Hot Air Balloon Styled Shoot with Tori Photography

The pre-spring winds here in New Mexico aren’t the only thing blowing us away today! Mimicking the buoyancy and uninhibited joy that is riding in a hot air balloon, this inspired shoot by Tori Photography has swept us off our feet. {Puns always intended.}

We have always been impressed with Tori, the creative behind Tori Photography of course, and her attention to detail… But this shoot has us stuck in a summer daydream! Splashes of vibrant primary colors contrasts energetically with the serene landscape of Tanoan Country Club, and the bursting bouquet frames the lighthearted couple perfectly.

Red, blue, and yellow pop off Tori Photography‘s stunning photos, Differently Designed‘s invitations, and Black Bow Event‘s tablescape. You can practically smell the honeysuckle that was surely blooming just out of frame, and feel the gentle summer breeze. Pairing Tori’s keen eye and innate ability to make her models comfortable, this shoot proves something we’ve known all along: Albuquerque + Santa Fe‘s creative collaborations always result in magic.

That, and that there is no wrong way to do a wedding! Straying from the traditional muted hues, lace edges, and sprigs of baby’s breath, this shoot stands out with it’s unapologetic vivaciousness and vitality. Now, there’s no need to throw out the lace entirely yet — because, c’mon, it’s beautiful — but let this out-of-the-box shoot change the way you think about your own future wedding. You can have anything your heart desires, no matter the theme, color palette, or style, and know that there are wedding professionals here in New Mexico who will make your dreams come true with elegance and perseverance.


Photography: Tori Photography
Video: Avid Pictures
Planner: Black Bow Events, LLC
Location: Tanoan Country Club
Flowers: Lavish Floral Boutique
HMU: C. Johnson Makeup
Invitations: Differently Designed
Couches: Darling Details Vintage Decor Rental Co.
Crown: Wild Grace Boutique
Cupcakes: Amanda J Moore & Smallcakes: A Cupcakery ABQ


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Jenna + Nestor’s Sweet + Classic Celebration

Now, we love all couples indiscriminately, it’s true. But there’s something particularly heart-warming about two best friends falling in love and committing their lives to one another. In this case, we’re so lucky to have had Nicole Bradshaw Photography there to capture all the sweetest moments in Jenna + Nestor’s big day!

The warm + caring couple married at Prairie Star here in Albuquerque, but had been best friends since their Freshman year in high school. With a deep friendship as the foundation for their love, the kindness they have toward one another is apparent at first sight. Nicole herself says, “They almost seemed to orbit around one another!”

Little pops of red scattered throughout Jenna’s bouquet and their wedding party’s attire made for a classic vibe for the day. An elegant sort of simplicity allowed for their love to truly be the focal point of the ceremony too. Not without their little details though, there were a few hidden things, making their day all the more meaningful and personal. {Like the tiny portrait charm of Jenna’s grandparents, which was fastened to the stem of her bridal bouquet.}

Thank you again to the ever-talented Nicole Bradshaw Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us! Somehow, we’re always stunned by her photographic eye, and the attention to composition and detail she shows her couples.



Thank you to all the hardworking vendors who made Jenna + Nestor’s day possible!

Photography | Nicole Bradshaw Photography

Ceremony Venue + Catering | Prairie Star 

Cake Designer | Christiana Romero {Jenna’s sister}

DJ | ICY Jams

Dress | Ann Mathews Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses | David’s Bridal

Groom’s Suit |Men’s Warehouse

Groomsmen’s Suits | Men’s Warehouse

Rings | Kay Jewelers


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Heritage Hotels {Vendor Spotlight}

For years now, Heritage Hotels has been offering local and out-of-state brides an incredible variety of spaces to choose from for their celebration. With each venue being unique in its own right, yet still intricately related to the culture that makes New Mexico so special, it’s no wonder they’ve hosted so many beautiful weddings. It’s also no surprise that we’re so very, very excited to welcome them to the Perfect Wedding Guide family!

Of the eleven incredible resorts and hotels — yes, you read that right, eleven! — it’s hard to pick our favorites. The Inn and Spa at Loretto showcases carefully curated art from local galleries, and even hosts artist residencies within it’s distinctly Santa Fean adobe walls. While the custom architecture of Hotel Albuquerque‘s grand lobby quite literally makes our jaws drop every time we have the pleasure of entering their doors. El Monte Sagrado, too, is impossible to not fall in love with — the high mountain retreat space has everything needed for a luxurious and unforgettable reprieve outside the city.

In fact, we almost feel badly for you darling brides, how could you pick one to get married in?! Can we make having 11+ different ceremonies for one wedding the new 2018 trend?

Though, your guests probably don’t have 11 different wedding outfits, so you’ll have to choose just one. If it helps, scroll on to get a quick taste of a few of their venues, and read what their guests have to say about each space. {If it doesn’t help, well, we understand. It’s like choosing a favorite child! The bright side is, every hotel + resort is impossibly beautiful and carefully staffed with kind people, so you really can’t go wrong.}



We were over the moon with our choice to have our wedding at the Eldorado hotel. Dan Liss and his staff were amazing and helped make our special day flawless and unforgettable. The La Capilla de oro chapel took everyone’s breath away! It is so beautiful and special, our guests were in awe. Our cocktail hour, reception and dinner also took place at the hotel. Everything was so elegant. I promise the Eldorado does not disappoint!!

Jessica, bride

Hotel Albuquerque


It was hands down the best place in Albuquerque to have a wedding. The hotel is beautiful, the outside garderns incredible and the wedding chapel romantic. The food was delicious and the service impeccable!

Samantha S., bride

El Monte Sagrado


My wife and I wanted to get married at El Monte for years. Their Intimate Wedding package included a ceremony in the Sacred Circle, the officiant, florist, and photographer. It included one night stay in the Taos Mountain rooms and a 4 course dinner with wedding cake. They created the perfect wedding for us. The location was beautiful, the dinner delicious and the officiant, florist and photographer made us feel special. They tailored their services to our wishes. I would do it all over again.

Lillian, bride

Inn and Spa at Loretto

Tony Gambino Photography

The Loretto was GORGEOUS! Perfect setting for our wedding! The staff was excellent and Vickie, Jen, Ludwig and Josephine were wonderful! It was a beautiful hotel and I’m so glad that our wedding was there! I loved it!

Lisa, bride

Thank you so much for joining our PWG family, Heritage Hotels!

Click the names of any venue for contact and booking information. To see even more of Heritage Hotel’s stunning spaces, you can visit them here.


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Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re putting together the final pieces of a V-Day scavenger hunt for your lover, or hibernating until the 15th when all the candy goes on sale, we have a little something for you. Come enjoy some of this visual deliciousness in honor of Valentine’s Day! We promise, this isn’t your typical holiday shoot.

Coryn Kiefer Photography, an East-coaster whose fallen in love with the Southwest, brought her 20+ years of photography experience and her unparalleled artistic visions together for this out-of-the-box Valentine’s shoot. Collaborating with some incredible local creatives to manifest a modern look on their model, the sequins and bursting blooms contrasted with their location perfectly. Shooting in the Juan Tabo Rock House, the combination of the two elements seemed to reflect Albuquerque as a whole: tied to a deep, rich history, but forward-thinking and always evolving.

Everything we do here at Perfect Wedding Guide is done for love, and we adore watching local businesses keep love at the forefront of their practices as well. So thank you, Coryn + team, for the sweetest peak into a shoot which helped to remind us how lucky we are to live and work here in New Mexico with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s most magnificent vendors. 

Wishing a wonderful Valentine’s Day to all of New Mexico’s darling engaged couples, business owners, and single-pringles too! Enjoy!

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Bringing a bit of sparkle to the rustic New Mexico landscape with our Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day inspired shoot. With blankets on hand we hiked up through the snow to one of the remaining rock cabins nested amongst boulders in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. The modern bridal fashion of a rose gold sequin dress and brilliant blooms brought warmth to the abandoned cabin built over 90 years ago. It is believed that the name Sandia, which is Spanish for watermelon, was given to the mountains for the pinkish color they turn at sunset which our dress and blooms complemented beautifully.

Coryn, Coryn Kiefer Photography

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Thank you to each + every vendor who turned this vision into a reality!

Photography | Coryn Kiefer Photography

Floral | Stephanie Yardman

MUA | Betty Rose by Alanna

Hair | Joshua Halladay 

Rings | Shelton Jewelers 

Dress | Honey Qiao


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Erin + Zach’s Timeless Celebration

It was easy to see that Erin carries herself with such class, and Zach is absolutely smitten with everything about her.  I knew right away that their wedding day would be filled with poise and joy, and I was absolutely right.

Kayla Kitts Photography

— And boy, was Kayla right! Living vicariously through our photographers isn’t always ideal. If we could, we would totally dedicate our lives to attending all the incredible weddings that happen in our city.  Luckily for us though, Kayla makes it easy to pretend we’re right there, in this case, at Casas de Suenos.

{Because, well, we can’t retire and become perpetual wedding attendees quite yet.}

Capturing the even the tiniest details and expressions, Kayla paints us a perfect picture of Erin + Zach’s stunning wedding. As a focal point, Erin’s high-neck, retro-but-classic gown set the tone for the ceremony. Timeless and stylish in any era or locale, it’s a lot like the love between the happy couple. After meeting in Colorado, moving to Arizona, and celebrating their union in New Mexico, it’s pretty obvious that Erin + Zach’s love knows no geographical bounds.

They fell in love quickly too, which makes their story even sweeter. Don’t we all dream of that one person that, upon first glance, know we’ll be making whiskey toasts to at our wedding, some years later? Now, I can’t guarantee that was what went through Zach’s mind when he met Erin, but the unbridled adoration he has for her makes it clear — their love is one for the books.

A very special thank you to one of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s finest photographers for letting us sneak in on their day. To Casas de Suenos {and every other darling vendor as well!} thank you for collaborating together to make this travelin’ couple’s dreams come true here, in our home state.


Thank you again to the vendors who made this day possible!

Venue  |  Casas de Suenos
Dress  |  David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  Salon Helena
Florist  |  Enchanted Garden
Shoes  |  Amazon
Jewelry  |  Brides Family
Paper Products  |  The American Wedding
Suit  |  Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Jim Hering
Cake  |  ABC Bakery
DJ  |  Dream Factory Productions


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Real Wedding at La Fonda | Ginny + Kolton’s Laid Back Celebration

We’re not exactly sure how Maura Jane Photography always gets to work with the most unique brides, but we’re starting to suspect there’s some magic involved here. Or, it could be because Maura herself is one of the most charming and down-to-earth photographers here in Albuquerque, so she attracts brides with similar vibes. (We like the idea of Maura casting spells to manifest interesting couples in her life, though.)

Either way, Ginny + Kolton’s cooler-than-cool ceremony at Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi might just be our favorite wedding at the Santa Fe venue of 2018 so far. Plus, a reception at La Fonda is always a good choice! Utilizing Santa Fe’s relaxed and restorative energy, the out-of-state couple made their wedding like a vacation for their guests, rather than a big production.

Keeping the event low-key didn’t detract from the day, though. Pops of blue {2018 wedding trend prediction anyone?} sparkled throughout the venue, the invites, and of course, New Mexico’s trademark skies — which dimmed respectfully as their guests enjoyed margaritas on La Fonda‘s terrace during the day’s finale.

Somehow, Ginny + Kolton got the best of both worlds: a relaxing celebration of their love AND the collection of tiny details that, when merged, created an absolute masterpiece of a day. We’re thankful that Maura was there to capture each moment. Savor what her lens captured below, and send a little thought of gratitude to the other vendors who made this day possible — also listed below.

{And may Ginny + Kolton live happily ever after! New Mexico already misses you both.}



Venue | Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi + La Fonda on the Plaza
Floral | Bloomstream Floral
DJ | DJ John Edwards
Dress | Saks 5th Avenue
Designer | Halston
HMU | Genica Lee, Makeup Artist

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Real Moments with Jacqueline Vega Photography

Photography is the story I fail to put into words.

– Jacqueline Vega

Before we welcome a local wedding professional to the Perfect Wedding Guide team, we usually have the pleasure of meeting with them and getting to know their business practices first. Rather than vetting, it’s our way of building a personal relationship with the magnificent people who make up Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s community.

With Jacqueline Vega, or Jackie, it was no different. {Although, I’ll admit, I definitely stalked her Instagram account before we met because, well, it’s beautiful.} Jackie’s sweet and amicable demeanor made the connection with our team almost instant, and we already can’t imagine our PWG photographer family without her. Not only did she take our new team headshots (blog on those coming soon!), but she even took family portraits of our publisher’s beautiful family.

Jackie’s love for photography came at a young age, and her talent at capturing real, authentic moments has been cultivated ever since. This natural inclination paired with her devotion to storytelling emanates from each of her photos, reminding us that photography is an art, not just a business. Though if you ask her, she’ll just say she feels blessed to be living her dream.

And well, we feel blessed to have her on our team! Did that rhyme? Guess her wild + whimsical vibes has me feeling a little poetic today.

I think I’ve gushed about her enough for now, so I’ll let her photos do the rest of the talking. Contact Jackie for questions, booking, and even more eye-candy here.

DSC_6716DSC_1549DSC_1987DSC_1239-2Jacqueline Vega Photography


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