Timeless Romance with Coryn Kiefer Photography

Timeless Romance with Coryn Kiefer Photography

“Life without love, is no life at all.” – Leonardo da Vinci

With springtime so gracefully happening all around us, vibrant colors and incredible new beginnings steal the show. It is no wonder local couples choose this time of year to have their jaw-dropping New Mexico weddings. Since we’re now learning to live with these unexpected changes, couples must reschedule their weddings. We want you to know that it’s 100% okay to be sad, and maybe even really angry, since you’ve been preparing for this moment your whole life. Good news, though! You now have plenty of time to get back to the drawing board, without any distractions, and get inspired.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again – one of our favorite ways to get inspiration for weddings is local styled shoots. New Mexico wedding vendors from all over the bring their talents together to create something magical. Our lovely Coryn Kiefer Photography wanted to bring her vision for timeless romance to life, so she did just that through incredible colors, textures, and scenery.

“While love remains timeless, traditional weddings are changing. Weddings today break free of monotony and add unique elements that tell the couple’s story and personality more than ever before. This styled shoot aimed to embrace the modern wedding while keeping the simplicity of love in the forefront.”

Coryn Kiefer Photography

The models are wearing a modern take on wedding attire – a pantsuit for the bride and a mismatched suit for the groom. While these elements of fashion are unconventional, they compliment each other and are a perfect match for the ornate decor that surrounds them. The decor + florals are fit for a queen. We get some serious fairytale vibes and all of our little girl dreams are coming true.

As we like to say, it’s all in the details. The hand lettering, the jewelry, and the cake are all exquisite. Check out the gallery below to see how Coryn + her team brought this fairytale to life:

“Tessa’s Rime Arodaky pantsuit was the epicenter. Pairing this modern fashion with the Old World style of the El Rey Court was the perfect fit. Elements of Mustard and Sage were added to highlight the whites and add a punch of color to the setting.”

coryn kiefer photography

Photography + Styling: Coryn Kiefer Photography Venue: El Rey Court Decor + Rentals: Darling Details Rentals Floral: Desert Flower Co. Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee Hand Lettering: Hello Jori Cake: Honey & Salt Cake Co. Jewelry: Ooh! Aah! Jewelry Bridal Attire: Rime Arodaky Groom’s Attire: J Crew Styling Assistant: Krissy Williams Models: Tessa & Deangelo

Rentals, Decor & So Much More

Rentals, Decor & So Much More

Chic, glamorous, simple, boho, elegant. These are just some of the words that come to mind when thinking about wedding rentals & decor. No two people are the same, and this is especially true when it comes to planning your big day. Some people are lovers of all things that shimmer, while some prefer the minimalistic approach. Full disclosure, wedding decor is one of our favorites because it can be the most necessary, exciting and enjoyable aspect of planning. The possibilities have no limit. This year, the 20’s are back in style and jewel tones are on-trend, and if you love both of those ideas, why not try out a mix of both? It’s your day, design it with passion.

No matter your style, there are so many fantastic options available to you that will fit your personality perfectly! No need to rely solely on your adorable Pinterest boards and lose sleep wondering if your guests will have a place to sit, because there is a decor expert ready to make your dreams a reality. Luckily for you, there are some right here in New Mexico and we already have a couple experts in mind. P.S. They’re the best of the best.

First up…

Colorado Party Rentals

Although their home-base is in Colorado, this vendor has a dream-team located in Santa Fe. Specializing in all times of wedding decor, it is no doubt that you will fall in love with every scene they create. Just look at these photos–they look like something straight out of a fairytale! Offering everything from table linens, aisle runners, dance floors, and tenting, to china and glassware to create gorgeous tablescapes, there will be no lack of gems to choose from. Colorado Party Rentals has quite the list of services from 3-D renderings to set up/break down. Want to learn more about these decor experts? You can get in contact here.

Social Collective

Social Collective, FKA Occasion Services & Events, is a team of highly experienced designers and planners offering rentals and designs that know how to bring a wedding to the next level–and we’re not exaggerating. This team of experts knows how to create a perfect wedding for any couple, no matter the style, location, or arrangement. Social Collective is on-trend and well-prepared with everything you need, from the initial concept planning, to tables and chairs, to lighting and floral design. It’s safe to say that we’re in love with every single event they put together. If you want to learn more and get in touch, you can visit them here.

This can be a lot of information, but don’t get discouraged. Wield your Pinterest boards as your shield and your decor expert as sword and absolutely slay your wedding! If you want to read about more of our decor experts, click here.

Header photo: Maura Jane Photography

Eco-Friendly Florals with Simply Sola Decor

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 Wedding Collective 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 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!

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 ones 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

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

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

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

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!