How to Have a Country Wedding in New Mexico

For visitors or recent transplants to New Mexico, country might not be the first adjective you’d reach for to describe the state. For those of us who have had a chance to wander outside of the cities though, the farm and field influence obviously contributes to the eclectic blend of cultures that make New Mexico so magnificent.

Which is lucky for all of us, because it means there’s no limit to the kind of wedding you can have here. Especially when you take a look at the collective portfolio of our local wedding experts! From a Kate Spade inspired, modern urban pallet, to a wandering bohemian picnic celebration, to a royal banquet rich in traditional Spanish influences, New Mexico can house and support pretty much every theme, vibe, or aesthetic.

So it should come as no surprise that having a cowboy-country-down-home wedding here would be as easy as pie, too. From wide open desert mesas to rodeo style architecture, everything you need for a back country celebration starts and ends with one of our most loved local wedding venues.

The Southwest Event Center was originally built as a livestock auction house, but now stands in Los Lunas as a generous and venerable ranch-style wedding venue. With indoor and outdoor spaces available — because we all know how fickle that New Mexico weather can be — you don’t even need much decor to round out the beauty of the space.

This venue is absolutely the package deal. So much open space to use and take full advantsge of. The owner genuinly cares about the client experience and goes above and beyond to make sure her clients needs and wants are met. This venue has an original cowboy feel and most certainly can not be replicated or imitated.  

Sarah, local wedding photographer

It’s true. The small town vibe of the wedding venue extends past the mountains, crisp air, and sprawling landscape that envelops the Southwest Event Center. Their venue is owned and operated by a family of dedicated creatives, whose southern hospitality has lead them to be somewhat of local celebrities, and for good reason too.

To say good bye to the bustle and grind of city life, if only for a moment, you can book the Southwest Event Center for your wedding by contacting their team here.

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Jessica Ash Photography

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Wedding Invitations: Go Online or Stay Local?

The nicest, most professional people I have ever worked with. This world would be heaven if every company had their level of ethics and customer service.

Stefani

Every wedding begins with a simple yes.

No, we’re not referring to the big yes that usually gets all of the attention. Instead, we’re talking about saying yes to your wedding invitations. That first step toward a happily ever after begins the cascade of moments and decisions and planning that eventually culminate into your wedding day.

So, no pressure, but your wedding invitations are kind of a big deal! While save-the-dates are a little bit more casual, your wedding invitation is the first place you see your color scheme and aesthetic theme come to life. Each frill and fluff of your decor, floral arrangements, and wedding party attire will follow in suit (pun intended) with the vibe you set with your wedding invitations.

With this in mind, it becomes less and less tempting to jump on board the trend of ordering your paper goods online. Despite how customizable and unique most chain websites claim to be, the designs remain in circulation for thousands of engaged couples across the country. Not to mention, when ordering invitations online, there’s rarely an opportunity to feel the paper, see the print quality, and talk through your questions and concerns in person with a paper expert.

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Maura Jane Photography

 

Which is why we always have and always will recommend ditching the faceless monotony of mass produced goods and, instead, support the local small businesses who have dedicated their passion and talent to their community. Like Pennysmiths Paper!

For 40 years now, Pennysmiths Paper has been serving New Mexico weddings — but their team will tell you, often out-of-state couples will fly in just to have their invitations and stationery designed by the Pennysmiths team. We’re not surprised by that though, considering their free one-hour consultation policy, hundreds of happy couples, and meticulous attention to detail.

From the first whisper of a celebration, to the final moments of your wedding day, Pennysmiths Paper has the stationery and invitations to set the tone and supplement your decor. Because it’s never too early to get started on your first step of wedding planning, you can get connected with a paper design expert from the Pennysmiths team here.

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Kayla Kitts Photography

Pennysmiths Paper

Pennysmiths Paper

Pennysmiths Paper

Pennysmiths Paper

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5 New Wedding Food + Catering Businesses in New Mexico

Caterers UNM Food Wedding Event Planning Caterer New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe

It seems as though we’ve finally made it over the hump of wishy-washy spring weather here in New Mexico. At last, our days are filled with reliable sunshine, little desert flowers blooming in the sidewalk cracks, and that wide open sky for which we’re famed. As things start to warm up and settle into the season though, that also signals the crunch-time part of wedding planning for our engaged couples getting married in the summer and fall. For our lovely fall weddings — we’re already looking forward to your warm hues and undeniable coziness — you’re probably right around the 6 month mark on your countdown.  Which means the big things, like your caterer, need to be locked down like, right now. 

Luckily for the both of us, our Perfect Wedding Guide team has had the opportunity to connect with some local wedding professionals who dedicate their skills and love for weddings to food. We’ve put together a few of our new favorites — whether they’re new to New Mexico, new to us, or just doing something new that inspires us.

So, you might want to grab a snack for this particular New Mexico wedding vendor round-up, ’cause its a tasty one.

1. Celina’s Biscochitos

If we want to start with dessert, whose going to stop us?! Especially when up on the table are a dozen of Celina’s Biscochitos. For years, Celina has been perfecting the recipe which we all so love here in New Mexico. With new flavors that push the boundaries of tradition like red or green chile and café lattes, Celina combines all the comfort of a biscochito with innovative surprises.

2. UNM Food

Caterers UNM Food Wedding Event Planning Caterer New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe

Then, to get a little bit savory up in here, let’s spend some time with another local treasure, UNM Food. Did you know the oh-so loved university was more than just a magical place to get married (or get a degree)? Everything from French-style service, high class Hors d’oeuvres, to home-style, traditional New Mexican food is possible. Engaged couples can choose from wedding menus, or collaborate on a custom menu with their team of chefs and creatives.

3. Les Blonde Bakery

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If you’re looking for a wedding food professional you can connect with, trust, and collaborate with the whole step of the way, then Les Blonde Bakery is the bakery for you. Crafting custom cakes of only the finest ingredients and designs, this one-woman run operation has been stealing the hearts of every engaged couple in New Mexico who works with her. Speciality desserts, delightful flavors, and unique tasting cakes mean that whatever your vision may be, Les Blonde can make it happen.

4. Chello Grill

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Ah, and then our dear Chello Grill. As mediterranean food lovers, we might be a bit biased toward their savory dishes, which are always, somehow, both bursting with flavor and melting in your mouth at the same time. Breaking away from what we think of as ‘traditional’ wedding food, their kabobs, fresh salads, and authentic Persian stews provide a delicious complement to your celebration of love.

5. Europa

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We simply had to include Europa here again, even though we just did a whole feature on the Los Lunas wedding venue slash floral farm slash organic catering business. If supporting local, farm-fresh food is important to you and your wedding guests, then look no further than Europa. You can grab some organic floral arrangements while you’re at it, too, and rest assured that neither your buffet or bouquet will have any creepy dyes or toxins — just pure, wholesome goodness.

Royal Wedding, New Mexican Style

If you’ve picked up on anything from reading our little New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide blog here, then you know a couple things. First, we love love. Like, a lot. Second, we’re obsessed with high-quality, jaw-dropping weddings and styled shoots that prove our state is on par with coastal trends, despite being oh so landlocked. And third, we have a special affinity for weddings with super strong New Mexican vibes, for obvious reasons.

So when a photo comes across our desks that combines all three of those elements…well, let’s just say we do a lot of happy dancing in our office. And happy dance we did, the moment we saw this collab between a few of our very favorite local wedding businesses. Housed by the undeniably southwestern, yet luxuriously curated Hacienda Dona Andrea, Shayla Edenfield Photography came together with some incredible local vendors like Mr. Tux and The Flower Company to create a shoot that rivals royal weddings, with an added New Mexican flair.

Hacienda Dona Andrea, a traditional adobe structure, began as a 9-bedroom home to the Contreras in the 16th century. The home, which is actually more castle than townhome, is imposingly venerable in the best possible way, and now generously hosts weddings for New Mexican natives, and those otherwise enchanted from far-off places. With impeccably carved furniture around every bend, and of course debuting within the shoot itself, and hand-crafted fixtures hanging from above, the hacienda made the perfect venue for this dignified and colorful styled shoot.

Bright florals enhanced the already-bursting colors of the venue, from the traditional Spanish art and hand painted tiles, to the oriental rugs. It would all have been for naught, of course, if there weren’t any turquoise jewelry; luckily the darling bride wore the traditional stone across her neck. And thank goodness for Shayla Edenfield‘s light and bright style — as sunshine-y and heartwarming as the personality behind the lens — which captured it all in its shining, regal glory.

To book Hacienda Dona Andrea for your wedding, you can contact their team of dedicated creatives here.

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Photographer: Shayla Edenfield Photography

Floral: The Flower Company

Tux: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Dress:  Borrowing Magnolia

Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna

Cake: Cake Fetish

Turquoise Jewelry: Turquoise Direct

Furniture: Hacienda Dona Andrea

Stationery: Cordially Invited Events LLC

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5 Benefits Of A Limo Hire Perth For Your Wedding {Guest Post!}

A very special thank you to Allure Limousine for sharing some of their vast knowledge with us, and now you!

One of the most significant milestones in any person’s life is getting married. It’s more than just a ceremony; it signifies the beginning of your lives together. That’s why a majority of couples put a lot of thought into the details of their wedding, from the décor, to the table settings and even to the type of car that will be used for the entourage or the guests.

If you’re thinking about renting a car for your big day, here are some benefits of hiring limo service that you should consider:

1. Elevates Your Experience

There’s a reason why limos are the popular choice for proms and weddings. They make special occasions more memorable right at the start. Ultra-stretch options from Luxury Wedding Car & Limousine Hire Perth will incorporate a touch of style and sophistication to your event. Whether it’ll be the bridal car or a vehicle to transport your guests, you can be sure that everyone is comfortable and feels valued.

 

2. Reduces Wedding Jitters

Knowing that every little thing, including transportation for you and your guests, is taken care of can drastically lessen any anxiety that you may feel on your wedding day. It’s you and your significant other’s moment to shine, so don’t let such a minor detail dampen your mood. Book a limo service months before to cross it off on your to-do list.

This timeline can help you stay on track with your wedding preparation:

  • 1-6 Months

    • File for legal documents.
    • Plan the flow of your ceremony and reception.
    • Finalize instructions and requests to suppliers such as the menu for the caterer and the song list for the band.
    • Send out wedding invitations through the mail or electronically.
    • Confirm seating arrangements.
    • Contact your suppliers to double-check the date, times, and location.
    • Get confirmation of guests.

 

  • 7-12 Months

    • Pick your top priority date and two in case there is conflict in the schedule with your must-have venue or supplier.
    • Prepare your budget.
    • Determine the planner, photographer, videographer, limo company, caterer, florist, and band you want to work with. If you’re sure that you want them and their fees fit your budget, hire them as early as you can so they can block off their schedule for your big event.
    • Choose who will be part of your wedding party from the maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, and groomsmen as well as other roles included in the ceremony.
    • Create your guest list.
    • Reserve your wedding and reception venues.
    • Book the marriage officiant.
    • Send out your Save the Dates.
    • Pick out wedding outfits for you and your partner. Give enough time for fittings and other alterations.
    • Look for hotels for guests who will be flying in from out of town.
    • Prepare your gift registries. It’s better if you have this with major retailers to make it easier for your guests.

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3.  Safe

Limo services often include a chauffeur who can drive you and your guests back to the hotel without any fear of breaking the law due to drunk driving. Everyone can enjoy the night’s festivities and still get to their rooms in one piece. If you’re planning a mountain wedding celebration, you ought to arrange transportation to pick up and bring guests to the location safely.

 

4. Has Awesome Amenities

Aside from the comfortable ride, limos also have luxurious amenities that you and your guests can enjoy. Some have minibars with drinks such as rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey while others have a dedicated wine bar.

Some limousines also have plasma screen TVs, DVD players, theater-quality sound system, and even video game consoles. If you enjoy singing, dancing, or both, check with your limo service provider if they have one that has a karaoke machine.

 

5. Affordable

A luxury limo may seem expensive, but hiring one for your big day is reasonable enough. You save time and money on various factors such as you and your guests’ comfort, the protection that it provides after a night of good-natured fun, as well as assuring you that this particular detail won’t pose a problem on your wedding day.

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Conclusion

Renting out a limousine will give your wedding a touch of elegance and luxury. It can quickly get you to and from your ceremony and reception venues without delay. Make your big day memorable, a day that you will remember fondly as the years go by; not just with each part coming together to create a special memory, but also with the joy you share with your family and friends.

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First Day of Forever: New Mexico Love Story

As you probably well know by now, our Perfect Wedding Guide team is positioned between the local wedding professionals, and the engaged couples who work with them. So we’re often bouncing back and forth from brides to businesses — which, of course, we consider a lucky pendulum. But, every so often when the stars align, we’re lucky enough to have both our worlds collide!

Courtney is both one-half of a heartwarming love story — which we’ll get to, promise — and one of the lovely and dutiful members of the Nature Pointe team. For years now, we’ve had the opportunity to recommend and relish in the perfected beauty of the New Mexico wedding venue. So yeah, you could say we’re business buds!

Now, with something as delightful as a proposal, we’ve had the opportunity to interview Courtney as one of our featured love stories! Her other half, Joshua, planned a fantastic day that culminated with him popping the question, and we’re so happy to be able to share it here with you.

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When did you and Joshua first meet?

“We met in middle school during the 7th grade!”

When and how did he propose to you?

“He proposed to me with a culmination of all the ways he asked me to dances in high school. (We started dating during the summer before our junior year.) There was a scavenger hunt, a dozen roses, a line of Hershey’s Kisses, and chocolate melted down into letters asking if I’d marry him. Here’s the story: When I drove into the parking lot, I noticed his car and knew something was up.

I entered the office, and he was nowhere to be found. Instead, when I sat at my desk there was a note, the beginning of a scavenger hunt, and a single rose. Funnily enough, the note teased me about getting the scavenger hunt right this time. (I already messed up one in high school). I read the note and was immediately confused. I thought to myself “I guess I’m bound to mess this up too lol.” Instead of finding the next clue, I found the last clue that directed me out of the office and to a line of Hershey’s Kisses leading me to him.

When I got there, I asked if I had missed something and was turned around to go find the other clues. Back in the office, I found the second clue, another rose, and a note saying one reason why he loved me. Then, I went onto find 3 more clues, roses, and lovely notes. Finally, I was sure I found all of the clues and excitedly went out to see him. When I got there, he was down on one knee.”

How did you react to his proposal? Were you expecting it?

“I can’t even remember what he said, but I immediately said yes and gave him a big smooch! When we walked back into the office all of my co-workers cheered and congratulated us.

I had expected the proposal the next day seeing as it was our 7th dating anniversary. Joshua said that he had to do it the day before so that I’d be at least a little surprised. I was super excited and shaky the whole time. Emotional overload!”

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Glory Ranch Films: Albuquerque Cinematographer

At the ceremony, [Glory Ranch Films] completely blended in and made the filming feel totally stress-free, not at all ‘in your face’, as I’ve experienced at some other weddings. The film is just beautiful and incorporated sweet thoughtful details as well as being incredibly high quality.

Julia, local bride

Is there anything sweeter than hearing kind and genuine words about one of your favorite local wedding professionals from a happy newlywed? Okay, maybe that’s a bit too specific, but for us, that truly is the pinnacle of sweetness. How could it not be, when we spend our days working hard to keep the dreams alive for both New Mexico’s engaged couples, and the local businesses who serve them?

It’s local businesses like Glory Ranch Films, especially, who fuel our wedding-loving, community-serving fire. Simply because the husband and wife duo have been doing the good work of filming, capturing, and creating beautiful moments for local couples to have for the rest of their lives. For over ten years Tom and Jenny, of Glory Ranch Films, have been working diligently for their couples, and the couple’s passion for storytelling hasn’t wavered a bit. And that is why we’re inspired by their team, and able to keep our spirits high while we try to support our community just as well.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise, then, that all of Tom and Jenny’s couples have nothing but delightful things to say about their work. Their finely-tuned, documentary style of capturing moments keeps their work true to the heart of each couple. After years of collaborating and creating together, clean visuals and dynamic storytelling comes naturally to the couple. 

No shot-by-shot analysis of their creative wedding films could come close to recreating the experience of immersing yourself in their work, so we’ll take off from here, and let their artistry speak for itself. To book Glory Ranch Films for your wedding, you can contact Tom and Jenny here. 

We relish the process of partnering couples to bring their wedding day visions to life through film, capturing the beauty, honesty and magic within both the extravagant moments and the intricate details throughout the big day.

-Tom and Jenny, Glory Ranch Films