“Life without love, is no life at all.” – Leonardo da Vinci
With springtime so gracefully happening all around us, vibrant colors and incredible new beginnings steal the show. It is no wonder local couples choose this time of year to have their jaw-dropping New Mexico weddings. Since we’re now learning to live with these unexpected changes, couples must reschedule their weddings. We want you to know that it’s 100% okay to be sad, and maybe even really angry, since you’ve been preparing for this moment your whole life. Good news, though! You now have plenty of time to get back to the drawing board, without any distractions, and get inspired.
We’ve said it before and we will say it again – one of our favorite ways to get inspiration for weddings is local styled shoots. New Mexico wedding vendors from all over the bring their talents together to create something magical. Our lovely Coryn Kiefer Photography wanted to bring her vision for timeless romance to life, so she did just that through incredible colors, textures, and scenery.
The models are wearing a modern take on wedding attire – a pantsuit for the bride and a mismatched suit for the groom. While these elements of fashion are unconventional, they compliment each other and are a perfect match for the ornate decor that surrounds them. The decor + florals are fit for a queen. We get some serious fairytale vibes and all of our little girl dreams are coming true.
As we like to say, it’s all in the details. The hand lettering, the jewelry, and the cake are all exquisite. Check out the gallery below to see how Coryn + her team brought this fairytale to life:
Photography + Styling:Coryn Kiefer PhotographyVenue: El Rey Court Decor + Rentals: Darling Details Rentals Floral: Desert Flower Co. Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee Hand Lettering: Hello Jori Cake:Honey & Salt Cake Co. Jewelry:Ooh! Aah! JewelryBridal Attire: Rime Arodaky Groom’s Attire: J Crew Styling Assistant: Krissy Williams Models: Tessa & Deangelo
Jason and Natalie met about four years ago and even though Natalie cancelled their first date, Jason was persistent and the two of them finally met. After an eight hour date walking around Lake Michigan, these babes knew they were meant for one another…
During these times of uncertainty and chaos, there is one thing that remains strong and mighty in the face of fear: love. No matter how many bridges we must build to cross wild waters or stores we must visit to find toilet paper, we still have beautiful love stories that deserve to be heard. That’s right, it’s that time of year again where we share our favorite “Real Weddings” with all of you!
Love is our universal language. No matter where in the world you might be, we all have this in common. Here in the great Land of Enchantment, love is buried deep within the dirt we stand on and can be seen in our beautiful sunsets. It makes sense that many couples want to travel from far and wide to celebrate their wedding day amongst their loved ones in such a special place.
For Jason + Natalie, this couldn’t be any more true. The stunning couple live in Chicago with their black lab/collie mix, Bartlet, but knew that their hearts were meant to join as one in the southwest. We love when couples choose to have a destination wedding in our charming state because we get to meet new people with the most incredible + unique personalities.
On a very lovely Santa Fe day, Jason and Natalie said “I do” with the most spectacular, southwestern-boho wedding ever! These lovers came all the way from Chicago to celebrate the start of forever and they pulled out all the stops.
It’s finally warming up outside and the seasons aren’t the only thing making big changes. Wedding Collective has been anxiously waiting for the Spring/Summer copy of our guide to arrive at our doorstep so that we can share all of the new inspo with you! All of the recent changes made to our brand have us ready to take on new challenges, new content, and new springtime “I dos”.
If you’ve always dreamed that your “I do” moment would be straight out of a fairytale, then we have some really good news for you – your dreams can become a reality. Nestled in the mountains of Ruidoso, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino sits proud and tall surrounded by greenery and gorgeous lakes. This fairytale-like venue offers more than just a beautiful backdrop, but also a complete Southern New Mexican experience, no matter the season.
The wedding turned out perfect! This is the best place to have a wedding if you love the outdoors and scenery! Everything was well planned and I could not have asked for a better wedding venue!!!
– Tammy, Bride
Finding the perfect venue can be challenging since there are so many options out there, from backyard weddings to luxurious gardens. It is possible, though, to find the venue that makes your heart say, “this is exactly where I am meant to be”. At Inn of the Mountain Gods, you’ll find your new favorite place where your love story will be in good hands. From start to finish, the venue ensures that you and your guests have everything you need to create the memories that will live on forever.
Inn of the Mountain Gods offers a wide range of services and you can tell just from their enthusiasm that caring for their clients’ needs is of utmost importance. Couples, just like you, want to choose a venue that is flexible and can provide a range of options, and the resort heard those requests and has exceeded expectations by offering indoor + outdoor ceremony spaces, set-up, seating + table arrangements, meals, cakes, and so much more. You want to check off as many items on your list as possible – and babe, we totally get it. That is why the Inn of the Mountain Gods should be number one on your venue list!
A lakeside wedding surrounded by trees and rolling hills awaits you, and we’re honestly a little bit jealous that we aren’t the ones getting married at such a dreamy location. If you want to get in contact with Inn of the Mountain Gods to learn more, you can visit them here.
Wedding Collective is all about community, and we are so fortunate to work with wedding vendors in all different specialties and interests. When we receive wedding photos from local couples and wedding experts, we celebrate, because photos are the magical little gift that allows us to see how all of the vendors and their work come together to create something incredible.
We know how important wedding photos are to you, too, which is why we’ve compiled a list of our must-have wedding photos. Sometimes during the wedding planning process, it gets crazy deciding on food, venues, and decor, and it’s easy to completely forget about working with your photographer on what you really want captured on your big day. We’ll expedite the process for you a little bit by providing you with 20 great photo ideas to ask your photographer for:
1. Getting Ready
These are some of our favorite kinds of photos because of the intimacy they reveal. Those small moments of excitement before putting on the dress and going out in front of beloved family and friends are the most raw–which is what makes them so beautiful.
2. Detail Shots
Even though everyone else will be able to stare in awe of your good looks on the day of the wedding, you might want to remember what you looked like as well. Sometimes the small details get buried in the chaos of the day, and having photos to look back on makes all the difference.
3. The Dress
The wedding dress is hand-picked by the bride herself, putting all of her personality, love, and care into the process. The dress is perfectly shaped to her form, creating the most lovely sight you’ll ever see–so a photo is essential!
4. First Look
The “first look” is a moment unlike any other, the moment when you first see each other and the first moment of the rest of your lives together. A photo beautifully captures the emotions and genuine love between two people.
5. Bridesmaids Celebrating
Grab your lady friends and celebrate! These fun photos always make great memories and take the stress out of the wedding day. Your girls will cherish these photos forever, too.
Guys, don’t worry. We didn’t forget about you! Your dude group is just as good-looking as the bride tribe, so you will love to look back on these photos of you and the people who will always be on your side.
7. Invitations & Save the Dates
Just as we said before, the small details have so much thought put into them that it would be a shame if they weren’t captured! We love invites and Save the Dates because they’re all so unique.
8. The Groom’s Reaction
Similar to the “first look”, capturing the groom’s reaction as the bride walks down the aisle brings out that vulnerable and pure love that the couple feel for each other as they prepare to say “I do”. After all, the lovebirds are about to spend the rest of their lives together, and who wouldn’t shed happy tears?!
9. The Moment They Kiss
This one is a no-brainer, but we are putting it in our top 20 faves because, well, we love it so much. This celebratory moment has everyone clapping, tearing up, shouting, jumping for joy, and in some cases, throwing flower petals in the air.
10. The Ring
Oh, do we ADORE wedding rings! The gorgeous photos of the elegant details in a wedding ring are always a treasure. Accenting the photo by holding florals is just one way to capture this sentimental piece of jewelry.
11. The Bouquet
This is a wedding photo that has been trending lately, and we’re about it. Wedding flowers are an essential part of every wedding, and with their natural beauty, deserve every chance they can get to be photographed. Get the bridesmaids together and snap some photos of the bouquets together.
12. Decor + Tablescapes
The possibilities are endless when it comes to wedding decor. The colors, textures, and designs are all too magical to be seen only once. This is where photos come in! You’ll want to remember all of the beauty that surrounded you on your wedding day.
13. The Flower Girl
She’s adorable. ‘Nuff said.
Catering, drinks, and baked goods always look like works of art. Food, in general, is a work of art, so a photo of the beautiful plates being served to your guests is always a good idea. Plus, unique ideas like the pie bar pictured above are fun to share with other couples looking for inspiration.
15. Time Alone Together
After all of the festivities of the ceremony have calmed down and the guests are heading to the reception, it’s always a good idea to sneak off and have some alone time together. It’s time to relax, have some fun, and get silly. The photographer is there to capture your intimate moments, whether they’re tears or smiles.
16. The Cake
Cakes are a big part of the wedding day and a lot of work goes into making them beautiful and uniquely yours. The gorgeous colors and embellishments make for the best photos.
17. The Bride
The bride’s reactions and laughter are going to be the highlight of her day, and she will want to see how cute she looked later on. The makeup, the hair, the dress, and the love between the couple are all so deserving of great photographs.
18. The Dances
The first dance, the father-daughter dance, and so may others, are all tradition. These moments are emotional and entertaining for everyone to watch. The photographs of these special moments will be passed down for generations to come.
19. Bouquet/Garter Toss
The bride and groom don’t get to see the expressions on their guest’s faces as a bouquet or garter comes hurdling at them, and trust us, their priceless. This is a moment that you’ll love to look back on after the wedding day for a good laugh!
20. The Scenery
Last, but definitely not least, the ceremony and reception venues are always the perfect backdrop for couple’s photos. Whether you choose Los Poblanos’ lavender fields or the Sandia Mountains, the scenery will bring out the beauty of your wedding venue.
We’re always filled with excitement when we see the sweetest emails pop up in our inbox from local couples that want to share their special day with us. It really is one of the best things about being part of Perfect Wedding Guide! The incredible thing about weddings is that no matter how small or how big, there is always a unique and beautiful love story to go along with it. We live for these stories.
For Kirsten + Justin, their story began a lot like many other love stories–love at first sight. Kirsten had just started a new job at Safelite Autoglass in March of 2014. She was introduced to everyone in the office, but there was one particular employee that caught her eye: Justin Bowie. She was only working there for two weeks when Kirsten was offered an internship at Sandia National Laboratories. We can imagine it would be hard to pass up that opportunity, so she put in her two weeks. Despite her excitement to start a new job, Justin was still on her mind. They had talked a few times during her short time at Safelite, and she felt like they had a spark. On her last day, April 25, she emailed Justin her phone number (he wasn’t around when she was leaving for the day to give it to him in person). He sent her a text later that night, and exactly a month later on May 25, he asked her to be his girlfriend. Four years later, on May 25, 2018, Justin asked Kirsten to marry him and the rest is history. Yup, it’s the perfect love story and they’re pretty much adorable.
Kirsten + Justin are big fans of DIY projects and spending time together, and this didn’t change when it came to their wedding. They handmade all of the decor themselves in order to put as much of their personalities as possible into their wedding day. Between working on the decor together and planning, the whole process helped them bond even more than they could have ever imagined. Justin does home construction for a living and Kirsten has a DIY & Home Decor blog (A Bowie Project), so creating the beautiful decor that they shared with family and friends on their wedding day made them even more excited to see what they could do with future projects as husband and wife. And we can’t wait to see what they do, as well!
We were so thrilled to see that their day was captured flawlessly by the incredible Arielei Kinzer Photography. Check out the gallery below!
Congratulations to Kirsten + Justin! The Perfect Wedding Guide team sends our best wishes to you both and cheers to your new life together.
Bride and Groom: Kirsten and Justin Bowie Photographer: Arielei Kinzer Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of the Assumption Church Reception Venue: El Nido Farm Florist: Agave Florist Tables, chairs, tent & dance floor: American Tent Rentals Bar & Connect Four Game: My Beloved Vintage Rentals Groom & Groomsmen Tuxes: Mr. Tux Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal My dresses: ballgown is Justin Alexander and mermaid is Grace Loves Lace Decor: Mostly DIY Couples IG handles: @kirstenmbowie and @justin.bowie.562
Chic, glamorous, simple, boho, elegant. These are just some of the words that come to mind when thinking about wedding rentals & decor. No two people are the same, and this is especially true when it comes to planning your big day. Some people are lovers of all things that shimmer, while some prefer the minimalistic approach. Full disclosure, wedding decor is one of our favorites because it can be the most necessary, exciting and enjoyable aspect of planning. The possibilities have no limit. This year, the 20’s are back in style and jewel tones are on-trend, and if you love both of those ideas, why not try out a mix of both? It’s your day, design it with passion.
No matter your style, there are so many fantastic options available to you that will fit your personality perfectly! No need to rely solely on your adorable Pinterest boards and lose sleep wondering if your guests will have a place to sit, because there is a decor expert ready to make your dreams a reality. Luckily for you, there are some right here in New Mexico and we already have a couple experts in mind. P.S. They’re the best of the best.
Colorado Party Rentals
Although their home-base is in Colorado, this vendor has a dream-team located in Santa Fe. Specializing in all times of wedding decor, it is no doubt that you will fall in love with every scene they create. Just look at these photos–they look like something straight out of a fairytale! Offering everything from table linens, aisle runners, dance floors, and tenting, to china and glassware to create gorgeous tablescapes, there will be no lack of gems to choose from. Colorado Party Rentals has quite the list of services from 3-D renderings to set up/break down. Want to learn more about these decor experts? You can get in contact here.
Social Collective, FKA Occasion Services & Events, is a team of highly experienced designers and planners offering rentals and designs that know how to bring a wedding to the next level–and we’re not exaggerating. This team of experts knows how to create a perfect wedding for any couple, no matter the style, location, or arrangement. Social Collective is on-trend and well-prepared with everything you need, from the initial concept planning, to tables and chairs, to lighting and floral design. It’s safe to say that we’re in love with every single event they put together. If you want to learn more and get in touch, you can visit them here.
This can be a lot of information, but don’t get discouraged. Wield your Pinterest boards as your shield and your decor expert as sword and absolutely slay your wedding! If you want to read about more of our decor experts, click here.
We, your Perfect Wedding Guide team, adore stories. Stories are what make us who we are from start to finish, and they live on beyond our years on this Earth through the gift of family and friends. We are especially fond of the stories that are about love, of course, because they are passed on from generation to generation. This is why whenever we receive a new wedding story from a bride, we grab a box of tissues and anxiously wait to share it with all of you.
Elena and Antonio Garcia just got married in October of 2019, and have quite the story to share. Before you keep reading, we just want to warn you–it’s a bit of a tear-jerker (in all of the best ways). The way Elena tells her story is so eloquent, so we are going to let her take center stage for this feature:
“Tony and I met in 7th grade pre-algebra, but it wasn’t until the summer before Junior year of college that we went on our first date. We were friends, of course, for the 7 or so years before we started dating, but this guy was ALWAYS in a serious relationship. (If you asked him he’d say the same about me, haha). He asked me to go to breakfast with him sometime in April of 2014, and the night before, actually like 10 hours before, he texted me to cancel. So, I took matters into my own hands and text him later in the week asking if we could make it up another time. We scheduled for May and this time he showed! We went to the Tea House in Santa Fe and afterward he waited the appropriate amount of time…5.5 hours… to call me and ask if we could do it again (lol). Then 3.5 years later, Christmas Eve on the Canyon Road Gallery Walk at that very same little cafe table, he got down on one knee. At the time I was living in PHX finishing my doctorate and he was in ABQ. We had spent the last 2 years fumbling, and I do mean FUMBLING, through long distance. However, as hard as it was Tony never gave up on me, drove 6 hours one way 2-3x/month, and loved me harder than I ever knew was possible. The second he reached for that ring in his pocket, and even way before the considerable shock and awe wore off, I knew my answer was: yes.
It took us a while to begin planning our wedding as I was set to move back and finish my clinical rotations in May of that same year. But once we did, I was immediately in love with all of it. I had no idea how much fun it would be to coordinate, plan and truly create a whole day centered around this incredible love I had found in Tony. We truly were a team throughout the whole planning process, in fact, he is the one who found and booked our venue, baker and DJ and he and his groomsmen created all our woodworking DIY items. We went to Bridal Expos and open houses together, he would bring home the latest copy of the Perfect Wedding Guide, we watched wedding shows on TV and followed wedding videographers near and far to get inspiration. We painted signs together, built custom monogram cornhole sets, made an escort card board and set visions for our head table displays and for months I was amazed to find how much my right brain loved being able to create, plan and enjoy the whole process. We elected to have a kind of “week-long” celebration in that our bridal party arrived 2 days early and we stayed all-together in bride and grooms suites. Which led me to wonderful insight. The day goes by so fast that you will likely not even have time to think. I would 200% recommend having your close loved ones around in advance. My girls and I got to hot tub, we bonded with the boys, we stayed up and ironed robes and talked about the excitement and butterflies, we enjoyed a few adult beverages together and truly I could not imagine anything more calming two days before the wedding than that. It was absolutely wonderful and necessary.
Then, the day arrived. Which, of course, everyone says its the “best day of your life” but no one can prepare for how truly magical it feels to see your loved ones all in one place there for no other reason than to support this incredible love and life you have created. Tony and I are both criers so we, and just about everyone there, sobbed the entire day. But in between that we laughed, we danced, we took tons of photos and most importantly we stayed present and enjoyed every second. As with every wedding, or event in life really, there were a few game-day challenges. For starters my dress came in..in the wrong size, twice, months beforehand. The second too small dress I actually tore trying to get off in the bridal store…that was horrifying. But still beyond worth it the day of to see my husband’s face as he saw me for the first time walking down the aisle. Next, I ordered a veil online that was apparently not proper veil material because when I took it in to get steamed on the Monday before the wedding, yes, as in 4 days before, it burned. But my dress consultant was kind and generous enough to actually give me one that was truly WAY more beautiful and matched my dress to a T.
And then….the weather. Beginning the week before, we found that our wedding day was being called an “Impact Weather Day,” and supposedly bringing not only a chill, but 40-45MPH wind gusts. That forecast seemed to be getting worse and worse all week until that morning while in hair and make-up, our wonderful coordinator Shaunna came to ask me what we would most like our back-up plan to be. I found out later that not only was the wind gusting…it had been raining and somehow my amazing friends had kept me away from the windows enough to keep that a secret. In all her wisdom, Shaunna decided to keep our original planned ceremony spot and drop the two back-ups seconds before the wedding, so we were a go. Then, at exactly 4:00pm, just as the weatherman had projected…the wind came. Set to begin at exactly 4, I was wondering slightly what the hold-up was but at this point knew better than to ask. Turns out, our officiant, after walking down the aisle and getting everyone ready to go had been victimized by one of those “Impact Day” gusts, and his paperwork, our vows, and our ceremony script were riddled along the dirt path behind the ceremony site blowing away and being chased down by guests. So, at 4:15pm, completely unaware, the paperwork finally collected and the guests back in their seats, I was finally walking down the aisle. When I first looked outside I was terrified. I literally thought some of those trees may blow over, and I realized the ground was somewhat damp. For a second as I looked down at everyone in their places I thought, “is it too late to use our back-up ceremony room” but realized as I saw my husband standing there with tears in his eyes (no telling if from the wind or from emotion) that it certainly was too late. But then, something amazing happened. The wind blew the clouds away, the sun came out, and the gusts settled (probably to 20MPH or so) and we got married, exactly as we had planned to. My gorgeous new veil blew in the wind the whole time, and although my head was a touch sore, it made for some BEAUTIFUL photos.
The rest of our day was gorgeous and perfect. Tony made everyone laugh with his “dance lessons,” our friends and family made gorgeous toasts, our reception space was exactly as we had dreamed it to be and I have never laughed so whole-heartedly in my life. The one thing that we got complimented on most had nothing to do with our planning or preparation. It turned out, Tony and I began our vows in the exact same way, completely unknowingly. It was a sweet, unexpected surprise for us, but more than that our guests loved to hear the same story in each of our perspectives and I learned quickly throughout the day that it was simple personal touches that made the most impact. After all the hustle and bustle of the most perfect and wonderful day I have ever experienced I was left with three main pieces of advice that I collected and came up with throughout the nearly two years of our engagement.
1. Rain is good luck.
2. The best weddings are the ones where something totally unexpected happens, you can’t plan for everything, nor would you want to.
3. Don’t forget the day is about you and your significant other. Spend time together and alone, laugh with one-another, take time to meditate beforehand, notice not only your guest reactions and facial expressions, but more importantly your partners, and be present.
If you truly plan the day together you will learn more about each other than you ever thought you could, so don’t forget to enjoy every second.”