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!}


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,


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.}



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


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


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

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


Erin + Zach’s Timeless Celebration

It was easy to see that Erin carries herself with such class, and Zach is absolutely smitten with everything about her.  I knew right away that their wedding day would be filled with poise and joy, and I was absolutely right.

Kayla Kitts Photography

— And boy, was Kayla right! Living vicariously through our photographers isn’t always ideal. If we could, we would totally dedicate our lives to attending all the incredible weddings that happen in our city.  Luckily for us though, Kayla makes it easy to pretend we’re right there, in this case, at Casas de Suenos.

{Because, well, we can’t retire and become perpetual wedding attendees quite yet.}

Capturing the even the tiniest details and expressions, Kayla paints us a perfect picture of Erin + Zach’s stunning wedding. As a focal point, Erin’s high-neck, retro-but-classic gown set the tone for the ceremony. Timeless and stylish in any era or locale, it’s a lot like the love between the happy couple. After meeting in Colorado, moving to Arizona, and celebrating their union in New Mexico, it’s pretty obvious that Erin + Zach’s love knows no geographical bounds.

They fell in love quickly too, which makes their story even sweeter. Don’t we all dream of that one person that, upon first glance, know we’ll be making whiskey toasts to at our wedding, some years later? Now, I can’t guarantee that was what went through Zach’s mind when he met Erin, but the unbridled adoration he has for her makes it clear — their love is one for the books.

A very special thank you to one of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s finest photographers for letting us sneak in on their day. To Casas de Suenos {and every other darling vendor as well!} thank you for collaborating together to make this travelin’ couple’s dreams come true here, in our home state.


Thank you again to the vendors who made this day possible!

Venue  |  Casas de Suenos
Dress  |  David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  Salon Helena
Florist  |  Enchanted Garden
Shoes  |  Amazon
Jewelry  |  Brides Family
Paper Products  |  The American Wedding
Suit  |  Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Jim Hering
Cake  |  ABC Bakery
DJ  |  Dream Factory Productions


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel

The place and atmosphere were pure fun and joy. I enjoyed every part of the place. I will definitely go back again and tell my family and friends of the place and what fun and joy. Thank you for such a great time.

– Terry, local to Albuquerque

It’s no secret to the locals that Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel lives to treat each and every one of their guests. But did you know that you can actually marry your sweetheart in their venue space too? We’re so excited to welcome Santa Ana Star on to the Perfect Wedding Guide team as our newest venue + member!

As long term fans of the space, we can’t help but be a little biased. It’s just that we always have such a wonderful time there, and now we get to direct our local brides there to celebrate their big day! I mean, the conference space + ballroom, which are flexible and accommodating, has over 30,000 square feet of space. Can you believe that?!

It’s not just for the bigger bridal parties either — “From 20 to 3,000 guests, our creative, knowledgeable and friendly staff will personalize YOUR event to perfection!” says their team, and we can attest to that.

Thank you, Santa Ana Star, for being a part of our family of Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding professionals. We appreciate you!

For more information on booking the venue, chat with the Santa Ana Star team here!

Image 1 - Kissing Couple


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

3 Days Left: PWG’s Front Cover Contest

Calling all brides + local vendors!

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, you know that our favorite thing to do is to shake things up + challenge the status quo. {Right behind featuring our local vendors, that is!} But if something works — it works. We had SUCH an incredible turnout for our Front Cover Contest last summer, that we’ve decided to do it again.

Yes, that means you have ANOTHER chance to have your photo/collaboration featured on the front cover of the 11,000 guides we print + distribute in Albuquerque/Santa Fe

{Cue a little happy dance}


This time around, we want to feature an image that is not only ULTRA trendy + BEYOND inspirational for our sweet, sweet readers, but an image that is also unique. And not just in terms of the aesthetic, but unique to our magazine meaning that it has not been published yet. {But don’t worry if/when you win the contest you are free to submit for publishing via
other networks as of March 31, 2018}

Why participate you ask? The winner receives their image printed on 11,000 copies of the Perfect Wedding Guide, distributed amongst 500 locations between Albuquerque & Santa Fe over the next 6 months. And not to mention all the bragging rights and shine that come along with this amazing opportunity are yours for the taking!

Let’s get into the details shall we?



Email jenna.wagner@pwg.com your most powerful (exclusive) image from the styled shoot or real wedding that you would like featured on our FRONT COVER (OMG– this is huge guys- just had to reiterate) by Friday, December 29th. Please keep in mind that because the winning image will be our front cover, there are a couple of stipulations. We do maintain the right to pull an image from the contest if:

1.) The image is not high enough resolution or you do not have the original, high resolution image on hand. (feel free to send us the web optimized + high resolution version/s or just the high resolution file and we are happy to resize for you.)

2.) The image/s do not have adequate space to include copy and our logo.

3.) The image/s are not exclusive to this contest and our issue.

4.) You do not have full rights to the image/s submitted.

5.) The image/s do not include proper photo credit.
Include a witty caption and instagram handles for all the participating professionals {if available}. Each professional is allowed to submit up to 4 images for consideration.

The editors of Perfect Wedding Guide will review all images and choose the top 3 submissions that are most inline with our desired aesthetic and the chosen three will be posted consecutively to Instagram, on Monday, January 8th. The image with the most likes on our Instagram account by the following Monday at 10am wins!

If one of your images gets picked as our top three, you’re absolutely welcome to hype up your submission by reposting to your page and instructing your followers to like the post on our page @perfectweddinguidenm…and voilá you are on your way to adorning our front cover with your magic!

Check out last year’s final round of submissions for inspiration! 


Maura Jane Photography


Table Occasions

And from last year’s winner — The Flower Company!


We can’t wait to see what you send us!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico