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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Memorable Ways to Use Orchids in Your Wedding {Guest Post!}

It’s always a pleasure to share our little stage with wedding experts and business owners. Enjoy this delightfully informative guest post on orchids from our friends, Whole Blossom! 

 

Orchids are one of the most beautiful wedding flowers to be ever used in décor and floral arrangements. The flowers which belong to one of the largest flowering families extending up to almost 2000 varieties are a delight to watch in all sorts of wedding flower arrangements right from centerpieces and bridal bouquets to corsages and boutonnieres.  Right from the durability and natural beauty to versatility (in terms of shapes and sizes) and bright colors; the flowers tick all the right boxes when it comes to weddings and celebration décor. You could easily buy orchids online from a variety of floral services and they are easily available throughout the year for couples to help them welcome their wedding guests in more unique and delightful ways. 

Whether you’re getting married in a classic and traditional ceremony or you’re thinking about a more contemporary look, whether a tropical or a beach wedding is your pick or you want a ballroom nuptial event; the flower could serve the purpose perfectly well for all sorts of wedding styles, décor, venues, flower arrangements, color palettes, and themes. There are many varieties of these gorgeous petals but the most preferred varieties for weddings include; Phalaenopsis Orchids, Cymbidium Orchids (boat orchids), and Dendrobium Orchids (moth orchids). Right from white to pink orchids, there are enough bright colors to make every look and color palette work out with these exquisite blossoms. 

 According to the language of flowers, they symbolize – ‘you’re in my thoughts’ and this could be the perfect way to start the new life with your special one. The unique shapes and curved stems of these petals make sure that they make gorgeous flower arrangements both on their own and even as an assortment with various other wedding accents. Whether you want them to serve as the perfect pop of color or you’re thinking about adding textures to your wedding flower arrangements or even if you need them to serve as the perfect elements for adding the cascading shape to the floral arrangements; you give them the word and the flowers will comply. 

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Phalaenopsis Orchids:

The most recognized orchids of all time have got to be Phalaenopsis Orchids. They are a unique combination that has both versatility and natural beauty to make delightful wedding flower arrangements right from wedding centerpieces to bridal bouquets. The petals could be easily incorporated in all kinds of wedding décor and floral arrangements irrespective of the theme, color palette, venue or wedding style. Consider tall centerpieces featuring lush cream and lavender roses along with hydrangeas to be complemented by descending white Phalaenopsis Orchids and you could easily get a winning combination that is as timeless and elegant as anything. A bridal bouquet featuring the bold violet blossoms with burgundy and red roses could be the perfect combination for your special day. The traditional white wedding cakes could easily be topped with these beautiful blossoms in cascading forms to radiate charm and elegance for the ceremony. 

Dendrobium Orchids:

The flowers which are also known as moth orchids have an appearance that strikingly resembles the fluttering shape of the wings of a moth. The whimsy and sophisticated blossoms could easily be used in all kinds of wedding décor and flower arrangements. If the beach wedding is your pick, the bridal bouquet featuring the white blossoms along with some tropical greenery is perfect to make a statement when it comes to the ceremony. If you’re looking for a centerpiece arrangement for a romantic wedding theme, consider towering centerpieces incorporating a spray of dendrobium orchids with calla lilies. They could also be a part of a chuppah arrangement (made of curly willow branches) when used as embellishments along with some delphinium blossoms for saying the I do’s.

Cymbidium Orchids:

The flowers which are also known as boat orchids have a striking resemblance with the shape of a boat when it comes to their appearance. The flirty and dynamic elements make them an ideal choice for all sorts of tropical and beach themed weddings. A bridal bouquet containing the varying hues of pink cymbidium orchids is both feminine and bold to make a statement for the wedding ceremony. When it comes to centerpieces, you could easily get away with using a single blossom with submerged greenery and think of Hawaii. They are also good to go as a boutonniere arrangement when used against a dark blue suit.

Cattleya Orchids:

The strikingly beautiful flowers have ruffled petals and impeccable visual splendor to take expressive forms when it comes to wedding décor and floral arrangements. You could make a perfect wedding bouquet for the ceremony by using white cattleya orchids and lush peonies for an all-white or classic wedding theme. For a romantic theme, you could work out the white hues of these blossoms along with some greenery and gold floral to make the perfect statement. Consider decorating your white wedding cakes with the embellishments of cattleya orchids to create a striking and dazzling effect for the ceremony.    

 Are you getting married this season and want some orchids flower arrangements ideas for making a difference in terms of the big day décor – well you’re lucky and just in time. Here are few orchids wedding ideas for your inspiration:

Take a look at these perfect orchids flower arrangements and please share with us what you feel!

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Chair decorations:

Chair decorations are one of the most important elements or detailing of a wedding décor. If you want, you could easily get purple orchids to play the part by decorating the back of the chairs by using either an orchid garland or even a bunch of stems secured by a purple silk ribbon in a bow pattern. The look could work out pretty stunning if the wedding theme of the event is purple and you could make the perfect statement by decorating the chairs with the arrangement. 

Use the petals to throw on the wedding couple:

Orchids with their perfume, natural beauty and elegance could be the perfect element to shower the newlyweds with when they are walking down the aisle. You could easily give a much-needed break to rose petals for the showering tradition and instead use orchid petals for the same. The flowers could be arranged in a cone shape filler for giving it to the guests so that they can shower the petals on the new couple on the block and give them their blessings and good wishes.  

Aisle decoration:

Orchids could make delightful aisle decorations. You could easily use orchid petals in varying shades of orange, peaches, and whites to line up the wedding ceremony aisle just along the white ceremony chairs to create an exquisite and charming look. You could also decorate the back of the chairs with coral LED lights for maximum effect. 

Floating candles:

Filing tall and slim cylindrical glass vases with water and using floating red or blue orchids in them is such an exquisite idea. The arrangement is to be topped with tea candles for making any wedding reception shine in all its glory. You could also use some glass votives holding tea candles to encircle the whole arrangement for maximum effect.

Wedding favors:

You could use single and colorful orchid blossoms on top of the wedding favors or gifts packs to increase their appeal and overall look. The flower petals could also be used in various designs and patterns to decorate the wedding gifts and favors. 

For the grooms:

The grooms or the whole groomsmen attire could be accentuated well with using a boutonniere arrangement consisting of these glorious petals.  You could easily use a single yellow orchid bloom or even purple flower to give the perfect finishing touch to your wedding suits. You could also match the boutonniere color with that of the bouquet carried by the bride for the ceremony.

For the brides:

The bridal wardrobe could really use the beauty of these flowers to make the perfect statement for the wedding ceremony. You could use them in flower pins, hairstyles, wedding hair band, garlands for hair, crowns or even various other accessories. The flowers could also be used to adorn wedding trousseau or even bridal shoes.

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Overhang décor:

You could easily make a whimsical and fairytale ambiance by using strings of white orchids to hang loose just a few feet from your reception tables. Just string along a few dozens of strands of orchid blossoms and crystals and hang them over the reception table and you’re good to go.

Curved centerpieces:

Use white orchids in curved centerpiece arrangements to make an ethereal and stunning ambiance for the reception. You could easily create delicate arches over the reception table by arranging two multi-flower stems in glass vases with tall narrow necks.

Fireplace décor:

If your wedding venue has a fireplace, you could easily use orchids to make dreamy arrangements straight out of a fairytale book. Just imagine a fireplace decorated with suspended orchids from long ribbons and some pretty candles all around to accompany them; some on the pedestal, some on the ground and we promise you’d be amazed to the core. 

Cupcake and cake toppers:

The flowers (real or fondant) could also be used to decorate cakes and cupcakes for a dazzling and charming effect. If you’re looking for adding that perfect tropical touch to your wedding cake tables or even desserts for the day; the flowers could easily serve the purpose. 

Thank you cards:

When the celebration ends, people just tend to throw their flowers away. How about recycling them for keeping as a keepsake or souvenir of memories and also giving them away to the guests? They could be easily embedded in thank you cards to serve as a perfect gift for your guests and relatives. 

Orchids wall décor:

Wall decorations with orchids could make a delightful ambiance for your wedding ambiance. All you’re going to need is some cork bark, hanging wire, and sphagnum moss. The look could be easily achieved by attaching the wire to the wall and by nestling orchid roots inside the moss. 

They could also be used to decorate escort cards holders, altars chandeliers or even in terms of wreaths, necklaces, garlands and various other flower arrangements. 

While some orchids are beautifully uniform in color, others are stripped or speckled too. The biggest advantage of working with these petals is, of course, their versatility and natural beauty. There are not many accents in the wedding circles that are as durable, versatile and beautiful as these flowers and that too at the same time. The flowers also combine well with other wedding flowers to make amazing wedding flower arrangements. You could easily buy orchids online at the majority of floral services or even at your favorite florist for the décor and flower arrangements of the big day. 

With the latest trend of DIY flower arrangements and wholesale flowers; these amazingly beautiful flowers could easily serve as a boon for making all sorts of unique and crafty wedding flower arrangements for your big day. The flowers are also quite affordable when you compare them with the likes of other expensive wedding accents like; peonies, garden roses, and various others. The brides all around the world love these blossoms and want to have them at all costs in their wedding bouquet arrangements. While roses and peonies are the more traditional forms of wedding accents but you could always give them a break and make unorthodox and beautiful flower arrangements with orchids instead. 

Orchids have the range, variety, and quality to transform any wedding space with its unique shapes, amazing fragrance, and natural beauty. You could also get inspired by asking out your friends as to how did they use orchids in their wedding décor and flower arrangements or even get professional in terms of a wedding florist. People in large numbers use DIY orchid flower arrangements for their weddings and the results that they get are even better than ever expected.   

Have any better ideas to use orchids flower arrangements for your special day? How did you use orchid flowers in your wedding décor and floral arrangements? Please share with us!

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Get $500 Off Your Wedding at the Diamond Dash!

Ah yes, our most popular event of the year has come around again. It’s the Diamond Dash! Famed for the apex of the event — the actual diamond dash, where a lucky few engaged couples get the chance to dive into a giant wedding cake to hunt around for diamond jewelry that’s baked inside — this year, it’s the very last wedding show of 2018, on October 28th.

Typically, the opportunity to win diamond jewelry, tons of other prizes + giveaways, all while enjoying cocktails and conversations with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding experts is enough to draw in all of New Mexico’s gorgeous engaged couples. But, there’s one more hidden little perk to doing your wedding planning in person at a Perfect Wedding Guide wedding show, and it only happens at the Diamond Dash

PWG Bucks.

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What are PWG bucks exactly? They’re essentially free wedding service coupons, except they’re totally customizable. So the power is totally in your hands and you get to choose what service to use them on. All participating vendors have special packages or services available that you can take up to $500 off of!

The best part is the PWG Bucks come in increments of $100. Which means you can spend five on five different wedding services, three on one big package, two on two, etc., etc. Big decisions, we know!

This next part is an important one though — how do you get the most bang for your PWG Buck?

Our advice is to start planning out your PWG Bucks budget the moment you register for the event. That way, you can come to the show already knowing which types of wedding professionals you still need to connect with. Then, when you walk in the door of the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, you’ll already know which booths to spend your $500.

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Perusing through the myriad of wedding vendor booths with your $500 in hand, you can absorb some IRL (in real life) wedding inspiration, chat with local professionals, and even snag some snacks and freebies from all the experts. Each professional who is currently participating in the PWG Bucks deal will have an adorable little sign on there table that clearly indicates that they will accept your PWG Bucks as a form of payment. Some more advice: if you see the sign, don’t be shy!

Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s vendors are wonderfully talented, it’s true, but they’re actually not mind-readers, if you can believe it! If you’re connecting with a local professional and want to use some of your $500 of free money, just let them know and get the conversation started. They’ll be happy to direct you to the packages available to you and let you know how many hundreds of dollars you can save.

Essentially, the PWG Bucks are your icebreakers and your wallet-savers in one.

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Lastly, remember that PWG Bucks themselves expire at 4pm, when the wedding show finally begins winding down and reaching a close. Luckily, because the local wedding professionals are constantly so considerate, most of them will allow you to redeem them up to a week — or even a month! — after the show. It’s all about the communication, so if you feel a connection with a vendor, but maybe need to talk it over with your partner before you book, just let your vendor know!

Ready to get started? Grab your tickets and secure your $500 by registering for the event here.

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