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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


 

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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Grandeur + Magic: A Refined Real Wedding

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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?

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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

 

 

 

2018 Wedding Trend: Live Music

Have you heard, bride-to-be? Tides are shifting in the world of weddings! The budget-friendly option of preset playlists and iPods on shuffle for reception music were all the rage for a little while there, but it’s time to hang up the aux cord. Live, professional music is back in style! {Though in our opinion, it never really left.}

It’s no wonder either, especially here in New Mexico, where there are so many options for brides who want a genuine, authentic experience for their wedding day. Luckily too, the variety of choices available mean you don’t have to break the bank to switch out your brother-in-law’s Spotify playlist for the ever-romantic option of a live musician.

No need to feel overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of individuals that are here to make your celebration unforgettable this wedding season. We picked three amazing musicians that are local and ready for you to book for your wedding, because we love you.

From guitar, to harp, to full band, it’s hard to choose our favorite live musicians from Albuquerque + Santa Fe, but luckily we don’t have to. The reputation of these talented artists speaks for themselves. {It’s no surprise they all have 5-star reviews on Perfect Wedding Guide!}

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Ryan Smith, of Cello for Weddings

is the perfect fit if you’re looking to add an unparalleled touch of elegance to your ceremony or reception. Not only does he offer traditional wedding music, but also pop, rock, acoustic, soundtrack/classical, country, folk, motown, and oldies! Even custom arrangements, if your heart should so desire. Does it get better than that?

Book him here!

Absolute Entertainment

Absolute Entertainment‘s own band Soulstice,

has been voted as Santa Fe’s leading event band by brides. And of course they have! Graceful or groovy, the band plays everything from cross-generational classics to today’s hits. Whatever vibe {or vibes!} you choose, Soulstice delivers above and beyond expectations every time.

Book Soulstice here!

Last, but very certainly not least,

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Sandi Ludescher, Albuquerque’s favorite Harpist

has graced couples with her delightful music, and several of our events too, since 2005. With a broad range of available compositions, there’s a spot in every celebration for her harp! {Highly customizable as well, Sandi once played my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song for me on her harp — it was unforgettable!}

Book Sandi here!

 

Want more?

You can find local musicians, bands, and DJs available for your wedding here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Devoted Love at Prairie Star {Video Feature}

Yes, yes, we did just feature a gorgeous wedding at Prairie Star. But what can we say? We’re suckers for the quiet serenity of the venue. Nestled in the Santa Ana Pueblo, the traditional adobe mansion is only a few minutes from downtown Albuquerque, and one of our favorite places to visit in New Mexico.

Prairie Star‘s stunning views and amazing team make every wedding + celebration there one for the books. If you really want to take advantage of the little slice of heaven though, the only way to make it even better is to pull in an equally incredible, just as local, entertainment company like COMPLETE Weddings + Events. Which Tara + Kevin did! {Not to mention, the other local vendors who came together as the cherry on top of a perfect day. Listed below!}

We’re so thankful that Luminance Wedding Films was there to capture their heartfelt + tastefully vintage wedding day. Cementing in memory the unparalleled way in which Prairie Star + COMPLETE collaborated to make Tara + Kevin’s day undeniably elegant and insanely fun — we’re just dying to share this Luminance wedding film with you all.

Turn up your volume, or pop in some headphones for this one. Maybe grab some tissues too, because Tara + Kevin’s radiating love and devotion is giving us — well, me, at least — some serious wedding fever.

Love You More….Tara {+} Kevin Wedding Short Film~Prairie Star from Luminance Wedding Films on Vimeo.

 

Cinematography | Luminance Wedding Films
Editing/Color Grading | Sarah Kanafani of Luminance Wedding Films
Venue | Prairie Star
Bridal Consultant | Vicki Newsom of Orange September
Photographer | Jones Photo Art
D.J. | Justin with COMPLETE Weddings + Events
Floral Design | Say Something Special With Flowers
Cake | Cake Fetish

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Heritage Hotels {Vendor Spotlight}

For years now, Heritage Hotels has been offering local and out-of-state brides an incredible variety of spaces to choose from for their celebration. With each venue being unique in its own right, yet still intricately related to the culture that makes New Mexico so special, it’s no wonder they’ve hosted so many beautiful weddings. It’s also no surprise that we’re so very, very excited to welcome them to the Perfect Wedding Guide family!

Of the eleven incredible resorts and hotels — yes, you read that right, eleven! — it’s hard to pick our favorites. The Inn and Spa at Loretto showcases carefully curated art from local galleries, and even hosts artist residencies within it’s distinctly Santa Fean adobe walls. While the custom architecture of Hotel Albuquerque‘s grand lobby quite literally makes our jaws drop every time we have the pleasure of entering their doors. El Monte Sagrado, too, is impossible to not fall in love with — the high mountain retreat space has everything needed for a luxurious and unforgettable reprieve outside the city.

In fact, we almost feel badly for you darling brides, how could you pick one to get married in?! Can we make having 11+ different ceremonies for one wedding the new 2018 trend?

Though, your guests probably don’t have 11 different wedding outfits, so you’ll have to choose just one. If it helps, scroll on to get a quick taste of a few of their venues, and read what their guests have to say about each space. {If it doesn’t help, well, we understand. It’s like choosing a favorite child! The bright side is, every hotel + resort is impossibly beautiful and carefully staffed with kind people, so you really can’t go wrong.}

Eldorado

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We were over the moon with our choice to have our wedding at the Eldorado hotel. Dan Liss and his staff were amazing and helped make our special day flawless and unforgettable. The La Capilla de oro chapel took everyone’s breath away! It is so beautiful and special, our guests were in awe. Our cocktail hour, reception and dinner also took place at the hotel. Everything was so elegant. I promise the Eldorado does not disappoint!!

Jessica, bride


Hotel Albuquerque

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It was hands down the best place in Albuquerque to have a wedding. The hotel is beautiful, the outside garderns incredible and the wedding chapel romantic. The food was delicious and the service impeccable!

Samantha S., bride


El Monte Sagrado

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My wife and I wanted to get married at El Monte for years. Their Intimate Wedding package included a ceremony in the Sacred Circle, the officiant, florist, and photographer. It included one night stay in the Taos Mountain rooms and a 4 course dinner with wedding cake. They created the perfect wedding for us. The location was beautiful, the dinner delicious and the officiant, florist and photographer made us feel special. They tailored their services to our wishes. I would do it all over again.

Lillian, bride


Inn and Spa at Loretto

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Tony Gambino Photography

The Loretto was GORGEOUS! Perfect setting for our wedding! The staff was excellent and Vickie, Jen, Ludwig and Josephine were wonderful! It was a beautiful hotel and I’m so glad that our wedding was there! I loved it!

Lisa, bride


Thank you so much for joining our PWG family, Heritage Hotels!

Click the names of any venue for contact and booking information. To see even more of Heritage Hotel’s stunning spaces, you can visit them here.

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico