Come One, Come All! Witness the Incredible 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Last night was a circus — literally! Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote, we had the amazing opportunity to show our appreciation and celebrate the accomplishments of our favorite wedding professionals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for our annual Bride’s Select Awards at NOAH’s Event Venue.

More than 650 local brides, grooms and newlyweds voted in over 20 categories and the results are in! Covering everything from Best Beauty Expert and Best Floral Designer to Best Ceremony Venue and Best Photographer, we are pleased to present you with the best of the best!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to see the amazing, the talented 2017 Bride’s Select Award winners!

Best Unique Wedding Service: Frost Gelato

Best Photo Booth Rental: Cutmaster Music

Best Cinematographer: Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photographer: Matt Blasing Photography

Best Local Band: Entourage Jazz

Best Disc Jockey: Dream Factory Productions

Best Place to Order Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery

Best Hotel for Guest Accommodations: Hotel Andaluz

Best Men’s Formal Wear Shop: Mr. Tux Formal Wear

Best Bridal Gown Shop: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Floral Designer: Floriography

Best Rental Company: Simply Décor and Events

Best Event Decor: Black Swan Events

Best Wedding Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Best Location to have a Ceremony: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Best Place to Have a Reception: Hotel Albuquerque

Best Place to Have a Rehearsal Dinner: El Pinto

Best Place to have a Bachelorette Party: Uptown Funk

Best Catering or Restaurant: Prairie Star

Best Place to Order Wedding Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci

Best Spa or Place to Relax: Bliss Salon & Spa

Best Bridal Beauty Expert: Genica Lee

Best Wedding Coordinator: Alena Swanson, LLC

Congratulations, 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Photos by Sacred Life Photography

And, of course, a special thanks to our AMAZING sponsors! You made our Bride’s Select Awards Circus a huge success!

Ringmaster Brad of King Mobile Music | NOAH’S Event Venue | Occasion Services & Events | Conchita’s Creations | Bombshell Fitness | Sacred Life Photography | Charlotte’s Flowers | High Noon Restaurant & Saloon | Wise Fool New Mexico

Every year, your local Perfect Wedding Guide reaches out to hundreds of New Mexico brides, grooms and newlyweds just like you to get your feedback on your favorite local wedding businesses.

Stay tuned for dates to cast your vote for our 2018 Bride’s Select Awards!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

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Pretty in Pink + White Wedding: Vanessa + Jaimé

Earlier this year, Vanessa and Jaimé tied the knot with a romantic ceremony and gorgeous reception at Isleta Resort & Casino on April 29, 2017, for a perfectly pastel spring wedding. Everything was simple, yet classy and oh so posh. Vanessa chose blush pink and white for her color pallet with a touch of lace and sparkles and a whole lotta glam!

The entire family was dressed to the nines with dusty pink dresses for the ladies and dashing grey suits for the gents from our favorite, Suits Unlimited. And did I mention the dress!? — oh my, the dress! The long, cascading train fanned out to create the most dramatic and stunning effect as Vanessa walked down the aisle.

The amazing photographer to capture this picture perfect wedding was Sandra Tafoya of Photographic Perspectives. As usual, Sandra did an incredible job of capturing and documenting Vanessa and Jaimé’s love story from start to finish. Shining through in every photo, their love for each other and their family is the perfect recipe for a happily ever after.

When we think of weddings, we typically picture a happy couple, which Vanessa and Jaime definitely are. But when I think of this special day, I can’t help but remember the joy on their daughters’ faces as their parents said I do! My favorite pics are of them dancing and the two of them on the golf course.

— Sandra, Photographic Perspectives

Photos by Photographic Perspectives

Congratulations, Vanessa and Jaimé!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Isleta Resort & Casino | Photographer: Photographic Perspectives | Men’s Attire: Suits Unlimited | Flowers: Bride

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Destination Wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza: Lucy + Jeremy

The same time last year, Lucy and Jeremy were happily wed at the beautiful La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Traveling all the way from Minnesota to join hands is quite the compliment to our gorgeous state, but it was quite the honor for La Fonda on the Plaza to be the ceremony and reception venue these two would choose for their destination wedding more than 1,200 miles away from home.

In planning their wedding, Jeremy and Lucy took great care to keep the theme of their wedding in step with the southwestern style of Santa Fe. But one thing they did New Mexico style without any help from locals was bring the whole family. With everyone in tow their gorgeous wedding made for a momentous occasion spent with all the people they love most — and it wouldn’t have been complete without every member!

With cozy and charming accommodations at La Fonda on the Plaza, this lovely couple and their families felt completely at home every night of their stay. Come the morning of the big day, Lucy and her bridesmaids were pampered in her spacious bridal suite by Monica Stark of Makeup Santa Fe, while the team at La Fonda were busy with all the preparations. And with their in-house wedding planner, not a petal was out of place.

The ceremony took place on La Terraza (the terrace) overlooking the historic city. In the background, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi peeked overhead creating the perfect altar for any Santa Fe wedding. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests retired to the reception area where they were served cocktails and gourmet appetizers before partaking of the traditional Santa Fe dinner, prepared especially for the occasion.

To the sound of live music and celebration, they danced the night away to commemorate their happy union. Late into the night, Lucy and Jeremy stole away for some final romantic photos captured by Twin Lens Images beneath the twinkling stars of the desert southwest. Since their return to Minnesota, they haven’t forgot their picture perfect wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza, where people and place will be waiting to welcome them home.

Jeremy and I live in Minnesota so when we decided on New Mexico for our wedding, we knew we had to show a bunch of Minnesotans what Santa Fe was all about. From the venue and decor to food and drinks, we wanted to emphasize the unique charm of Santa Fe.

La Fonda on the Plaza was the ideal spot — it exudes history, culture, and style with kiva fireplaces, hammered tin chandeliers, ornate beams, terra cotta accents and original folk art. In keeping with the southwestern theme, we had lots of bright flowers, succulents, spicy food and margaritas.

We also chose La Fonda because we wanted a relaxed, outdoor ceremony. La Terraza at La Fonda was the perfect place. The private outdoor patio space overlooks the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the heart of downtown Santa Fe. We were spoiled with a beautiful, sun-filled, early September day that couldn’t be beat.

After the ceremony, we wanted a big party where our guests could have as good of a time as we were having. It started with drinks and appetizers on the patio and ended with a live band and dancing. In the end, we got our party — it took us over a week to recover and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.

— Lucy, Bride

Photos by Twin Lens Images

Congratulations, Lucy and Jeremy! From the team at Perfect Wedding Guide, we wish you a Happy Anniversary!

September 3, 2016

Check out this amazing video of their wedding by Luminance Wedding Films:

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Photographer: Twin Lens Images | Videographer: Luminance Wedding Films | Cake: American Pie Bakery | Floral: Margaret Bost Floral Design | Makeup: Makeup Santa Fe | Venue: La Fonda on the Plaza | Wedding Planner: In-House Wedding Planner, Samie Doerfler, La Fonda on the Plaza

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Romance in the Rain: Lauren Cherie Photography

Last month we introduced you to one of our favorite photographers with our post: Cherish Your Memories: Lauren Cherie Photography. Recently, Lauren and a talented gang of wedding professionals got together for a beautiful styled shoot in the quaint Village of Corrales. This lovely group of gals found a stunning bank along the Rio Grande that was simply perfect.

With a good balance of bright New Mexico sunshine and dark rain clouds rolling in, the lighting was just right and the natural setting couldn’t have been more gorgeous. Once their models were pampered by Lavender + Rose Hair & Makeup Studio, Lauren and the team set off for their secret spot hidden among the majestic cottonwood trees of the bosque (forest).

Like an enchanting fairy tale, the desert creatures were happy to bear witness to their beautiful styled shoot creation. Along with the elegant iron bed and accent table they used as props, the ladies from Floral Fetish and She’s Got Cake added the final touches with their beautiful flower arrangements and mouthwatering wedding cake.

We had so much fun with this photo shoot! We knew we wanted to do something in the bosque with the big beautiful trees. And this Corrales, NM location did not disappoint. We had some golden sunlight at the beginning and then some light rain at the end.

We wanted something pretty and romantic, but also fun and different. Along with a pretty cake and gorgeous florals, we decided to bring a bed to the bosque — talk about different! We captured some beautiful, romantic moments and also super fun, silly moments.

— Lauren, Lauren Cherie Photography

Photos by Lauren Cherie Photography

Meet the professionals who helped make this styled shoot possible:

Photographer: Lauren Cherie Photography | Florist: Floral Fetish | Hair + Makeup: Lavender + Rose Hair & Makeup Studio | Cake: She’s Got Cake | Models: Ryan and Ashlie Bustamante

Behind the scenes with Lauren Cherie Photography:

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Enchanting Desert Wedding {Will+ Karina}

With gorgeous weather, rich culture, stunning landscapes and breathtaking sunsets, New Mexico is a destination wedding location like no other. One look at Will and Karina’s gorgeous, southwest-style wedding last fall, and it’s easy to see why so many couples flock to our enchanting desert to make their lifelong commitment to each other. After living thousands of miles apart, these two lovebirds were finally reunited in the historic village of Corrales, New Mexico to say, “I do.” Taking place at the Chocolate Turtle Bed & Breakfast, Karina and Will planned an intimate wedding with their closest family and friends.

 

From the invitations and wedding dress, to the southwest decor and ombre sunset everything blended effortlessly to form a beautiful aesthetic throughout the day. The soft pinks and muted greens were the perfect compliment to the desertscape and made the turquoise accents pop. While Maura, of Maura Jane Photography, is the bee’s knees when it comes to wedding photography, Karina and Will certainly made it easy to capture these stunning photos that belong in a high-fashion wedding editorial.

 

Starting the day in this peaceful desert setting, Will’s anticipation grew as he awaited the first look with his wife-to-be. Once her raven tress was skilfully set in place and her flowing gown carefully buttoned by her lovely mother, the wait for Karina’s knight in shining armor was finally over. Their first look made them feel as though they were falling in love for the very first time. Queued for the ceremony, they reluctantly parted ways only to be regathered together in Holy Matrimony. To set the stage, the Sandia Mountains were in full display while Karina and Will exchanged vows in front of the small audience of doting witnesses.

 

Overjoyed with their new marriage, they snuck away to secretly celebrate their new life together. As they made their way back to the patio reception, the sound of cicadas and other desert creatures performed in unison with the entertainment creating a mellow undertone for the evening. After partaking in a traditional wedding dinner, they and their guests indulged in sweet confections from New Mexico Pie Company, including Linzer Heart Cookies and Caramel Apple Green Chile Pie. By the nights end, Will and Karina slow danced beneath the twinkling stars of the desert night sky. As time stood still, Will and Karina felt like the only people on earth.

Karina and Will traveled all the way from Virginia Beach and Italy, where each of them were stationed, to be married in the Land of Enchantment. Their wedding was full of stunning details that wowed their guests and made their wedding truly unique. Beautiful roses and succulents filled Karina’s bouquet and centerpieces, accented by sage linens and gold silverware. Karina made mini potted succulents for guests to take home and served an array of yummy desserts from New Mexico Pie Company for everyone to enjoy. As they sipped the couple’s signature drink of pink lemonade and lime margaritas, guests took in the stunning mountain views. Even when the rain clouds rolled in, it didn’t stop Karina and Will from having the time of their lives and it even brought us a stunning rainbow and sunset at the end of the night.

— Maura, Maura Jane Photography

Photos by Maura Jane Photography
Congratulations, Will and Karina!
October 9, 2016
Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:
For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Trending: Cake Designs to Take Your Breath Away

Most of us usually don’t think of the amount of skill and work it takes to create one these beautiful masterpieces when we think of wedding cakes. And yet, that’s exactly what they are — a masterpiece. Creating one of these modern marvels is like creating an edible work of art. Especially with the endless styles and designs people dream up, wedding cakes are no longer limited to the buttercream frosting and fake pearls of old.

Cakes have only become more intricate with modern trends including metallics, ruffles and polka dots, sprinkles, fruit and edible flowers and one of my favorites, hand-painted. Wherever you draw your inspiration, however, we have the best local wedding cakes artists who are always up for a challenge. To help you decide on a cake for your wedding, here are some of the trending masterpieces sweeping bakeries around the world.

I. Dripping & Metallic Cakes

Metallic and mouthwatering dripping cakes are perfect for brides and grooms who are trendy and all about modern design. These cakes are classy and edgy all wrapped into one delicious concoction!

Cake by Hansel & Gretel Cakes. Photo by Tennille Fink
Cake by Chocolate Maven, Photo by Alicia Lucia Photography

II. Ruffled & Polka Dot Cakes

For a softer touch, ruffles and polka dots are perfect for a romantic wedding with soft colors. No matter what trends come and go, these classic styles are always a beautiful option.

Cake by Chocolate Maven
Cake by Savory Fare, Photo by Maura Jane Photography

III. Fruit Topped & Edible Flower Cakes

Coinciding with the farm-to-table movement, cakes mounded with fresh fruit and edible flowers are perfect for those of us who prefer an organic-style cake inspired by nature.

Photo by We Are All Stardust
Cake by Chocolate Maven

IV. Sprinkle Cakes

You can never go wrong with sprinkles! With a modern twist on sprinkles these days, they are sophisticated and fun. Give your inner child the option to have sprinkles or not and you will always choose sprinkles!

Cake by Bespoke Bride
Cake by Style Sweet CA

V. Hand Painted Cakes

As an artist, it’s only natural for me to love hand-painted cakes. If Leonardo da Vinci were still alive, I’m certain his inbox would be flooded with requests for one of these original works of art!

Photo by Cake Ink
Cake by Bobbette & Belle, Photo by Vicki Bartel Photography
Cake by Olofson Design, Photo by Anneli Marinovich Wedding & Lifestyle Photography

As you can see, many of these cakes are a combination of modern trends and styles. Have fun and play with different styles to create your own original wedding cake masterpiece!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Thank Heaven for The Chocolate Maven!

Don’t be fooled by its name. While they are experts in the field of chocolate, their expertise goes well beyond the realm of cocoa into a realm all its own. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this charming bakery and cafe known as The Chocolate Maven serves up savory eats and sweet treats that are absolutely heavenly. With a wide variety of options to choose from, they literally have something for everyone – including gluten-free! – I can’t wait to try their blue corn blueberry pancakes.

Whether you want a hardy breakfast, a quick lunch or simply want to treat yourself to a coffee and pastry, you will fall in love with The Chocolate Maven. For one, the staff is just as warm and inviting as a batch of their famous cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven! Aside from the amazing team of mavens, however, it’s all about their delicious food and desserts. One look at their menu and I am certain you will find something that is sure to satisfy. A traditional and personal favorite of mine… the chilaquiles, of course!

Not to mention, they make the most beautiful wedding cakes the Queen of England would be proud to eat! And trust me, they taste as divine as they look! If you want something a little different for your wedding, not to worry. At The Chocolate Maven, you are not limited to cake. You can have pie, pastries, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies or just about anything you can dream of. Whatever you decide, you can be confident that every confection will be done with excellence. Take a look at these delectable treats!

Photo by Alicia Lucia Photography
Photo by Alicia Lucia Photography
Photo by Alicia Lucia Photography

Quality is never compromised at The Maven. Ingredients are never skimped on. Everything is done with an eye to integrity and excellence.

– Chocolate Maven

Drop by The Chocolate Maven or give them a call to get your wedding on the schedule. At The Chocolate Maven, not a single sprinkle is ever out of place!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com