Turquoise Tenderness: Southwestern Styled Shoot

Turquoise, ristras, and adobe — does it get any more New Mexican than that!? We’ve been sending so much love to our home place recently, what with the venue features and      wedding spotlights. But it seems like we aren’t the only ones who have caught the bug and are showing more and more appreciation to this beautiful state! Briana Nicole Photography, one of Albuquerque’s finest wedding professionals, channeled her inherent creativity into a gorgeous, Southwestern-vibe styled shoot that we are absolutely swooning over.

Yes, we would have adored this shoot because of its New Mexican vibes and the heart behind the process, but what makes is it that makes this shoot so special to us? Briana Nicole Photography collaborated entirely with local, wedding experts to bring this styled shoot to life. Each facet of the shoot was cultivated lovingly by our local pros, and that reveals something very special about New Mexico, besides the turquoise, ristras, and adobe: community.

It’s not the first Southwestern-inspired work of art to exist, and it surely won’t be the last, but Briana Nicole Photography and her team of hardworking, dedicated vendors made something new and beautiful from the vein of inspiration that has been touching hearts for centuries. So, if you want to pay homage to our stunning landscapes and rich culture, these are the wedding professionals to call! You can rest assured in their ability to incorporate New Mexican style into your wedding in new, fresh, and deeply appreciative ways.

Scroll on to contact these vendors, get lost in some incredible Southwestern wedding inspo, and hear what Briana Nicole has to say about the shoot.

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I love this beautiful state we live in — we have some of the most spectacular views and amazing culture surrounding us daily. With this shoot we really wanted a Southwestern vibe, but more importantly a New Mexico vibe, too. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya was a perfect location because their resort has an amazing view of our Sandia Mountains and their entire resort is covered in Navajo art and pottery. Black Bow Events styled our tables with chile ristras and turquoise accents, and Maggie’s Wedding Cakes provided a perfect tribal designed cake that tied the whole look together. Our beautiful bride wore handmade turquoise jewelry from Larry Martinez Jeweler, and we took their portraits with the open desert as our background. I’m so thankful for the amazing team of vendors who contributed!

Briana Nicole Photography

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Planner | Black Bow Events
Photographer | Briana Nicole Photography
Linens | Simply Decor + Events
Venue | Hyatt Regency Tamaya 
Cake | Maggie’s Wedding Cakes
MUA + Hairstylist | C. Johnson Makeup
Dress | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Tuxedo | Suits Unlimited
Bride | @__katrina__anne
Jewelry | Larry Martinez Jewelry

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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.

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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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To Boudoir or To Not Boudoir? 5 Reasons Every Bride Should Have A Shoot

Not every wedding trend is going to be your jam, obviously. Maybe you opted for deep, jewel tones instead of the traditional muted hues and pastels. Maybe you went totally 1940’s classic chic as opposed to the rustic, burlap-and-lace vibe. Or maybe you threw out the whole wedding, and instead had a styled elopement! {Like this — totally one of our favorites.} Isn’t that the great part of weddings? How truly collaborative and customizable the whole experience is?

Okay but wait, before we get carried away talking about how much we love weddings, there’s one wedding trend that truly transcends all personal aesthetic choices: boudoir photography. It’s a bit controversial, sure, but regardless of your style, there’s space in your wedding planning for a boudoir shoot. We promise.

Though not every bride-to-be is sold on the idea of getting super vulnerable in front of the lens. {Which, as a fellow shy person, I understand and couldn’t imagine doing it myself.} But when we sat down with one of our favorite photographers, Shannon MacLean from Chandelier Studio, to chat about boudoir photography — her speciality — it totally changed the way we think of the art form.

My absolute favorite part of each shoot is the reveal, because as fun as it is to create ‘pretty pictures,’ creating lasting love for who she is as a woman is far more rewarding.

Shannon, Chandelier Studio

So we asked Shannon to come up with her top 5 reasons why every bride should do a boudoir shoot. Scroll on, friend! You can book Chandelier Studio for your personalized shoot here.

{Not sold yet? Don’t worry, you will be by the reason #5 and can book using the link at the end.}

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1. Get comfortable in front of the camera. Because let’s face it, most brides are regular human people, and many of us human people feel uncomfortable having our photo taken. Don’t wait until your wedding to try and rectify this anxiety — get cozy with a Canon before your big day and have one less thing to worry about.

2. It’s the perfect wedding day gift. Stuck trying to figure out something meaningful to pass on to your soon-to-be spouse? Not anymore!

3. Capture your ‘wedding bod’ while it’s extra fabulous. Disclaimer: all bodies are beautiful, and your body will be beautiful on your wedding day and on your 40th anniversary. But if you’ve been putting in some extra work to feel particularly perfect on your big day well then, hello! Let’s celebrate that!

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4. Learn posture and posing techniques to look great in your wedding photos. ‘Cause again, there are going to be a lot of cameras trained on you for your big day. We all know our best angles when it’s just us alone in the mirror, of course, but with a boudoir shoot as a practice round, you can learn to manifest those killer poses even outside of your bathroom.

5. The first wedding anniversary theme is paper — gift your spouse with an album! Already got the perfect, meaningful gift for your wedding day? Not a problem. Have your gorgeous photos made into an album or print, and ta-da! You’ve got the first anniversary covered ahead of time.

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Book Chandelier Studio for your wedding + boudoir shoot here!

 

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Picante Passion: A {Super Local} Styled Shoot

When you consider how vastly rich New Mexico is in scenic backdrops, it comes as no surprise that many couples choose this state for their wedding. We’ve got mountains, mesas, deserts, cities…Pretty much anything you need, regardless of your vibe! But what makes New Mexico, and the incredible local vendors who work here, truly stand out is how deeply appreciative we are of our cultures here.

Tiffany Burke Events, wedding planner extraordinaire, tapped into one of these cultures for her most recent styled shoot. Following the vein of Spanish heritage that’s so thoroughly integrated into the architecture, art, and sights of New Mexico, Tiffany and her team of local wedding professionals revived this history. With Tiffany Burke Events at the head of the creative helm for the styled shoot, and Tori Photography capturing every detail, together they manifested this Spanish fantasy into a gorgeous, lively reality.

And, of course, what better place to cultivate this styled shoot than at Hotel Andaluz? The historic venue is renowned in Albuquerque for being the pinnacle of luxury, but not the kind of corporate-luxury you can find anywhere else. Traditional Spanish architecture is one of Hotel Andaluz‘s many selling points… Tiffany, you picked the perfect spot!

Really though, first thing you’ll notice about this styled shoot is the colors, which nearly jump off the screen at you. Pulling you in further are the Southwestern details which compliment one another so well — from the cow skull and giant ristras, to the perfectly-peach cake that’s so clearly reminiscent of the famed adobe walls which punctuate our New Mexican cities. It’s easy to see that not one inch of their shoot went untouched, and that a lot of care and consideration went into the shoot. Which, as an engaged couple, is exactly what you want from the wedding professionals who create your day!

Scroll on to lose yourself in the vibrancy, see what Tiffany Burke Events has to say about the aesthetics, and book the Albuquerque wedding professionals who collaborated on this styled shoot!

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My vision for this styled shoot was to showcase the rich and romantic passion that flows through Spanish culture. The rich colors are meant to catch the eye and get your heart pumping. A creative twist that I wanted to incorporate was chilies, to not only pay tribute to New Mexico, but also to the flavor that activates all senses.

My goal as an event planner is to combine the personalities and visions of couples and create an atmosphere that astonishes them and those who will share these memories.

Tiffany, Tiffany Burke Events

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Décor + Planning: Tiffany Burke Events

Hair + MU : Christopher James Hair + Skin

Venue: Hotel Andaluz

Photography: Tori Photography

Music: Cello for Weddings

Bouquet and Boutonniere: The Flower Company

Cake: The Cake Boutique

Dress: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Tux: Mr. Tux

Bride and Groom: Fawn Vivar and Gabe Atler

Invitations + Stationery: Differently Designed

 

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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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