Southwestern Dreams: A Real Wedding with Alicia Lucia Photography

Southwestern Dreams: A Real Wedding with Alicia Lucia Photography

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…

Alicia Lucia Photography

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.

Alicia Lucia Photography

We’re loving the details of these lovebirds’ boho Santa Fe wedding. Hand-painted florals, a cake with pink watercolor cacti, and the most charming save-the-dates + invites from Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery simply stole the show. And that’s not all. Natalie + Jason chose the dreamiest venue imaginable – La Fonda on the Plaza. If this doesn’t inspire you to start planning your perfect southwestern wedding, I don’t know what will.

If you want to see all of the beauty for yourself, check out the lovely gallery from Alicia Lucia Photography below with sneak peeks from Jason + Natalie’s dreamy day.

Featured Photography: Ashley + Breanna of Alicia Lucia Photography Venue: La Fonda on the Plaza Planning: For the Love Events Rentals: Rust Vintage Florals: Renegade Floral Invitations + Paper Goods: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery Hair: Jewel Hair Design Makeup Artist: Kata Baron Bridal Gown: Ines di Santo Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids Grooms Attire: ESQ Clothing Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux Cake: Maggie’s Wedding Cakes Music: Absolute Entertainment

Wedding Invitations: Why You Should Stay Local

Wedding Invitations: Why You Should Stay Local

Header image | Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary

There are so many reasons why working with a local business is great, but the best and most important reason is because they get you.

Planning a wedding is no easy task and it can often feel like nobody is really listening to your individual needs. This is especially true when working with a national company that is catering to thousands of engaged couples per day. Here at Wedding Collective, our mission is to connect local couples with local vendors to make dream weddings come true. Incredible New Mexico weddings are possible because local vendors are able to give their undivided attention to their couples to ensure that they are being heard.

Wedding essentials like save-the-dates and invitations are in high-demand, and too often couples settle for ordering online from big corporations because it appears to be the most convenient option and/or they don’t know that there are super talented locals that can work with them personally. We are here to shed some light on all of the reasons to keep it local when it comes to paper goods and also to highlight some of our fave local stationary specialists.

It’s tempting to order paper goods online, and we get it, you want to save time and money all while trying to avoid leaving the comfort of your home. However, the benefits of locally made paper goods outweigh the downsides by far. Online companies tend to produce generic and lower quality products that are ordered by hundreds of thousands of brides and grooms. By working with local paper experts, you get to experience the quality of the paper before ordering and you can personalize your products to your liking. Not only will this face-to-face experience put your mind at ease, but it will also guarantee that your product is uniquely yours.

Local paper experts like Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary, Pennysmith’s Paper, and Darling Clementine Art + Illustration are exemplary creatives that take paper goods to the next level. We seriously cannot get over how stunning their end products are. Each of them bring something unique to the table, so you’re certain to find the one that can bring your vision to life. Let’s get to know these lovelies a little bit more:

Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary

Cam Storie Photography

Looking for a full-service, custom design studio specializing in bespoke invitations + paper goods? Look no further than Funky Olive! It’s all here, just for you. You can get in touch with these experts here.

Pennysmith’s Paper

Meet with a design consultant, choose from established designs or customize your own, and explore a wide variety of possibilities for all of your paper needs when you work with Pennysmith’s Paper! You can learn more about them here.

Darling Clementine Art + Illustration

Bella’s charming illustrations are created from the heart and are always completely customized. From wedding invitations to hand-bound books, Darling Clementine‘s creativity is endless. Get in touch with her here!

We want you to connect with a local wedding expert because your vision matters and your ideas deserve to be heard. Have questions or need some suggestions? We’re here to help!

20 Must-Have Wedding Photos

20 Must-Have Wedding Photos

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.

6. Groomsmen

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

Haley Lupinski Photography

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

Brandon Harwell Photography

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.

14. Food

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

Beth Waldron Photography

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.

You’re Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

You’re Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

Your partner popped the big question and you said yes–congratulations! Although the excitement of your engagement has your stomach filled with butterflies and you wish you could hold onto these perfect and stress-free moments forever, you are probably starting to wonder when the chaos of wedding planning is going to begin. More importantly, you’re probably wondering where to start, and that is where we come in! Before we go any further, we want to tell you that planning your wedding is meant to be filled with personality, joy, laughter, and bonding. It can truly be an amazing experience for you AND your loved ones, and we encourage you to have some fun!

The First Steps

Let’s take a deep breath. Sit down. Close your eyes. Imagine your ideal wedding. What do you see? What does your dress look like? What does your suit look like? Is your wedding inside or outside? Do you see trees? What about a chapel? How many people do you want surrounding you while you say ‘I do’? These thoughts can quickly become overwhelming and we know that money and time are the first things that come to mind. For just a moment, imagine that these concepts don’t exist and then open your mind to the possibilities! Instead of seeing them as negative thoughts, turn them into opportunities. This is the moment where you let your personality and imagination take control. After you’ve designed your ideal wedding, now you can take it to the drawing board and decide on the details.

However, we know that some people enjoy having a professional to guide them in their first steps, and that is why wedding + event planners exist! One of our own lovely wedding planners, Danielle of D Events and Weddings, is an expert in her craft and offers full service event planning just for you from beginning to end. Remember that wedding you just imagined, the one that seemed impossible? She’s here to make it possible–and she’s done it countless times before. Yup, you can breathe easy now.

Jasper K Photography | Black Bow Events

Local Wedding Vendors

So you’ve reached out to your wedding planner, or maybe you’ve decided to DIY, but either way you’re ready to start building your team of love experts. Find your venue, caterer and get all of the high priority planning squared away. Your wedding planner will be right by your side during this process for smooth sailing and emotional support (it’s not in their job description, but we know that they must be pretty good at it). After that, it’s time to grab your gals or your bros and have some fun. Dress and suit shopping, creating ‘save the dates‘, florals–local wedding vendors will have everything you need without the hassle of ordering online and waiting to see your product. We do love a good Etsy shopping spree, but we also encourage you to support your community because they’re kind of flippin’ awesome.

You can also get discounts on local vendors when you have a wedding planner like Black Bow Events, another local business who has years of experience planning amazing weddings. We love that event planners are there every step of the way and have cultivated connections with the wedding community so that planning your wedding can be stress-free and budget friendly.

Brandon Harwell Photography | D Events and Weddings

Just Months and Even Days Away

The wedding is months away, and everything is pretty much settled. Well, as settled as it can be–we get it. Now it’s time for all of the final preparations, like teeth whitenings, spa days, gym memberships, guest accommodations, etc. A wedding planner can help you get set up with all of these things if you’ve lost the energy! But beyond all of this, it’s your time to rest and focus on the love between you and your honey. These moments before the big day are unique and exciting, they should be embraced. So put down your notebook filled with wedding planning notes, go grab the love of your life, and remember why you’re doing it all–for the love.

Feel like you need more wedding planning help + inspiration? You can check out our own website here where you can find upcoming wedding shows, local vendors, discounts, and giveaways. We would be honored to be a part of your planning process and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Lavel Marie Photography | D Events and Weddings + Black Bow Events

Header photo: Lavel Marie Photography

2019 Diamond Dash Wedding Show: The Recap

2019 Diamond Dash Wedding Show: The Recap

The time has finally come! The photos from our November Diamond Dash Wedding Show at the Hyatt Regency are in and we just can’t wait to share them with all of you. This year we were so fortunate to have so many bright and beautiful faces at the show. The decor was dazzling, the laughter echoed throughout the ballroom, and the energy was incredible! We love a good wedding show, and this year’s Diamond Dash was one for the books.

If you don’t know what Diamond Dash is and want to know more about it, keep on reading because you’re in for a treat. This recap is going to go into a little bit more detail on what the event is all about, how the whole day plays out, and how the show can benefit a soon-to-be-married bride and/or groom like you!

What is Diamond Dash?

Well, the name comes from the cake dive for diamond jewelry that happens later during the wedding show–but we will cover that bit later. The show itself is put on by yours truly, the local Perfect Wedding Guide team. This show is an opportunity for local couples to get out and have some fun with wedding planning. When the couples arrive, our team will give you a bag of goodies and $500 of PWG Bucks to spend on participating vendors inside the ballroom. Get there early and enjoy the VIP Pre-Party, which we will tell you more about right now.

VIP Pre-Party

The VIP Pre-Party is an exclusive gathering that happens just before the wedding show begins. Join other couples while sipping mimosa’s and getting pampered by local wedding professionals. This year, we had an amazing DJ, Dream Factory Productions, and a top-notch expert wedding panel. Bridal Elegance by Darlene provided a veil try-on station, Blo Blow Dry Bar provided a braid bar, Photo Booth Rentals of New Mexico provided a photo booth, Charlotte’s Flowers brought some gorgeous flower stems, and The Cake Boutique set up a DIY dessert station. How fun is that?! Make sure to get your ticket as an add-on to the main show for next year’s Diamond Dash if you want to be part of the excitement!

Fashion Show + Giveaways

Another unique and truly entertaining aspect of the Diamond Dash Wedding Show is the fashion show that, literally, takes center stage for the majority of the event. The latest trends and styles are modeled by local models of every gender and age for you to find inspiration. And guess what? This year, all of the styling was done locally by Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Suits Unlimited, and Blo Blow Dry Bar! Throughout the show, our fave wedding show MC, Brad King of King Mobile Music, announces the winners of our unique door prizes provided by local wedding vendors.

Vendors

This is really what the show is all about–providing you with all of the best resources to plan your perfect wedding. We invite the best of the best local wedding vendors to set up a booth and meet with prospective brides and grooms. This provides you with a wide variety of wedding photographers, stylists, cake shops, venues, and beyond! We would be lying if we said it will be easy to pick out a vendor, so come with an open heart and be ready to note your best conversations and options.

The Diamond Dash Cake Dive

And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for–the reason for the name! Toward the end of every Diamond Dash Wedding Show, all of the guests and vendors gather around the stage to watch as 5 lucky brides/grooms are chosen to put on a cute apron, tie back their hair, and prepare to get a little messy. These lucky folks have been selected to dig into a cake all at once for the chance to find the box with diamond jewelry inside. Everyone will win a prize, but only 1 of the 5 will walk away with brand new diamond jewelry! This year’s stunning cake was hand-crafted by Honey & Salt Cake Co. and we were absolutely in love with it–even after it was smashed into pieces by eager brides.

This past Diamond Dash was one of our favorites, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and talent of our sponsors. The Perfect Wedding Guide gals are so grateful for those who participated and came out to enjoy all of the vendors and the fun! We want to give a special thank you to our videographers, Journey Home Media, and our photographers that provided all of the amazing photos in this recap, Photographic Perspectives!

Photographic Perspectives
Journey Home Media

EVENT SPONSORS | Blo Blow Dry Bar, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Charlotte’s Flowers, Enchanted Events, Honey & Salt Cake Co., Hyatt Regency, King Mobile Music, NMWP, Photographic Perspectives, Skinny Secrets, and Suits Unlimited

Our Favorite 2020 Wedding Trends

Our Favorite 2020 Wedding Trends

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, the end of the year means planning, preparing, and jumping for joy because we get to learn about all of the upcoming trends for next year! We would by lying if we told you that we aren’t a little sad to see 2019 go, though. This year was definitely one for the books, filled with the most beautiful weddings and exciting wedding shows & events. We loved hearing all of your perfect wedding stories and having the honor of sharing them with other brides and grooms that are looking for some inspiration.

As our pinky promise to you, we will continue to provide you with the most current and trendy tips and inspiration each and every year because we think you’re the best. We are so eager to share what is in store for next year that we are going to give you some insider knowledge right now that the Perfect Wedding Guide team picked up at this year’s Wedding MBA Conference in Las Vegas. Yesterday we hosted our annual Wedding MBA Recap Breakfast at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club and got to hear some notable takeaways from our fellow local wedding professionals that also attended the conference.

We thought that we would have a little fun with this one and look back at some of the decade’s biggest wedding trends while introducing the future forecast for wedding trends in 2020.

First, the oldies, but goodies.

2019 | Private ceremony + elopement locations

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | Animals in weddings

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | White weddings

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pastels, pinks, and blushes

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pear-shaped rings

Maura Jane Photography

2019 | Romantic lighting rentals

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Unique venues

Lauren Cherie Photography

2019 | Specialty cakes

Maura Jane Photography

And now for the upcoming trends for 2020!

2020 | The “Roaring 20s” (of course)

Via todaysbride.com

2020 | Bright & bold pops of color

Al Gawlik Photography

2020 | Ceiling installations

Anna Jones Photography

2020 | Textures

Via HiMissPuff.com

2020 | Greens + grasses

Via Happywedd.com

2020 | Mirrored floors

Darin Images

2020 | Cake backdrops

Buffy Dekmar

2020 | Texture, minimalism, capes, and beyond

2020 | Donuts, mini cakes, & tall cakes

2020 | Sustainability

Via thegoodbeginning.com

So there you have it, a decade of trends and some new ones to welcome to the table. We’re ready for you, 2020!

There’s No Place Like Home: A Fall Wedding with Maura Jane Photography

There’s No Place Like Home: A Fall Wedding with Maura Jane Photography

The tall cottonwood trees arched all the way over the long paved Los Poblanos driveway as we made our way to Lauren and Andrews wedding. The leaves were already changing and several of the trees here and there were really showing off their colors. The couple had traveled all the way from New York City for their big day in the Land of Enchantment, and they were excited that fall was beginning to appear. 

– Maura Casados, Maura Jane Photography

As many New Mexicans know by now, it is hard not to return back home when you leave our lovely state. We hear stories all of the time about couples who move away for various reasons, but decide to have their wedding here in the Land of Enchantment because it truly stole their hearts. We totally get it. There is something so captivating about the landscape and the people – it really is a gem.

Lauren & Andrew seemed to both agree that New Mexico was the ideal place for their fall wedding, even though they live all the way on the East coast in New York City. When you live all the way on the other side of the country, sometimes you need to call the family back home to ask for a little wedding planning help, and that is just what Lauren did. Lauren’s mom knew just the location to celebrate the marriage between her daughter and to-be-son-in-law – Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm! The couple booked the venue without hesitation. And who wouldn’t after seeing the stunning backdrops of lavender fields and rustic farmhouse chic decor?

The couple chose different shades of burgundy and blush for their colors, which complimented the fall foliage perfectly. Lauren wore her hair low and side-swept in a perfect bun and donned a stunning lace dress that fell off her shoulders softly. Perhaps our favorite detail was her pointed Bella Belle heels that matched her dainty belt perfectly.

The Perfect Wedding Guide crew is swooning over the small details from this perfect autumnal wedding. The rose gold ring, the pastel invitations, the perfectly fitting gown, and their absolutely radiant love for each other are just a few of the things that have us struck with awe. Not to mention that this day was captured by the one and only Maura Jane Photography whose style fits seamlessly with the warm + pastel fall vibes.

They exited the ceremony with a dried rose petal toss before joining their guests for cocktail hour on the back lawn. White pumpkins, candles and eucalyptus decorated the tables as guest toasted the newlyweds and sipped lavender gin cocktails and champagne. We finished the evening with a quick photo in front of the old historic building that hosted their reception as the couple kissed while being surrounded by farolitos.

We are so honored to have been sent the gallery from Lauren & Andrew’s wedding day. Take a peek & let the feeling of pure bliss come over you as you immerse yourself in the beautiful photos taken by Maura and her team!

Congratulations Lauren and Andrew, we are so happy for you both!

Venue: Los Poblanos Inn and Historic Farm
Planner/Designer: Chelsea Martinez
Florist:  Bagel's Florals
Hair and Makeup: Mark Pardo Salon
Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes
Dress store: David's Bridal
Dress Designer: Melissa Sweet
Ties and Pocket Squares: The Tie Bar
Cake/Desserts: Los Poblanos
DJ: Cutmaster Music
Invitations: Minted
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Photography: Maura Jane Photography

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