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.

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.

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

2018 Four Seasons Connection Luncheon Recap

Okay, so maybe we’re a bit nostalgic, but is that so wrong? Especially since we’re only a few days into 2019, and here in New Mexico, 2018 was one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s best years yet. We had wedding shows, luncheons, and parties galore, plus relationship building, contest-throwing, giant giveaways, and more. The only way to rectify our desperate reminiscing is to start look eagerly toward our upcoming events, which we’re definitely doing, don’t get us wrong.

But before we jump ahead, we have to spend at least a moment discussing the experience of our Four Seasons Connection Luncheon that was in December of 2018. Because that’s exactly what it was — an experience. Four Season‘s unparalleled elegance, the crisp, clean air of Santa Fe, and Alena Bard LLC.‘s wisdom all combined to create a truly moving afternoon.

Lucky for us, Keara Lloyd Photography was there to capture every moment, too, from the first course to the last lingering conversation. The former being, if you can believe it, warm quail on a bed of roasted fennel salad, decorated with a complimentary beet puree, roasted almonds, and white balsamic glazed blueberries. Then came the duel entrees: slow braised short ribs with green chile mashed potato, and chorizo and macadamia roasted Chilean sea bass.

Accompanying every bite was a light and refreshing sparkling wine that prepared the palette for our team’s personal favorite, the dessert: strawberry trifle with sponge cake, vanilla and Chantilly cream. The only thing that rivaled the dessert’s sweetness was the absolute treat of hearing local wedding planner Alena Bard LLC. share her knowledge to the group of local business owners. She talked finding your purpose, holding onto it, and weaving passion and self-compassion into your business practices. We walked away feeling filled to the brim with inspiration and delectable cuisine.

The best part of being positioned between local engaged couples and the businesses who serve them is being able to spoil both parties. For our engaged couples, it’s through our giveaways, wedding shows, online tools, print guide, etc., etc., etc. And for the local wedding professionals, who work so hard to elevate and evolve Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s market, it’s through indulgent, invigorating, innovative days like this.

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

 

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

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

Come One, Come All! Witness the Incredible 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Last night was a circus — literally! Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote, we had the amazing opportunity to show our appreciation and celebrate the accomplishments of our favorite wedding professionals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for our annual Bride’s Select Awards at NOAH’s Event Venue.

More than 650 local brides, grooms and newlyweds voted in over 20 categories and the results are in! Covering everything from Best Beauty Expert and Best Floral Designer to Best Ceremony Venue and Best Photographer, we are pleased to present you with the best of the best!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to see the amazing, the talented 2017 Bride’s Select Award winners!

Best Unique Wedding Service: Frost Gelato

Best Photo Booth Rental: Cutmaster Music

Best Cinematographer: Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photographer: Matt Blasing Photography

Best Local Band: Entourage Jazz

Best Disc Jockey: Dream Factory Productions

Best Place to Order Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery

Best Hotel for Guest Accommodations: Hotel Andaluz

Best Men’s Formal Wear Shop: Mr. Tux Formal Wear

Best Bridal Gown Shop: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Floral Designer: Floriography

Best Rental Company: Simply Décor and Events

Best Event Decor: Black Swan Events

Best Wedding Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Best Location to have a Ceremony: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Best Place to Have a Reception: Hotel Albuquerque

Best Place to Have a Rehearsal Dinner: El Pinto

Best Place to have a Bachelorette Party: Uptown Funk

Best Catering or Restaurant: Prairie Star

Best Place to Order Wedding Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci

Best Spa or Place to Relax: Bliss Salon & Spa

Best Bridal Beauty Expert: Genica Lee

Best Wedding Coordinator: Alena Swanson, LLC

Congratulations, 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Photos by Sacred Life Photography

And, of course, a special thanks to our AMAZING sponsors! You made our Bride’s Select Awards Circus a huge success!

Ringmaster Brad of King Mobile Music | NOAH’S Event Venue | Occasion Services & Events | Conchita’s Creations | Bombshell Fitness | Sacred Life Photography | Charlotte’s Flowers | High Noon Restaurant & Saloon | Wise Fool New Mexico

Every year, your local Perfect Wedding Guide reaches out to hundreds of New Mexico brides, grooms and newlyweds just like you to get your feedback on your favorite local wedding businesses.

Stay tuned for dates to cast your vote for our 2018 Bride’s Select Awards!

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

Bridal Board & Vendor Mixer

Join us next Thursday for our annual Bridal Board & Vendor Mixer! If you’re a local wedding professional, you don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity to get firsthand insight into the mind of your customer. We will have a panel of recent brides and grooms to answer all your pressing questions.

Thursday, April 13th | 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Isleta Resort & Casino, 11000 Broadway Blvd SW

$25 PWG Members | $40 Non Members

PWG MEMBERS REGISTER HERE

 NON MEMBERS REGISTER HERE

Be sure to bring a networking buddy or wedding colleague. Seating is limited to 100, so don’t wait! You don’t want to miss it!

After you help yourself to some delicious food, participants will take a seat and the panel will begin. Our emcee will start by asking the couples a series of questions, encompassing everything from customer-vendor relations to their top wedding priorities.

Each question will include time for open and honest discussion. As we come to a close, professionals will have an opportunity to ask their most pressing questions. To conclude, we will re-locate to the Jar Spa for more treats, cocktails, pampering and networking!

Photos by Matt Blasing Photography

CALL FOR BRIDES AND GROOMS!

Are you engaged or recently wed? We are still looking for brides and grooms to join our panel and we would love to have you! Register HERE!

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

2016 Bride’s Select Award Winners

Although there are so many amazing wedding vendors to choose from across Albuquerque and Santa Fe, this year’s Bride’s Select Award Winners have definitely earned their place at the top of the list. Over 400 brides — and grooms — have spoken, and the results are in!

They voted on everything from Best Beauty Expert and Best Floral Designer to Best Ceremony Location and Best Photographer and we are pleased to present you with the best of the best. Once you see their mouthwatering confections and fabulous photographs, you will see why they take the cake!

MEET OUR 2016 BRIDE’S SELECT AWARD WINNERS

Best Wedding Coordinator  |  Alena Swanson, LLC

Best Beauty Expert  |  D’ette Tesso-Kellner, Doll Face Artistry

Best Spa  |  Bliss Salon & Spa

Best Place to Order Wedding Cake  |  The Cake Boutique

Best Catering  |  Cooperage & Scarpa’s Catering

Best Party Venue  |  Sandia Resort & Casino

Best Rehearsal Dinner Location  |  St. Clair Winery & Bistro

Best Reception Location  |  Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town

Best Ceremony Location  |  Casas de Sueños

Best Officiant  |  Amor Ceremonies

Best Rental Company  |  Classic Party Rentals

Best Floral Designer  |  Something Special with Flowers

Best Bridal Gown Shop  |  Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Men’s Formalwear  |  Suits Unlimited

Best Guest Accommodations  |  Sheraton Uptown

Best Place to Order Wedding Invitations  |  Differently Designed

Best Disc Jockey  |  Dream Factory Productions

Best Local Band  |  Entourage Jazz

Best Photographer  |  Matt Blasing Photography

Best Cinematographer  |  Emily Joanne Wedding Films & Photography

Best Photobooth  |  Shutterbooth

Best Gift Registry  |  CK Hall, Pampered Chef

Best Unique Service  |  Simply Décor

Best Ceremony Music  |  Empire Strings

Matt Blasing Photography
Matt Blasing Photography

Congratulations 2016 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Every year the Perfect Wedding Guide reaches out to hundreds of New Mexico brides and grooms and newly married ladies and gents like you, to get feedback about your favorite local wedding businesses.

Vote now for our 2017 Bride’s Select Awards and your favorite wedding professionals and win some fab prizes!

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

2016 Bride’s Night Out {Re-living the Fun}

This year’s Bride’s Night Out was definitely an event to remember. When it comes to wedding planning, you want the best people on the job, so we connected you to local vendors who care. We loved hosting this event and seeing all of our brides and grooms having a crazy, fun time planning their perfect wedding. We couldn’t have made this event happen with out our vendors, sponsors, and our soon-to-be-married couples. We adore working with all of you and cannot wait to hang out with all of you again for next year’s Bride’s Night Out!

Much thanks to Hotel Andaluz and their staff for letting us use their gorgeous space! It is perfect for all things wedding!
Much thanks to Hotel Andaluz and their staff for letting us use their gorgeous space! It is perfect for all things wedding! (Via: Matt Blasing)
Gorgeous table décor by Sandia Casino & Resort
Gorgeous table décor by Isleta Resort and Casino
Gorgeous hairpiece by Bridal Elegance by Darlene!
Gorgeous hairpiece by Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Gorgeous Jewelry by Silpada Jewelry by Lisa Lipke...
Gorgeous Jewelry by Silpada Jewelry by Lisa Lipke…
Adorable wedding-themed berries at the Nature Pointe booth!
Adorable wedding-themed berries at the Nature Pointe booth!
Gorgeous flowers by Estella Floral Design
Gorgeous flowers by Estella Floral Design
Totally adoring this display by Dinner 4 Two
Totally adoring this display by Dinner 4 Two (Via: Matt Blasing)
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Fantastic décor at the Strawberries and More booth
Charming setting by Classic Party Rentals
Charming setting by Classic Party Rentals

We loved this event so much. The relaxed vibes helped everyone unwind and enjoy each other, and we couldn’t have accomplished any of it without these vendors and sponsors:

Venue: Hotel Andaluz

Photography: Matt Blasing Photography

Videography: 2U Films

Linens: Classic Party Event + Tent Rentals

MC/DJ: Complete Weddings and Events 

For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, head on over to perfectweddingguide.com! Much love, xoxo- PWG