Make History at the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel

As you and so many other college students get ready for back-to-school, you may be trying to figure out how you’re going to manage your homework and plan your wedding all at the same time. In case you didn’t know, the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel is a charming wedding ceremony venue for any student, staff member or alumni of the University of New Mexico.

Adorned with traditional retablos and rustic iron candelabras, the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel will take your guests back in time as you exchange vows. With such a rich history, the UNM Chapel is not only beautiful, but it is also affordable. It’s true ladies and gents, you can have the traditional New Mexico ceremony you’ve always dreamed of, without breaking the bank!

Several years ago, I had the great honor of standing in a friend’s wedding that took place at the chapel and it was absolutely gorgeous. Another wedding that truly captured the old-world charm of the UNM Chapel was that of Paige and Nathan, last winter. Captured by Maura Jane Photography, these photos are truly an inspiration for anyone planning a wedding at the chapel.

From the quaint dressing room decorated with elegant, antique furniture to the carved altar pieces and wooden pews, every detail of the UNM Chapel is the perfect backdrop for any wedding ceremony. Not to mention, the outdoor areas surrounding the chapel are just as gorgeous for memorable photos. At the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel, your wedding will be a part of history.

Built in 1962 as a memorial to alumni killed in the nation’s wars, the UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel has served the campus community in joyful and trying times… Thousands of weddings and numerous memorials have taken place within its walls.

— UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel (Website)

Photos by Maura Jane Photography

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Historic Farmhouse Wedding: Alex + Carlos

On the National Register of Historic Places, the Robert Dietz Farmhouse was quite the exception when it came to this early October wedding last fall. Located off of Rio Grande Boulevard, just north of Griegos, this historic landmark was the perfect choice for Alex and Carlos, who visited all the way from Panama to celebrate this momentous occasion.

As a north valley resident, I have passed by this beautiful Victorian residence in admiration many times. To my delight, I actually remember driving by with my husband the night of this gorgeous wedding as I looked on in curiosity. Though I never dreamed in a million years I’d get to see first hand what had taken place that calm October night at the historic Robert Dietz Farmhouse.

Like archaeologists with a new discovery, you and I get to partake in this special occasion with a personal tour by Ashley Joyce Photography. She did a tremendous job capturing this love story that sprouted in Panama and came to full bloom in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Renting this beautiful vacation home to get married was like returning to a childhood home for the holidays.

On the day of the wedding, all the preparations and festivities came together perfectly. The experts at Orange September made the happy couple’s vision come to life. From the elegant floral arrangements to the hidden mementos that take you back in time, every detail of this farmhouse wedding was a stunning combination of modern style and historic ambiance.

Welcome to the Historic Robert Dietz Farmhouse Wedding, North Valley, Albuquerque

It was a Saturday in the beginning of October — the perfect time to celebrate a New Mexico wedding. Carlos and I had met a year before in Panama, when we least expected to meet our better-half. From the start, we recognized in each other “lifetime material.” It was only after a few months of dating that Carlos handmade our wedding rings out of silver-quarters. We couldn’t imagine an indoor wedding or a catalog wedding. We wanted the trees and the sky to stand witness to our love and we wanted the complete freedom to design our wedding day.

For these reasons, we chose the historic Robert Dietz Farmhouse. The Robert Dietz Farmhouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was the perfect backdrop. Grand open spaces surrounded by large old cottonwoods, pine trees lining the property and a beautiful Victorian farmhouse. Although it is not an official wedding venue, but a vacation rental that can host private parties, our decision to rent the historic farmhouse allowed for our large Panamanian family to stay in the nine-bedroom house. We rented the house a week before the wedding, which gave us time to prepare for the big day and host many early festivities.

— Alex, Bride

We planned our wedding with the help of Orange September, an event company. They provided us with invaluable guidance and support through the months prior. We crafted and grew the floral designs ourselves. The centerpieces were succulents that we planted and nurtured for months before the wedding. The colors of autumn were slowly creeping through the leaves of the cottonwoods and the pine trees were darkening their needles.

We were fortunate: big family, many friends, life-lasting memories. Carlos and I had written our vows together and in unison we joined our voices to promise a lifetime of loyalty, patience and unhesitating love. We held hands and exchanged our silver-quarter rings surrounded by our dearest family and friends in a circular ceremony. I know it was perfect because Carlos and I danced the night through — and I hardly dance!

— Alex, Bride

Photos by Ashley Joyce Photography

Congratulations, Alex and Carlos!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Photographer: Ashley Joyce Photography | Venue: Robert Dietz Farmhouse | Planner + Designer: Orange September | Caterer: Crimson Catering by Jordan Ruiz

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Six Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Officiant

Recently, the team at Perfect Wedding Guide met with a group of local wedding professionals in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The meeting turned out to be quite fruitful and one of the topics that came from the meeting was the importance of hiring a professional officiant.

Unfortunately, the officiant isn’t always a big deal to the bride and groom so this very essential part of the wedding is often overlooked. After discussing this important topic, however, this inspiring group came up with a list of major reasons you definitely want to hire a professional.

De Novo Pastoral Services, Photo by Think Harris Photography

Six Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Officiant

  1. Hiring a professional officiant to create a ceremony for you, as opposed to asking your uncle Jim (who just got his reverend certificate on the internet), will prove to be a good investment. Professionals offer a guiding hand through this transitional time in your life. Essentially, they are the compass at the start of your new journey together.
  2. If you wouldn’t want uncle Jim holding your hand while you give birth to Junior (or some other significant life event), you probably don’t want him to officiate the wedding because this event is just as important.
  3. Almost every wedding officiant is going to be over the moon to create a custom ceremony for you and your fiancé. Incorporating pieces of your love story, sense of humor, religion and personalities into a beautiful ceremony is what they do best.
  4. The officiant’s energy sets the tone for the entire ceremony and you want one who makes your guests feel inspired and full of joy — sans awkward moments and embarrassing stories from uncle Jim.
  5. Most officiants will want to meet with you a handful of times before the wedding in order to craft the perfect ceremony. Establishing a relationship of trust and friendship with your officiant ensures that you will be comfortable for your wedding. Not to mention, many offer premarital counseling including De Novo Pastoral Services, to ensure you get off on the right start.
  6. Professional officiants not only know how to coordinate the ceremony but also to collaborate with photographers and wedding planners to ensure every moment is smooth and perfect.
Awakening JOY Ministries

Professional officiants know to step away when the big kiss happens so they don’t accidentally photobomb the special moment.

— Arielei, Arielei Kinzer Photography

De Novo Pastoral Services, Photo by Maura Jane Photography

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Enchanting Desert Wedding {Will+ Karina}

With gorgeous weather, rich culture, stunning landscapes and breathtaking sunsets, New Mexico is a destination wedding location like no other. One look at Will and Karina’s gorgeous, southwest-style wedding last fall, and it’s easy to see why so many couples flock to our enchanting desert to make their lifelong commitment to each other. After living thousands of miles apart, these two lovebirds were finally reunited in the historic village of Corrales, New Mexico to say, “I do.” Taking place at the Chocolate Turtle Bed & Breakfast, Karina and Will planned an intimate wedding with their closest family and friends.

 

From the invitations and wedding dress, to the southwest decor and ombre sunset everything blended effortlessly to form a beautiful aesthetic throughout the day. The soft pinks and muted greens were the perfect compliment to the desertscape and made the turquoise accents pop. While Maura, of Maura Jane Photography, is the bee’s knees when it comes to wedding photography, Karina and Will certainly made it easy to capture these stunning photos that belong in a high-fashion wedding editorial.

 

Starting the day in this peaceful desert setting, Will’s anticipation grew as he awaited the first look with his wife-to-be. Once her raven tress was skilfully set in place and her flowing gown carefully buttoned by her lovely mother, the wait for Karina’s knight in shining armor was finally over. Their first look made them feel as though they were falling in love for the very first time. Queued for the ceremony, they reluctantly parted ways only to be regathered together in Holy Matrimony. To set the stage, the Sandia Mountains were in full display while Karina and Will exchanged vows in front of the small audience of doting witnesses.

 

Overjoyed with their new marriage, they snuck away to secretly celebrate their new life together. As they made their way back to the patio reception, the sound of cicadas and other desert creatures performed in unison with the entertainment creating a mellow undertone for the evening. After partaking in a traditional wedding dinner, they and their guests indulged in sweet confections from New Mexico Pie Company, including Linzer Heart Cookies and Caramel Apple Green Chile Pie. By the nights end, Will and Karina slow danced beneath the twinkling stars of the desert night sky. As time stood still, Will and Karina felt like the only people on earth.

Karina and Will traveled all the way from Virginia Beach and Italy, where each of them were stationed, to be married in the Land of Enchantment. Their wedding was full of stunning details that wowed their guests and made their wedding truly unique. Beautiful roses and succulents filled Karina’s bouquet and centerpieces, accented by sage linens and gold silverware. Karina made mini potted succulents for guests to take home and served an array of yummy desserts from New Mexico Pie Company for everyone to enjoy. As they sipped the couple’s signature drink of pink lemonade and lime margaritas, guests took in the stunning mountain views. Even when the rain clouds rolled in, it didn’t stop Karina and Will from having the time of their lives and it even brought us a stunning rainbow and sunset at the end of the night.

— Maura, Maura Jane Photography

Photos by Maura Jane Photography
Congratulations, Will and Karina!
October 9, 2016
Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:
For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Darling Backyard Wedding {Caren + Henry}

Caren and Henry’s love for traveling is one of the many things that drew this adorable couple together so it was no surprise that their early fall wedding would follow suit. The hidden details of their travel theme blended well with their gorgeous color scheme of pink, white, blue and gold.

Before the ceremony, the bride had the sweetest first-look like none I’ve seen before – with her parents. This moment was super sweet and seeing how tight this family is, it certainly added the perfect touch! Of course, she shared some romantic moments with her hubby-to-be, but the first-look with her parents is sure to be a trendsetter!

After some intimate family portraits captured by Arielei Kinzer Photography, it was off to the beautiful, outdoor ceremony that took place at Corrales Winery – the perfect setting for a September wedding. Sunglasses and dried lavender cones were prepared for the guests to partake in their celebration as man and wife.

Once they exchanged vows, they were whisked away in a classic car as their driver chauffeured Caren and Henry off into the sunset and faded into the horizon to their next adventure – their reception, that is. As they were greeted with cheers and well-wishes, they made their way to their backyard reception where they celebrated well into the night.

The reception was adorned with remnants and mementos of their travels around the world together with some of their favorite quotes, demonstrating their deep love for one another. And to top it off, the night was brought to a close as the new couple and their families sent lanterns in the night sky for all the world to see!
“Henry and Caren were married at the scenic Corrales Winery with their aunt as their officiant. They included a wine ceremony into their nuptials, which was a perfect pairing with their winery setting! Afterward, guests headed down the road to Henry’s grandparents’ house for a darling backyard reception where Henry spent many birthday and holiday celebrations as a child. The happy couple was greeted by a procession of guests who tossed lavender as they entered their reception! The day was full of personal touches — like a globe for a guest book and Caren’s furry best friend Honey as her flower girl.”

– Arielei, Arielei Kinzer Photography

Photos by Arielei Kinzer Photography

Congratulations, Caren and Henry!

September 24, 2016

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Ceremony Venue: Corrales Winery | Flowers: Stephanie Yardman | Photographer: Arielei Kinzer Photography | Makeup: Kata Baron | Hair: Britney-Rae Sanchez | Dress: Alvina Valenta | Videographer: Windswept Media

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

La Fonda on the Plaza: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Plan your dream wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. La Fonda is the only hotel on the historic plaza, making it a sought-after venue for local and destination weddings alike! And with a four-hundred-year history, this luxury hotel has definitely earned its top stop among the best in the nation. If you want to have a truly authentic southwest wedding, La Fonda is the way to go! From the the luxurious Bridal Suite to La Terraza, everything about La Fonda beautifully and effortlessly showcases the best New Mexico has to offer.

Just imagine, you and your bridal party getting dolled up in your luxurious Bridal Suite atop La Fonda, while your beau and his crew get spiffy across the way. Before you make it official, however, you sneak up on your hubby-to-be for your intimate first look in front of The Terrace fountain. After you part ways, you reunite with your bridal party to await your grand entrance. While you wait, your heart starts to race as the live music signals your cue. You slowly walk down the aisle with all eyes on you as your soon-to-be hubby tries to hold back tears.

After what seems like an eternity, you finally make it to the altar on The Terrace overlooking the Loretto Chapel, where you say, “I do.” Once you’re officially announced Mr. and Mrs., you exit hand in hand to the sound of cheers and well wishes. And like so many happy coupes before, you parade around the plaza announcing your union to the masses, complete with a musical procession as well as friends and family in tow. As you make your way back to La Fonda you lead your parade of guests to La Terraza Event Room, where you proceed to celebrate over your first gourmet dinner as man and wife.

At La Fonda on the Plaza, we believe that each Santa Fe wedding is special and unique, deserving the utmost attention and care. Timeless and elegant, with a touch of Southwestern flair, the wedding venues at La Fonda feature classic examples of New Mexican architecture. Some venues feature breathtaking skylights or handcrafted fireplaces, complimented by custom designed tin chandeliers that exude old world elegance, creating the most romantic aura for your wedding. Whether you envision an intimate occasion or a grand event, the wedding reception venues at La Fonda will comfortably  accommodate your party. Meticulous attention to detail by our wedding planner will ensure that each celebration is a reflection of the couple. Our seasoned wedding specialists will consult with each couple, assisting in planning everything from catering to entertainment to insure that your wedding day is the one you dreamed.

— La Fonda on the Plaza

Photos by Alicia Lucia Photography

As you can see, a wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza is like no other.

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Roaring Rooftop Wedding {Stuart + Morgan}

Overlooking the city on the rooftop of the luxurious Banque Lofts, Stuart and Morgan said “I do” at their stunning Gatsby inspired wedding. As a successful and experienced wedding planner, you can’t expect nothing less than the best from Morgan Burman, who planned her recent Albuquerque wedding all the way from the mountainous cityscape of Portland, Oregon.

Starting out in the boho-chic lobby of Hotel Andaluz, Stuart and Morgan had their first introduction as Mr. and Mrs. Burman to-be, which Morgan explains was one of her favorite moments of the day. After their intimate first look, they retired to the streets of downtown Albuquerque where they proceeded with glamorous photos captured by Maura Jane Photography.

At their rooftop ceremony, their love warmed their souls and the bright New Mexico sun warmed their bones that cool October afternoon as they made their declaration to each other with the Sandia Mountains as their witness. Celebrating with friends and family at their roaring reception and sharing a piece of their dreamy cake, truly made October 22 the sweetest day.

My wedding day was more than I could have ever asked for. I’m a wedding coordinator in Portland, Oregon so I know how important it is to have an amazing team of vendors and friends working with you on your big day. My team was the A team! From my bridesmaids and mom and all of the work they put in to keep me sane and set up, my husband’s family for throwing a gorgeous rehearsal dinner, to my photographer and DJ who kept things moving and documented the day beautifully, everyone did their part! I am eternally grateful for their support. I felt like a queen the entire day and was able to celebrate with my family and friends without worrying.

My favorite parts of the day were seeing my husband for the first time at our first look, hearing his vows at our ceremony and our first dance. My husband doesn’t typically wear suits so he looked amazing and doesn’t usually like to dance, but got out there and spun me around like a natural. We were the only two people in the world during those moments and I will remember them forever.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of our wedding. I am so full of love thinking about it, even now. — Morgan, Bride

When Morgan and Stu met at a barbecue, sparks weren’t just flying on the grill that evening. The couple began to date casually and were forced into long distance when Stu moved across the world to New Zealand. They kept in touch with writing love letters and skyping and when he returned they had already figured out it was meant to be.

Morgan, a wedding planner in Portland, sure knows how to throw a party. With a 1920’s Gatsby theme, guests were dressed to the nines as they attended the rooftop ceremony with a stunning view of the Sandia mountains and the city of Albuquerque. The evening commenced with a glamorous warehouse reception, full of twinkle lights, champagne and laughter.  It was an evening to be remembered and we wish Morgan and Stuart nothing but the best. — Maura, Maura Jane Photography

There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice. — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Photos By: Maura Jane Photography

Congratulations, Stuart and Morgan!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Photographer: Maura Jane Photography | Venue: The Banque Lofts | Planner: M H Events | Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee | Caterer + Cake: Savory Fare | DJ: Dream Factory Productions | Florist: Anthony’s at the Delta | Dress: Charlotte’s Weddings & More | Accommodations: Hotel Andaluz

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com