2018 Four Seasons Connection Luncheon Recap

Okay, so maybe we’re a bit nostalgic, but is that so wrong? Especially since we’re only a few days into 2019, and here in New Mexico, 2018 was one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s best years yet. We had wedding shows, luncheons, and parties galore, plus relationship building, contest-throwing, giant giveaways, and more. The only way to rectify our desperate reminiscing is to start look eagerly toward our upcoming events, which we’re definitely doing, don’t get us wrong.

But before we jump ahead, we have to spend at least a moment discussing the experience of our Four Seasons Connection Luncheon that was in December of 2018. Because that’s exactly what it was — an experience. Four Season‘s unparalleled elegance, the crisp, clean air of Santa Fe, and Alena Bard LLC.‘s wisdom all combined to create a truly moving afternoon.

Lucky for us, Keara Lloyd Photography was there to capture every moment, too, from the first course to the last lingering conversation. The former being, if you can believe it, warm quail on a bed of roasted fennel salad, decorated with a complimentary beet puree, roasted almonds, and white balsamic glazed blueberries. Then came the duel entrees: slow braised short ribs with green chile mashed potato, and chorizo and macadamia roasted Chilean sea bass.

Accompanying every bite was a light and refreshing sparkling wine that prepared the palette for our team’s personal favorite, the dessert: strawberry trifle with sponge cake, vanilla and Chantilly cream. The only thing that rivaled the dessert’s sweetness was the absolute treat of hearing local wedding planner Alena Bard LLC. share her knowledge to the group of local business owners. She talked finding your purpose, holding onto it, and weaving passion and self-compassion into your business practices. We walked away feeling filled to the brim with inspiration and delectable cuisine.

The best part of being positioned between local engaged couples and the businesses who serve them is being able to spoil both parties. For our engaged couples, it’s through our giveaways, wedding shows, online tools, print guide, etc., etc., etc. And for the local wedding professionals, who work so hard to elevate and evolve Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s market, it’s through indulgent, invigorating, innovative days like this.

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2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show Recap

Did you hear about the absolutely magical, high-energy, fun-filled, spectacular something that happened this past October? We hope you did, or even better, we hope you were one of the hundreds of local, engaged couples and wedding professionals who joined us for our 2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show!

Every year, we have the opportunity to host what is essentially a giant party, here in Albuquerque, for all our local engaged couples who are in the throes of wedding planning. And yes, we host lots of parties and wedding shows, but this one is the Diamond Dash, which makes it inherently special. See, if you don’t already know, this particular wedding show gets its name from the culminating moment of the show.

After engaged couples spend the day in the Hyatt Regency Downtown‘s vast and beautifully curated ballroom, chatting with local wedding professionals, winning prizes and coupons off services, watching a couture bridal fashion show, and spending their $500 in PWG Bucks, then comes the actual dash for diamonds.

This year, we invited 5 brides-to-be from the crowd of hundreds to come and don the signature aprons and tiaras required to jump into the baked goodness. Kindly made by Cake Fetish, the glamorously towering black wedding cake had, of course, diamond jewelry (valued at over $1,000) along with four other prizes hidden inside.

With their cake-diving gear on and ready to go, and the rest of the crowd anxiously awaiting the victory, the five awesome ladies tore into the beautiful cake and one by one, pulled out their prizes. We love the competitive spirit that comes out when diamond jewelry is involved, so when this year’s festivities resulted in some harmless catfighting, we were thrilled.

Check out all the incredible details from every vendor through the lens of Photographic Perspectives below, and take a peek at the live action with the incredible recap video from Glory Ranch Films! To register for the next Diamond Dash Wedding Show, click here!

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Bombshell Fitness: Where Your Bachelorette Party Needs To Be

Ain’t no party like a Bombshell Fitness party, ’cause a Bombshell Fitness party…accepts all bodies and bridal parties as beautiful and bountiful! And it doesn’t stop, either. (Not as catchy as the original phrase, sure, but it’s totally true, and that’s what matters.)

This past week, our amazing Social Media Maven, Keara, sat down with Jamie from Bombshell Fitness here in Albuquerque, New Mexico to chat bachelorette parties with the experts of fun and dancing. As with most local wedding professionals who serve bridal parties for their actual parties, Bombshell Fitness is high energy, maximum entertainment, and catered to YOU. (Proverbial you being our local engaged couples + brides-to-be, of course.)

In reality though, Bombshell Fitness is so much more than just being a killer spot for your bachelorette party. Which, we could have guessed, based on our many interactions with their perpetually kind team, but Jamie brought a whole new level of self-love and importance to the table.


Keara: The time before a wedding can be really hard on brides and their self esteem, do you think Bombshell can help brides with their confidence? 

Jamie: Absolutely! Bombshell Fitness is totally a judgement-free zone. We encourage all shapes, all sizes, all genders, all ages of women to come — and men too, of course. It helps everybody tap into that confidence deep down inside of you that’s just waiting for someone to help open it up, and allow for it to be acceptable.

Especially when we’re told we’re not meant to be sexy or desired — we’re trying to stay lowkey and stay away from the limelight. But this is what pole dancing is all about: putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, and accepting who you truly are.

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Keara: So, Bombshell Fitness won our 2018 PWG Elite Award for Best Unique Service — what is it that makes Bombshell unique? 

Jamie: So I think definitely our environment is what makes Bombshell a unique spot for brides, you know? We allow for bridal parties to explore a fun, sexy side; they get to learn new skills that they can use here or possibly take home for further use.

And then that gets them more excited to learn about body movement! Which means learning to be engaged with yourself, and loving yourself for whatever you have. Whether it’s a stretch mark, a roll, or something you’re not comfortable with, it’s about learning to be comfortable with what you have and understanding that people love you for what you have.

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Keara: What’s your favorite part about working with bridal parties in particular, then? 

Jamie: So, the thing that I really enjoy about our bridal parties is that we get a lot of excited people, right? From the moment they walk in the door, they’re ready and already in party-mode. They’re always giving the bride lots of love and attention, making sure anything she needs is taken care of.

I think that is super exciting to see how friends really come together to make sure the bride feels special. It’s hard for people sometimes! To really take the attention off of themselves and make it all about one person. So that’s really what I enjoy to see, is when friends can not be all about themselves, and just be all about the bride.

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You can contact Jamie with Bombshell Fitness for your super-fun, super-accepting, all-about-self-love, confidence-boosting bachelorette party here.

 

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Behind the Booth at Wedding Shows

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s several local wedding shows throughout the year, then you probably know they’re quite the production. Take our Diamond Dash show, for example, with it’s elaborate decor, fashion show, and signature cake-diving event. {Eep! The Diamond Dash on October 28th is right around the corner now, too!}

Our team can only take credit for a portion of the grandeur, because while it is a Perfect Wedding Guide event, the heart of the day comes from the local wedding professionals who fill up Hyatt Regency Albuquerque‘s ballroom with goodies, gifts, and great advice. Which isn’t always easy, and only comes to fruition with the hard work and dedication of these business owners. To make things a bit easier for our local wedding champions though, our team put together a few tips and tricks for local vendors to help their day run smoothly.

So hey there, wedding professionals, this one is for you! For our fellow wedding-lovers and engaged couples though, stick around and get a sneak peak into the love and determination from Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding experts have cultivated in order to be there, for you, on your special day. {Plus you can check out some of our favorite booths from past shows too — it’s some serious, real-life wedding inspo!}

30709080_10156428120149114_414624056717869056_oBooth from Shayla Edenfield Photography

Getting an edge on your next wedding show


 

  1. Arrive early.  Wedding shows are automatically one of the best places to rekindle old friendships, start new collaborations, grab breakfast together, and showcase your products/services to the active movers and shakers in the wedding community.  
  1. Stay late.  Some of the most serious brides/grooms will linger through to the end of the show (as well as stay after to chat it up with their fave connections).  Don’t pack up early! 
  1. Be the expert.  Don’t just showcase YOUR products and services but show that you’re well connected and knowledgeable by asking about the bride’s other chosen vendors, venue, and decisions about her wedding.  Comment, engage, and show your enthusiasm for her choices.

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39543483_10156761868899114_6295161865286713344_oBliss Salon and Spa
  1. Have a strategy.  Not only do you want to have a follow up strategy for AFTER the show, but you want to have a good strategy for obtaining “hot” leads DURING the show.  Are you taking notes?  Are they filling out a short form with you? Instead of mass “it was nice to meet you” emails, try to personalize your follow up with special details you’ve noted about their wedding.  
  1. Share away.  Be sure to announce in the weeks leading up to the show that you’ll be there (via emails to your brides, announce it on your website, and share on your social platforms).  It’s a great way to encourage couples to stop by your booth…especially for any potential clients that haven’t solidified their contract with you. And, what a great way to show your potential and current clients that you specialize in weddings and are well-connected amongst the wedding community. 
  1. Be interested.  Ask questions, be engaging, and create memorable conversations. 
27982749_10156221234314114_7243046454168666338_oCasi Sueno Weddings + Events
  1. Set the stage.  Don’t sit down….stand and engage with clients at eye level.  Don’t put your table at the front of your booth…put it behind you to create a more inviting experience and less of a barrier for conversation. 
  1. Do contests.  Create fun social media tagging contests for all guests (not just the bride) to engage in with universal gifts as the reward for the winner (such as a Target gift card).  What a great way to elevate your social media experience and magnify your exposure to not just the bride’s friends, but to the bride’s guest’s friends too!   
 39589181_10156761868524114_6922236238783053824_oWilliam Sonoma
25299069_10156054267149114_6931178646239364789_nCasa Rondena Winery
27629271_10156221231669114_7818767282779275304_oElla Blu Bridal
27797504_10156221231239114_946640457785056628_o.jpgBlack Swan Events

 

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A Bride’s Best Friend: Pups in Weddings

Can you imagine a world where you could bring your dog everywhere with you? We can’t know for certain, but we’d willing to wager that crime rates would lower, there’d be triple the number of weddings every year, and everyone would have clear skin and a smile on their face at all times. {We can dream, right?}

Until this world exists though, we’re all just going to have to keep spending as much time with our furry companions as we can. So why not sneak your pup into your wedding, too?! Yes they might steal the show, if we’re being honest, but if you can get past that then the added cuteness factor to your wedding is totally unparalleled.

{Now, we’re not saying we are unique in our love for dogs of all shapes and sizes. We know that, universally, dogs are the most wonderful creatures. But when it comes to dogs in wedding parties, well… We’re truly their #1 biggest fans. Don’t challenge us on that one.}

The recent resurgence of this puppy-in-the-wedding-party trend has us feeling all of the feels, so we picked out our three favorite ways that local photographers and wedding planners have been incorporating their engaged couples’ dogs into their wedding celebration. So scroll on to check them out, and let your little fur-ball know it’s time to get out their Sunday best!

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1.

Engagement photos! Your dog is an integral part of your family, we’re sure, so it’s only fair that they’re included in this glorious familial transition. As long as you have a photographer whose not afraid of a little fur, your best friend can be a part of one of the earliest steps of wedding planning. {Like Maura Jane Photography!}

dogsMaura Jane Photography

2.

Save the dates! Want your save the dates to stand out from all the other weddings of 2019/2020? Or do you need to entice your long-distance relatives and friends to make the trek out to New Mexico for your wedding? Or are you nervous about having your photo taken? Bring your dog! Problem solved.

 

29060021_1752693431459793_6142808557038248663_oBriana Nicole Photography

3.

Last but not least, the ceremony! Surely by now you’ve seen one of the many excruciatingly adorable photos and videos of dogs being teeny tiny ring bearers — we’ve definitely watched our fair share. But what if your pup isn’t exactly aisle-trained? Not a problem. It’s no longer necessary to have an assigned “role” for your dog, especially when there are florists like Charlotte’s Flowers to make a flower crown or lei. Then they match the color scheme of your wedding, and no one could possibly question their presence.

 

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1145de_69d287a5bd0149e1a612b94f1f252cf5~mv2_d_2343_3500_s_2Maura Jane Photography

 

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PWG Elite Awards: Vote Now!

While it’s true that we, the Perfect Wedding Guide team, do have some authority when it comes to showcasing Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals, we fully admit to not knowing everything. To stay humble, each year we reach out to hundreds of local engaged — or recently married couples — to get the full scoop on what it’s like to work with vendors like Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, or Prairie Star.

{Because, if we could get to see these professionals in action by having a wedding every weekend, we totally would. Unfortunately, half our team is already married.}

Then we take all this incredible info from real couples, and we bestow the Perfect Wedding Guide Elite Awards to the hardest working, kindest, and most deserving wedding vendors! And guess what?

Voting for 2018 is open NOW!

Here’s your chance to, with a few clicks, pass on all you learned while planning your own wedding, to other engaged couples! Your vote is essentially your recommendation to all the amazing love-birds of Albuquerque + Santa Fe. So if you really vibed with or were impressed by a wedding professional who worked to make your day special, here’s a super simple way to pass back some of the love they showed you!

{Not married yet? That’s alright too — feel free to vote for any vendors who have made your planning process a little more enjoyable, because that’s just as important too.}

You can vote for your favorite business owners HERE

Then, keep an eye peeled for the winners who will be announced later this year, and see if your fave team made the cut!

Oh yeah, and those amazing vendors we mentioned at the beginning of this post? {Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, and Prairie Star} They’re just a few of last year’s venerable winners. You can check out the rest of 2017’s PWG Elite Award Winners here, and follow the links included to book them for your wedding, too!

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now outdoor marriage engagement

Matt Blasing Photography

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now venue marriage Prairie Star ceremony

Prairie Star by Maura Jane Photography

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now officiant ceremony local award winner

Kelly Atkin, of Amor Ceremonies

 

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