One Last Sweet Summer Wedding from Kayla Kitts Photography

Happy Fall, wedding-lovers! Are you ready for crisp mornings, warm wedding colors, and the changing of leaves? We definitely thought we were. Seems like we’ve been waiting all summer for the temperatures to finally drop, and now that the solstice is just behind us, we’re already missing the long, sunny days!

In honor of the bountiful summer months — or as wedding experts know it as, wedding season — we’re swooning over this shimmering gold wedding from Kayla Kitts Photography. Monica + Andrew’s beautiful day is the perfect testament to New Mexican summers: baked in the celebration of love, laughter shining through the air, and a rich history of friendship and triumph that paved the way to this union.

Andrew and Monica are high school sweethearts, and a couple who are filled to the brim with fun, laughter, and a whole lotta awesomeness. Something about them makes you feel so comfortable, so happy – like you could chit-chat and hang with them all day.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

An array of pinks and peaches, ranging from dusty to delicate, adorned Monica’s bridesmaids, framing her in the familiar hues of an early desert sunrise. Eucalyptus, fresh as always and reminiscent of summer nights, sprouted out from their bouquets offering little slivers of greenery between the roses.

No metaphor truly encapsulates the jovial vitality of Monica + Andrew’s June wedding, though. Luckily, not many are needed as Kayla Kitts Photography‘s dedicated documentation of the day transcends your typical photographs. We can practically smell the ephemeral summer rain, which graced their Albuquerque venue briefly, and feel the love between the couple.

To book Kayla Kitts Photography + her keen creative eye for your wedding, you can contact her here. Book the local wedding professionals who manifested Monica + Andrew’s dream wedding in to a reality below.

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Their special day was full of excitement, support…and, a little bit of a road bump; the forecast predicted rain throughout the entire day. But, as I knew they would – Andrew and Monica rolled with it. They took deep breaths, crossed fingers hard, and hoped for the best. And the best is what we got! The clouds parted at just the right moment – and gave us the most perfect portrait time until it started sprinkling and A + M snuggled under the umbrella, and all was absolutely dreamy.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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This wedding’s magic-makers:

Photographer: Kayla Kitts Photography 

Ceremony: San Felipe de Neri 

Reception: Hyatt Regency Downtown Albuquerque

Dress: Bridal Elegance by Darlene 

Hair & Makeup: Lucy Garcia with Honeycomb 

Florist: Enchanted Garden 

Invitations: Pennysmiths 

Shoes: Dillards 

Jewelry & Rings: Enchanted Jewelers 

Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse 

Officiant: Andy Pavlak 

Cake: Bizzy B Cakes 

DJ: Cutmaster Music

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Best Outdoor Venues in Albuquerque

Here’s the thing about New Mexico: it’s very easy to forget how lucky we are living in this state, especially when it comes to the weather. {Yes, we know it’s been pretty toasty lately, but take a trip somewhere a little closer to sea level and you’ll be missing the dry heat, we promise.}

It’s true that our lovely desert climate — minus the windy spring season — is relatively mild all year long.  Even when it rains, seasoned New Mexicans rest assured knowing it’ll only last 5 minutes, 10 maximum. Which, obviously, makes this state one of the best places for an outdoor wedding! If we had to guess, that’s probably why we’re blessed with so many options for outdoor ceremony and reception venues.

How do you choose though, when they’re all so lovely? Well, research of course. But even then, sometimes a venue seems perfect on screen, but might not measure up in person. Which is why we took the liberty of choosing five of our favorites to showcase here, for you. While there are many more incredible venues in New Mexico aside from these five, these are venues we’ve visited, spent time in, and even hosted events in some! So we can say, with the utmost confidence, that these venues will not disappoint.

{Plus we thew in some of the always invaluable reviews + opinions from local brides too, just in case you need a little extra assurance.}


Casa Rondeña

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Casa Rondeña, a gorgeous and fully-functional winery in the heart of the South Valley, has more charm than you’d think even possible for just one venue. With indoor spaces available as well, the possibilities for indoor-outdoor receptions and ceremonies are {almost} endless!

The venue is absolutely gorgeous, and though we don’t have our professional pictures back, even the pictures our guests took are breathtaking. They went on Facebook where everyone just oohed and aahed over how gorgeous the lawn of the 1629 Club is, and how beautifully everything reflects off the water there.

-Heather, bride

For availability at Casa Rondeña, you can book the venue here.


Prairie Star

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Maura Jane Photography

Prairie Star, you beautiful venue, you! The serenity at this venue is very much unrivaled, as the space is nestled in the quiet of the Santa Ana Pueblo and is surrounded by rolling hills of lush greenery. Punctuating the property is the proud adobe mansion, whose regality is also unparalleled.

I choose this venue mostly for the scenery. When I found it, I fell in love. Even better, it’s so reasonably priced compared to other venues. I received so many compliments on the location, it was beautiful. […] I am so incredibly glad I found this place and got to have my ceremony and reception here. Also, it’s very convenient to have a place where you can have the ceremony outside and reception inside!

-Alexandria, bride

For availability at Prairie Star, you can book the venue here.


Hacienda Dona Andrea

Ashley Davis Photography
Ashley Davis Photography

Honestly, of all the venues in all the world, Hacienda Dona Andrea just might be the most romantic. With old-world vibes, hand-crafted details, and stunning views, this venue is a perfectly secluded escape from reality for you and your soon-to-be spouse.

The place decorates itself – the architecture is southwestern and unique. the views are gorgeous and the place is perfectly secluded, yet there is still access to the funky little town of Madrid close by. We couldn’t have picked a better spot for our intimate family wedding. The team at the Hacienda made planning from a distance very easy for us and we were well taken care of. We are truly so happy with our choice to get married at Hacienda Dona Andrea!

-Alexis, bride

For availability at Hacienda Dona Andrea, you can book the venue here.


El Monte Sagrado

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Chrisi K Photography

Oh, El Monte Sagrado, where to even begin? Photos of the property showcase quite clearly how venerable and awe-inspiring the trees and scenery of the property truly are, but trust us when we say, it’s even better in person. See more from this darling real wedding here.

Honestly, I didn’t know places like this still existed. Besides El Monte Sagrado being breathtakingly beautiful, the customer service was out of this world. I had my wedding here at the beginning of the year and everyone at the resort made sure that my family, friends, husband and I had everything we needed!

-Jillian L., bride

For availability at El Monte Sagrado, you can book the venue here.


Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm

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Lauren Cherie Photography

Of course, no list of New Mexico venues would be complete without Albuquerque’s golden child, Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm. But the space is famous for good reason — it truly is one of the most magnificent places in our city. With rolling fields of lavender, chic farmhouse architecture, and several different options for ceremony space, there’s no facet of Los Poblanos that doesn’t live up to its reputation.

What an amazing venue!! I fell in love with this place from the first time I set foot on the property. It feels like you are out of town even though you are in the middle of the city. The architecture of the buildings and the surrounding gardens are gorgeous! It is definitely a venue that requires very little in the way of providing your own decor; the venue speaks for itself.

-Catie, bride

For availability at Los Poblanos, you can book the venue here.


 

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Elōisa Catering: Santa Fe’s Finest

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It’s no secret that hiring wedding vendors can be tricky business. While Albuquerque + Santa Fe have a wealth of incredible business owners who are dedicated to making your wedding special as can be, finding the right vendors who understand your vision isn’t always the easiest step. Which is why we’re here! Bridging the gap between local engaged couples, and the vendors — or friendors, as we like to call them — is the lifeblood of Perfect Wedding Guide.

So when our team first connected with Elōisa Catering, we were over the moon. Not only is their food delectable and their team delightfully devoted to their craft, but the flexibility and professionalism that exudes from Elōisa Catering is absolutely unparalleled. It’s no wonder they were nominated for James Beard’s Best New Restaurant in 2016 and are overflowing with happy reviews from local couples and foodies alike.

Elōisa Catering earned its name from Chef John Rivera Sedlar’s extremely talented grandmother, Elōisa Rivera. Elōisa was the first person who taught him to cook, and we’re so grateful she did! By passing on her traditional knowledge and culinary expertise, she paved the way for engaged couples to enjoy her recipes years later.

Paying homage to her, and New Mexico’s heritage, Chef Sedlar creates and cultivates each dish with a deep respect for the women who came before him and refined these incredible recipes. Sedlar describes his approach, and New Mexican cooking in general, as elemental. “Fiery chiles. Earthy beans. Ethereal corn. Celestial water from the acequias that irrigate the rancho.”

Simply put, we adore the Elōisa Catering team, and just know you will too. Stop in the restaurant for a special Mother’s Day meal, or even just to treat yourself after a long work week — you won’t regret it.

To book Elōisa Catering + ensure your wedding day lives on in delicious memory, contact their team here.

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Chef John Rivera Sedlar

chef catering food wedding planning tips inspiration inspo New Mexico Santa Fe Albuquerque Perfect Wedding Guide delicious appetizer beautiful floral arrangement yum

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To book Elōisa Catering for your wedding, you can contact their team here.

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

2018 Wedding Trend: Live Music

Have you heard, bride-to-be? Tides are shifting in the world of weddings! The budget-friendly option of preset playlists and iPods on shuffle for reception music were all the rage for a little while there, but it’s time to hang up the aux cord. Live, professional music is back in style! {Though in our opinion, it never really left.}

It’s no wonder either, especially here in New Mexico, where there are so many options for brides who want a genuine, authentic experience for their wedding day. Luckily too, the variety of choices available mean you don’t have to break the bank to switch out your brother-in-law’s Spotify playlist for the ever-romantic option of a live musician.

No need to feel overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of individuals that are here to make your celebration unforgettable this wedding season. We picked three amazing musicians that are local and ready for you to book for your wedding, because we love you.

From guitar, to harp, to full band, it’s hard to choose our favorite live musicians from Albuquerque + Santa Fe, but luckily we don’t have to. The reputation of these talented artists speaks for themselves. {It’s no surprise they all have 5-star reviews on Perfect Wedding Guide!}

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Ryan Smith, of Cello for Weddings

is the perfect fit if you’re looking to add an unparalleled touch of elegance to your ceremony or reception. Not only does he offer traditional wedding music, but also pop, rock, acoustic, soundtrack/classical, country, folk, motown, and oldies! Even custom arrangements, if your heart should so desire. Does it get better than that?

Book him here!

Absolute Entertainment

Absolute Entertainment‘s own band Soulstice,

has been voted as Santa Fe’s leading event band by brides. And of course they have! Graceful or groovy, the band plays everything from cross-generational classics to today’s hits. Whatever vibe {or vibes!} you choose, Soulstice delivers above and beyond expectations every time.

Book Soulstice here!

Last, but very certainly not least,

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Sandi Ludescher, Albuquerque’s favorite Harpist

has graced couples with her delightful music, and several of our events too, since 2005. With a broad range of available compositions, there’s a spot in every celebration for her harp! {Highly customizable as well, Sandi once played my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song for me on her harp — it was unforgettable!}

Book Sandi here!

 

Want more?

You can find local musicians, bands, and DJs available for your wedding here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

On Trend with Alchemy Confections Co. {Vendor Spotlight}

Food is a language of care.

D’Mitri Agnes, Founder

Our love story with Alchemy Confections Co. began long ago, when we first discovered their crazy gorgeous Instagram feed. The vibrant cakes, cookies, cookie-cakes, biscotti, marshmallows, and gummy bears totally enraptured us. Then we had the pleasure of seeing the gorgeous confections IRL {in real life} at our Tablescape Designer Showdown! Fulfilling all our wildest, internet-crush dreams, their agate cookies and quartz lollipops were even more delicious to eat.

Now, we’re so honored to welcome them to our Perfect Wedding Guide family of local vendors! And thank goodness they did, now that we’ve had a taste of their amazing creations, we can’t imagine life without them.

With an impeccable attention to detail, everything that comes from the Alchemy Confections Co. team is just as much a work of art as it is a delightful treat. Taking the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding scene by storm, their goodies are so on-trend and aesthetically pleasing we wouldn’t be surprised to see your wedding guests taking selfies with the desert bar.

{Plus, rosé infused gummy bears? Can you think of a more perfect party favor?!}

Here’s some eye candy to tide you over until you get the chance to gorge on some cookies. It’s okay to drool, we won’t judge. Welcome to the team, Alchemy Confections Co.! We’re so happy you’re here.

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28238805_10156272349939114_1888273253768787525_oQuartz Point Lollipops {From Black Bow Events‘ set-up at the Tablescape Showdown!}

To book Alchemy Confections Co. + make your celebration one to remember, you can contact their magnificent team here.

 

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.

Enjoy!

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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.}

Eldorado

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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

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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

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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

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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