Eco-Friendly Florals with Simply Sola Decor

For all of you Earth lovers out there, and we hope that all of you are, this blog is for you. For most people, when searching for wedding essentials like food and tableware, the idea of waste pops into mind right away. Like all other big events and celebrations, weddings end up producing an unbelievable amount of waste. According to The Green Bride Guide, “the average wedding produces 400 lbs of garbage and 63 tons of CO2”. With everything else going on during the wedding planning process, these stats can be overwhelming and it can be hard to take the time to research eco-friendly alternatives that can reduce the amount of waste that is accumulated during the event.

There’s no need to fear because your Perfect Wedding Guide ladies are here to bring the positive light and help you reduce your wedding day waste! We’re so proud to say that we work with an incredible group of vendors that specialize in sustainable essentials–like our newest member, the talented and quite crafty, Simply Sola Decor. She uses sola wood to make floral designs that will last forever and can be used over and over again. Simply Sola Decor immediately fits into the category of one of our three favorite “Rs”: Re-use!

Via Simply Sola Decor

Christina is the magic-maker behind the business, and it is clear that she has a strong passion for creating beautiful and high-quality alternatives to wedding florals. She creates with intention and her clients choose wooden flowers so that they can be repurposed or saved as keepsakes, where live flowers will be thrown away or die just days after the wedding. Often, live flowers are imported and not locally-sourced, which can be damaging to your health and the environment.

Via Simply Sola Decor

Something that we love about Simply Sola Decor is that her wood flowers look like REAL flowers. At first glance, you would never guess that the flowers weren’t freshly cut from the garden. Christina is just really good at this stuff. Period.

Via Simply Sola Decor

BONUS TIP: Simply Sola Decor‘s florals can be re-purposed in a variety of ways. Here are just a few of our faves:

1. Home decor – Keep your dining room table or fireplace mantle looking chic with a vase of ever-lasting flowers!

2. Flower crowns – Create a masterpiece that you can wear around and show off, all while enjoying a memento from the special day.

3. Passed on from one person to the next – If you have friends and family that are planning a wedding or event, you can always pass on your florals for them to use!

If you want florals that last, then Simply Sola Decor is your match! You can learn more here.

Sources: Harrison, Kate L. The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget. Sourcebooks, 2008.

You're Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

Your partner popped the big question and you said yes–congratulations! Although the excitement of your engagement has your stomach filled with butterflies and you wish you could hold onto these perfect and stress-free moments forever, you are probably starting to wonder when the chaos of wedding planning is going to begin. More importantly, you’re probably wondering where to start, and that is where we come in! Before we go any further, we want to tell you that planning your wedding is meant to be filled with personality, joy, laughter, and bonding. It can truly be an amazing experience for you AND your loved ones, and we encourage you to have some fun!

The First Steps

Let’s take a deep breath. Sit down. Close your eyes. Imagine your ideal wedding. What do you see? What does your dress look like? What does your suit look like? Is your wedding inside or outside? Do you see trees? What about a chapel? How many people do you want surrounding you while you say ‘I do’? These thoughts can quickly become overwhelming and we know that money and time are the first things that come to mind. For just a moment, imagine that these concepts don’t exist and then open your mind to the possibilities! Instead of seeing them as negative thoughts, turn them into opportunities. This is the moment where you let your personality and imagination take control. After you’ve designed your ideal wedding, now you can take it to the drawing board and decide on the details.

However, we know that some people enjoy having a professional to guide them in their first steps, and that is why wedding + event planners exist! One of our own lovely wedding planners, Danielle of D Events and Weddings, is an expert in her craft and offers full service event planning just for you from beginning to end. Remember that wedding you just imagined, the one that seemed impossible? She’s here to make it possible–and she’s done it countless times before. Yup, you can breathe easy now.

Jasper K Photography | Black Bow Events

Local Wedding Vendors

So you’ve reached out to your wedding planner, or maybe you’ve decided to DIY, but either way you’re ready to start building your team of love experts. Find your venue, caterer and get all of the high priority planning squared away. Your wedding planner will be right by your side during this process for smooth sailing and emotional support (it’s not in their job description, but we know that they must be pretty good at it). After that, it’s time to grab your gals or your bros and have some fun. Dress and suit shopping, creating ‘save the dates‘, florals–local wedding vendors will have everything you need without the hassle of ordering online and waiting to see your product. We do love a good Etsy shopping spree, but we also encourage you to support your community because they’re kind of flippin’ awesome.

You can also get discounts on local vendors when you have a wedding planner like Black Bow Events, another local business who has years of experience planning amazing weddings. We love that event planners are there every step of the way and have cultivated connections with the wedding community so that planning your wedding can be stress-free and budget friendly.

Brandon Harwell Photography | D Events and Weddings

Just Months and Even Days Away

The wedding is months away, and everything is pretty much settled. Well, as settled as it can be–we get it. Now it’s time for all of the final preparations, like teeth whitenings, spa days, gym memberships, guest accommodations, etc. A wedding planner can help you get set up with all of these things if you’ve lost the energy! But beyond all of this, it’s your time to rest and focus on the love between you and your honey. These moments before the big day are unique and exciting, they should be embraced. So put down your notebook filled with wedding planning notes, go grab the love of your life, and remember why you’re doing it all–for the love.

Feel like you need more wedding planning help + inspiration? You can check out our own website here where you can find upcoming wedding shows, local vendors, discounts, and giveaways. We would be honored to be a part of your planning process and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Lavel Marie Photography | D Events and Weddings + Black Bow Events

Header photo: Lavel Marie Photography

New Mexico History & Culture: Lucas Stein Designs

Good photography starts with a trained eye and technical skills, great photography comes from the connection developed between photographer and subject.

Lucas Mathew Stein

We love everything about New Mexico, from the sunsets to the authentic and delicious cuisine. There is something that really stands out, though – the people. We are fortunate enough to live in one of the most unique states in the whole country where our communities are close-knit and utterly diverse. This is why so many eager couples travel from all over the world just to come experience a wedding in the Land of Enchantment.

For one particular local, New Mexico is both home base and canvas. Enter Lucas Stein Designs, one of the newest additions to our Perfect Wedding Guide family! We love to welcome local vendors that are passionate about their work and our state, and we are especially thrilled when they’re making big moves in the industry. Lucas Stein has made his mark countless times while working on local film sets in many departments, and now he is focusing his energy on capturing stunning photos of couples. Yeah, he can pretty much do everything.

Lucas Mathew Stein has worked on movie sets and television shows for the past 21 years. He has served as a Director, an Executive Producer, Assistant Director, Production Coordinator, Transportation Captain, Personal Assistant, Medic/Massage & Bodymind Therapist to celebrities and crew; he is now focusing his energies towards the art of photography.

In every bit of his work, he makes sure to use New Mexico as his canvas to create authentic and high quality images. Something that we enjoy so much about his photography is the unique stylistic choices he makes. Unlike many of the recent trends in wedding photography, vibrant colors and editorial style poses make everything come together perfectly, all while making sure that the couple and their love for each other is still at the forefront.

If you are looking for a professional wedding photographer that will take your photos to the next level, then Lucas Stein Designs should be your go-to. With an outstanding portfolio, years of experience, and super friendly and adventurous personality, you’ll be in good hands!

Want to get in contact with Lucas? Learn more here.

Wedding Makeup Tips: A Guest Blog with Mesa Makeup

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we get to see countless stunning photographs of brides and grooms sharing their special moments together. Everything is always picture perfect, from the venue to the gown, but there is something that absolutely emphasizes the radiance of couples in love: wedding day makeup. We’ve asked one of our newest members, Mesa Makeup, to give you some tips + tricks when it comes to looking fabulous for your wedding day. Summer and Erica share a bit about who they are, what they do, and what you can do to make your makeup experience the best yet! Read what they have to say below.

Mesa makeup puts makeup on a bride.
via Mesa Makeup

Meet Mesa Makeup

Hi lovely NM brides! We are Summer and Erica of Mesa Makeup and are super excited to be a part of the Perfect Wedding Guide family! Before we get into our top 10 dos and don’ts of wedding makeup, we wanted to tell you a little bit about our business and what we think sets us apart. 

When we decided to pool our talents into Mesa Makeup, we wanted to create an experience for our brides rather than just a makeup service. In order to do that, we spend a little more time on skin prep so that everyone feels relaxed and pampered before the makeup magic begins! We are also the only makeup artists in New Mexico to offer a full makeup and skincare application using only clean cosmetics – meaning those products are free from chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, and other potentially unsafe ingredients. We have spent a lot of time researching and testing different “clean” products to ensure that these items meet our standards for long lasting, gorgeous makeup! In addition, we can assist you in creating a gift package for your bride tribe containing some of our favorite New Mexico-made skincare, spa, and beauty products!

FUN FACTS | Before we started Mesa Makeup, we both were students at the University of Minnesota at the same time but didn’t actually meet until makeup school! Summer is fluent in Spanish and Erica is a polymer scientist. 

Now For Our Top Ten!

  1. DO start a skincare routine as soon as possible! Makeup will look better and last longer if your skin is healthy and well cared for. We recommend figuring out your skin type (normal, dry, oily, or combo) and concerns (fine lines, acne, age spots, etc.) and talking to an esthetician to help you get a skincare routine established. 
  2. DON’T try out any new products within a few weeks of your wedding date. Sometimes an ingredient in a new product may irritate your skin. We also recommend avoiding any harsh skincare treatments (e.g. chemical peel, waxing) within a week or two of your wedding for the same reason. Remember MUAs can cover discoloration but we can’t get rid of texture!
  3. DO have a trial makeup run beforehand. This lets you get to know your artist and their makeup style to see if you vibe well. Plus, it’s one less thing to worry about the day of if you already know your makeup is going to be perfect! It’s also nice to schedule this before an engagement shoot so you can see how the makeup photographs. 
  4. DON’T worry about changing your mind about your makeup on the day of your wedding! It happens frequently and we promise it won’t hurt our feelings if you want something changed!
  5. If you aren’t doing a trial DO bring pictures of makeup styles you like. This also goes for anyone in your bride tribe or bridal party having makeup done. It helps get you and your artist on the same page from the beginning so there are no surprises at the end!
  6. DON’T be afraid to wear a little more makeup than you usually wear on your wedding day. We want you to look good both in person and in your photos so we may suggest a deeper eyeshadow or lip color than you originally thought so you don’t look washed out in photos. 
  7. DO respect the timeline you and your MUA establish. No one likes to be running late so ensuring you and your party are on time and ready to start at their allotted times!
  8. DON’T be afraid to try fake eyelashes. We have a ton of different styles to choose from and can customize any lash to you! We also have lashes that work well for first timers that are very comfortable to wear. 
  9. DO ask us about our clean cosmetics package, what our favorite products are, and where we get them! Also DO pick Erica’s brain on ingredient safety and where you can learn more about it. 
  10. DO leave your vendors a review. It lets us know how we did, helps us improve, and also helps other brides in their search to find professionals best suited to their styles/needs!

We can’t wait to meet you and we hope you have a Happy New Year!

Want to get in touch with Mesa Makeup? You can visit their page here.

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Flowers

With 2020 approaching and new wedding trends making their way into the spotlight, we are seeing a shift in traditions. More and more couples are choosing to find unconventional wedding venues, from coffee shops to their own backyards, and we dig it. The possibilities are truly endless! However, there are some wedding traditions that never seem to change, one of them being a fan favorite–wedding flowers.

Your wedding day is getting nearer and nearer and we get it, everything seems to be hitting you all at once. We’re here to help ease that tension and make wedding planning an enjoyable experience. When it comes to floral arrangements, planning is really easy. There are so many options for wedding flowers out there and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming–but it is actually a blessing in disguise. The Perfect Wedding Guide team has spent years working with the best florists in New Mexico, and in doing so, we’ve learned a lot of insider secrets to help out our local couples. Whether you are looking for a environmentally friendly option for your wedding day, or want to design your wedding venue to look like a floral wonderland, our local wedding florists can do it all.

We thought that we would give you a little guide to finding the right flower options for your wedding, because we are your guide to a perfect wedding after all. Plus, we have included some of our favorite local vendors for your convenience. Who knows, maybe today is the day that you book your new floral bestie!

Getting started + planning it all out

The first step in booking a florist is taking into consideration your color palette, the season, and the flower type. Here are some tips:

Colors | Think about your accessories and your bridesmaids! Are they wearing pastels? Or is it more of a moody wedding with maroons and navy blues? Choose colors that compliment your wardrobe and the decor, or choose colors that are complete opposite to create contrast. Be bold and have fun with this part!

A classic white rose bouquet to compliment the white gown. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Briana Nicole Photography
An elegant + moody rose and succulent arrangement. Bouquet by Arranged Elegance || Fender Photography
Vibrant jewel tones + pops of contrasting colors that look incredible together. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design

Season | There are some flowers that are only available seasonally, so you want to make sure that the flowers you have your eye on are going to work with your wedding date. It is possible, though, to find a flower out of season, it might take a little more effort as a result. We want to help you make picking out your flowers as smooth as possible, so we suggest you take into consideration all of the options available to you ahead of time. Choose colors that compliment the season, from springtime pinks to winter blues.

Lovely pastel + succulent arrangement for the warmer seasons. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Lauren Cherie Photography
A stunning bouquet with a focus on seasonal sunflowers. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design
The most charming holiday floral arrangement with an ornament. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || via Bosque Flower Studio

Flower Type | We have a quite a few options now when it comes to preserving wedding day flowers. Everyone loves a good living flower that smells fresh and can be pressed and saved for years to come, but there is another option that we have been loving lately–silk flowers. We get to see plenty of real and artificial flowers in the wedding business and we’re gonna tell you a secret… we can’t tell the difference most of the time. They are all SO lovely.

Flawless silk floral arrangement with embellishments. Bouquet by Charlotte’s Flowers || T. Rayne Photography
A wide variety of gorgeous flowers. Arrangement by Flowers and Things || Via Flowers and Things
A centerpiece with just a pop of color and mostly focused on leaves and embellishments. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || Kayla Kitts Photography

Perks of hiring a wedding florist

They are the experts. They have years of experience in this business and know just exactly what flowers compliment other flowers and embellishments. The styling and arranging is like second nature to these wedding professionals! When the big day comes, you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong because you chose someone who was dedicated specifically to making your perfect arrangements happen.

You can relax. All of the “doing” and “making” is done by the pros, so you get to focus on the other details of your wedding. Although it might be fun to gather up your gal and guy pals and create an assembly line of matching, cutting, and trimming, it’s not for everyone. Take some time for yourself and let a dedicated florist do what they do best. You won’t regret it!

You can be silly and make your wildest dreams come true. Like we said earlier, anything is possible. We mean it! The best thing about hiring a florist is that they are there to help you develop and carry out your vision–even if it means creating flower crowns for you, your bridesmaids, AND your furry friend.

A flower crown made specially for your best friend. Made by Charlotte’s Flowers || Maura Jane Photography

Want to see a list of our fave florists that take flower power to a whole new level? Check them out here!

Vendor Spotlight: Moon + Midnight Photo

You know that warm, inviting feeling you get when you think about the one that you love? The feeling that as if there is no one else in the world watching, you could melt into their arms and spend an eternity in their embrace? When it comes to capturing this feeling, you’re going to want to find a special kind of person who is just as passionate about your love story as you are – and with the help of a local wedding photographer – this is all possible.

Caroline of Moon + Midnight Photo should be your go-to gal for capturing pure romance. She incorporates an intimate and warm style with all of the classic elegance of wedding photography. We are obsessed with her editing style that plays with warm overlay tones and gives off a raw, cinematic vibe. Caroline is the perfect example of a strong and dedicated wedding professional through her determination and many years of experience. For the bride and groom on the search for a photographer who will bring out the best of you and your wedding day, look no further, Moon + Midnight Photo is your perfect fit.

We are so impressed by our wedding community because they work miracles when they do what they love, all while being so personable. We all know how exciting it is when we meet someone and they just straight up get us AND our vision. Finding a wedding vendor who you can trust is like meeting an unlikely friend who also happens to be working toward the same goal as you! Caroline from Moon + Midnight Photo is your new bestie when it comes to capturing your love story.

Want to see some of her stunning work? You’re in luck! Check out the gallery below and if you are eager to book a session, because I know I would be, click here.

Our Favorite 2020 Wedding Trends

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, the end of the year means planning, preparing, and jumping for joy because we get to learn about all of the upcoming trends for next year! We would by lying if we told you that we aren’t a little sad to see 2019 go, though. This year was definitely one for the books, filled with the most beautiful weddings and exciting wedding shows & events. We loved hearing all of your perfect wedding stories and having the honor of sharing them with other brides and grooms that are looking for some inspiration.

As our pinky promise to you, we will continue to provide you with the most current and trendy tips and inspiration each and every year because we think you’re the best. We are so eager to share what is in store for next year that we are going to give you some insider knowledge right now that the Perfect Wedding Guide team picked up at this year’s Wedding MBA Conference in Las Vegas. Yesterday we hosted our annual Wedding MBA Recap Breakfast at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club and got to hear some notable takeaways from our fellow local wedding professionals that also attended the conference.

We thought that we would have a little fun with this one and look back at some of the decade’s biggest wedding trends while introducing the future forecast for wedding trends in 2020.

First, the oldies, but goodies.

2019 | Private ceremony + elopement locations

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | Animals in weddings

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | White weddings

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pastels, pinks, and blushes

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pear-shaped rings

Maura Jane Photography

2019 | Romantic lighting rentals

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Unique venues

Lauren Cherie Photography

2019 | Specialty cakes

Maura Jane Photography

And now for the upcoming trends for 2020!

2020 | The “Roaring 20s” (of course)

Via todaysbride.com

2020 | Bright & bold pops of color

Al Gawlik Photography

2020 | Ceiling installations

Anna Jones Photography

2020 | Textures

Via HiMissPuff.com

2020 | Greens + grasses

Via Happywedd.com

2020 | Mirrored floors

Darin Images

2020 | Cake backdrops

Buffy Dekmar

2020 | Texture, minimalism, capes, and beyond

2020 | Donuts, mini cakes, & tall cakes

2020 | Sustainability

Via thegoodbeginning.com

So there you have it, a decade of trends and some new ones to welcome to the table. We’re ready for you, 2020!