Smitten Ceremony: Real Wedding in Albuquerque with Kayla Kitts Photography

They’re smitten, adorable, and officially Mr. + Mrs.!

Kayla Kitts Photography

Since we, Perfect Wedding Guide, exist in a liminal space between engaged couples and local wedding pros, we have quite the vantage point over the love stories that begin, and begin again, here in New Mexico. With so many weddings, each intricate and impossible to replicate, you’d think it’d be the details that really set apart certain weddings for us. But to burst your bubble, it’s actually quite the opposite — the common threads of love which weave in and out of every individual story, that’s what really makes our hearts beat in overtime.

After all these years, we’ve come to learn a few things about those common threads which unite every love story together in pure, unadulterated experiences of life. Nikki and Bobby, happy newlyweds married last year at Hotel Albuquerque, remind us so clearly of one of those lessons in particular.

When you look back, every tiny decision made was actually an enormous leap in the direction of your fate.

Like when Nikki and Bobby both happened to join the same softball team. Minimal in the moment, maybe, but that choice brought them close enough together so that love, mysterious and mercurial as it can be, could do the rest of the work. Which, of course, it did in no short time.

Thankfully, Kayla and Dominic of Kayla Kitts Photography also made a series of choices that brought them into collaboration with Nikki and Bobby for their wedding. Knowing the Kitts‘ romantic, fun, and impossibly sweet personalities, we can’t imagine a better photographer in Albuquerque to capture the all the smiles and scintillations of their wedding day.

{Pssst… This wedding + more will be featured in the 2019 Spring/Summer edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine. Preorder your free copy here!}

kaylakittsphotography-nikki-bobby-wedding-2

kaylakittsphotography-nikki-bobby-wedding-350

kaylakittsphotography-nikki-bobby-wedding-16

kaylakittsphotography-nikki-bobby-wedding-356

kaylakittsphotography-nikki-bobby-wedding-310

kaylakittsphotography-nikki-bobby-wedding-345

Photographer: Kayla Kitts Photography Venue: Hotel Albuquerque Florals: Shannon Loves Flowers Dress: Ann Matthews Bridal Officiant: Randy Joslin Makeup: Chelsea LeMendola Hair: Ashlee Mendoza with Amp’d Up Salon DJ: Cutmaster Music Shoes: Dillard’s Jewelry: JC Penny Rings: Ben Bridge Jeweler and Zales Men’s Attire: Mens Wearhouse Cake: BitterSweets Bakery

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Cello for Weddings: Vendor Spotlight

When the day finally arrives — yes, you know which day we’re referring to — the whole rest of the world melts away. Or at least it does when your wedding is coordinated by local professionals who have dedicated their talents to making dreams come true. The details, the timing, everything is handled. So, really, all you have to do is be there, be yourself, and marry the love of your life. 

With Cello for Weddings, releasing the stress of planning a wedding comes as an easy, full exhale. Ryan Smith, the musical talent behind the name, has cultivated an appreciation and understanding of sound for many years, so that every wedding may have the opportunity to be elevated by live cello. Whether it is accompanied by other instruments to round out the harmonies, or solo, amplified acoustic cello, you have a guarantee that the music will reach the ears and hearts of all of your guests. 

We’ve all watched movies, seen plays, and even some well-executed commercials whose carefully timed use of music creates an emotional vitality that forces us to be present and acknowledge our tenderness. Incorporating live music into your wedding ceremony or reception produces this kind of  experience for your guests, which is not one that will leave their minds for long after. 

From sweeping, classic ballads to modern love songs, Cello for Weddings has a range of tonal talent that ensures your personality can shine through. Lustrous and heroic in Beethoven and John Mayer alike, Ryan is proud to approach his playing with a collaborative spirit so your wedding feels and sounds like your wedding. As Cello for Weddings, Ryan even offers to learn a new song for each couple, should his vast library of available songs be missing your favorite one. 

Spend some time visiting with Cello for Wedding’s transcendentally vibrant music with the samples available below, and contact Ryan here to have it present for your wedding day.  

0fd6f253-a96d-4038-90f9-e7e18e2337dc

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Real Love in a Real Albuquerque Wedding with Briana Nicole Photography

Photographing people in love is what I do but it is an extra joy when the couple has a best friend connection.

Briana Nicole Photography

That’s what fuels our wedding fire — the best friend connection that so obviously shines through when two puzzle pieces fall inline together. We’re lucky to have a myriad of incredible photographers in New Mexico, too, to ensure that moment of coalescence is always captured forever. Today, we’re especially grateful for Briana Nicole Photography, whose crisp and modern photography style records the romance and personality of all her couples.

Sherah + Greg’s unique personalities were at the forefront of their wedding ceremony, and Briana Nicole Photography told their love story in exquisite detail. The muted and regal tones of their wedding colors enveloped the couple throughout their day at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, and complimented the all-white ballroom perfectly. Pops of purple in the bouquets from Albuquerque Florist and in the detailing of the decor showcased the couple’s humor and friendship, and rounded out the day into a full on celebration of their love.

The couple’s gifts to one another made them both cry, and proved just how deeply and truly they are connected. For Greg, Sherah surprised him with two thoughtful and heartwarming cards, detailing the unique facets of their love. To accompany her eloquent words, too, was a set of cufflinks featuring the faces of their fur babies. The second card was, of course, from the aforementioned puppies, thanking Greg for being the best dad ever.

It’s the precious, incomparable moments and details like this that accumulate to tell one, beautiful story of love and friendship. Briana Nicole Photography, who is a self-proclaimed romantic at heart, knows this so clearly and allows it to shape her work. Thank you, Briana, for allowing us a sneak peak into this celebration, so we might be touched by Sherah + Greg’s love in the same way.

DSC_8835

BNP_4992

BNP_4886

BNP_5232

DSC_9123

DSC_9111

BNP_5413

BNP_5628

BNP_5735

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Best Outdoor Venues in Albuquerque

Here’s the thing about New Mexico: it’s very easy to forget how lucky we are living in this state, especially when it comes to the weather. {Yes, we know it’s been pretty toasty lately, but take a trip somewhere a little closer to sea level and you’ll be missing the dry heat, we promise.}

It’s true that our lovely desert climate — minus the windy spring season — is relatively mild all year long.  Even when it rains, seasoned New Mexicans rest assured knowing it’ll only last 5 minutes, 10 maximum. Which, obviously, makes this state one of the best places for an outdoor wedding! If we had to guess, that’s probably why we’re blessed with so many options for outdoor ceremony and reception venues.

How do you choose though, when they’re all so lovely? Well, research of course. But even then, sometimes a venue seems perfect on screen, but might not measure up in person. Which is why we took the liberty of choosing five of our favorites to showcase here, for you. While there are many more incredible venues in New Mexico aside from these five, these are venues we’ve visited, spent time in, and even hosted events in some! So we can say, with the utmost confidence, that these venues will not disappoint.

{Plus we thew in some of the always invaluable reviews + opinions from local brides too, just in case you need a little extra assurance.}


Casa Rondeña

1606374_400920110041974_37849195_o

Casa Rondeña, a gorgeous and fully-functional winery in the heart of the South Valley, has more charm than you’d think even possible for just one venue. With indoor spaces available as well, the possibilities for indoor-outdoor receptions and ceremonies are {almost} endless!

The venue is absolutely gorgeous, and though we don’t have our professional pictures back, even the pictures our guests took are breathtaking. They went on Facebook where everyone just oohed and aahed over how gorgeous the lawn of the 1629 Club is, and how beautifully everything reflects off the water there.

-Heather, bride

For availability at Casa Rondeña, you can book the venue here.


Prairie Star

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now venue marriage Prairie Star ceremony
Maura Jane Photography

Prairie Star, you beautiful venue, you! The serenity at this venue is very much unrivaled, as the space is nestled in the quiet of the Santa Ana Pueblo and is surrounded by rolling hills of lush greenery. Punctuating the property is the proud adobe mansion, whose regality is also unparalleled.

I choose this venue mostly for the scenery. When I found it, I fell in love. Even better, it’s so reasonably priced compared to other venues. I received so many compliments on the location, it was beautiful. […] I am so incredibly glad I found this place and got to have my ceremony and reception here. Also, it’s very convenient to have a place where you can have the ceremony outside and reception inside!

-Alexandria, bride

For availability at Prairie Star, you can book the venue here.


Hacienda Dona Andrea

Ashley Davis Photography
Ashley Davis Photography

Honestly, of all the venues in all the world, Hacienda Dona Andrea just might be the most romantic. With old-world vibes, hand-crafted details, and stunning views, this venue is a perfectly secluded escape from reality for you and your soon-to-be spouse.

The place decorates itself – the architecture is southwestern and unique. the views are gorgeous and the place is perfectly secluded, yet there is still access to the funky little town of Madrid close by. We couldn’t have picked a better spot for our intimate family wedding. The team at the Hacienda made planning from a distance very easy for us and we were well taken care of. We are truly so happy with our choice to get married at Hacienda Dona Andrea!

-Alexis, bride

For availability at Hacienda Dona Andrea, you can book the venue here.


El Monte Sagrado

100A373402
Chrisi K Photography

Oh, El Monte Sagrado, where to even begin? Photos of the property showcase quite clearly how venerable and awe-inspiring the trees and scenery of the property truly are, but trust us when we say, it’s even better in person. See more from this darling real wedding here.

Honestly, I didn’t know places like this still existed. Besides El Monte Sagrado being breathtakingly beautiful, the customer service was out of this world. I had my wedding here at the beginning of the year and everyone at the resort made sure that my family, friends, husband and I had everything we needed!

-Jillian L., bride

For availability at El Monte Sagrado, you can book the venue here.


Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm

LaurenCheriePhotography_0-282
Lauren Cherie Photography

Of course, no list of New Mexico venues would be complete without Albuquerque’s golden child, Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm. But the space is famous for good reason — it truly is one of the most magnificent places in our city. With rolling fields of lavender, chic farmhouse architecture, and several different options for ceremony space, there’s no facet of Los Poblanos that doesn’t live up to its reputation.

What an amazing venue!! I fell in love with this place from the first time I set foot on the property. It feels like you are out of town even though you are in the middle of the city. The architecture of the buildings and the surrounding gardens are gorgeous! It is definitely a venue that requires very little in the way of providing your own decor; the venue speaks for itself.

-Catie, bride

For availability at Los Poblanos, you can book the venue here.


 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Chrisi K Photography {Vendor Spotlight + Real Wedding}

By now you might have noticed that we kind of have a thing for local photographers. It’s not that we don’t love every wedding professional equally {we do!}, it’s just that photographers give us the chance to live vicariously through their lens. We might be here, in the Perfect Wedding Guide office, or out and around Albuquerque + Santa Fe, but with photographers like Chrisi K Photography, we get to secretly attend every awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, heart-warming wedding in our stunning state.

{And yes, you’re our plus one. Always.}

Even with so much wedding experience under our belts though, we still can’t pick weddings because, well, how could we? What I can say, with absolute confidence though is: Josh + Victoria, your wedding day makes our top 10. So many thanks, Chrisi K Photography, we owe you our hearts for letting us in on this celebration of love.

The ceremony, which was shaped by magnificently opulent trees in the outdoor space at El Monte Sagrado, was matched in grandeur only by the looks of love shared between Victoria + Josh. Captured devotedly by Chrisi K Photography, of course, the most minsicule of details paired with these moments between the newly-weds is how we’re able to feel like we’re really there, cheering on the new couple.

Dashes of jewel tones bookmark certain moments in their day: magenta pokes out from Victoria’s bouquet of greenery, royal blue bridesmaids gowns frame the couple sharing their vows, and of course, the familiar depth of red wine as Victoria + Josh join their lives together in ritual.

After being behind the lens since middle school, Chrisi K Photography’s respect for the camera and her craft is elucidated in this wedding, and in every photo. Thank you for being a part of the Perfect Wedding Guide family, Chrisi! We’re so happy to have you here, in New Mexico, pushing our community to do its best to keep up with you.

100A259502100A236902100A331802100A455202100A319902100A369502100A373402100A384702100A468902

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

A Love That Feels Like Home: Celeste + Brandon’s Real Wedding

Maybe it’s the precious details of Celeste + Brandon’s elegant wedding day, maybe it’s the simple way spring ushers all things out of dormancy, or maybe a combination of both. I’m not quite sure, but something about this specific union of love, of all the beautiful and awe-inspiring weddings we’ve seen through Perfect Wedding Guide, has me in tearing up. {Seriously.}

Revisiting this incredible day vicariously through Kayla Kitts Photography‘s lens and highly trained eye, especially during this time of year, is an absolute treat. The delicate vibrancy of Celeste’s wedding gown is reminiscent of new spring blossoms, and yet there is a familiarity surrounding Celeste + Brandon’s devotion to each that comforts one as does the end of winter.

I’m not alone in my adoration of this particular wedding, either. Kayla, despite her years of experience with so many beautiful couples, was choked up during their ceremony as well.

Time has passed, but I can still hear Celeste saying in her vows, “This may seem like the start of a new journey, but to me…it feels like coming home.”  My heart almost burst, and the lump came to my throat quickly as I held back tears.  When you’re marrying your soul mate, your best friend, it’s home.  She couldn’t have said it better.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

 

And then, of course, Hotel Albuquerque lent itself to the day so well. Delightful pops of turquoise and lavender framed Celeste + Brandon as they celebrated the beginning of the rest of their lives together in one of Albuquerque’s most wonderful and accommodating venues, and in the company of their loved ones and the local vendors they collaborated with.

Words can only go so far as to describe their celebration though, so we’re eternally grateful to Kayla for sharing this wedding with us. Her photography always encapsulates invaluable moments so well, and this wedding was no exception.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony gown outdoor natural shot arch hotel venue natural lightPerfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony wedding invitation paper hyacinth lavender floral details pretty modern traditionalPerfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony wedding gown outdoor natural light portrait bride couple veil sunshinePerfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony wedding couple blonde hair make up tux groom bride love outdoor ceremony photography natural lightPerfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony wedding couple outdoor natural light romantic love ceremony hair makeup tux beauty menswear bowtiePerfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony wedding vows officiant party outdoor natural light tux suit gown bridesmaids lovePerfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony weddingPerfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe planning design inspo inspiration photography local marriage love engagement ceremony wedding Photos by Kayla Kitts Photography

 

Venue  |  Hotel Albuquerque
Coordinator  |  Found Hearts Event Planning
Dress  |  Melissa Sweet by David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  C. Johnson Makeup
Florist  |  Eco Flower
Shoes  |  Blue by Betsey Johnson
Rings  |  Zales
Suit  |  Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Kelly Atkin with Amor Ceremonies
Cake  |  Cake Fetish
DJ  |  Too Hot to Stop

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Grandeur + Magic: A Refined Real Wedding

New Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design floral bouquet lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide couple natural light celebration event ceremony lilies greenery

Seems like we’ve been feeling particularly affectionate towards Santa Fe this week, but how could we not? Not only is spring finally reaching it’s delicate tendrils up to our Northern counterpart, but locals and visitors are slowly realizing how perfect the city is for weddings. From our last feature’s vibrant vibes, to the stunningly tranquil and exquisite celebration below, both remind us just why we love Santa Fe so!

Grace + Jack were married at La Fonda on the Plaza on September of this past year, and we still aren’t over how gorgeous and welcoming the couple + their special day was. Captured by the ever-talented Blue Rose Photography, Grace’s delicate lace gown, muted bouquet, and Jack’s sky-blue accents completely encapsulate the couple’s favorite things about Santa Fe. As the bride says,

There is something healing, therapeutic and uniquely romantic about the city and we wanted all of our closest friends and family members to witness it’s grandeur and magic as well.

Though they aren’t New Mexico natives, Grace + Jack are very familiar with the state, and we love hearing that their affinity for the historic city parallels our own. Hailing from Memphis originally, both parts of the duo visited Santa Fe frequently as children and Grace even toured the entire state as a singer songwriter!

The coolest part about that? Grace wrote a song for Jack and serenaded her new hubby with an electric guitar borrowed from the live band at the bar their party ended up at. In her wedding dress. To the entire bar.

And the coolest couple award for 2017 goes to….. Just kidding! We love all weddings too dang much to pick favorites. But you can, if you’d like. Scope out these gorgeous photographs from Blue Rose Photography and tell us: On a scale from 10 to 10, how much do you love this wedding?

New Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design floral bouquet lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guideNew Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide sheer high neck sleevesNew Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design floral bouquet lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide lilies ring sleeves greeneryNew Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design floral bouquet lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide sunflowers first look couple engagement ceremonyNew Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design floral bouquet lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide venue architecture historical building cathedral outdoorNew Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design floral bouquet lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide couple natural light celebration event ceremony lilies greeneryNew Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide decor event architecture venue tablescape natural lightNew Mexico wedding Santa Fe planning La Fonda gown suit inspiration design floral bouquet lace photography romantic styled local perfect wedding guide lilies ceremony outdoor greenery natural light Birdseye couple vows flower petals

Featured Venue: La Fonda on the Plaza | IG: @lafondasantafe

Photographer: Blue Rose Photography | IG: @bluerosestudiosnm

Cake: Chocolate Maven | IG: @chocolatemaven

Floral: Margaret Bost Floral

Officiant: Naomi Fiske

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico