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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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. 
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  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
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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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