Anniversary Session at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument: Sarah + Jeremy

It’s very typical to see lots of engagement sessions and real weddings here at Perfect Wedding Guide and we can’t get enough of them! But we don’t always get to see the happy couple post nuptials, so we are just giddy to see this stunning anniversary shoot and share it with all of you!

As usual, our lovely Maura, of Maura Jane Photography, hit a home run with this stunning anniversary photo session at Tent Rocks National Monument. The iconic rock formations of Tent Rocks were the perfect backdrop for Sarah and Jeremy, who hiked the monument when they were dating.

The name Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs,” which offered gorgeous ombre hues to compliment the desert color pallet they chose for their photo session. With shades of blue, periwinkle and other natural tones, this photo shoot couldn’t have turned out more enchanting!

Jeremy and I met through a mutual friend on Facebook. I was hesitant to talk to him at first (stranger danger), but he pursued — for 5 years. We finally became friends and then he eventually came out to visit me while I was in school in Oklahoma. We had our first date on New Years Eve and we hit it off right away. Jeremy had me laughing the entire night. It was just natural.

Fast forward a couple of months and I came to visit him for the first time in Albuquerque. I am big into hiking so I begged him to take me to Tent Rocks. It looks so cool in pictures! We hiked all the way to the top to a beautiful overlook where Jeremy leaned over and asked me to be his girlfriend. I was a little stressed, because I thought I already was. This just made it official, I guess.

We wanted to do our anniversary shoot there because it was such a meaningful location to both of us. We didn’t get wedding pictures, so this was the first time we had our professional photos done! We couldn’t have picked a better spot!

— Sarah, Bride

For Sarah and Jeremy’s anniversary session, we hiked the Tent Rock Monument to a location dear to their heart. Sarah wore a flowy tulle blue skirt contrasting perfectly with the pink and white rocks. She carried a gorgeously messy bouquet from Floriography, full of desert flowers, pomegranates and roses. Sarah wanted her bouquet to have native flowers since New Mexico is where their love truly bloomed. Her hair and makeup by Genica Lee was simple yet truly complimented Sarah’s natural beauty. We tried to capture the effortlessness of Sarah and Jeremy’s love for each other as they danced and ran through the mountains hand in hand.

— Maura, Maura Jane Photography

Photos by Maura Jane Photography
Happy Anniversary, Sarah and Jeremy!
Meet the professionals who helped make their anniversary session possible:
 For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com
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Come One, Come All! Witness the Incredible 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Last night was a circus — literally! Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote, we had the amazing opportunity to show our appreciation and celebrate the accomplishments of our favorite wedding professionals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for our annual Bride’s Select Awards at NOAH’s Event Venue.

More than 650 local brides, grooms and newlyweds voted in over 20 categories and the results are in! Covering everything from Best Beauty Expert and Best Floral Designer to Best Ceremony Venue and Best Photographer, we are pleased to present you with the best of the best!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to see the amazing, the talented 2017 Bride’s Select Award winners!

Best Unique Wedding Service: Frost Gelato

Best Photo Booth Rental: Cutmaster Music

Best Cinematographer: Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photographer: Matt Blasing Photography

Best Local Band: Entourage Jazz

Best Disc Jockey: Dream Factory Productions

Best Place to Order Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery

Best Hotel for Guest Accommodations: Hotel Andaluz

Best Men’s Formal Wear Shop: Mr. Tux Formal Wear

Best Bridal Gown Shop: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Floral Designer: Floriography

Best Rental Company: Simply Décor and Events

Best Event Decor: Black Swan Events

Best Wedding Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Best Location to have a Ceremony: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Best Place to Have a Reception: Hotel Albuquerque

Best Place to Have a Rehearsal Dinner: El Pinto

Best Place to have a Bachelorette Party: Uptown Funk

Best Catering or Restaurant: Prairie Star

Best Place to Order Wedding Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci

Best Spa or Place to Relax: Bliss Salon & Spa

Best Bridal Beauty Expert: Genica Lee

Best Wedding Coordinator: Alena Swanson, LLC

Congratulations, 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Photos by Sacred Life Photography

And, of course, a special thanks to our AMAZING sponsors! You made our Bride’s Select Awards Circus a huge success!

Ringmaster Brad of King Mobile Music | NOAH’S Event Venue | Occasion Services & Events | Conchita’s Creations | Bombshell Fitness | Sacred Life Photography | Charlotte’s Flowers | High Noon Restaurant & Saloon | Wise Fool New Mexico

Every year, your local Perfect Wedding Guide reaches out to hundreds of New Mexico brides, grooms and newlyweds just like you to get your feedback on your favorite local wedding businesses.

Stay tuned for dates to cast your vote for our 2018 Bride’s Select Awards!

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

Destination Wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza: Lucy + Jeremy

The same time last year, Lucy and Jeremy were happily wed at the beautiful La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Traveling all the way from Minnesota to join hands is quite the compliment to our gorgeous state, but it was quite the honor for La Fonda on the Plaza to be the ceremony and reception venue these two would choose for their destination wedding more than 1,200 miles away from home.

In planning their wedding, Jeremy and Lucy took great care to keep the theme of their wedding in step with the southwestern style of Santa Fe. But one thing they did New Mexico style without any help from locals was bring the whole family. With everyone in tow their gorgeous wedding made for a momentous occasion spent with all the people they love most — and it wouldn’t have been complete without every member!

With cozy and charming accommodations at La Fonda on the Plaza, this lovely couple and their families felt completely at home every night of their stay. Come the morning of the big day, Lucy and her bridesmaids were pampered in her spacious bridal suite by Monica Stark of Makeup Santa Fe, while the team at La Fonda were busy with all the preparations. And with their in-house wedding planner, not a petal was out of place.

The ceremony took place on La Terraza (the terrace) overlooking the historic city. In the background, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi peeked overhead creating the perfect altar for any Santa Fe wedding. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests retired to the reception area where they were served cocktails and gourmet appetizers before partaking of the traditional Santa Fe dinner, prepared especially for the occasion.

To the sound of live music and celebration, they danced the night away to commemorate their happy union. Late into the night, Lucy and Jeremy stole away for some final romantic photos captured by Twin Lens Images beneath the twinkling stars of the desert southwest. Since their return to Minnesota, they haven’t forgot their picture perfect wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza, where people and place will be waiting to welcome them home.

Jeremy and I live in Minnesota so when we decided on New Mexico for our wedding, we knew we had to show a bunch of Minnesotans what Santa Fe was all about. From the venue and decor to food and drinks, we wanted to emphasize the unique charm of Santa Fe.

La Fonda on the Plaza was the ideal spot — it exudes history, culture, and style with kiva fireplaces, hammered tin chandeliers, ornate beams, terra cotta accents and original folk art. In keeping with the southwestern theme, we had lots of bright flowers, succulents, spicy food and margaritas.

We also chose La Fonda because we wanted a relaxed, outdoor ceremony. La Terraza at La Fonda was the perfect place. The private outdoor patio space overlooks the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the heart of downtown Santa Fe. We were spoiled with a beautiful, sun-filled, early September day that couldn’t be beat.

After the ceremony, we wanted a big party where our guests could have as good of a time as we were having. It started with drinks and appetizers on the patio and ended with a live band and dancing. In the end, we got our party — it took us over a week to recover and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.

— Lucy, Bride

Photos by Twin Lens Images

Congratulations, Lucy and Jeremy! From the team at Perfect Wedding Guide, we wish you a Happy Anniversary!

September 3, 2016

Check out this amazing video of their wedding by Luminance Wedding Films:

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Photographer: Twin Lens Images | Videographer: Luminance Wedding Films | Cake: American Pie Bakery | Floral: Margaret Bost Floral Design | Makeup: Makeup Santa Fe | Venue: La Fonda on the Plaza | Wedding Planner: In-House Wedding Planner, Samie Doerfler, La Fonda on the Plaza

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

Rustic Vineyard Wedding: Elizabeth + Lawrence

Finding a beautiful and romantic setting was a top priority for Elizabeth and Lawrence when looking for the perfect venue to celebrate their wedding last June. One look at Casa Rondeña Winery and their search was over. The beautiful Tuscan style estate overlooking the scenic vineyard is like escaping to a Spanish villa off the coast of the Mediterranean— the perfect choice for a couple who wants something unique and charming.

In planning their wedding, Elizabeth and Lawrence kept it simple and classic with an unconventional approach. They wanted to make it a point to keep their love for each other the focus of their big day, making sure not to get caught up in the stress of planning a wedding. After a few particulars like the venue and the photographer, they gave their planner the reigns and they delivered! Orange September gave Elizabeth and Lawrence the wedding of their dreams.

Come the big day, it couldn’t have been more perfect. Beautifully captured by Matt Blasing Photography, the photos take us on a beautiful journey through Casa Rondeña Winery to tell the story of Elizabeth and Lawrence. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, rustic wine barrels and acres of bountiful grape vines, the need for extravagant decor was immaterial in light of the naturally beautiful surroundings.

At the end of the day, people are not going to remember every song you played or the exact design of your cake. They will remember two things: how the wedding made them feel and the photos. So, we chose the most beautiful venue we could find. It was worth the extra cash and the venue was so beautiful, we barely had to decorate! We also chose an amazing photographer who captured every moment of our wedding. With those two things in place, our event planner helped everything else come together. As a full-time teacher working on my master’s degree, Vicki was a life saver.

Our wedding day was perfect because I chose people that I liked to work with! That may not seem important, but I found that the positive energy of Matt and Amy (the photographers), Vicki and Jerry (the wedding planners), and everybody else we hired made it all so much more relaxing. For example, we hired good friends to do our cake (Susan and David Bongers), and I feel that it was the perfect choice for us. In addition, my DJ had no problem playing my unique list of wedding songs, which are probably never played at weddings, but those songs meant a lot to us.

My favorite memory was our first dance. We chose an extremely beautiful song (Excuses by The Morning Benders), and there is just something about the song starting with outstanding violins that will stick with me forever. I would not change anything about my wedding day. It was a beautiful, perfect day. As cliché as it sounds, we knew it was not about the wedding itself, but our relationship and the special connections with family and friends. My advice: do not get caught up in the crazy “wedding culture.” Make your wedding day about your love and connection and let it shine through every detail.

— Elizabeth, Bride

Photos by Matt Blasing Photography

Congratulations, Elizabeth and Lawrence!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Photographer: Matt Blasing Photography | Venue: Casa Rondeña Winery | Wedding Planner: Orange September, An Event Company | Officiant: Jerry Newsom | Floral: Something Special with Flowers | Hair + Makeup: The Vanity Studio | Catering: Firenze Mobile Pizza | DJ: DN&G Entertainment

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

Romance in the Rain: Lauren Cherie Photography

Last month we introduced you to one of our favorite photographers with our post: Cherish Your Memories: Lauren Cherie Photography. Recently, Lauren and a talented gang of wedding professionals got together for a beautiful styled shoot in the quaint Village of Corrales. This lovely group of gals found a stunning bank along the Rio Grande that was simply perfect.

With a good balance of bright New Mexico sunshine and dark rain clouds rolling in, the lighting was just right and the natural setting couldn’t have been more gorgeous. Once their models were pampered by Lavender + Rose Hair & Makeup Studio, Lauren and the team set off for their secret spot hidden among the majestic cottonwood trees of the bosque (forest).

Like an enchanting fairy tale, the desert creatures were happy to bear witness to their beautiful styled shoot creation. Along with the elegant iron bed and accent table they used as props, the ladies from Floral Fetish and She’s Got Cake added the final touches with their beautiful flower arrangements and mouthwatering wedding cake.

We had so much fun with this photo shoot! We knew we wanted to do something in the bosque with the big beautiful trees. And this Corrales, NM location did not disappoint. We had some golden sunlight at the beginning and then some light rain at the end.

We wanted something pretty and romantic, but also fun and different. Along with a pretty cake and gorgeous florals, we decided to bring a bed to the bosque — talk about different! We captured some beautiful, romantic moments and also super fun, silly moments.

— Lauren, Lauren Cherie Photography

Photos by Lauren Cherie Photography

Meet the professionals who helped make this styled shoot possible:

Photographer: Lauren Cherie Photography | Florist: Floral Fetish | Hair + Makeup: Lavender + Rose Hair & Makeup Studio | Cake: She’s Got Cake | Models: Ryan and Ashlie Bustamante

Behind the scenes with Lauren Cherie 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