Ashley + Kris: Real Wedding at Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The goal for us on our wedding day was to make sure everything was very personal and that our guests had a fun and memorable time.

-Ashley, bride

Luckily for our darling local newlywed, Ashley, she and her now-husband, Kris, are not alone in that desire. With thousands of weddings happening in New Mexico alone every year, it becomes less and less about brands, colors, antiquated traditions, and more about love, community, and celebration. For the next few years, this trend is expected to continue, as engaged couples shoot less for the fairytale and more for the unforgettable experience that their guests can enjoy for every moment of the day.

With so much magic possible here in Albuquerque, too, it’s no small wonder that more couples are opting for staying in our home state as well. Our local wedding professionals prove again and again that they’re on parr with coastal trends and styles through their innovative work and collaborative approach to the wedding community. (Don’t believe us? Check out our last blog post — we rounded up a few of our favorite styled shoots and real weddings from the last year!)

Because we’re here, in the Land of Mañana, too, our wedding professionals have a certain special quality to them that you can’t find anywhere else: flexibility. For them — like Lauren with The Event Center at Sandia Golf — love really is at the center of all that they do. So it becomes imperative to work around the usual roadblocks, think outside the box, and do what they can to manifest that love in a way that truly reflects the people it belongs too: the couple!

For Ashley + Kris’s big day, they were able to do exactly that. The Event Center‘s sweeping views framed the all-night dancing of the couple and their guests, and the grandness of the day was complemented by refined details so unique to their love story, it couldn’t have been anyone else’s day but their own.

Finding a venue that offered both indoor and outdoor space, where our guests could play corn hole on the event lawn, visit the photo booth on the patio and enjoy dancing all night in the ballroom ticked every box for us; and the jaw-dropping views for our wedding photos didn’t hurt either. The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club is truly a hidden gem in Albuquerque!”
-Ashley, bride
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Upon meeting with Ashley and Kris, our team knew that if they picked the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club it would be the perfect fit. They were such a fun couple and you could immediately see how much they loved each other and that more than anything they wanted to make sure their wedding was one their guests would remember. They had so many personal touches that really showed who they were as a couple, especially how much they loved their pets and how much they loved the Aggies or Lobos depending on who you asked. Ashley and Kris found several ways to make sure their beloved pets presence was felt at the wedding.
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Venue: Event Center at Sandia Golf Club |  Photography: Play on Light Photography | Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci | Dress: M&J Bridal Boutique | Photo Booth: Snapshot Selfies | Photo Booth Videographer: Avista Video | Centerpieces: A Day to Remember  | DJ: DJ Halcyon
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National Picnic Day: Wedding Inspo

You brought the prosciutto and brie, right? It is National Picnic Day after all! But don’t worry too much if you haven’t dusted off your trusted wicker basket for the special occasion. We’ve got you pretty well covered for your dose of picnic appreciation today with a meticulously planned, perfectly executed, apple-blossom-inspired styled shoot from Coryn Kiefer Photography, one of Albuquerque’s favorite wedding photographers.

If Coryn’s unique name rings a delicate little bell in your head, it’s probably because we were just obsessing over her ballerina styled shoot just a few weeks ago. Normally we spread the love all around for our local wedding professionals here in New Mexico, but frankly, this shoot made our hearts flutter upon first sight. Within a private, blooming forest framing the exquisite details, this picnic-styled elopement has us ready to throw out everything we know about traditional wedding celebrations.

A palette of baby pink, robin’s egg blue, and a rich mustard yellow complimented the natural green landscape and perfectly cocooned the essence of spring in one moment. Pulling the mythical vibes into the realm of modernity, the bride wore a Maggie Sottero gown from Bridal Elegance by Darlene adorned with ornate lace and gently sparkling beadwork. As Coryn Kiefer Photography commented, “Who says elopement brides have to give up on their dream dress?”

Scroll on to read what else inspired the pure, unbridled magic that is this styled shoot, and try to not get lost. To contact and book Coryn Kiefer Photography for your own fairytale, you can contact her here.

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Keeping with our garden theme, we decided to forgo the usual sweetheart table for an intimate picnic of champagne and cake. Colorful throw pillows, vintage lanterns and a small wooden table were placed on a hand woven ivory quilt. Silver flatware, bronze candlesticks and pink water goblets complete the casual elegance of this cozy setup.

Coryn, Coryn Kiefer Photography

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Our natural outdoor setting was a private apple orchard in the heart of Corrales New Mexico. The inspiration behind the setting was to combine the airy elegance of the spring season with modern notion of an elegant, and personal, elopement. Modern and vintage décor elements were artfully tied together to help bring this vision to life. 

Coryn, Coryn Kiefer Photography

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Photography | Coryn Kiefer Photography

Florals | Floral Fetish

Make Up | Betty Rose by Alanna

Hair | Jewel Hair Design

Dress Shop | Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Groom Attire | Suits Unlimited

Rentals/Décor | RUST Vintage Rentals

Rings | Shelton Jewelers

Paper Goods | KH Creative Group

Cake | Savory Fare Café

Second Shooter | Laurel McCloskey

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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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Pastel Perfection: Real Wedding with Chrisi K Photography

Perhaps we use the adjective perfect a little bit too frequently…But we are the Perfect Wedding Guide, after all! Plus, every wedding that graces our pages, both print and digital, was conceptualized and executed to perfection. But don’t let that fact dilute the word, because Aja + Johnny’s celebration of love was — yes we’re going to use it again — absolutely perfect.

When we say perfect, we don’t necessarily mean without hitch or hiccup as the traditional definition would suggest. Anyone whose been to a wedding, whether attending as a guest or collaborating as a vendor, knows that no celebration so large, so detailed happens without a few little bumps. Especially when a healthy number of family members are gathered in one place, if you know what we mean. What makes weddings like Aja + Johnny’s perfect is their persistence.

Despite the hours of calling, researching, and booking local wedding professionals, despite New Mexican weather that stays finicky all year long, despite all the budgeting, the love persists. Because the love between Aja + Johnny is bigger than any wedding-related trial or triumph — it steadfastly remains the focal point of their celebration, no matter the circumstance. We’re lucky Chrisi K Photography was there to capture this facet of their love, and ensure every detail was solidified in memory for their lifetime. Because, well, their life together as husband and wife began on this glorious and bright summer day, but the love that brought them there had already been existing and persisting all the while.

And, as if this simple truth didn’t make their wedding day perfect enough already, the couple truly slayed the summer wedding palette, and incorporated some of the most darling details we’ve seen to date. From the paper parasols to shade their guests from the New Mexican sun, to the adorable and surprisingly realistic succulent cupcakes, to the buoyantly cheerful bouquets of rose that complimented the bridesmaids donned in ethereal pastel. Aja + Johnny cared for every detail of their wedding day, and Chrisi K Photography cared for every moment.

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2018 Wedding Gallery Recap

Since our last wedding show of the year has, tragically, already come and gone, we think it’s only fair to spend a little bit of time reminiscing on one of our favorite shows of 2018. While all of our Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding shows are things we celebrate and enjoy, my personal favorite of the year was the Wedding Gallery show at Sandia Resort and Casino.

On the sunny morning of August 5th this past year, our Perfect Wedding Guide team arrived bright and early at Sandia Resort to watch the magic unfold in one of their most grand ballrooms. And let us tell you, folks, it really did. We got to watch — and lend a helping hand, of course — as dozens of vendors filled the room, bringing their best decor, goodies, flyers, and free stuff to one space for you, our local couples.

The theme of this year’s Wedding Gallery show was jeweled elegance, and my gosh, was it rich. Bright golds and silvers complimented the deep maroons and greens, blues and mustards throughout the ballroom. Every vendor carefully coordinated their corner of the space to showcase and showoff all the enchanting things they can make possible, and it came together in the most cohesive, jewel-toned wonderland you can imagine.

After the mingling and connecting of local vendors to the hundreds of engaged couples who graced us with their presence, then came the fashion show. With styles from Suits Unlimited for the fellas, and Bridal Elegance by Darlene for the ladies, every couple got a New York worthy dose of in-real-life wedding fashion inspiration, that was also tied in with our overall theme for the event. Velvet, vintage couches headed the runway, and Brad with King Mobile Music lit the stage to perfectly illuminate the fine details on the gowns and tuxes.

Lastly, there were, of course, tons and tons of giveaways and prizes. With free goodies from venues, florists, officiants, and more, so many couples walked a way with a spring in their step after winning some serious discounts and freebies.

We couldn’t have done it without our incredible sponsors, or the amazing couples whose love stories are what make the whole day worthwhile. So, from the bottoms of our hearts, thank you!

(Especially to Sandra + her team at Photographic Perspectives, for capturing the glamour with her magical photography powers!)

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Smallcakes, Big Hearts {Vendor Spotlight!}

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we don’t pick favorites when it comes to the incredible local wedding professionals in New Mexico. When every business contributes, in its own way, to the eclectic wedding market here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, providing engaged couples with so many options for their big day… well, how could we?!

Actually, never mind. We can do it just like this: Smallcakes is our favorite cupcakery in New Mexico. 

Whew! Feels good to get that out in the open and, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Smallcakes is the only team of bakers and makers in New Mexico who have specifically dedicated their talents to becoming cupcake experts. Although, that is a pretty good reason to love them, too.

Smallcakes: A Cupcakery is our favorite cupcakery in New Mexico because they actually do so much more than just cupcakes. Whatever you’ve previously believed about bakeries, cupcakes, wedding cakes, and the like — throw it out the window, because Smallcakes transcends all the customary boundaries. We’re not just talking your typical customization options, either.

Custom, handmade cookies? Check. Bachelorette parties? You got it. If that’s not enough for you either, they also do groom cakes — which we haven’t seen anywhere else — smash cakes, and gluten-free cakes. The best part too, is they have over 120 flavor choices for you to taste, delight in, and choose from.

Oh, and get this. Did you know that if you order your sweet treats from Smallcakes for your wedding day, you’ll also receive a complimentary couple’s cake for your one year anniversary?! There. Your anniversary dinner is already taken care of for you.

The team at Smallcakes: A Cupcakery is ceaselessly working to improve and elevate the wedding community here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, so yes. They are our favorite cupcakery. This might be controversial to some, but with the flavors, fun, and friendly faces, how could they not be?

To schedule a tasting for your custom wedding sweets, you can contact Smallcakes: A Cupcakery here.

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First Photoshoot of Fall: Black Bow Events

The season’s turn is a few weeks behind us now, but let’s be real. In our desert landscape, it takes a little while for summer to fully wane and for autumn to settle in. (Yes, it’s chilly this fine fall morning, but unfortunately, we’ll probably be regretting these cozy outfits when it goes back to being 80 degrees this afternoon!) Luckily for us though, we’re getting all the sweater-weather vibes from the shimmering golds, deep maroons and warm rose tones from one of Black Bow Events signature styled shoots.

If you’ve worked with Danessa, Black Bow Events founder, owner, and wedding expert,  then it’s no wonder she won our 2018 PWG Elite award for best wedding coordinator in Albuquerque + Santa Fe. Her vibrant passion for love and buoyant personality combine to make her not only a dedicated wedding planner, but a wonderful person to have on your team in general.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to  work with Black Bow Events just yet, then… It’s still no wonder! Because Danessa’s penchant for the divinely particular shine through in all her styled shoots.

Northern New Mexico is best known for its Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, mountainous landscapes, and countless art influencers. These are just a few of the reasons why I love New Mexico and everything it offers! Georgia O’Keefe said, “I found that I could see things with color and shapes that I couldn’t see any other way-things I had no words for.” —which describes perfectly why I choose to design and create such visions for my couples.

-Danessa, Black Bow Events

And Georgia O’Keefe would be proud, because Danessa has totally mastered the art of bringing unique shapes into her collaborative shoots. Reminiscent of New Mexico’s famed mountainous landscape, Danessa and her team of local wedding vendors incorporated the sacred geometry of triangles into the deeply contrasted shoot in a way we’ve never seen before.

While we’re always inspired by Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals, we’re especially touched by this teamwork from Black Bow Events, Jasper K Photography, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Mr. Tux and more, to elevate the artistic efforts in New Mexico. So, brides-to-be, without further adieu, come and bask in the real-life inspo that is this incredible styled shoot. You can contact Danessa with Black Bow Events here, and bring some unparalleled magic into your wedding day too!

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Coordination + Design: Black Bow Events

Photographer: Jasper K Photography

Dresses: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Flowers: The Flower Company

Makeup: Marisa Lux Makeup & Viva Grace

Desserts: Frank’s Eats & Sweets

Cake: Smallcakes

Jewelry: Lilly Barrack

Invitations: Cordially Invited Events

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