From Albuquerque to Iceland: Real Winter Wedding

With the winter chill covering our Sandia Mountains in crisp, white snow, but not gracing the city with the same, it’s no wonder we’re feeling a bit envious of this real wedding from local couple, Sara-Irene + Alex. Can we all just pack up our things and hitch it over to Iceland, like the lovebirds did for their wonderfully intimate, wintery wedding?

Alas, there’s much to do in here in New Mexico, so we’ll have to live vicariously through the photos of their breathtaking ceremony. Luckily Maura Jane Photography was there to capture every detail and darling moment between the couple. With her magic-making gear in tow, Maura hopped on a plane to Iceland with just the couple and their officiant after they decided to switch up their plans.

Sara-Irene and Alex had originally planned a large local wedding here in Albuquerque. After a month of planning, they realized that the upcoming wedding didn’t portray the two of them very well. It didn’t feel like they thought their wedding should. It didn’t take long for them to flirt with the idea of an elopement. After all, Sara-Irene already had her dress and none of the invites had been sent. After scouring Pinterest for ideas, they fell in love with and settled on Iceland. One quick phone call and they changed their plans and dates to head to the land of fire and ice.

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While we don’t advocate for ever leaving our Land of Enchantment — why would you ever want to?! — we’d be lying if we didn’t say it was the perfect move for Sara-Irene + Alex. Ultimately, each wedding serves as a reflection of the values and love between its respective couple, in all their deeply unique and incomparable ways.

It may have been cold but the wind blew Sara’s bouquet ribbons in the most beautiful fashion adding to the ethereal look of all their photos. It also made it so only they themselves could hear each other say their vows, adding to the intimacy of the day. Afterwards we traveled around the island to some of the most picturesque locations for photos that you have ever seen. From the black sand beaches in Vik to the icy glaciers on the south side of the island, we were all completely awestruck by its beauty. Sara-Irene and Alex could not have picked a more ideal place to say I do. With their adventurous hearts and desire to keep their wedding intimate, it all fell together perfectly.

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A hearty and warm congratulations to Sara-Irene + Alex for leaping together into the evolution of their love story. And, of course, thank you to Maura Jane Photography for ensuring that the moment will be preserved in their hearts, and ours, for lifetimes to come.

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Photographer: Maura Jane Photography Venue: Reynisfjara, and Jökulsárlón Dress Store: A Dressy Occasion Dress Designer: Mon Cheri Veil: Bridal Elegance by Darlene Ring: Heidi Gibson Ribbons: Table and Vase Flowers: Upplifun, Be Inspired – bækur, blóm og gjafavara Desserts: Alchemy Confections Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery Officiant: Tryggvi Gunnarsson of  Sidmennt

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Save the Dates: Setting the Tone for Your Wedding {Guest Post!}

Our deepest thanks to the wonderful team of experts over at Paperlust for sharing their wedding expertise with us + our local wedding community through this awesome guest post!

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A save the date is one of the first pieces of wedding stationery that your guests see. It is an opportunity to create cohesion with your wedding invitation and on-the-day stationery, giving everyone a glimpse of what the most special day of your life will be like. There are many ways to do this, and we’ve compiled a list of tips to get you started.

Your Signature Style

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If you have a trademark style or have picked one for your nuptials, why not give everyone an idea of what it is from the outset? Your whole wedding will have a fantastic sense of unity and guests can know what to expect. For example, if you’re planning to host a formal wedding, an overly casual save the date will give people the wrong idea (and they may not come dressed how you want them to). Some design elements that suit formal events are gold foiling, letterpress, formal wording and limited colour. On the other hand, if you’ve got an off white knee length wedding dress and plan to walk down the aisle in your family’s barn, kick off the rustic vibes with a sweet kraft paper invite.

A Theme to Build Around

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Many an engaged person has balked at the enormity of the task that planning a wedding presents. Where do you even start? A wedding has to be built around something, so if you’re struggling for inspiration, why not build it around a theme that is unique to you and your love? If you two regularly argue about who could have a career in stand up comedy, a humorous save the date might be just the thing to kick off the festivities with a laugh. Get creative with the wording and give all your friends a giggle as they see your save the date on their fridge leading up to the wedding. Alternatively, your theme could be related to a certain region, like French (red, white and blue on your save the dates and baguettes as your starters) or Australiana theme. Whatever theme you pick should ideally be included the rest of the way through your wedding, but don’t feel the need to be too obvious. After all, less is more.  

The Reoccurring Motif

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You might be thinking, ‘Wait, aren’t a theme and motif the same thing?’ Basically, a theme is a key idea while a motif is a reappearing symbol, image or idea. If your wedding has a tropical theme but you think the palm leaf or wave invitations are played out, consider including pineapples as an image that repeats throughout not just your stationery, but for your whole wedding. You could even secretly weave pineapples into unexpected parts of your day and see who notices. Themes and motifs aren’t about how loud you can be, so aim for something tasteful. Flowers are another example of a motif to include in your save the date to give loved ones a hint without explicitly stating that you’re hosting a spring garden wedding.

Storytelling As an Art

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Every couple has a story to tell – so why not share it with those you love most during your special season in a way that is unique to you? While there are many ways to tell a good tale, pictures can be an easy and practical way to get creative. Use photocards to give the story in ‘chapters’, starting with your save the date. You could stick to black and white, frame the idea in terms of movie scenes or make every bit of stationery totally unique. That’s the best part – it’s all about you and your partner! Brainstorm some ideas then grab a camera (or hire a photographer) and start shooting.

 

Save the dates are more important than you might have first thought. Send these trend setters out at least 10 weeks before your wedding, or longer for a destination wedding, and all of your guests will know what they’re in for. Plus, the more notice they have, the more likely they are to be free to come. Happy planning!

 

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5 Rules For Choosing A Wedding Venue

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we get to work one-on-one with Albuquerque’s best florists, officiants, photographers, and the like, every single day. So it’s safe to assume that we might know a bit more about weddings than your average Joe or Joanne. While we like to think that we’re somewhat of experts though, we always turn to our local vendors for the real knowledge. When you need to know who the best wedding professionals are — turn to us. For the nitty gritty wedding planning details — we turn to them.

Like when our local officiants dropped some serious education on us about why hiring a professional is so important for your wedding. Or when Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup gave us some incredible tips for your wedding day hair care, and Beth Waldron Photography told us why your photographer thinks you should hire a wedding planner. There’s such a wealth of knowledge in the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding community, and we’re just here to harness it!

Which is why we’re so happy to have this super helpful info from the delightful Embassy Suites, on the whats, whys, and hows, of choosing a venue for your wedding day. Of all the wedding professionals you hire for your ceremony, your venue is going to be up there in the top three most important. Because, well, it’s going to set the tone for the whole day! So it pays to know how to choose the venue that’s right for you, your future spouse, and your budget.

Without further adieu, we’ll let Jonathon, with Embassy Suites, tell you how to do that — he’s the real expert. (Photos by Alicia Lucia Photography.)

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1 | BACKTRACK.

 

A lot of times, it’s good to start things “backwards,” if you will. Start by putting a rough budget together. Guestimate how many guests you think will attend. The number doesn’t have to be exact, and details may change throughout the duration of your planning. But it’s good to have some kind of  number in mind before you even walk into a venue for pricing.

2 | EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM.

If you can help it, try to start venue shopping at least a year out from your special day (or as early as you possibly can). Choosing a venue is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in planning a wedding. You want to give yourself enough time to explore your options and find the best fit for you.

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3 | ASK, ASK, ASK!

Any time a question pops into your head, ask away! Our motto here at Embassy is that it’s better to ask as many questions and obtain as many answers early on than to be stressed out and asking on your special day.

4 | KEEP IT IN WRITING.

Planning a wedding can be exciting, but it’s not without its difficulties. You’re going to have so many details in your head at any given time throughout the planning process that a detail may slip here or there. A best practice is to back up all your details in writing – either via e-mail, via handwritten notes, etc. Whenever you sit down with your coordinator in person, or even when you speak to him/her over the phone, have your notes in front of you.

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5 | LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

 

Always keep the location of your venue in mind – even more so if many of your guests will be travelling from out of town. How accessible is your venue? Is it easy to find? Also, if you will be hosting your ceremony and your reception in two separate venues, just make sure to factor travel time into the equation. For venues that are farther apart, always plan ahead for unexpected hiccups. An accident on the highway one hour before your reception may lead to your guests frustrated and sitting in traffic.

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Nativo Lodge: New Mexican Wedding Venue Spotlight

You probably already know this, but at Perfect Wedding Guide, we get to work face-to-face with hundreds of local, small businesses at our networking events, wedding shows, Elite Awards, coffee meet ups, and a whole lot more. Although, despite this simple fact, it’s true we’ve been accused of favoring the members of our PWG family over others. And we think we know where this belief may be coming from…it’s because our vendors and members are the best in Albuquerque + Santa Fe!

When you work with the best local wedding businesses, it’s easy to seem a bit biased towards the hardest working, kindest teams and experts. But we can assure you, we love working with any and every small business in New Mexico, and we don’t discriminate. It just so happens to be that the wedding professionals we work with the most, also happen to be some of the highest ranking and most well-loved around.

Take Nativo Lodge, for example. When their team of wedding experts and event coordinators joined the Perfect Wedding Guide family, we were over the moon. Because, while we adore all wedding businesses, one very real, very obvious bias we have is for New Mexican vibes and venues. Every inch of Nativo Lodge is covered in our distinct southwestern charm, and the venue as a whole draws heavily on Native American influences to pay homage to indigenous people. And, each individual room in the spacious hotel + venue was designed and painted by local, Native American contemporary artists.

The bounteous and fertile culture of our home state is what sets us apart from the mainstream wedding community, what with their penchant for minimalism and all. Of course you can find perfectly beautiful blank canvas venues in New Mexico, but incorporating the history of your home into your wedding day? Well now, that’s how you get a truly memorable, personal, and intrinsically unique celebration.

Luckily for us, local photographers Loren X Chris captured the perfect example of a wedding day with unparalleled richness and love at the Nativo Lodge. Alex + Mike tied the knot with their dearest loved ones and southwestern opulence abound.

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King Mobile Music: King of Parties in Albuquerque

Here in Albuquerque, our Perfect Wedding Guide team is probably best known for the handful of wedding shows we throw throughout the year. The most popular one being, of course, the Diamond Dash. Though, on the day of the wedding show, our favorite part actually comes when the curtains close on another high-energy, super fun Sunday — when we get to see hundreds of couples leave the Hyatt Regency Downtown with bags full of free goodies and prizes, and giant smiles on their faces.

We can only take a small portion of the credit for those happy couples though, because most of the magic happens on stage. Yes, we’ve got the bridal fashion show, but more importantly, we’ve got Brad from King Mobile Music up on stage with a mic, and a slew of jokes and games to get everyone pumped up.

My fiancé 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. From the very beginning as the guests were arriving, he was mingling and chatting with everybody. And then as soon as it was time for the reception, he was ready to turn it into a great party! He was out on the dance floor with everybody and he kept the party going the whole night.

-Kayla, local newlywed

The team at King Mobile Music is so much more than a group of DJs, and they’ll tell you that themselves, too. As entertainment professionals and wedding experts, King Mobile Music offers couples things that they didn’t even know they wanted — like two DJs, instead of just one. With two experts there for each wedding, the King Mobile Music team ensures that one can keep the music flowing smoothly, while the other interacts with the audience to keep spirits high, and feet dancing.

Plus, with customizable lighting packages available for engaged couples, King Mobile Music is kind of a one-stop-shop for all your wedding entertainment. Their team is responsible for lighting the Dîner en Blanc the last several years — an event which typically has over 800 attendees — so you can feel confident in their lighting equipment and abilities. Because, if we’re being real, Dîner en Blanc is probably the most legit event in Albuquerque, which makes King Mobile Music pretty darn legit, too. (So legit we’re still using the word legit as an adjective because their team impresses us so much, we forgot it wasn’t 2014 anymore.)

From now until the end of the year, King Mobile Music is offering engaged couples six free uplights with their wedding music + lighting package. Which is a $300 value — as if they aren’t already doing so much for the local wedding community here! To book the King Mobile Music team  and ensure that your special day is the most fun wedding you’ll ever attend, you can contact them here.

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King Mobile Music made our wedding day so memorable. They were dressed professionally, handled themselves well and most of all made our wedding so much fun! We incorporated Jewish traditions into our reception which KMM had no problem leading. They handled the Hora dance better than any DJ’s on YouTube videos that I have seen. Honestly I think EVERYONE was on the dance floor. We did not have to worry about the timeline because they kept us on schedule. They even made sure guests gave us time to eat!!! We appreciate everything they did for us. We definitely recommend them for your wedding.  

-M, local newlywed

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Marriott Pyramid North: Upscale in Albuquerque

If you’ve been anywhere near the heart of Albuquerque, you’ve probably noticed the captivating and strange skyline, shaped by the city’s architecture. (If you haven’t been to heart of Albuquerque, well, what are you waiting for!?) Of them all though, Marriott Pyramid North absolutely wins the award for being the most eye-catching. As their name would suggest, the outline of the hotel + venue mimics that of the pyramids, alluding to both Egypt’s constructions and its luxurious culture.

With such an impressive exterior, you’d be inclined to believe the interior would match. And you’d be absolutely right. From the moment you step in to their grand atrium-foyer, you’ll forget you’re in the land-of-mañana and casual attire. That is, until you catch a glimpse of the venue’s incredible views — the Sandia Mountains only slightly beating out the hotel when it comes to grandeur.

For engaged couples, the magic only begins when you enter the venue. With wedding specialists on staff, the Marriott Pyramid North creates something new and unique for every new and unique couple that comes through their doors. Covered outdoor ceremony space, indoor ballrooms, custom catering and AV options, an on-site restaurant, indoor + outdoor pool, and plenty of space for your bridal party to get ready… There really isn’t much that you don’t get with the Marriott Pyramid North!

Ashley + Phillip, local newly-weds, knew this had to be their space when they got engaged. Luckily for us, Tori Photography, one of Albuquerque’s favorite wedding photographers, was there to capture every moment.

Ashley and Philip are truly perfect for each other, they compliment each other fabulously. If you were to ask them why they love one another they can go on and on for hours. They have a bond that will just keep growing. They were married in the courtyard of the Marriot Pyramid on September 15th 2018, surrounded by family and friends who loved and supported them. We then enjoyed a fantastic reception in one of the hotel’s grand ballrooms. Filled with dancing, cake, a clown and even a lap dance…. they ended the night as man and wife, and began their happily ever after.

-Tori, Tori Photography

Here’s your chance to start mentally planning your wedding at the Marriott Pyramid North with this gorgeous wedding as a template. Or to book your own in-real-life tour of the magnificence, contact the venue’s event manager, Sara, here.

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Real Wedding with Floriography + Los Poblanos

If you’ve been keeping up with our Perfect Wedding Guide team on our socials, you’ll know most of us are currently in the grown up version of Disneyworld: Las Vegas, Nevada. Although for us, it’s less roller coaster rides, and more learning about creative branding at the Wedding MBA Conference. Which, for those obsessed with weddings and marketing, is way more fun than an amusement park. Just sayin’.

As a close second though, the warm, sunny weather here is up pretty high on our list of favorite things about Las Vegas. Recalling the bright sunshine and clean desert air of our home state, New Mexico, isn’t so hard here, though it does have us reminiscing on our favorite summer weddings. So for our fellow New Mexicans, and all other places with less amicable weather currently, let’s cozy up to one of summer 2018’s best Albuquerque + Santa weddings, and pretend it’s not so windy outside. Shall we?

Floriography and Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm combined creative forces to cultivate this garden fairytale wedding for the adorable Paige + Brian. The colors and details of the day were delicate, but perfectly coordinated: Paige’s ivory-cream gown with its simple lines and flattering framing, and Brian’s subtle, but very complimentary, baby pink bowtie. Delicate, but not be confused with fragile. An air of familiarity drew guests in — they even opted out of formal table seating for their reception — and encouraged fun and lightheartedness.

Floriography‘s arrangements, incredibly modern and yet timelessly clean as always, supported Paige + Brian’s comfortably fanciful vibes. While Los Poblanos, in all its rustic glamour, did the same by simply staying true to the venue’s famed aesthetics.

Whimsy and romance intersected in the most delightful way at Paige and Brian’s summer wedding. The always enchanting Los Poblanos acted as the perfect backdrop for the afternoon soiree at the La Quinta event center. Paige wore an elegant gown that vibed perfectly with the garden party feel of the celebration. The color palette was inspired by the lavender fields of the venue and the soft romantic tones of summer. The bride carried a garden-inspired bouquet of white tree peonies and a lush collection of blooms grown on a farm less than a mile from the property. These local blooms by The Bloomist Farm included lisianthus, sweet peas, and larkspur.

-Emily, Floriography

All in all, Paige + Brian’s day inspires a visceral response, akin to smelling something from long ago that suddenly brings you back to your childhood tea parties. Though the farmhouse elegance and balanced details place this gorgeous wedding far away from anything childish, the day was both lively and buoyant, quaint and idyllic.

 

Married: Paige + Brian

Married: Paige + Brian

Married: Paige + Brian

Married: Paige + Brian

Married: Paige + Brian

Married: Paige + Brian

Married: Paige + Brian

Married: Paige + Brian

Venue & Catering: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm // Photographer: Sarah Ellefson Photography // Florals: Floriography // Rentals: Rust Vintage // Music: Shane Wallin // Hair: Mesh Hair Studio // Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna // Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply // Bride’s Attire: BHLDN

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