Texture & Light: A Styled Shoot with Carissa + Ben Photography

Dreamy black and white photographs always evoke a nostalgia that is beyond compare. A photograph does so much more than just capture a moment in time, but also preserves the feeling of the moment to be experienced again and again. Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we see so many awe-inspiring shoots by so many talented wedding photographers and we can’t seem to get enough. Bring on your light and airy or dark and moody—we want it all!

Without a doubt, we love styled shoots, which is why we’ve featured them so many times before. However, you might be wondering, what exactly is a styled shoot and why are they so special? First and foremost, styled shoots give the local wedding community a chance to work together as one big team to create something completely their own and totally unique. They can showcase their talents in a team setting to bring dream weddings + elopements to life! Secondly, it is rare that wedding photographers and vendors get a chance to have complete creative control over a shoot, so this gives them the opportunity to focus on creativity rather than conventionality.

“For this styled shoot, we drew inspiration mainly from black and white images. We wanted to challenge ourselves creatively to focus more on shape, form, texture and light than we normally would. Our vision was for stark contrast, and striking shapes, and we achieved it by shooting the way we would if we were only shooting black and white film.

This shoot at the Rosewood Inn of The Anasazi was cultivated by a group of local wedding professionals and conceptualized by Manmade & Sage. Carissa + Ben Photography captures rich colors, textures, and colors in this styled shoot by focusing on elements of shape and form. The black and white images are reminiscent of analog film with contrast and moodiness. Carissa + Ben play with the dancing light and use it to enhance the small details of raw human emotion and physicality.

The team was absolutely incredible, and we’re so grateful that Amanda and Melissa were on the same wavelength from the start! The result is a styled shoot that made us think outside the box, and stretch our creative muscles while producing some of our very favorite images this year!” 

The venue, the concept, the decor, and so much more goes into creating the final, and heart wrenchingly beautiful, product. You can view the full gallery and visit the vendors below!

Photography | Carissa & Ben Photography
Concept + Styling | Manmade & Sage
Planning | Candace Noel Events
Videographer | Kevin Guevara Photography/Design
Florals | Renegade Floral
Hair | Jewel Hair Design
Makeup | Betty Rose by Alanna
Garter | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Suit | Suits Unlimited
Jewelry | Peyote Bird Designs
Venue | Rosewood Inn of The Anasazi
Models | Tonya + Ryan

Desert Vibes: A Styled Shoot with Briana Nicole Photography

The southwest is as diverse as it comes between the melting pot of cultures and geography, but that only means that you can use our gorgeous desert landscape to set the stage for your bright and vibrant color palette. 

It is officially time to say “hasta la vista” to the warm New Mexico weather, and welcome in the thrills and chills of late October. Even though we love a good fall breeze, it’s hard not to look back at sunnier days and feel a little bit wistful. Luckily for us, Briana Nicole Photography submitted this absolutely charming styled shoot conceptualized by Just Lovely Weddings so that we may indulge in our summertime cravings. The incredible images are the cherry on top!

The New Mexican desert is home to spectacular wildflowers, abounding sagebrush, and various cacti plants. It’s no wonder people gravitate to our state for photo opportunities galore. For this styled shoot, the designers used bright pinks, rich teals, and shimmering golds set against the neutral tones of the desert to create an astonishing performance of color contrast. Talk about photogenic!

Lauren with Just Lovely Weddings rounded up an amazing vendor team to share these pops of color, teal accents, geometric shapes, and desert vibes along with the creative usage of a hexagon arch as your romantic backdrop.

Just when we think we’ve seen it all, something new pops its head around the corner and surprises us. Our vendors really know how to put on a show, and we want front row tickets. The bespoke invitations from Funky Olive, the combo of colors in the florals, the macarons in the cake (can you spot ’em?), the gorgeous wedding ring from Ooh! Aah! Jewelry, the breathtaking gown from Bridal Elegance by Darlene… we’re speechless.

Styled shoots are aways a group effort that showcase the talents of so many wonderful local wedding vendors and it really is a community effort, that’s why we love them so very much. We can’t seem to get enough of styled shoots, so keep them coming our way all of you beautiful people!

This shoot came to life with the help of Briana Nicole Photography and her magical camera-eye. Check out the gallery below!

Photography: Briana Nicole Photography
Concept + Planning: Just Lovely Weddings
Décor: Darling Details Rentals
Florals: A Beautiful Theme
Cake: Sweet Grace Cake Co.
Hair & Makeup: Fancy Faces by Gina
Stationery: Funky Olive Invitation + Stationery
Jewelry: Ooh! Ahh! Jewelry
Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Menswear: Ted Baker
Models: Jenna Doddridge and JC Ciddio

A ‘Breaking Bad’ Inspired Wedding Shoot

“The universe is random. It’s not inevitable. It’s simple chaos.”

– Walter White

Talk about chemistry, right? If you’ve been keeping up with us here at Perfect Wedding Guide, you know that we live for styled shoots and anything that showcases our home state. This Breaking Bad inspired shoot took things to a whole new level. We. Are. Obsessed. From a beautifully designed wardrobe to the lovely decor, our vendors have the formula to create the most amazing weddings– it’s just science.

Bridal Elegance by Darlene never fails to make wedding day dreams come true for any bride looking for a wedding gown– and ladies, we are absolutely saying ‘yes’ to this dress right now. For this specially styled shoot, a stunning mermaid gown with lace embellishments created the most breathtaking marriage between elegance and drama. After all, the shoot was based on one of the most dramatic and powerful shows in the history of television.

Being in the wedding industry, we know that it is all in the details. Darling Clementine‘s creations are the highlight of the tablescapes, bringing the beloved story to life like we’ve never seen it before. The charming drink menu illustrations and the invitations cannot be recreated, and that is why we adore them so much. Darling Clementine Art & Illustration produces one-of-a-kind work that is completely perfect for the couple who is looking to make a lasting impression.

Jasper K Photography took these amazing photos that bring the vision to life– but tread lightly, they might just blow your mind.

Photography | Jasper K Photography
Hair & Makeup | Viva Grace Makeup
Table setting and layout | Black Bow Events
Wedding Dress | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Stationary, table tags, acrylic board, and envelopes | Darling Clementine Illustration
Blue Crystal Doughnuts | Rebel Donut
Floral Design | The Flower Company

Romantisme: A Styled Shoot with Terese Rose Designs

“Before the Victorians, the Romantics tried to make sense of our world by feeling.”

– Carissa Simmons Moore

Imagine soaring over an enchanted landscape filled with otherworldly formations and sandy pathways weaving in and out of canyons. Here, in the the Bisti (DE-NA-ZIN) Wilderness, the sunset covers the lands in a blanket of soft purple light. There’s no sight of humanity for miles and miles, and for a moment you might actually believe you’ve landed on another planet. It is the ideal place for dreamers and romantics alike, and the ideal place for a styled wedding shoot.

New Mexico casts a spell on anyone who crosses her borders, it’s no wonder that we locals jokingly call it the “Land of Entrapment”– who would want to leave after witnessing the glory that surrounds them? The scenery combined with a rich culture fill the air with romance. For Terese Rose Designs, this astounding combination inspired a Victorian styled wedding shoot in the Bisti (DE-NA-ZIN) Wilderness in New Mexico.

The idea was to take a Victorian bride and set her in the middle of a stark almost barren background. We respect that each bride has her own vision, her own dreams and desires; Terese Rose Designs works with each bride to help express her individuality. 

Terese Rose Designs created the perfect contrast between the roughness of the landscape and the fragility of the bride’s gown. The dark designs set against the earth tones of the environment invoke contrast, drama, and romance. When we look at the photos from the shoot by Carissa + Ben Photography, we are simply mesmerized. The outer-worldly presence of the hoodoos lurking in the background while the Victorian-style couple remain the center of attention is like nothing we’ve seen before. New Mexico seems to do this time and time again, becoming a place where the past and the present collide.

 The tablescape is decadent and rich in color and in substance, creating that mirage in the desert. The juxtaposition of the vibrant florals against the neutral pallet tied it all together. The bride and groom are off in a faraway world of their own creations and breaks out of the conventional norms. 

Bride’s Wardrobe: Terese Rose Designs
Concept + Photography: Carissa and Ben Photography
Models: Mara Anderson + Justin Lauer
Hair: Hairpins and Scissors
Makeup: Betty Rose By Alanna
Floral: Hong-Elder Flower Farm
Silks: Desert Garden Silk
Styling: Orange September: An Event Company
Dishes: Anthropologie
Cake: Carissa and Ben Photography

Let’s Get Planning! 5 Local Wedding Planners Who Will Get You on Track

One of our favorite things about working here at Perfect Wedding Guide is that we get to see so many incredible weddings everyday. From farmhouse chic winter weddings, to vibrant pink floral wonderlands in the spring, we’ve seen some of the most perfect weddings out there– and the exciting part is, it doesn’t end there! The possibilities are truly endless here in the Land of Enchantment, and with the help of local wedding vendors, your wildest wedding day dreams can become a reality.

Let’s talk planning, because achieving that dreamy wedding starts with a good plan, and finding the talented individuals who bring that plan to life should be your #1 priority. All of those DIY YouTube videos and Pinterest boards are great, and trust me, we love a good DIY wedding, but sometimes that’s not an option for the couple who is looking to take some weight off of their shoulders. Check out this blog that we wrote in June that dives deeper into the different types of wedding planning available to you!

Wedding planning is not meant to be stressful, but rather a time where you get to celebrate love and connection, so take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and keep reading to connect with a local wedding planner that can help you along your greatest adventure yet. Wedding planners are a great way to keep you on track for the big day, even when you’re at your wits end. These local wedding planners are trusted by our wedding community, and after seeing the stunning images from weddings that they’ve planned, you’ll totally agree.

1. Occasion Services + Events

Natalie and Celine are not only pros in the event planning business but are an absolute pleasure to work with throughout the entire process. Although they already had three other weddings scheduled the weekend of my big day, they agreed to take on our out-of-town wedding as well. They have top-of-the line quality products at reasonable prices and are quick to offer their creative vision in designing the perfect concept. They ran out of gold chiavari chairs the week of my wedding due to their high demand so they upgraded me to their vineyard chairs for the same price! I was thrilled! They added a personal touch to my wedding and I will undoubtedly go to Occasion for all my future event needs!  

– Hallee, Local Bride

2. Simply Done Events

Symone is a professional and she understands your vision for the event! She makes planning a party fun and easy! I loved having her on my wedding day. She was absolutely essential in making every detail go according to plan.

Larissa, Local Bride

3. Casi Sueño Weddings + Events

Genevieve and her team bring both an otherworldliness here to Albuquerque, and a genuine love for celebration and design. Being motivated by a pure passion for what they do, there’s no need to feel spoiled when the Casi Sueño team transforms your wedding day, only grateful.

4. NJR Event Planning

For nearly 3 decades, Naomi — the creative powerhouse behind NJR Event Planning — has been taking the inklings of dreams, and turning them into realities for New Mexico engaged couples. Her design expertise has weathered the storm through many a trend: cupcake-ballgowns, burlap + lace, bolero tops (Google it), puffed sleeves, etc…. Classic and modern though, the inherent talent of the NJR Event Planning team continues to evolve, meeting the needs of our generations respective trends like it’s second nature.

5. Black Swan Events

I cannot say enough positive things about this company. Joann and Brian were incredibly attentive, responsive, professional, and talented at what they do! They provided all of our floral decorations, lights, set our place settings, and everything was incredible! I was very thankful that when they gave us our quote, which included everything we initially wanted, they gave us multiple price points and allowed us to pick and choose. They communicated directly with our venue for set up, measuring, and other details and it made our wedding day beautiful and stress free. I hope to work with Black Swan again on future events!

– Bailey, Local Bride

Header photo: Maura Jane Photography

Top 10 Fall Wedding Essentials

Get those cozy sweaters out, it’s finally Fall! There’s nothing quite like the changing colors of the leaves amidst the desert landscape, and we love to see all of the gorgeous weddings that use the scenery to their advantage. This time of the year is one of our personal favorites, although, we might be a little biased since some of our Perfect Wedding Guide team celebrates their birthdays in the fall (*cough cough* our lovely Shauna & Alissia).

No matter what your favorite time of year is, we are sure that you will agree that fall weddings always rise to the occasion, thanks to the local wedding community. That is why we are here to share the top ten fall wedding essentials to make your autumnal wedding dreams come true, whether you want to incorporate spooky Halloween vibes or play with deep reds and burnt oranges for a more sophisticated look. With the help of our vendors, we were able to pull together some of our favorite fall “looks” to inspire you– check them out!

1. A Venue That Does Both

Elizabeth Wells Photography

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to find a venue that lets you and your guests enjoy the fall weather from the outside and the inside, because you never know just how chilly the day is going to be! It’s a huge plus if the venue gives you a good view of the changing of the leaves, like the courtyard at Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm.

2. Cozy Dishes

via Blue Plate Catering

When we think of fall, we think of warm home cooked meals while we are surrounded by family and friends. What better way to make everyone feel at home than to incorporate reusable and eco-friendly tableware and cutlery? With the help of a caterer like Blue Plate Catering, you can create a unique and zero-waste experience for your guests that will incorporate little hints of fall. Can you spot the little pumpkins accompanying the tableware?

3. Warm Color Palettes

Briana Nicole Photography

Everybody loves picking out a color palette for their wedding, and we know you’ve created that perfect Pinterest board full of your favorite complimentary colors. When it comes to fall trends these days, anything goes, but we love a warm color palette– and your photographer does too! Deep reds and oranges paired with navy blue and forest green will help you bring extra intimacy into your wedding day.

4. Moody Styles and Rich Flavors

Lavel Marie Photography

This may sound dramatic, but this cake specially made by Cake Fetish is to die for. It looks beautiful and tasty, with just the right amount of moody! For the perfect fall cake, throw in some deep purple and orange flowers and pair them with an ornate rich chocolate topping– trust me, it won’t disappoint. If purples, reds and rich chocolate doesn’t suit your fancy, not to worry, you can customize your fall wedding cake with the help of these local wedding cake professionals.

5. Spooky Invites & Goodies

via Pennysmith’s Paper

We love seeing every couple’s invitations and wedding favors because they all so perfectly encompass their personalities and uniqueness. For an October or November wedding, it’s time to get a little more playful and stray away from the conventional to get everyone in the spooky mood! Create invitations and wedding favors that will be a talking point between wedding guests, like these Día de los Muertos themed goodies from Pennysmith’s Paper.

6. Be Bold, Go Gold

Charlotte’s Flowers

When it comes time to pick out your floral arrangement, ditch the pastels and bring out the bold colors. If you must have those pretty pastels, pair them with a darker color to warm things up. You might want to try something totally new, like this elegant bouquet with golden leaves from Charlotte’s Flowers!

7. Dress to Impress & Stay Warm

Chrisi K Photography

It’s seriously hard to resist that perfect dress, and we get it, you want it to work no matter the season. Well, we have news for you! You can have your cake and eat it too… oh, and you can have that super perfect dress that you were hoping for. You can dress up those summertime gowns with a super cute scarf to keep warm and stay stylish!

8. Present Those Perfectly Plump Pumpkins

Matt Blasing Photography

If you love going to the pumpkin patch, then you are going to love this fall wedding decor. That’s right– pumpkins everywhere! Not only are pumpkins adorable, but they’re also a great way to add some color to your wedding. Plop a pumpkin down on the ground or on the table, and maybe let your guests take one home at the end of the day!

9. In With the Old… and Some of the New, Too.

Maura Jane Photography

We’re not saying you should turn your wedding into a haunted house or anything, but we do think this vintage furniture and gothic candle decor from Darling Details gives off a subtle hint of spooky season and makes for a lovely fall wedding. Like we’ve said before, adding a little bit of gold makes everything more elegant and more bold! Hey, that rhymed.

10. Play Dress Up

Jasper K. Photography

Isn’t fall all about that one night where everyone gets to dress up and pretend to be somebody else? Well, technically it’s not all about that, but it’s a pretty big deal to some folks. Maybe it doesn’t just have to be one night at all! Dress up for your fall engagement session or elopement, but fair warning, the fun that this entails isn’t for the faint of heart.

4 of New Mexico’s Favorite Wedding Cake Shops

Your wedding day is going to be one of the most treasured days of your entire life – and with the help of our favorite local wedding cake shops, it’s also going to be the sweetest! When we think “wedding“, we think about some of the most anticipated moments during the special day: the bride walking down the aisle, the groom’s reaction and, last but not least, the cutting of the cake. Who doesn’t love to see the happy newly-weds smash their beautiful cake into each other’s beautiful faces?!

I think we can all agree that wedding cakes are a true work of art from the delicious ingredients on the inside, to the intricate details on the outside. Stylized color palettes and detailed personal touches make any wedding cake feel like it was made only for you – with love!

Between venue scouting, dress shopping and dozens of other necessary wedding planning tasks, picking out a wedding cake can seem like just another daunting challenge. However, these local sweet-tooth experts will make it a piece of cake (literally)!

1. The Cake Boutique

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Chrisi K. Photography
new mexico wedding cake, pink wedding cake, gold wedding cake, gold cake, wedding cake

We were invited to sample the cake. Birdie talked us through the different tier and flavour options, and we conferred so she could get an understanding of our colour/decoration needs. Birdie worked with our florist to ensure the arrangements were in place for the floral topper. The cake was delivered on time, it looked great and tasted delicious! We had a three-tiered round cake with colours and decorations chosen by us and a plain sheet cake, and we were able to have two different flavours (chocolate and vanilla). The cake was definitely the tastiest we had tried in Albuquerque.  

– Jamie, Local Bride

If you’re looking for a cake shop that offers pretty much everything, whether it be conventional or something completely out of the ordinary, then you’re in the right place! Locally owned and operated by Birdie, The Cake Boutique is conveniently located on the Westside of Albuquerque for you to stop in and explore all of their breathtaking options. You can learn more about the shop and how to get in contact with them here.

2. Maggie’s Cakes

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Kevin Guevara Photo + Film
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Alicia Lucia Photography

Zara has the perfect eye for creating stunning work. Her cake artistry is unparalleled… From cupcakes to 5 tiered masterpieces, she CAN create ANYTHING you can IMAGINE! From the moment you arrive in her artistic space until the moment your creation is presented, she is simply magical.

-Devonna, Local Bride

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we are clearly obsessed with our state – and Maggie’s Cakes so perfectly represents the southwest in all of its glory. From simple and chic Earth tones to vibrant blush bursts of color, this shop has everything you could dream of. You can find Zara, the artist behind the cakes, and your future delicious creation at her Santa Fe shop. You can find more information here!

2. Les Blonde Bakery

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Maura Jane Photography
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I had Les Blonde Bakery make my wedding cake and my daughters first birthday cake. They were better than I imagined! The frosting was my favorite (and I am not a frosting person!) Not only was the cake DELICIOUS, but Kerian was wonderful! I will absolutely be ordering more cakes!!

– Michelle, Local Bride

Wedding cakes, cupcakes, desserts galore! Les Blonde Bakery is well versed in the world of sweet things, and just looking at Kerian’s elegant baked goods makes our mouths water. Their unique displays and cake toppers are reason enough to stop by the bakery and see for yourself what makes Les Blonde Bakery so special! You can learn more about how to get in contact with them here.

4. SmallCakes: A Cupcakery

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Jasper K. Photography
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Briana Nicole Photography

I spent many weekends tasting cakes before I decided on SmallCakes. They have a great selection of flavors and we received so many compliments on our cake. I knew I could trust them with our cake and they proved themselves on the day of our wedding.

– Romilly

Last, but certainly not least, SmallCakes focuses on creating a diverse range of cakes that look almost too good to eat. Just look at those colors… and that texture! *Heart eyes* From cupcakes to wedding cakes, there are options for everyone. Stop by their shop in Northeast Albuquerque to take the next step in ordering your cake for your wedding day, or visit them here!

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