting events. Speed connecting events allow local wedding businesses to have face-to-face conversations with other local wedding businesses– because the best connections are made when you’re willing to open up and share your story. Especially when scenic views, delicious eats, and good tunes are involved!

The event itself is different from other networking events because you won’t be waiting around for someone to come talk to you. Instead, we have carefully designed speed sessions where you are allotted a certain amount of time to introduce yourself and your business, share a brief history, and exchange business cards and contacts. The atmosphere is meant to be laid back and, we promise you, there’s no pressure involved. It’s simply your opportunity to spend some time with wedding professionals and watch the magic unfold in front of your eyes.

We hosted our annual Create & Cultivate: Speed Connecting Event at Los Poblanos over the summer, but we wanted to give our Santa Fe vendors an opportunity to meet each other as well, so we planned an October event at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado. The more events the merrier! The New Mexico wedding community joined us at the venue and everyone got to chat over drinks and great food, such as Aji Chile Shrimp Ceviche and a piece of Candied Bacon from the Candied Bacon Wall– doesn’t that sound amazing?! The atmosphere was incredible and laughter filled the air as the soft evening light draped everything in gold. This event is not only about networking, but also about making lasting memories and friendships. We can’t emphasize this enough.

All of this would not be possible if it weren’t for our amazing venue and our sponsors! We would like to express our gratitude to Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado for being our generous venue host, because everything was so welcoming and just drop dead gorgeous. The centerpieces by Bosque Flower Studio were radiant and the music from Absolute Entertainment had everyone in the dancing mood. Thank you to Funky Olive, PSAV, and Colorado Party Rentals for your help bringing it all together.

Finally, we would like to give a huge shoutout to our lovely photographer for the event, Kayla Kitts Photography. We couldn’t have captured the beauty, the blossoming friendships, and all around good vibes radiating from the event without her incredible eye. For those of you who missed out this go round, Kayla’s photos will give you a sneak peak into what you missed! And no need to fret, we host the event every year in Albuquerque, so we will see ya next time.

2019 Vendor Appreciation Night Recap

If you didn’t know already, we, your Perfect Wedding Guide team, love to have fun. Both the team and our local wedding vendors work hard everyday to make sure that we are building the strongest and most stress-free bridges between couples and their perfect wedding. Even though we are extremely dedicated to our jobs and to our local wedding community, we definitely aren’t all work and no play. What is life without a little music, dancing, food, drinks, and great company? Psssst. The answer is boring!

Since we love our jobs, our wedding community, and a good party, we decided to create one very special night each year that celebrates our vendors and their hard work: the Vendor Appreciation Night! This exciting evening encourages wedding professionals from all around New Mexico to relax and engage in conversation with other like-minded individuals, all while enjoying some yummy food and drinks.

Did we mention that there is also a different theme every year? That’s right– we get to play dress up as adults, too! For this year’s Vendor Appreciation Night, the theme was “Siren’s Soiree & the Sailors Too”, fittingly hosted by the Albuquerque BioPark Aquarium and their Shark Reef Cafe. We cannot put into words how thrilled we were to see all of the sequins, sparkles, and sailor hats as they began to fill the halls and the dining room. Everyone really nailed it this year, it’s going to be hard to beat it next year! 

As our guests arrived at the entrance to the aquarium, they checked in and received a gift and then were free to experience the wonders of the underwater world. There were exciting options at every turn, from blue margaritas to seared ahi tuna on a bed of seaweed salad (it was amazing). Rockin’ Piano Party took requests for music and we jammed out all night long. The music didn’t stop until everyone was gone and we even started our own Perfect Wedding Guide Team karaoke session during clean-up!

It would behoove us to mention the incredible table decor from The Flower Co., the stunning cakes from Honey & Salt Cake Co., and the delicious seafood themed hors d’oeuvres from Taste Catering. We were so grateful to have Brad from King Mobile Music there to liven up the party and announce our Elite Award Winners, which you can read about here. T. Rayne Photography did us the honor of capturing the evening and we are absolutely in AWE of how the photos came out. Without these amazing vendors, the night would not have been as beautiful and well put together!

If you attended the evening or not, you’re in for a treat when you see the T. Rayne Photography‘s photo gallery from the evening. Check it out below and make sure to join us for next year’s event!

2019 Wedding Gallery Recap

It is hard to believe that there are only a few more months left in 2019 and suddenly preparations for all of next year’s weddings are in full swing. With so much to be done and seemingly so little time, finding time to explore your wedding vendor options can be a dreaded task. Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we understand the natural instinct to feel loads of stress and anxiety about wedding planning, but it really shouldn’t be stressful at all. In fact, we think it should be a blast, and that is why we have created a very special and elevated wedding show specifically for you– The Wedding Gallery!

Wedding Gallery is specially curated for our New Mexico wedding community and prides itself on its unique approach to conventional wedding shows. This year’s show was an absolute blast filled with an abundance of marvelous vendors to chat with, food stations with mouthwatering options, specialty drinks– including, because I just HAVE to mention it, Cotton Candy Champagne, a couture fashion show and giveaways galore! Now if that hasn’t sold you yet, just wait, there’s more.

Every year, we, your dedicated hosts, try to incorporate a theme for the show that will inspire our vendors and inspire you for your own wedding. This year’s theme was something more close to home, because we are basically in love with New Mexico and think it possesses beauty beyond compare. Any idea of what the theme could be?

That’s right, you guessed it… the Southwest! There were lovely Southwestern vibes coming from Darling Clementine Crafts through their adorable succulent decor, the jaw-dropping hair and makeup by Blo Blow Dry Bar and the stunning wardrobe designs brought to life by Suits Unlimited & Bridal Elegance by Darlene. The essence of the Southwest was taken straight out of our backyards and placed at the heart of the show. Cacti, flowers, and free-flowing hairstyles took center stage at the couture fashion show for everyone to see.

We need to talk about the fact that there were SO many talented people involved with Wedding Gallery this year– it was really an all-star cast. With over 40 different vendors present, it was amazing to see the connections and relationships between local couples and local wedding professionals.

Our sponsors made sure that the show was even more elegant than we could imagine it to be! There were beautiful floral arrangements from Bosque Flower Studio, music from Cello for Weddings and King Mobile Music, incredible photos from Photographic Perspectives, magical decor by Simply Décor & Events, and last but not least, an incredible venue hosted by Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa.

I know, I know. You’re really bummed out that you missed this year’s show, but there’s no need to worry because we always have next year! There isn’t a better way to take the stress out of wedding planning and put the excitement in… plus, who doesn’t love fashion shows, food, and giveaways?

We would like to give a big thank you to our sponsors for this event, as well as Photographic Perspectives for capturing every moment. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you! You can check them out below:

Bosque Flower Studio
Blo Blow Dry Bar
Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Cello for Weddings
Darling Clementine Crafts
Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa
King Mobile Music
Photographic Perspectives
Simply Décor & Events
Suits Unlimited
Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Who is YOUR Favorite Wedding Vendor?

Sometimes being surrounded by so many incredible people is overwhelming, but trust me, we’re not complaining! We work with so many phenomenal vendors every single day – we wish that we could reach out and hug everyone and tell them just how much we value both their friendship and their partnership with Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico.

Since it would most likely take an eternity to show everyone just how much we appreciate them, we decided it would be best to plan one special themed evening every year that is dedicated entirely to our lovely vendors full of food, drinks, music and dress-up! We call this our Vendor Appreciation Night, and you can read all about last year’s Bollywood-themed event here.

The team at the 2018 Vendor Appreciation Night by Tori Photography

In order to make the event even more exciting, which is hard to do considering how much fun it is already, we like to recognize a particular group of wedding vendors that are making a noticeable impact in the lives of brides and grooms in New Mexico. We call this the Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico “Elite Awards” – where hundreds of locals vote for their favorite wedding professionals in over 20 different categories. Check out last year’s winners here!

We are eager to hear your praise for the hard-working and beyond talented vendors that you’ve connected with. Want to vote? Keep reading below!

How to Vote

The voting process is simple! Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click here!
  2. Search for your favorite wedding professional
  3. Write a review explaining why you love them

And voila! Your vote has been submitted! Now all you have to do is repeat these steps for all of your favorite wedding professionals – we want to hear about everyone who made your day the best.

PLUS… All who vote will be entered to win several prizes including Chello Grill, Tour ABQ, and Symbolize It gift cards!

VOTE NOW! Voting ends on September 1st, 2019 at Midnight.

Vendor Appreciation Night 2019

Do you want to have some fun under the sea AND spend an evening with New Mexico’s most beloved wedding professionals?

Hangout with us at “The Siren’s Soiree and the Sailors Too” on September 18th, 2019 at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium from 6-9pm. Dress to impress in your deep sea best, and follow the siren’s song down to the water’s edge. The evening will be filled with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and the announcement of the 2019 Elite Award Winners! We can’t wait to see you there.

RSVP and learn more HERE!

Elite Award Winners 2018

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 Rondeña 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

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

What Local Engaged Couples Have to Say About Planning a Wedding in New Mexico

So, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most people in New Mexico know Perfect Wedding Guide for our wedding shows. Which makes sense, considering how many hundreds of engaged couples and local wedding professionals come together to make shows like the Diamond Dash, Bride’s Night Out, and the Wedding Gallery possible. We’re not really complaining, promise, but we actually have a lot of love and appreciation from some of our smaller events, like the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer!

The 2019 edition of the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer flew past us just this last week. (Of course months of planning, collaborating, and designing goes by in a dizzying but beautiful flash!) All we want to talk about is all the amazing nuggets of knowledge we learned, but wait…

What even is the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer?!

Great question, reader! This particular event was conceptualized to fill the gap between local engaged couples and the wedding professionals who serve them. (Sound familiar?) Essentially, the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer is oriented like a research or focus group. We invite around 10 engaged or recently married couples from the local community to come share their insights, triumphs, complaints, compliments, woes, worries, and wonders about the wedding planning process in New Mexico. 

Then, with bellies full of a complementary, gourmet dinner, the wedding professionals from all over New Mexico take note, adjust their practices, ask questions, and, hopefully, grow! It’s one of the few opportunities you have in any business-client relationship to truly hear and communicate with one another. It’s how we’re able to keep the eclectic New Mexico wedding market moving and evolving in the right direction.

Ready to learn what the engaged couples who have come before you have to say about the wedding planning process in New Mexico? Let’s jump in with our 3 main takeaways.

wedding professionals speaking focus group bridal engaged couples

1. Inclusivity is Key.

Another word for inclusivity here could be clarity. When we asked the couples, “What is the most important quality you are looking for when hiring a wedding professional?” the conclusion was the same across the board. Couples look for those who exude kindness and personality, and vendors who actually listen to their vision without imposing their own ideas on the couple. 

When we asked the couples what the vendors they choose did to earn their business, what we heard reaffirmed these values. They appreciated (and went on to book) the professionals who didn’t exclusively brag about themselves, whose websites were clear and communicative, and whose work accurately represented the couples they want to work with.

For example, if a wedding professional exclusively promotes straight couples on their website and social media channels, the chances of reaching LGBTQ couples are pretty much nil.

To sum: be clear, be kind, be inclusive, and listen well.

wedding bridal couples engaged professionals new mexico santa fe focus group

2. Stick to Email, Folks.

Yes, the digital world is ever changing, and it’s so tempting to make texting your main form of communication. (You can do it from bed, from the gym, from the couch with Netflix playing in front of you, so we totally get it.)

But, because lots of couples create a specific email address for wedding planning, keeping all communications in one place is best. There’s higher visibility of conversations in email as well, so accountability comes much easier.

Also, hate is a strong word, but our couples felt strongly about this: they hate phone calls. Like, really and truly. Most couples are at work during a business’s hours of operations, or they’re at home with their partners and families.

Remember: stick to email.

engaged couples wedding market focus group bride groom new mexico santa fe albuquerque profesionals speaking

3. Yes, Social Media is Still Important.

Your website should still be the home of your business, but social media is where the vast majority of couples look for wedding inspiration. The two top contenders, which you might be able to guess already, are Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram is a great platform to utilize, according to the local couples, because it’s easy to return to feed posts for references — though they love seeing stories, especially of behind-the-scenes previews for styled shoots and weddings. Pinterest is beneficial for businesses as well because it’s so visually-oriented. Then, there’s always the concept of pinfinity, too!

(Pinfinity = the fact your pins continue to be recirculated by pinners long after you post them, whereas Instagram posts are usually only seen within the first 48 hours of posting.)

Here’s your excuse to log on, friends, and show the world what you’re working with.

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A very special thank you to all the incredible local businesses who made this awesome, collaborative event possible: Embassy Suites, for generously hosting us and feeding all our guests a marvelous meal; De Novo Pastoral Services for being our informed and entertaining emcee; Beth Waldron Photography for capturing all the fun above; Estella Floral Design for our darling centerpieces; Funky Olive Designs for our pretty little invitations; Cello for Weddings for serenading all our guests with delightful live cello music; and Black Swan Events, for transforming the ballroom into a conducive, inspiring space.

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New Mexico Wedding Photography with Shutter Force

We were particularly impressed with Megan and James’ infectious enthusiasm, which made the day even more fun and memorable. They are truly adventure photographers and are up for anything to get a great photo. It is obvious that they enjoy their jobs and love spending time with their couples while providing great pictures.

-Amanda, local + engaged

One of the many things that makes New Mexico oh so special — besides the green chile, intoxicating desert landscapes, and mañana mentality, of course — is the variety of people, cultures, and communities coexisting here together. There’s no one, dominant kind of person here, but rather a collection of different experiences of the world, values, stories, and lives.

When it comes to choosing the wedding professionals you’ll work with to make your dream day come true, then, the options are endless. Taking a look at even just the range of skill we have from local photographers, and those who have come from all over the world to be ceaselessly inspired by New Mexico, your choices are definitely not limited. Which means you have the opportunity here to spend time with your decision, and choose the photographer or photography team that matches your aesthetic preferences and personality. How lucky is that?!

Every photographer in New Mexico is talented in their own unique ways, too, so there really is no wrong decision when it comes to choosing someone in-state. But there are a few who we can say, from personal experience, go above and beyond to capture your celebration of love in all its grandness — and all the important, tiny moments too — with collaborative hearts and full dedication. You see where we’re going here?

Meagan and James are the husband and wife duo behind the respected name, Shutter Force Photography, and when we say dedicated, we mean dedicated. Now, of course the couple had their own wedding photographed, so they’ve been on both sides of the lens and know how to move and operate within the bustling business of a wedding day without being obtrusive or missing a special moment. This, paired with their adventurous and fun-loving personalities, makes Shutter Force Photography feel more like a couple of your close friends, Meagan and James, who happen to be supremely skilled behind the camera. Which you can see, through the candid smiles, comfortable postures, and wide open hearts of everyone who collaborates with them.

We could talk endlessly about Shutter Force Photography‘s particular strengths and aesthetic style, but no matter how heavily we lean on the thesaurus, nothing comes close to describing their ability to capture sweeping landscapes and delicate details like, well, their photos of sweeping landscapes and delicate details. So we’ll let them take it from here.

To book Shutter Force Photography for your wedding, you can contact Meagan and James here.

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Outstanding, caring and enthusiastic photographers, who do an amazing job of catching the big and little details that make up a special day!

-Mark, local + newlywed

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My Beloved Vintage Rentals: Local Spotlight

Something about this fine start to a brand new year has us feeling like the right thing to do, right now, is just to indulge in the beauty around us. We’re lucky enough to be on the forefront of weddings, styled shoots, vendor collaborations, and so much more. We’re even luckier to be doing what we love to do, here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, because both communities are rich in creative people with unique aesthetics, who aren’t afraid of pushing boundaries.

Which is how we landed on highlighting My Beloved Vintage Rentals, on this crisp winter morning. Founded on the principle that beauty is everything, the woman-owned decor team provides their couples and clients with so much more than just your average stock of chair covers.

With meticulously chosen vintage furniture and textiles, classic wooden yard games for the child’s spirit within all of us, and handcrafted, lovingly built tables of all shapes and sizes, My Beloved Vintage Rentals does big details in a big way.  Not to mention their take on the circular arch backdrop — the trend that everyone and their mother has been swooning over this season — that supports crawling, sprawling florals and fanciful greenery.

But, with all the love that’s poured into the big details, the little details get twice as much. Because crafting a memorable, special moment to match your love story is actually what My Beloved Vintage Rentals does best. It’s no wonder their team has been popping up in just about every jaw-dropping styled shoot and wedding in New Mexico!

To book My Beloved Vintage Rentals, and ensure your wedding celebration is fine-tuned into your unique love story and personality, you can contact their team here.

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Brittany Mundy Photography

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Brittany Mundy Photography

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Brittany Mundy Photography

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Brittany Mundy Photography

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