Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado: A Santa Fe Treasure

We have a lot of love in our hearts for local wedding professionals, and that’s definitely no secret. Though, every once in a blue moon, one comes along that really steals our hearts. Whether it’s a dedicated florist, an open-hearted wedding officiant, or a venue that treats every guest with the utmost respect, there are a few wedding professionals in New Mexico who truly stand out. Which is, of course, the case with Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado.

While Santa Fe is inherently luxurious, the resort is genuinely the pinnacle of splendor. Nestled on 60 acres of secluded land, and with views of the Jemez Mountains, the entire space welcomes in couples with the familiar scent of piñon woodsmoke. Though, surrounded by the rugged, mountainous beauty of the Santa Fe wilderness, the inside of the resort is quite the opposite.

Beautifully manicured grounds and luxurious accommodations await. Located near the beautiful groves of old cottonwood trees that cast their ancient shadows over Tesuque. Serene and exclusive.

-Carl, guest

With several space choices for your wedding, each different setting offers flexible seating options to ensure every wedding party is comfortably provided for. Plus, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado is revered for its culinary expertise, and even offers locally engaged couples the option of having a completely custom menu cultivated by their top-notch team, just for them.

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado specializes in bringing cherished wedding dreams to life, which is what makes their venue stand out from all the rest. It’s not the unparalleled beauty of the resort, or their team of wedding experts who are there to help you from planning to execution, or the fact their space is intimately secluded while only being 10 minutes from downtown Santa Fe’s shops and galleries, or even the pool or opulent spa. What places Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado above all else is their dedication to manifesting the wedding fantasies of engaged couples, and how they treat each person who walks through their doors with kindness and respect.

{But some gorgeous inspo from a breathtaking venue never hurts, right?!}

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Venue Spotlight: Casa Perea Art Space

If you didn’t know by now, there are three things that our Perfect Wedding Guide team loves the most: weddings, New Mexico, and weddings in New Mexico. Which is why we feature historic venues, Southwestern inspired styled shoots, and New Mexico’s rich lineage so frequently — they combine our three favorite things!

So, when Casa Perea Art Space joined our Perfect Wedding Guide family, we were over the moon. Fondly described as “an excellently preserved example of New Mexico territorial architecture,” the home-turned-venue was built by a family of landowners and vintners in the 1800’s. Now, centuries later, the venue still stands proudly on the bank of the Rio Grande, fully restored and ready to host the most gorgeous celebrations New Mexico has to offer.

Looking for a stunning space for your wedding that also has historical character that would be impossible to replicate elsewhere? Yep, you just hit the jackpot. Newly refurbished, the venerable adobe now features whitewashed walls, wooden beams, mullioned windows, exposed vigas, and so many fireplaces, each member of your wedding party can have one to themselves.

Plus, of course, there’s a full kitchen, plenty of bathrooms, three brick patios, a small vineyard, generous parking space, and handicap access waiting for you at Casa Perea, too. We don’t know about you, but that just checked all of our boxes for a perfect venue — even a few boxes we didn’t know we had until just now!

{Oh, and how could we forget? There’s also a hundred foot long pergola crawling gracefully with wisteria, climbing roses, and trumpet flower vines. Seriously.}

If Casa Perea Art Space sounds lovely on paper, just wait until you see it for yourself. To tide you over until then, feel free to drool wholeheartedly over this perfectly fantastical styled shoot at the venue. Courtesy of the ever-talented Maura Jane Photography, you can practically smell the roses growing on that hundred foot long pergola now.

{To actually smell the roses in real life, you can contact Casa Perea Art Space here.}

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Albuquerque’s Most Beloved Bakery: The Cake Boutique

Florists, officiants, and DJs, oh my! We say this a lot, but planning your wedding really is quite the task. You’ve got vendors to meet and book, aunts and uncles to invite (or not invite — we don’t judge), shoes to find, makeup trials, gowns to get fitted — and that’s not even the half of it all. So if you’re feeling inundated, we understand. And we’re here to offer you some relief, as there’s one delicious treat waiting for you in your near future: your wedding cake!

When you choose The Cake Boutique for your cake, the whole process is even sweeter, too. For over 5 years, The Cake Boutique has been serving Albuquerque + Santa Fe locals the most delectable confections for their special day, knowing full well that your wedding celebration is one of the most important moments of your life. Creating custom wedding cakes (or cupcakes and cookies!) is The Cake Boutique‘s speciality, and working with every couple’s budget is of the utmost importance to their team.

Which is why we value Birdie, a wedding cake expert from The Cake Boutique, and her advice so highly, and over the years, we’ve compiled some incredible tips and tricks from her. Luckily for you, we aren’t in the business of hoarding industry secrets. Remember when we said we understand what an incredible feat it is to plan your wedding? We truly meant it, so we’re here to share everything we’ve learned, with some gorgeous cake inspo to boot!Andaluz-16

The best advice I can give to those blushing brides is to prioritize where the wedding cake will fit into her perfect day. Hopefully she can then create a budget for what she would like to spend on the cake. For example, if flowers are not high on the list of where she wants to make the most lasting impression from her day, she can then allocate fewer funds towards the purchasing of flowers to allow her more design options for her wedding cake!

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Here’s one of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks ever:

Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake cutting, pictures, and feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all of your wedding guests to enjoy.

Alicia Lucia Photography

And another wallet-saving tip!

You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam! Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less, by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… Trust us!

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And some final words for all couples, regardless of cake preferences:

My words of wisdom for brides out there would be to just be a little bit selfish when planning her wedding. I’ve met with so many brides who get caught up in trying to please all of the different people in their lives. Trying to consider everyone else’s thoughts and opinions when it comes down to what will be right for them will only lead to undue stress.

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Rebekah + Julio’s Unforgettable Albuquerque Wedding

With so many weddings every year, it’s easy to get lost in the bustling world of planning, budgeting, hiring wedding professionals, choosing venues, themes, and color schemes. But, a wedding day is, at its core, a ritual used to symbolize the coalescence of two lives into one. With all the precious details of Rebekah + Julio’s effortlessly elegant union, the couple reminded guests of this message hidden within the celebratory day.

Thanks to Chrisi K Photography, we’re also able to relearn the deeper meaning behind the tradition. Behind her lens, the famed Albuquerque photographer captured every moment — including, of course, when the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. As they made way for the bride, darned in muted hues to complement the venue {Casas de Suenos} and vibes, the message became clear. When each woman came to the outdoor altar, they removed one flower from their personal bouquet and added it to a vase which sat, front and center at the end of the aisle.

Representing both the support each couple had from their loved ones, and the coming together of their separate lives, the vase grew larger and more beautiful with each bridesmaid’s floral addition. The end result was an arrangement to rival all others — bursting with color and life, it represented the happy future each guest envisioned for Rebekah + Julio together.

Even more lively and awe-inspiring than the bouquet though, was the couple themselves. When Rebekah joined her soon-to-be husband in front of their guests, the joy and harmony that surrounded the couple was quickly the center of attention. Rebekah’s sleek gown combined vintage details with a modern elegance through its empire waist and high neckline. Julio’s tux, traditional and impeccably-pressed, complemented her attire perfectly, just as they do for one another in their relationship. Though they were essentially there, on a stage of sorts, it seems as if the two were in a world of their own.

How Chrisi K Photography manages to preserve each special second of the ephemeral day, we’ll never know. We can say though, with absolute certainty, that any engaged couple would be lucky to have her on their team for their big day.

To book Chrisi K Photography for your celebration, you can contact her here.

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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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Basic Invite: Anything But Basic Vintage Stationery

Ah, yes, save-the-dates — one of the very first steps in the wedding planning process, with the actual wedding invitations following on their heels. That initial leap into planning one of the biggest events of your lives together can actually be pretty nerve-wracking, if you ask us. Especially when that step involves proof-reading and sending out hundreds of paper products with potential spelling, time and date, or design errors to all your closest friends and family…

Luckily, with Basic Invite, you can lay these fears to rest! {And if you didn’t have anxiety about your wedding invitations until we mentioned all the possible mistakes then, well, our sincerest apologies for the emotional roller coaster.} Since 2006, Basic Invite‘s team of highly creative, highly talented designers and artists have been dutifully handcrafting customizable, vintage wedding invitations, save-the-dates, announcements, photo cards, and basically everything else stationery related from their home base in Saint George, Utah.

Sure there are plenty of options for custom, online stationery design nowadays, but there’s something about Basic Invite that truly sets them apart. Or maybe it’s not one particular thing, but a conglomeration of their attributes that, together, can quell any bride-to-be’s anxiety around the intimidating permanence of paper products. Take their customer service, for example. The moment you click over to their website — which is super intuitive and clean, also — a little window pops up, offering brides the option of live-chatting with one of their team members.

Or even better, their custom samples. Basic Invite is one of the very, very rare invitation companies that will send you and your fiancé a sample of your handcrafted designed stationery before you order. Not only can you physically hold the invite or save the date in your hand to check for texture, color, and design perfection, but you can proofread it once more then, too. Just in case.

Then there’s all the free stuff too! We’re big fans of free things, as are most normal human beings, and Basic Invite is actually chock full of free goodies. Like their all-new wedding websites, which are 100% customizable, just like their invitations. Pop in your wedding details, photos, maps, and all other info your guests would possibly need, all in one convenient spot. {Because, sigh, there will undoubtedly be at least a handful of guests who lose their invitations and have to ask for all the details again.}

All this said and we still haven’t even mentioned the custom options! {Over 40 different envelope options, and over 800 different wedding invitation sets. Yeah, you read that right.} But at this point we’re starting to sound a bit like obsessive fangirls, so we’ll let you, lovely engaged couple and blog-lover, check them out yourself at their site here. Try to not get too obsessed after scrolling through their gorgeous designs — but if you do, we won’t hold it against you.

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Best Outdoor Venues in Albuquerque

Here’s the thing about New Mexico: it’s very easy to forget how lucky we are living in this state, especially when it comes to the weather. {Yes, we know it’s been pretty toasty lately, but take a trip somewhere a little closer to sea level and you’ll be missing the dry heat, we promise.}

It’s true that our lovely desert climate — minus the windy spring season — is relatively mild all year long.  Even when it rains, seasoned New Mexicans rest assured knowing it’ll only last 5 minutes, 10 maximum. Which, obviously, makes this state one of the best places for an outdoor wedding! If we had to guess, that’s probably why we’re blessed with so many options for outdoor ceremony and reception venues.

How do you choose though, when they’re all so lovely? Well, research of course. But even then, sometimes a venue seems perfect on screen, but might not measure up in person. Which is why we took the liberty of choosing five of our favorites to showcase here, for you. While there are many more incredible venues in New Mexico aside from these five, these are venues we’ve visited, spent time in, and even hosted events in some! So we can say, with the utmost confidence, that these venues will not disappoint.

{Plus we thew in some of the always invaluable reviews + opinions from local brides too, just in case you need a little extra assurance.}


Casa Rondeña

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Casa Rondeña, a gorgeous and fully-functional winery in the heart of the South Valley, has more charm than you’d think even possible for just one venue. With indoor spaces available as well, the possibilities for indoor-outdoor receptions and ceremonies are {almost} endless!

The venue is absolutely gorgeous, and though we don’t have our professional pictures back, even the pictures our guests took are breathtaking. They went on Facebook where everyone just oohed and aahed over how gorgeous the lawn of the 1629 Club is, and how beautifully everything reflects off the water there.

-Heather, bride

For availability at Casa Rondeña, you can book the venue here.


Prairie Star

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Maura Jane Photography

Prairie Star, you beautiful venue, you! The serenity at this venue is very much unrivaled, as the space is nestled in the quiet of the Santa Ana Pueblo and is surrounded by rolling hills of lush greenery. Punctuating the property is the proud adobe mansion, whose regality is also unparalleled.

I choose this venue mostly for the scenery. When I found it, I fell in love. Even better, it’s so reasonably priced compared to other venues. I received so many compliments on the location, it was beautiful. […] I am so incredibly glad I found this place and got to have my ceremony and reception here. Also, it’s very convenient to have a place where you can have the ceremony outside and reception inside!

-Alexandria, bride

For availability at Prairie Star, you can book the venue here.


Hacienda Dona Andrea

Ashley Davis Photography
Ashley Davis Photography

Honestly, of all the venues in all the world, Hacienda Dona Andrea just might be the most romantic. With old-world vibes, hand-crafted details, and stunning views, this venue is a perfectly secluded escape from reality for you and your soon-to-be spouse.

The place decorates itself – the architecture is southwestern and unique. the views are gorgeous and the place is perfectly secluded, yet there is still access to the funky little town of Madrid close by. We couldn’t have picked a better spot for our intimate family wedding. The team at the Hacienda made planning from a distance very easy for us and we were well taken care of. We are truly so happy with our choice to get married at Hacienda Dona Andrea!

-Alexis, bride

For availability at Hacienda Dona Andrea, you can book the venue here.


El Monte Sagrado

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Chrisi K Photography

Oh, El Monte Sagrado, where to even begin? Photos of the property showcase quite clearly how venerable and awe-inspiring the trees and scenery of the property truly are, but trust us when we say, it’s even better in person. See more from this darling real wedding here.

Honestly, I didn’t know places like this still existed. Besides El Monte Sagrado being breathtakingly beautiful, the customer service was out of this world. I had my wedding here at the beginning of the year and everyone at the resort made sure that my family, friends, husband and I had everything we needed!

-Jillian L., bride

For availability at El Monte Sagrado, you can book the venue here.


Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm

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Lauren Cherie Photography

Of course, no list of New Mexico venues would be complete without Albuquerque’s golden child, Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm. But the space is famous for good reason — it truly is one of the most magnificent places in our city. With rolling fields of lavender, chic farmhouse architecture, and several different options for ceremony space, there’s no facet of Los Poblanos that doesn’t live up to its reputation.

What an amazing venue!! I fell in love with this place from the first time I set foot on the property. It feels like you are out of town even though you are in the middle of the city. The architecture of the buildings and the surrounding gardens are gorgeous! It is definitely a venue that requires very little in the way of providing your own decor; the venue speaks for itself.

-Catie, bride

For availability at Los Poblanos, you can book the venue here.


 

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