The Big Fake Wedding

It’s no secret that when small businesses in New Mexico come together magic happens. We, your dutiful Perfect Wedding Guide team, have seen it with our own eyes time and time again. From local styled shoots straight from heaven, to real weddings that make large-scale celebrations seem effortless, to the all-out fantastical displays resurrected from dust in mere minutes at our wedding shows – you don’t have to sell us on New Mexico wedding professionals. We’re already straight up fangirls.

So when we caught wind that The Big Fake Wedding would be venturing out to our southwestern state, it came as no surprise. The traveling wedding show has been garnering popularity since they first got their start in 2008, and the landscapes alone make New Mexico an easy sell. Not to mention, The Big Fake Wedding is an alternative to the wedding shows we know and love, which offers our community something new to reinvigorate the wedding planning process.

By arranging their event to mimic an actual wedding, the attendees – who were local engaged couples – got to sit in on The Big Fake Wedding as if they were actual wedding guests. With a stunning stand-in bridal party and every detail planned meticulously, the engaged couples who participated got to sit back and watch the magic happen in real time.

https://www.perfectweddingguide.com/listing/cloak-photography-178247/
Cloak Photography

As time drew nearer for the event to take place, it became clear that it was going to be something truly special. Each local business that decided to commit to collaborating on this project had already proved themselves as dedicated and creative wedding professionals. Knowing that businesses like The Cake Boutique –who would be crafting up something spectacular to look at and eat – and For the Love of Flowers with their renowned floral artistry, would be there? And it was going to be at one of our absolute favorite venues, Nature Pointe? Well, we were nearly bursting at the seams with excitement by the time the day arrived.

Jennifer and Jose Exchange Vows
Bri-lliancy Photography

We’d like to say the day was exactly as wonderful as we’d imagine it would be, but we have to be honest. No matter the prep, no matter the insider knowledge we had about the event, and no matter the counting down the days, nothing could have properly prepared us for how lovely The Big Fake Wedding actually was.

bride, groom, new mexico wedding decor, new mexico cookies, wedding table
Alysha Lee Photography
cake, new mexico wedding cake, new mexico florists, orange cake, red cake, green cake, new mexico weddings
Cloak Photography
new mexico wedding decor, pressed flowers, wedding table, wedding flowers, new mexico wedding
Cloak Photography

And of course, now that the time has passed, words fail us as well. Only photos from local wedding photographers like Cloak Photography, Bri-lliancy Photography, and Alysha Lee Photography could capture the magic that we knew was coming, but still exceeded our expectations. We are still officially in awe.

bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, new mexico wedding, new mexico florist, outdoor wedding, new mexico wedding venues
Bri-lliancy Photography
new mexico florist, pink and orange bouquet, boho wedding, red and orange wedding, roses, wedding roses, new mexico wedding
Bri-lliancy Photography
bride, groom, reception, wedding reception venues new mexico, hotel andaluz, for the love of flowers, new mexico weddings
Bri-lliancy Photography
balloons, mr and mrs balloons, floral backdrop, bride and groom kiss, new mexico wedding decor, casi sueno, pink and white flowers
Cloak Photography
Venue: Nature Pointe
Music: Cello for weddings/Ryan Smith Cello Music
Cake: The Cake Boutique
Floral: For the Love of Flowers
Floral Wall: Wall of Enchantment
Balloon Décor: On the Rise Balloon Shop
Hair & Makeup: Genica Lee, MUA
Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie
Rings: Hitched (Groom) & Ooh! Aah! Jewelry (Bride)
Design: Casi Sueno Weddings & Events, My Beloved Vintage Rentals
Photography: Cloak Photography, Bri-lliancy Photography, Alysha Lee Photography
Photo Booth: Magic Mirror
Event Coordination: Black Bow Events
Décor+Signage: Letters & Such
Bar + Mixology: ABQ Barkeeps
Bridal Gown: Renee’s Bridal

Featured header photo is by Cloak Photography

All other lovely vendors can be found here.

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Albuquerque’s 6 Best Ballrooms

When outdoor weddings first started gaining popularity several years ago, no one in New Mexico was surprised. Why wouldn’t we, especially here in our home state, have outdoor weddings?! With a myriad of differing landscapes — all responsible for inspiring countless artists — and a mild, predictable desert climate, there’s not much else you need for a fantastic al fresco celebration here.

Even with all the perks and predictability though, New Mexico isn’t immune to the forces of nature. It’s true our springs are a bit windy, and yes, temperatures do drop in the evenings and during the winter months. So while barnyard, fresh field, and riverside weddings stayed in vogue, the quiet and classic champion of weddings — ballrooms! — persisted.

And thank goodness they did! The timeless elegance of a grand ballroom has come back en vogue, and the indoor spaces across Albuquerque still stand proudly. Hosting receptions, ceremonies, and celebrations of all kinds, the ballrooms in our city easily make all who enter forget about the world outside their doors. With the comfort and ease of an indoor space with dedicated event staff, a hefty amount of wedding-day jitters and stress can be relieved as well.

So for the winter weddings, urban vibes, and modern brides alike, we’ve compiled 6 of Albuquerque’s most loved indoor ballroom spaces. While varying decor and aesthetics differentiate these local wedding venues, the uniting factor between all 6 is their impeccable attention to detail and on-staff wedding experts available for each celebration. You can’t go wrong!

1. Isleta Resort & Casino

Alicia Lucia Photography

See more of what Isleta Resort has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

2. Albuquerque Sheraton Uptown

The Youngrens Photography

See more of what Sheraton Uptown has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

3. Embassy Suites

Photography by Patti Cooke and Francisco Roybal

See more of what Embassy Suites has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

4. Sandia Casino and Resort

Matt Blasing Photography

See more of what Sandia Casino & Resort has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

5. Hyatt Regency Downtown 

Briana Nicole Photography

See more of what Hyatt Regency Downtown has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

6. Hotel Andaluz

Tori Photography 

See more of what Hotel Andaluz has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

5 Venue Shopping Tips From a Venue {Guest Post}

There’s always so much talk of venues in the wedding world, including here with Perfect Wedding Guide. But when it comes to your celebration of love, your venue really is one of the most important items on your planning list — without one, there’s no wedding! Which is why we have Courtney, with Nature Pointe, here to make your venue shopping experience as smooth as can be with some time-tested tips.


5 Venue Shopping Tips

MBPhotography7

Hi guys! I hope that you’re day so far has been wonderful. If we haven’t had the pleasure, my name is Courtney Brooks, and I’m the Venue Director at Nature Pointe Weddings and Events. It’s my job to make sure that your wedding planning process is as stress free as possible. 

image1-17
T. Rayne Photography

In my opinion, there’s nothing better at combating stress than knowledge. As a Venue Director, I’m here today to share my experiences with you and instill a sense of calm. Here are my 5 venue shopping tips:

1. Wedding Sales Representatives are Not Used Car Salesmen

Please do not let the sales portion of our title scare you. Every Wedding Sales Representative that I’ve worked with in New Mexico has the same goal, and guess what, that goal is not making a sale! Our goal is to make sure that you book the venue that best suits your vision and budget.

What does this mean for you? Be honest with us, talk about your budget, and ask questions even if you think they are silly. Yes, of course we’d love to work with you, but if we aren’t the venue for you, we’ll be honest too.

 

image2-19
Nicole Bradshaw Photography

2. Bring a Camera

Most likely you’ll be touring many different wedding venues over several days or even weeks. After all is said and done, it can be hard to recall which venue featured what services. Bringing along a camera will be a tremendous help in recalling the finer details.

 

image3-21

3. If Possible, Ask to Walk Around the Venue On Your Own

The first time you walk through a venue it will often be a guided tour. During this time, certain features will be pointed out and you’ll be encouraged to see the building in a particular light. Walking around again gives you the chance to see it for yourself. Ask yourself, “is this where I see myself getting married?”

 

image4-23
Matt Blasing Photography

4. Bring Along Your Inspiration

If you have a Pinterest page, saved Google images, or cutouts in bridal magazines bring them along for the tour. Many venues, like Nature Pointe Weddings and Events, can provide or rent centerpieces and décor. Having your inspiration there allows you to ask the representative if they have similar décor on hand and if you can see it.

 

image5-25
Nicole Bradshaw Photography

5. Follow Up

This is true of any wedding vendor that you contact. Follow up with them and let them know where you are in the decision making process. We hate to be annoying, but truly don’t know if you are receiving our correspondences and so we reach out several times out of necessity.

 

image6-27

Thanks for lending your ear (or in this case your eye) to me for a moment. Keep these tips in mind while shopping around and save yourself some stress!

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Wedding Venue Hotspots in New Mexico {Part Two!}

Yep, it’s back already! If you missed our first round, you’ll definitely want to pop on over to the Wedding Venue Hotspots, Part One post. If you didn’t miss it, then we’re sure you’re on the edge of your seat for this post, just like we are! The variety of venues, vibes, and values available makes the New Mexico wedding-space scene one of our favorite sources of inspiration. From traditional adobe and colorful cathedrals, to modern farmhouses and rugged rail yards, the options are endless here.

Then, as you might imagine, trying to choose only 18 of our top wedding ceremony and reception venues seemed nearly impossible! Luckily, from our little perch here in the local wedding community, we’ve been able to cultivate awesome business friendships with the creative teams who run wedding venues in New Mexico. So it actually turned out to be pretty easy to choose, considering all of our favorites also have staffs who are dedicated to excellence, and stellar reputations to precede them.

Enough with the flattery though, let’s jump back into our curated list!

Hacienda Dona Andrea

HDA-259
Shayla Edenfield Photography

Hacienda Dona Andrea is nestled in the hills 25 miles outside of Santa Fe and one of the hottest, and most private, spots to get married in New Mexico. The 13,000 square-foot old-world estate offers glowing mountain views, ceremony and reception spaces. Their nine deluxe bedrooms allow for up to 30 of your closest family and friends to stay with you while making lifelong memories during your special weekend. The hacienda is rented exclusively to one party at a time. Couples can plan their wedding their way with chairs, tables, and tableware rentals onsite and free choice of outside vendors. You get your wedding and the whole hacienda, too.

 

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town

HAOTBigPhoto
Blue Rose Photography

Whether it’s a magnificent formal reception or an intimate outdoor event, Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town offers a flexible and elegant array of wedding and reception spaces that can fulfill your vision. The property has more than 62,000 sq. ft. of event space, including two state-of-the-art grand ballrooms and gracefully landscaped gardens with fountains, rose arbors, lawn courts, and a Victorian-style pavilion. The centerpiece of Hotel Albuquerque is the 19th-century style non-denominational chapel, San Isidro de Capilla, which seats 156 guests under a soaring vaulted beam ceiling. Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town’s memorable settings are the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding.

 

Hotel Chaco

ChacoBigPhoto2
Emily Joanne Wedding Films & Photography 

Albuquerque’s newest luxury hotel, Hotel Chaco, offers spectacular panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains, downtown Albuquerque, and historic Old Town. Designed by the world renowned architectural firm, Gensler, the uniquely contemporary spaces are perfect for intimate and grand events. The Terrace Suite is ideal for a grand outdoor event and the serene courtyard and gardens are perfect for a quaint wedding ceremony, with additional ceremony space available at the adjacent Hotel Albuquerque at Old town. This exciting space is unlike any rooftop ceremony and reception venue in Albuquerque. 

 

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces

HELCSmallPhoto2
Lauren’s Photography

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces has a Spanish and Mexican Colonial ambiance and offers couples sophisticated wedding venues. Up to 500 guests can be accommodated in the tasteful San Andreas Ballroom, while the smaller San Rafael Ballroom can fit up to 200. Weddings can also be held at one of the several beautiful outdoor spaces, with palm trees, fountains, and colorful flowers. The events lawn, adjacent to the elegant pool, the Jardín Sagrado Event Garden, and the stylish Azul Lounge patio are all perfect for receptions and ceremonies. The unique settings at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces feature old world charm with modern amenities to make your special day perfect and memorable. 

 

Hyatt Regency Downtown Albuquerque

BNP_4886
Briana Nicole Photography

Hyatt Regency downtown Albuquerque is a historically urban venue for your wedding ceremony and reception. Our Whyte Room is a blank canvas to design your dream ceremony or reception. Experience our unique ABQ, city-vibe with a touch of contemporary, and a dash of elegance…all that’s left is your signature. 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Dramatic New Mexican Skies with Local Wedding Professionals

Like all our favorite things — wine, cheese, Golden Girls reruns — the Perfect Wedding Guide Diamond Dash just continues to get better with age. Which, if you happened to catch any of our stories or posts from Sunday on social media, you’ll know it was one for the books! The energy and liveliness of the wedding show paralleled no other, and left us feeling inspired, reinvigorated, and so grateful to be a part of the local wedding community here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe.

With another round of wedding shows down for the entire year as well, we can’t help but to reflect on what made 2018 so spectacular. For us, it was undoubtedly the wedding professionals, like the ones who brought their A-game to the Diamond Dash, who we have the chance to support and be supported by. Being members of the New Mexico Wedding Professionals, or NMWP for short, is just one of the ways we get to do so, by working with and for the small businesses owners who make up the group of experts.

And when we say experts, we mean it. Florists, officiants, venues, photographers — if you can name it, there’s a dedicated member of NMWP who can do it. So when this styled shoot came to fruition from their wedding-obsessed minds, we were absolutely swooning.

With the stage set at The View Event Center — whose booth at the Diamond Dash was gorgeous, by the way — Kevin’s Photography captured the urban magic of the venue perfectly. Charlotte’s Flowers, one of the many talented wedding veterans of Albuquerque + Santa Fe, arranged the gorgeous modern bouquets, while Bridal Elegance by Darlene and Suits Unlimited outfitted the couple.

We had a wonderful time capturing the essence of a wedding day at this beautiful venue! The eclectic decor was a perfect setting for the elegant styles of the bridal outfits and flowers, each working together for a unique photo shoot every bride dreams of. The dramatic New Mexico skies presented a perfect background for this couple from the wrap around balcony overlooking the picturesque city of Albuquerque! Appreciation to all who participated in sharing their time and talents.

Kevin, Kevin’s Photography

We second that Kevin! So much appreciation to all who participated in the styled shoot, and continue to serve local, engaged couples with their wedding expertise and industry knowledge.

 

NMWP1

NMWP2

NMWP3

NMWP4

NMWP5

NMWP6

NMWP7

NMWP8

Concept: New Mexico Wedding Professionals

Venue: The View Event Center

Photographer: Kevin’s Photography

Florals: Charlotte’s Flowers

Decor: Simply Decor & Events

Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Suits Unlimited

Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Hair + Makeup: Bliss Salon & Spa

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

The Sweetest Day: Dennis + Michelle’s Real Wedding

Just a few months ago, as spring was beginning it’s transition into yet another sunny New Mexican summer, a parallel transition was happening at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Albuquerque. Michelle + Dennis, whose love began a long time ago, ushered in the evolution of their relationship from fiancées to newlyweds, while framed by the pristine, white chapel at the Hyatt Regency.

There to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment was Albuquerque’s very own, Bryan’s Photography, and we’re so glad. Michelle + Dennis have a love story that matches their wedding — timeless, exuberant, elegantly celebratory — and with Bryan’s Photography there to preserve each special moment in time, we’re able to relive the joyous occasion as if we were there with the couple.

Though the details of the wedding — splashes of gold, luxurious white bouquets, full-bellied laughter, undeniable fun — jump out from the photos, perhaps the most endearing and inspiring part of Dennis + Michelle’s story is exactly that: their story. Which, luckily for us, Michelle wrote about for our Fall/Winter edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine, and now, we get to share with you!

Scroll on to read about how Dennis + Michelle came to be husband and wife {spoiler, it’s incredible} and to contact the local wedding professionals who made their celebration possible. {Spoiler, they’re also incredible.}

Bryans_095

Bryans_022

Dennis and I dated 14 years ago, and when we realized that fate had brought us back together after a long journey of searching for that happiness that people so rarely find, we knew it had to be special. We wanted to host an evening of fun and elegance for our friends and family to celebrate our reunion and our love. The Hyatt Regency Downtown was the perfect venue for our ceremony and reception, providing a backdrop of modern elegance. Nothing spoke to our dream wedding more than the classics like the black tux with bow tie and stunning décor. We kept it modern and trendy by incorporating items like ahi poke (a tribute to our favorite place Kauai), champagne Jello squares studded with flecks of 14k gold and a casino night, making the evening uniquely us! It was very important to me to bring on my very own “dream team” of wedding professionals that I have had the pleasure of working with for several years. The evening was exactly how I imagined, it was full of love, laughter and the beginning of my life with the man that I know I am meant to be with.

-Michelle, Bride

Bryans_387

Bryans_371

Bryans_461

Bryans_336

Venue: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque

Photographer: Bryan’s Photography

Bridal Gown: Suzanne’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Jewelry: Shelton Jewelers

Flowers: Something Special with Flowers

Décor: Occasion Services and Events

Wedding Cake: Casey Trent

DJ: Complete Weddings + Events

Photobooth: ABQ Amusements

Lighting: Heritage Audio Visual

Casino Night Vendor: On the Go Casino

Reception Place Cards: Differently Designed

 

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local