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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McKinney, Texas Wedding at The Cotton Mill: Amanda + James

Returning to the Lone Star State for their April wedding was a no-brainer for Amanda and James. And what better place to say “I do” than a historic landmark like The Cotton Mill in McKinney, Texas? With so many gorgeous details and settings to capture throughout this stunning venue, Maura Jane Photography was the perfect choice!

With an eye for detail, illustrious talent and a unique perspective, they knew Maura would deliver — and deliver, she did. Capturing everything from the beautiful landscapes and distinctive architecture of The Cotton Mill to the intimate moments shared between the lovely pair in hidden portals and secret garden courts with flowing angelic fountains.

Their romantic color palette, with various shades of purple and grey, was the perfect tribute to the industrial tones of The Cotton Mill. The soft purple hues of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the natural pastels of the wild and whimsical garden bouquets by Dream Petals Floral added the perfect finishing touches for a dreamy spring wedding.

Amanda and James came back to Texas to tie the knot in the beautiful town of McKinney at the stunning Cotton Mill. Every detail was executed perfectly and looked flawless against The Cotton Mill’s industrial meets rustic backdrop. James’ favorite color of purple was used in different shades throughout the decor as well as the bridesmaids’ mismatched gowns and the eclectic bouquet Amanda carried down the aisle by Dream Petals Floral.

The couple put such thought into each and every detail. Adorable signs with love quotes were scattered throughout the entire venue and metal hoops adorned with flowers were hung above the head table. Amanda made sure the dance floor was fit to accommodate her fun loving guests who let loose the entire evening. It was only fitting, as Amanda and James met on the dance floor at a dance hall saloon where James two-stepped his way right into her heart.

To capture their love story was such an honor.

— Maura, Maura Jane Photography

Photos of Maura Jane Photography
Congratulations, Amanda and James!
Check out this amazing video of their wedding by Motion Blur Films:
 Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:
Venue: The Cotton Mill | Photographer: Maura Jane Photography | Dress: LeeAnne’s Bridal | Flowers: Dream Petals Floral | DJ: Uptown Sound | Catering: Pappasito’s | Cake: Bliss Cupcakes & Confections | Hair + Makeup: Beauty By Erica | Video: Motion Blur Films
For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

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

Pretty in Pink + White Wedding: Vanessa + Jaimé

Earlier this year, Vanessa and Jaimé tied the knot with a romantic ceremony and gorgeous reception at Isleta Resort & Casino on April 29, 2017, for a perfectly pastel spring wedding. Everything was simple, yet classy and oh so posh. Vanessa chose blush pink and white for her color pallet with a touch of lace and sparkles and a whole lotta glam!

The entire family was dressed to the nines with dusty pink dresses for the ladies and dashing grey suits for the gents from our favorite, Suits Unlimited. And did I mention the dress!? — oh my, the dress! The long, cascading train fanned out to create the most dramatic and stunning effect as Vanessa walked down the aisle.

The amazing photographer to capture this picture perfect wedding was Sandra Tafoya of Photographic Perspectives. As usual, Sandra did an incredible job of capturing and documenting Vanessa and Jaimé’s love story from start to finish. Shining through in every photo, their love for each other and their family is the perfect recipe for a happily ever after.

When we think of weddings, we typically picture a happy couple, which Vanessa and Jaime definitely are. But when I think of this special day, I can’t help but remember the joy on their daughters’ faces as their parents said I do! My favorite pics are of them dancing and the two of them on the golf course.

— Sandra, Photographic Perspectives

Photos by Photographic Perspectives

Congratulations, Vanessa and Jaimé!

Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Isleta Resort & Casino | Photographer: Photographic Perspectives | Men’s Attire: Suits Unlimited | Flowers: Bride

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

Mountainside Elopements: Nature’s Sanctuary

One of the many things I love about New Mexico are the varying landscapes within its borders. As you travel along the highway, you can pass through everything from deserts, farmland and open meadows of the Valles Caldera to majestic mountain peaks of the Sandias and Sangre de Cristos, all within a matter of hours. With such beautiful scenery across our diverse state, there is ample opportunity for romantic elopements.

If you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget (or not) and would rather bypass all the stress of a large wedding anyway, a whimsical outdoor elopement is perfect for you! Mountainside elopements are one of the hottest trends on the wedding scene — and for good reason. Not only are they naturally beautiful and fun, they are completely budget friendly. And with a wide variety of climates and landscapes to choose from in our gorgeous state, you don’t have to be limited to mountainsides.

First off, you still get to plan all the fun stuff like a wedding dress, bridal bouquet, photographer and wedding cake to complete your epic celebration. Lucky for you, New Mexico is home to amazing photographers and officiants who live for adventurous moments like this. Secondly, you get to save a ton of money on decorations because nature provides the best and most beautiful decor (no setup necessary). More importantly, your venue will cost so much as a day pass, if anything at all!

Another cool thing is that you get to share this special occasion with your closest family and friends — if, that is, you decide to include others. With a mountainside elopement, the pressure is off and you are free to plan and execute your wedding however you see fit! Check out this amazing mountainside elopement captured by Matt & Tish Photography at the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Photos by Matt & Tish Photography

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

Shine Brightly with Moon & Midnight Photography

Based in Los Lunas, New Mexico, Moon & Midnight Photography is your exclusive, up and coming photographer in the 505! Behind the lens of Moon & Midnight Photography is the young and talented Caroline Mendoza, who has been snapping photos since the ripe old age of four — and has a long history of photographs throughout her young life to prove it!

You may be wondering how she came up with such a unique name for her growing business and the reasoning behind her decision is so darling. Moon and Midnight are actually the middle names of her two children, Mela Moon and Matius Midnight. Aside from her unique business name, however, there are endless other reasons Caroline is the right woman for the job.

For one, Caroline is super sweet and outgoing. By the time you finish your photo shoot, not only will you be planning your next session just to hang out with her, you will want her to be your BFF! Don’t believe me? In a world where reviews mean everything, her reviews say it all. On Facebook alone, she literally has 74 reviews (and counting), all of which are FIVE stars!

As a master of her domain, it’s easy to see why so many locals book Moon & Midnight Photography for all their major milestones. Caroline specializes in portrait and wedding photography, but she also does amazing work for graduates, engaged couples, maternity and children, families, professionals, fashion as well as editorial style photography, as you can see.

Best of all, her services are completely affordable. Seriously, Caroline offers some of the best prices I’ve seen in the wedding industry. Not knowing the prices of photographers can be very stressful, but one of the things I love about Moon & Midnight is that they are upfront about your investment. While prices vary by category, children’s sessions start as low as $60.

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

— Aaron Siskind

Photos by Moon & Midnight Photography

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