Hot Air Balloon Styled Shoot with Tori Photography

The pre-spring winds here in New Mexico aren’t the only thing blowing us away today! Mimicking the buoyancy and uninhibited joy that is riding in a hot air balloon, this inspired shoot by Tori Photography has swept us off our feet. {Puns always intended.}

We have always been impressed with Tori, the creative behind Tori Photography of course, and her attention to detail… But this shoot has us stuck in a summer daydream! Splashes of vibrant primary colors contrasts energetically with the serene landscape of Tanoan Country Club, and the bursting bouquet frames the lighthearted couple perfectly.

Red, blue, and yellow pop off Tori Photography‘s stunning photos, Differently Designed‘s invitations, and Black Bow Event‘s tablescape. You can practically smell the honeysuckle that was surely blooming just out of frame, and feel the gentle summer breeze. Pairing Tori’s keen eye and innate ability to make her models comfortable, this shoot proves something we’ve known all along: Albuquerque + Santa Fe‘s creative collaborations always result in magic.

That, and that there is no wrong way to do a wedding! Straying from the traditional muted hues, lace edges, and sprigs of baby’s breath, this shoot stands out with it’s unapologetic vivaciousness and vitality. Now, there’s no need to throw out the lace entirely yet — because, c’mon, it’s beautiful — but let this out-of-the-box shoot change the way you think about your own future wedding. You can have anything your heart desires, no matter the theme, color palette, or style, and know that there are wedding professionals here in New Mexico who will make your dreams come true with elegance and perseverance.


Photography: Tori Photography
Video: Avid Pictures
Planner: Black Bow Events, LLC
Location: Tanoan Country Club
Flowers: Lavish Floral Boutique
HMU: C. Johnson Makeup
Invitations: Differently Designed
Couches: Darling Details Vintage Decor Rental Co.
Crown: Wild Grace Boutique
Cupcakes: Amanda J Moore & Smallcakes: A Cupcakery ABQ


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Devoted Love at Prairie Star {Video Feature}

Yes, yes, we did just feature a gorgeous wedding at Prairie Star. But what can we say? We’re suckers for the quiet serenity of the venue. Nestled in the Santa Ana Pueblo, the traditional adobe mansion is only a few minutes from downtown Albuquerque, and one of our favorite places to visit in New Mexico.

Prairie Star‘s stunning views and amazing team make every wedding + celebration there one for the books. If you really want to take advantage of the little slice of heaven though, the only way to make it even better is to pull in an equally incredible, just as local, entertainment company like COMPLETE Weddings + Events. Which Tara + Kevin did! {Not to mention, the other local vendors who came together as the cherry on top of a perfect day. Listed below!}

We’re so thankful that Luminance Wedding Films was there to capture their heartfelt + tastefully vintage wedding day. Cementing in memory the unparalleled way in which Prairie Star + COMPLETE collaborated to make Tara + Kevin’s day undeniably elegant and insanely fun — we’re just dying to share this Luminance wedding film with you all.

Turn up your volume, or pop in some headphones for this one. Maybe grab some tissues too, because Tara + Kevin’s radiating love and devotion is giving us — well, me, at least — some serious wedding fever.

Love You More….Tara {+} Kevin Wedding Short Film~Prairie Star from Luminance Wedding Films on Vimeo.


Cinematography | Luminance Wedding Films
Editing/Color Grading | Sarah Kanafani of Luminance Wedding Films
Venue | Prairie Star
Bridal Consultant | Vicki Newsom of Orange September
Photographer | Jones Photo Art
D.J. | Justin with COMPLETE Weddings + Events
Floral Design | Say Something Special With Flowers
Cake | Cake Fetish


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Jenna + Nestor’s Sweet + Classic Celebration

Now, we love all couples indiscriminately, it’s true. But there’s something particularly heart-warming about two best friends falling in love and committing their lives to one another. In this case, we’re so lucky to have had Nicole Bradshaw Photography there to capture all the sweetest moments in Jenna + Nestor’s big day!

The warm + caring couple married at Prairie Star here in Albuquerque, but had been best friends since their Freshman year in high school. With a deep friendship as the foundation for their love, the kindness they have toward one another is apparent at first sight. Nicole herself says, “They almost seemed to orbit around one another!”

Little pops of red scattered throughout Jenna’s bouquet and their wedding party’s attire made for a classic vibe for the day. An elegant sort of simplicity allowed for their love to truly be the focal point of the ceremony too. Not without their little details though, there were a few hidden things, making their day all the more meaningful and personal. {Like the tiny portrait charm of Jenna’s grandparents, which was fastened to the stem of her bridal bouquet.}

Thank you again to the ever-talented Nicole Bradshaw Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us! Somehow, we’re always stunned by her photographic eye, and the attention to composition and detail she shows her couples.



Thank you to all the hardworking vendors who made Jenna + Nestor’s day possible!

Photography | Nicole Bradshaw Photography

Ceremony Venue + Catering | Prairie Star 

Cake Designer | Christiana Romero {Jenna’s sister}

DJ | ICY Jams

Dress | Ann Mathews Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses | David’s Bridal

Groom’s Suit |Men’s Warehouse

Groomsmen’s Suits | Men’s Warehouse

Rings | Kay Jewelers


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Heritage Hotels {Vendor Spotlight}

For years now, Heritage Hotels has been offering local and out-of-state brides an incredible variety of spaces to choose from for their celebration. With each venue being unique in its own right, yet still intricately related to the culture that makes New Mexico so special, it’s no wonder they’ve hosted so many beautiful weddings. It’s also no surprise that we’re so very, very excited to welcome them to the Perfect Wedding Guide family!

Of the eleven incredible resorts and hotels — yes, you read that right, eleven! — it’s hard to pick our favorites. The Inn and Spa at Loretto showcases carefully curated art from local galleries, and even hosts artist residencies within it’s distinctly Santa Fean adobe walls. While the custom architecture of Hotel Albuquerque‘s grand lobby quite literally makes our jaws drop every time we have the pleasure of entering their doors. El Monte Sagrado, too, is impossible to not fall in love with — the high mountain retreat space has everything needed for a luxurious and unforgettable reprieve outside the city.

In fact, we almost feel badly for you darling brides, how could you pick one to get married in?! Can we make having 11+ different ceremonies for one wedding the new 2018 trend?

Though, your guests probably don’t have 11 different wedding outfits, so you’ll have to choose just one. If it helps, scroll on to get a quick taste of a few of their venues, and read what their guests have to say about each space. {If it doesn’t help, well, we understand. It’s like choosing a favorite child! The bright side is, every hotel + resort is impossibly beautiful and carefully staffed with kind people, so you really can’t go wrong.}



We were over the moon with our choice to have our wedding at the Eldorado hotel. Dan Liss and his staff were amazing and helped make our special day flawless and unforgettable. The La Capilla de oro chapel took everyone’s breath away! It is so beautiful and special, our guests were in awe. Our cocktail hour, reception and dinner also took place at the hotel. Everything was so elegant. I promise the Eldorado does not disappoint!!

Jessica, bride

Hotel Albuquerque


It was hands down the best place in Albuquerque to have a wedding. The hotel is beautiful, the outside garderns incredible and the wedding chapel romantic. The food was delicious and the service impeccable!

Samantha S., bride

El Monte Sagrado


My wife and I wanted to get married at El Monte for years. Their Intimate Wedding package included a ceremony in the Sacred Circle, the officiant, florist, and photographer. It included one night stay in the Taos Mountain rooms and a 4 course dinner with wedding cake. They created the perfect wedding for us. The location was beautiful, the dinner delicious and the officiant, florist and photographer made us feel special. They tailored their services to our wishes. I would do it all over again.

Lillian, bride

Inn and Spa at Loretto

Tony Gambino Photography

The Loretto was GORGEOUS! Perfect setting for our wedding! The staff was excellent and Vickie, Jen, Ludwig and Josephine were wonderful! It was a beautiful hotel and I’m so glad that our wedding was there! I loved it!

Lisa, bride

Thank you so much for joining our PWG family, Heritage Hotels!

Click the names of any venue for contact and booking information. To see even more of Heritage Hotel’s stunning spaces, you can visit them here.


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re putting together the final pieces of a V-Day scavenger hunt for your lover, or hibernating until the 15th when all the candy goes on sale, we have a little something for you. Come enjoy some of this visual deliciousness in honor of Valentine’s Day! We promise, this isn’t your typical holiday shoot.

Coryn Kiefer Photography, an East-coaster whose fallen in love with the Southwest, brought her 20+ years of photography experience and her unparalleled artistic visions together for this out-of-the-box Valentine’s shoot. Collaborating with some incredible local creatives to manifest a modern look on their model, the sequins and bursting blooms contrasted with their location perfectly. Shooting in the Juan Tabo Rock House, the combination of the two elements seemed to reflect Albuquerque as a whole: tied to a deep, rich history, but forward-thinking and always evolving.

Everything we do here at Perfect Wedding Guide is done for love, and we adore watching local businesses keep love at the forefront of their practices as well. So thank you, Coryn + team, for the sweetest peak into a shoot which helped to remind us how lucky we are to live and work here in New Mexico with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s most magnificent vendors. 

Wishing a wonderful Valentine’s Day to all of New Mexico’s darling engaged couples, business owners, and single-pringles too! Enjoy!

Rock House VDay Shoot_47Rock House VDay Shoot_11Rock House VDay Shoot_1

Bringing a bit of sparkle to the rustic New Mexico landscape with our Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day inspired shoot. With blankets on hand we hiked up through the snow to one of the remaining rock cabins nested amongst boulders in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. The modern bridal fashion of a rose gold sequin dress and brilliant blooms brought warmth to the abandoned cabin built over 90 years ago. It is believed that the name Sandia, which is Spanish for watermelon, was given to the mountains for the pinkish color they turn at sunset which our dress and blooms complemented beautifully.

Coryn, Coryn Kiefer Photography

Rock House VDay Shoot_65Rock House VDay Shoot_49Rock House VDay Shoot_44Rock House VDay Shoot_93

Thank you to each + every vendor who turned this vision into a reality!

Photography | Coryn Kiefer Photography

Floral | Stephanie Yardman

MUA | Betty Rose by Alanna

Hair | Joshua Halladay 

Rings | Shelton Jewelers 

Dress | Honey Qiao


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Spilling the Beans {Part Two!}

You might remember our post Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets from last month — super sneaky budgeting tricks ring a bell? Or never-before-heard pro-tips? Well, we’re back with more! In a never-ending quest to make dreams come true for New Mexico’s wedding professionals and local engaged couples, we decided throw even more wedding planning advice at you.

Coming straight from the mouths of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s top wedding vendors, the following tips are money-saving, stress-reducing, fun-inducing guaranteed. But don’t take our word for it, scroll on, then call up your local vendors and put them to use!

Maura Jane Photography
Maura Jane Photography

Your Photos

When choosing a photographer first look at the different styles that each photographer offers and narrow it down to ones that really vibe with your taste and personality. A lot of photographers offer beautiful trendy photos with lots of filters and moodiness which is something we do not do. While our shooting style is natural and romantic, our editing style is clean and classic, so when you look at your photos 10 years from now you still love them just as much as the first day you saw them.

Maura Jane Photography


Pennysmiths Paper

On Paper

We can do as little or a much as you need for your wedding invitations. You can buy the paper from us and print them yourself. You can even bring in your own design that we would be more than happy to print.  You can have us design, print, assemble, address and even go to the post office for you!

Pennysmith’s Paper



The Experience

One of our biggest secrets is centered around your event experience. We always strive to give more value than contracted. Sometimes it includes additional gear for sound or lighting, or maybe it’s a custom monogram or our 360 media guru footage. It’s always something that enhances your event experience beyond the original scope. Going the extra mile isn’t extra, it’s who we are.

Cutmaster Music



Last, but certainly not least!

For big weddings, an open air photo booth is a must. Whether you’re taking a quick snap with your bestie or capturing your entire wedding party, it’s the versatility you will depend on. On the other hand, a traditional, enclosed booth may be more fitting for an intimate celebration. Never be afraid to ask for references from either your venue or your photographer and be sure to follow up with an interview! Book early because typically dates fill up fast.  And give your guests a challenge + have fun with it! Have your guests do things like tell a story in three pictures, get a picture with the mother of the bride or the loudest person at the wedding. It gets the guests to laugh more and branch out to mingle!

Selfie Sensations


Check out our first set of tips + tricks for more advice on your big day here!


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Erin + Zach’s Timeless Celebration

It was easy to see that Erin carries herself with such class, and Zach is absolutely smitten with everything about her.  I knew right away that their wedding day would be filled with poise and joy, and I was absolutely right.

Kayla Kitts Photography

— And boy, was Kayla right! Living vicariously through our photographers isn’t always ideal. If we could, we would totally dedicate our lives to attending all the incredible weddings that happen in our city.  Luckily for us though, Kayla makes it easy to pretend we’re right there, in this case, at Casas de Suenos.

{Because, well, we can’t retire and become perpetual wedding attendees quite yet.}

Capturing the even the tiniest details and expressions, Kayla paints us a perfect picture of Erin + Zach’s stunning wedding. As a focal point, Erin’s high-neck, retro-but-classic gown set the tone for the ceremony. Timeless and stylish in any era or locale, it’s a lot like the love between the happy couple. After meeting in Colorado, moving to Arizona, and celebrating their union in New Mexico, it’s pretty obvious that Erin + Zach’s love knows no geographical bounds.

They fell in love quickly too, which makes their story even sweeter. Don’t we all dream of that one person that, upon first glance, know we’ll be making whiskey toasts to at our wedding, some years later? Now, I can’t guarantee that was what went through Zach’s mind when he met Erin, but the unbridled adoration he has for her makes it clear — their love is one for the books.

A very special thank you to one of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s finest photographers for letting us sneak in on their day. To Casas de Suenos {and every other darling vendor as well!} thank you for collaborating together to make this travelin’ couple’s dreams come true here, in our home state.


Thank you again to the vendors who made this day possible!

Venue  |  Casas de Suenos
Dress  |  David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  Salon Helena
Florist  |  Enchanted Garden
Shoes  |  Amazon
Jewelry  |  Brides Family
Paper Products  |  The American Wedding
Suit  |  Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Jim Hering
Cake  |  ABC Bakery
DJ  |  Dream Factory Productions


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico