Winter Magic: A Real Wedding at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Sydney and Christian had a romantic December wedding that was pure winter magic! Relying on the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains and the views of the golf course, the couple was able to keep the décor simple and elegant with subtle winter and holiday vibes.

– Lauren Landavazo, Director of Catering at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The holiday season is upon us and the hot New Mexico weather is finally starting to cool off. We are thrilled to start seeing all of the winter weddings rolling in–so let the festivities begin! New Mexico is the quintessential place for a winter wedding, not only because the weather stays nice until late November, but because of the abundance of versatile wedding ceremony and reception venues.

There are so many possibilities, from rustic farms with holiday lights strung up, to fairytale-like ballrooms, our wedding vendors can do it all. The Perfect Wedding Guide team is no stranger to helping our local brides and grooms find their ideal “Winter Wonderland”, because after all, who wouldn’t love to get married during the coziest season of them all? We’ve learned over the years that many brides already have a pretty good idea of what kind of wedding they want, they just need a little help getting there.

For Sydney & Christian, a December wedding was a must because it was their dating anniversary month (cue happy tears). A December wedding + reception absolutely meant hints of Christmas in their color scheme and menu–and with the help of The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club, they rocked it. Another must for the couple, and we couldn’t agree more, was to incorporate the breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains. Luckily for this beautiful couple, their reception venue was able to do just that and more.

“Our wedding was everything we had hoped for, with the help of all of our amazing vendors. I cannot speak highly enough about each and every person involved, who allowed all of our dreams to come to true. We are so blessed.”

– Sydney, Bride
Featured Venue: Event Center at Sandia Golf Club
Photography: Matt Blasing Photography
Videography: Southwest Wedding Films
Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Florals: Albuquerque Florist
Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci
Hair & Makeup: Alt Salon
Musician: The Real Matt Jones
DJ: Party Time DJ
Decor: Occasions Services + Events
Menswear: Suits Unlimited

How to Look & Feel Your Best on Your Wedding Day

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we totally understand that every bride wants to look her very best on the big day– and it’s important because not only are you the center of attention, but also the VIP guest who deserves to feel healthy, happy, and stress free. Looking good & feeling good are two very different things, but they don’t have to be mutually exclusive! We are here to tell you that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to showing off your shine, inside and out. All of our amazing beauty experts have your back, we promise.

We’ve gathered some of our personal favorite beauty tips that we’ve been so kindly given by our wedding experts to share with you, because let’s face it, sometimes we need a little help from our friends when wedding stress levels are at an all time high.

Tip #1 – Start Early

• Search online (and in the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine) to find a beauty expert that fits with your vibe!

• Book an early consultation with a beauty expert so that they can guide you in the right direction.

• Start a healthy skincare routine & focus on eating clean so you feel your best when the day arrives.

Tip #2 – Try on, sample, and explore

• Make sure to try out all of your beauty products ahead of time. We cannot stress this enough since you don’t want to have a bad reaction to a product or hate your hair accessories on the day of.

• Order free samples and book consultations to make sure that you make the best choices on products and styles.

• Explore new trends by looking online and talking to local wedding vendors to expand your horizons!

Tip #3 – Treat yo self

• Treat yourself to a yoga session, massage, wax, facial, and/or spa day before the day of the wedding.

• Take the pressure off your hands by letting a beauty expert guide you. Give yourself a mental break because a healthy mind is a healthy bride.

• Do what makes you feel happy, even if it means eating all of those delicious donuts.

Need some suggestions on who to reach out to? Let’s start with these faves: Paixão Nail and Beauty Bar, Waxing the City, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Skinny Secrets, Rodan and Fields, K and C Naturals, and Blo Blow Dry Bar. You can see more of our talented beauty vendors here.

So, that is our take on bride-to-be self-care, but sometimes it is nice to hear directly from the beauty gurus themselves! Here are some BONUS tips from the lovely ladies at Blo Blow Dry Bar:

BONUS TIPS FROM BLO BLOW DRY BAR

Patricia “Bar Boss”

Favorite hairstyle: “Red Carpet”

Favorite product: “Second day” | Texturizer paste that gives a very soft look

Janessa “Style Boss”

Favorite hairstyle: “Pillow Talk”

Favorite product: “Texturize It” | Volumizer to make hair feel lush and soft

The big day is approaching! Here are some tips:

  • Brides should come in 6 weeks before the day of the wedding
  • Bring all of the hair accessories you plan to wear (veil, clips, flowers, etc.)
  • Get your hair done on the day of your dress fitting

The big day is here! Here are some (more) tips:

  • Come in with clean and dry hair, no products should be in the hair
  • Be 5 minutes early
  • Relax & breathe

Blo Blow Dry Bar has the most exciting bridal hair + makeup menu yet filled with unique options for every bride or bridesmaid. We absolutely ADORE the way that Blo created their own booklet with charming illustrations of the hairstyles they have to offer. You can learn more about them here!

Header photo via Paixão Nail and Beauty Bar

New Mexico History & Culture: Celina’s Biscochitos

Beloved New Mexico, you never cease to amaze us with your abundance of talented people who have a strong connection to their culture. We are so fortunate to work with a quite a few of these individuals who let their passions and love of their history guide them through their work. We would be silly if we didn’t share these local wedding vendors with the world, so without further ado, we would like to introduce you to Celina’s Biscochitos!

Celina’s Biscochitos started when Celina decided to carry a family tradition by reimagining what she could do with her grandmother’s recipe for biscochitos. Like many of our other driven vendors, Celina was able to create a successful business from the ground up with her love of “sweetness” guiding the way. What makes Celina’s Biscochitos unique, though, is that she did it all in just about 6 years and was able to put her own spin on a classic tradition.

via @celinasbiscochitos

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we love to take risks and try new things. This is why we admire Celina’s Biscochitos so much, because her company takes it to the next level and they aren’t afraid to be different. In fact, they completely embrace it! Have you ever heard of a green chile pecan biscochito? What about a pumpkin pie biscochito bar? Yep, it was a first for us too! These are just a couple of the delicious flavors that they offer alongside the traditional biscochito that we New Mexicans love so much. We can’t forget to mention the special shapes cookies that they have to offer as well!

Pumpkin Pie Biscochito bars and Pecan Pie Biscochito bars via @celinasbiscochitos

Classic. Authentic. Delicious. This is how we would describe Celina’s Biscochitos. Even though the company prides itself on innovation and uniqueness, Celina still believes that the classic ingredients of a biscochito and the family traditions behind the recipe build the foundation of a great cookie. And we love that.

via @celinasbiscochitos

We’re getting hungry just thinking about all of these sweets—we wish we could get cookies delivered straight to Perfect Wedding Guide‘s door. Actually, come to think of it, we can! Celina’s Biscochitos ships goodies Monday through Friday to almost everywhere in the United States (some restrictions do apply). If you’re a local or just visiting Albuquerque, make sure to stop by their shop at 404 Osuna Rd. NW, Ste A, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM  87107.

Simply Glowing: A Real Wedding at Embassy Suites Albuquerque

The Perfect Wedding Guide team is always working hard to make sure you have all of the resources you need to plan your wedding day. Our blog posts and stories are made just for you, all for the love! However, sometimes we can’t seem to put into words how incredible our local wedding vendors are, so we love when newly-weds and their vendors share testimonials and photographs for us to show the world. 

With these testimonials, we are able to share so many awe-inspiring real weddings that help other couples find inspiration and their perfect vendor. One of the first things that couples look for is wedding venue inspiration, and we get giddy just thinking about all of the New Mexico venues that we just adore so much. 

Our special day was a dream… the staff at the Embassy Suites exceeded our expectations and made everything so easy for us while keeping it within our price range. Our color scheme was spot on and the ballroom had a warm dreamy glow. We lit up when we were shown the gorgeous centerpieces, elegant chair covers and so much more!  

– Adrian + Pablo, Bride and Groom

Adrian and Pablo found their perfect wedding reception venue at the Embassy Suites Hotel ballroom in Albuquerque, and it was simply glowing. From burnt oranges to sparkling silvers, the room was filled with warmth and elegance. Embassy Suites Albuquerque went above and beyond when it came to providing a welcoming space for friends and family, and it made Adrian and Pablo feel right at home. The lighting, layout, the food—everything was perfect.

They went above and beyond and it definitely showed. And the food was amazing of course. Embassy Suites was the perfect place to have our wedding reception.

As Adrian and Pablo entered the space, the candles weren’t the only thing all aglow. Their smiles radiated a light beyond compare! You can see the stunning image gallery from Adrian and Pablo’s wedding by Patti Cooke and Francisco Roybal below.

Featured Venue: Embassy Suites Albuquerque
Photographer: Patti Cooke and Francisco Roybal
Flowers: Something Special with Flowers
Décor: Occasion Services + Events and Genesis Decorations + Cakes
Makeup: Joani Turnbow and Amber Garcia
DJ: Wayne and Maryjane
Photo Booth: Wedding Crashers

7 of New Mexico’s Best Entertainment Experts

You know that classic saying, “it’s all about the music”? When it comes to your wedding, this statement couldn’t be more true. With the rise of technology, we have so many options when it comes to picking some tunes. Between customizable Spotify playlists and YouTube music stations, it’s so hard to say no to these easy and budget-friendly alternatives.

If you’re on the fence about which option is best, we’re going to help you out—you absolutely should book a local entertainment expert. Here’s why:

You’ll get a genuine and authentic experience. Not only are these local musicians and disc jockeys well seasoned in their craft, but they also know how to throw together one heck of a show. For the bride and groom looking for that authentic New Mexican experience—or even simply a classic, yet genuine, performance to make your wedding more elegant, you’ve come to the right place.

You won’t break the bank. With such a wide variety of vendors to showcase, you’re sure to find one that fits your wedding day budget. It is always good to remember that you are hiring an entertainment expert. These are folks who have been working in the industry for a long time and are sure to make your big day the most memorable day of your lives, and that itself is priceless!

Your wedding will be completely unique. From the gown to the venue, every bride and groom has their own personal touch to add to their wedding, and the music shouldn’t be the exception. By choosing a local entertainment expert you get to be in control of the look, the feel, and the mood of the day. You can work closely with the musician or DJ to make sure that all of your favorite songs and sounds will be implemented into the ceremony and reception. 

You don’t have to worry about anything. Seriously. Your job is to have a great time while the professionals handle everything. There’s no need to worry about that playlist glitching halfway through the ceremony because you’ll be in good hands. Now that should be music to your ears!

Whether you want a live accompaniment while you walk down the aisle or a reception DJ that makes your guests get up from their tables and dance, we can’t think of a better way to help those dreams come to life than to provide you with New Mexico’s greatest entertainment professionals.

1. Complete Weddings + Events

Working with Complete was as easy as you could possibly want when planning this stressful event. Justin sat down with us, heard our wants and requests, and paired us with a fantastic DJ and videographer who met our needs perfectly. Both David (our DJ) and Minh (our videographer) met with and developed a relationship with us beforehand to make sure they had an exact idea of our vision for our wedding day. We would definitely recommend Complete to anyone looking for a hassle free wedding experience!

– Sanae, Bride

2. Cutmaster Music

We chose Chris from Cutmaster Music to be our DJ at our reception. And I must say, he was worth every penny! Chris kept us on schedule and got all our guests hyped for our entrance! He then made our first dance extremely special by asking our guests to come stand around the dance floor. 

– Amanda, Local Bride

3. King Mobile Music

Brad King might very likely be the best DJ in Albuquerque, and you would be silly not to book him if you have the chance. My fiance and I met with Brad through a recommendation from our photographer because we had mentioned that our dream wedding reception was A LOT of fun and a had every guest dancing. Let me tell you, Brad delivered.

– Kayla, Local Bride

4. Cello for Weddings

Ryan’s talent, demeanor, and musical talent was the cherry on top of the most perfect day. My husband and I live in Seattle and had a destination wedding in Santa Fe, NM. Working with Ryan was the easiest part of the planning. By request, he played a beautiful cello compilation of my favorite Yanni song- a song which had deep meaning to both me and my dad. The song gave me absolute chills and caused my dad to burst into tears. I gave Ryan very little direction and trusted his experience and understanding. He showcased his talent and expertise in his field effortlessly.

– Briana, Bride

5. Absolute Entertainment

Soulstice was incredible, reliable, trustworthy, and in control. When our venue experienced a few hiccups during our wedding, Vicky grabbed the microphone and was to the rescue, improvising without anybody knowing. They are the best band in Santa Fe, by far, recommended everywhere.

– Heather, Local Bride

6. John P. Martinez, Guitarist Extrordinaire

John played for our daughter’s wedding. He is an amazing guitarist. Our outdoor wedding ended up with last minute rearrangements to indoor, very tight space. John had learned new music for the processional that ended up being the shortest processional ever and he had to sit in a tiny corner. None the less, the ceremony guitar music was beautiful and the cocktail hour music was great and fun.

– Dana, Mother of the Bride

7. Musicology DJ and Events

We booked Musicology for our wedding, after seeing them at a bridal show they put on (which was awesome in and of itself) and we couldn’t be happier that we did! Laura and Eliot were extremely helpful from the very beginning. We started talking about what we are looking at in terms of songs way ahead of the wedding. They’re really great at suggesting songs (their song library is huge, they have everything!)

– Kelly, Local Bride

Desert Vibes: A Styled Shoot with Briana Nicole Photography

The southwest is as diverse as it comes between the melting pot of cultures and geography, but that only means that you can use our gorgeous desert landscape to set the stage for your bright and vibrant color palette. 

It is officially time to say “hasta la vista” to the warm New Mexico weather, and welcome in the thrills and chills of late October. Even though we love a good fall breeze, it’s hard not to look back at sunnier days and feel a little bit wistful. Luckily for us, Briana Nicole Photography submitted this absolutely charming styled shoot conceptualized by Just Lovely Weddings so that we may indulge in our summertime cravings. The incredible images are the cherry on top!

The New Mexican desert is home to spectacular wildflowers, abounding sagebrush, and various cacti plants. It’s no wonder people gravitate to our state for photo opportunities galore. For this styled shoot, the designers used bright pinks, rich teals, and shimmering golds set against the neutral tones of the desert to create an astonishing performance of color contrast. Talk about photogenic!

Lauren with Just Lovely Weddings rounded up an amazing vendor team to share these pops of color, teal accents, geometric shapes, and desert vibes along with the creative usage of a hexagon arch as your romantic backdrop.

Just when we think we’ve seen it all, something new pops its head around the corner and surprises us. Our vendors really know how to put on a show, and we want front row tickets. The bespoke invitations from Funky Olive, the combo of colors in the florals, the macarons in the cake (can you spot ’em?), the gorgeous wedding ring from Ooh! Aah! Jewelry, the breathtaking gown from Bridal Elegance by Darlene… we’re speechless.

Styled shoots are aways a group effort that showcase the talents of so many wonderful local wedding vendors and it really is a community effort, that’s why we love them so very much. We can’t seem to get enough of styled shoots, so keep them coming our way all of you beautiful people!

This shoot came to life with the help of Briana Nicole Photography and her magical camera-eye. Check out the gallery below!

Photography: Briana Nicole Photography
Concept + Planning: Just Lovely Weddings
Décor: Darling Details Rentals
Florals: A Beautiful Theme
Cake: Sweet Grace Cake Co.
Hair & Makeup: Fancy Faces by Gina
Stationery: Funky Olive Invitation + Stationery
Jewelry: Ooh! Ahh! Jewelry
Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Menswear: Ted Baker
Models: Jenna Doddridge and JC Ciddio

Waves of Love: A Real Wedding with Kayla Kitts Photography

“The weather was beautiful, and the scenery to die for, but most of all it was so perfect because of all of the love.

The Perfect Wedding Guide team just got back from the 2019 Wedding MBA conference where we were able to sit in on some pretty amazing talks from professionals in the industry, meet other like-minded wedding business owners, and develop new skills. We are always looking for ways to ensure that we stay up to date with the fast-paced and ever-changing world of weddings, because we love what we do. We will talk a little bit more about what we learned later this month when we recap the event.

Something that we hear all of the time at big wedding talks is that every bride and groom should plan our their wedding and make sure that they set achievable goals for the big day, with the help of talented local vendors of course. When Azaira & Matthew were planning their wedding, they had one very important goal in mind: have the the best beach wedding ever– and they did just that!

Though we will always have a special place in our hearts for New Mexico weddings, destination weddings are just as alluring. This sandy beach wedding captured by Kayla Kitts Photography truly makes us want to put winter on hold, book a flight out of town, and throw on our swimsuits to get our party on! Just by looking through the gallery and seeing all of the smiles and laughter, we can tell that love was in the salty air.

Kayla has a way of not only capturing a moment in time, but also composing the shot perfectly to where it appears timeless. We can’t get enough!

Love poured through every part of the day; from the getting ready rooms, to the vows they recited to each other, and the toasts made by family and friends. Every bit of the day was filled with excitement, celebration, and happy tears, and it was so wonderful. 

They promised to forever on the edge of the sunny beach, and celebrated with an epic dance party as the moon glistened on the water – and if you asked any of us if we wanted to do that day again, we’d say HECK YES!

Photographer | Kayla Kitts Photography
Venue | Grand Caribe Belize
Dress | XO
Bridal Shoes | David’s Bridal
Groom’s Attire | Men’s Wearhouse
Rings | Zales
Cake | Grand Caribe Belize