How to Have a Country Wedding in New Mexico

For visitors or recent transplants to New Mexico, country might not be the first adjective you’d reach for to describe the state. For those of us who have had a chance to wander outside of the cities though, the farm and field influence obviously contributes to the eclectic blend of cultures that make New Mexico so magnificent.

Which is lucky for all of us, because it means there’s no limit to the kind of wedding you can have here. Especially when you take a look at the collective portfolio of our local wedding experts! From a Kate Spade inspired, modern urban pallet, to a wandering bohemian picnic celebration, to a royal banquet rich in traditional Spanish influences, New Mexico can house and support pretty much every theme, vibe, or aesthetic.

So it should come as no surprise that having a cowboy-country-down-home wedding here would be as easy as pie, too. From wide open desert mesas to rodeo style architecture, everything you need for a back country celebration starts and ends with one of our most loved local wedding venues.

The Southwest Event Center was originally built as a livestock auction house, but now stands in Los Lunas as a generous and venerable ranch-style wedding venue. With indoor and outdoor spaces available — because we all know how fickle that New Mexico weather can be — you don’t even need much decor to round out the beauty of the space.

This venue is absolutely the package deal. So much open space to use and take full advantsge of. The owner genuinly cares about the client experience and goes above and beyond to make sure her clients needs and wants are met. This venue has an original cowboy feel and most certainly can not be replicated or imitated.  

Sarah, local wedding photographer

It’s true. The small town vibe of the wedding venue extends past the mountains, crisp air, and sprawling landscape that envelops the Southwest Event Center. Their venue is owned and operated by a family of dedicated creatives, whose southern hospitality has lead them to be somewhat of local celebrities, and for good reason too.

To say good bye to the bustle and grind of city life, if only for a moment, you can book the Southwest Event Center for your wedding by contacting their team here.

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Jessica Ash Photography

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Zero-Waste Wedding: 5 Ways to Get There

If you know anything about your New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we love two things. One, New Mexico; two, weddings. Which seems pretty obvious, but it really is as simple as that.

Only, our love for New Mexico transcends an affection for the rich cultures, venerable mesas and mountains, and traditional architecture that surrounds us. There’s a foundation of respect for our home that supports the love we feel for all of those beautiful and inspiring New Mexican features. So, in our small ways, we try very hard to preserve the perfection of our wild state.

Whether it be through recycling, supporting local, or educating our community, each little step culminates to make a powerful act of love for New Mexico. Though of course, we adore weddings as much as we do our state, so combining values to create a zero-waste wedding that uplifts our local community, creates a killer party, and offers some kindness back to the land — does it get much better than that?

Chances are, if you’re reading about how to incorporate zero-waste principles into your wedding, then you know it really doesn’t get better than that. Before we jump in though, give your self a little pat on the back for taking extra steps to support your community by booking local vendors and reducing the waste your wedding creates. Every little thing counts!

So — after consulting with the local wedding professionals who are experts in their respective crafts — we’ve pulled together 5 simple tips to reduce waste at your wedding in New Mexico! Because we all get to enjoy the landscapes around us, let’s do our best to make sure the generations after us get to enjoy them, too.

1. All reusable, all the time.

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Matt Blasing Photography

Whether you’re having a small, intimate elopement, or inviting every single cousin, people will come expecting to eat at your wedding. Eating as a group, as lovely and communal as it can be, also offers up a lot of waste if you use single-use materials.

Luckily, with local and environmentally-conscious catering companies like Cafe Venture or Blue Plate Catering, you can have all reusable serving ware! Think cloth napkins, silverware, ceramic plates, and the like. Not only will this give your wedding a higher-end vibe, but all these things can be washed and reused after your wedding, instead of sitting in a landfill for the next several hundred years.

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Matt Blasing Photography

If the local catering company you’re working with doesn’t offer reusable serving ware, linens, and china like these guys do, then don’t fret! Thrift stores can still be your best friend. Grab vintage, reusable silverware and dishes, and pull it all off with an eclectic, artistic vibe. Then afterwards, you can give away the thrifted materials, or just donate them right back!

If you go this route, be sure to communicate with your caterer ahead of time, so no wires get crossed on the day of your wedding.

2. Power in the Flowers

Tori Photography

When it comes to floral arrangements, the best advice we have is to go silk! Does that seem counterintuitive?

While its true that flowers are compostable, you’ll want to pause before tossing them in your garden or local composting center. A majority of live flowers are treated with preservatives to ensure their long-lasting scent and beauty makes it through your ceremony. So before you bury them, be sure your florist sources from an organic farm like Europa, otherwise all those preservatives end up in your soil and, subsequently, the groundwater.

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With silk arrangements — like the gorgeous, can’t-believe-it’s-not-alive bouquets from Charlotte’s Flowers — you have a bit more wiggle room for reusing. The immortal bouquets can be rearranged into home decor after the wedding, used in future craft projects, or gifted to a friend.

Whether you go with organic live flowers, or silk arrangements, or just a bundle of chamomile from Trader Joe’s, you can always reuse the flowers from your ceremony for your reception. Chances are you and your bridal party aren’t going to be carrying your bouquets all night long, so repurpose them! It’ll save you money and reduce your floral carbon footprint.

3. Something old, nothing new.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

It’s true — the thought of buying a wedding dress from a thrift store sounds a bit horrifying to some. After all, this is the gown you’ll be wearing in hundreds of photographs, videos, and memories, is it worth it to risk it?

Thankfully, we have amazing local wedding professionals who can make a less-new dress totally risk-free. With shops like Bridal Elegance by Darlene, you can buy a gown ‘off the rack.’ Which, for those who don’t live and breathe bridal, just means it’s a sample of the gown, not one that was ordered, manufactured, and shipped just for you. With in-store seamstresses available for your wildest alteration dreams, too, there’s hardly a worry about making sure it fits in all the right places.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

Or you can opt for a second-hand gown from specialty shops like The Dressing Room West in Santa Fe. This local shop carries off the rack gowns as well, but they come as excess directly from designers who need to make space in their warehouses. Or sit down with Terese Rose Designs, a local custom bridal gown designer, and have a chat about sourcing fabrics and potential choices for your gown.

Last option, and a favorite for your wallet, is to haunt thrift stores and vintage shops. With seamstresses across the state, there’s some serious magic that can happen with a secondhand gown. It’s worth it to give new life to an old gown that might have just gone into the trash, if not for the power of a trained eye and tuned sewing machine.

4. Make things easy for your guests.

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Kayla Kitts Photography

As someone who personally composts, I’ll be honest: I don’t always compost when I’m out and about. Mostly because compost bins aren’t readily available around our state yet, and holding on to my food waste until I’m able to get home is smelly, messy, and not super convenient when I’m running around the town.

So you can expect a similar response at your wedding, even from your greenest of green friends. But luckily, you can mitigate this with a little bit of foresight during your wedding planning process.

Chat with your venue coordinator! When booking a venue, ask the coordinator ahead of time if they have enough trash cans to have one for landfill trash, recyclables, and compostables, all separated and labeled clearly. If not, bring your own!

Plus, if you’ve decided to book a local invitation and stationery company like Funky Olive Design or Pennysmith’s Paper, you can have your trash labels custom made. Then, there’s no sacrificing aesthetics for environmental-consciousness. Take it a step further by reusing the signs in your own home too, to make it easier for guests and kids that might be around to throw things away.

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5. Favors in your favor

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Chrisi K Photography

As much as your friends and family love you, they might not love your favors. Which is okay! A lot of personalities are coming together in one space to celebrate you and your partner, so trying to please all of them is virtually impossible.

Keep this in mind when choosing your favors. If 1, 10, or 100 guests don’t take home their favors, what will happen to them?

You can go with an adorable little plant like Aja and Johnny did for their wedding — so in the off chances these get tossed outside, at least they’ll compost. (Or root and grow right there!) Plus the metal tins are reusable in a million different ways, so if the succulent gets replanted, the tin hopefully won’t go to waste. And anyways, how cute are they?!

Or be like Lynsey and Kent, who had one of our very favorite apple orchard weddings.

Arielei Kinzer Photography

Their apple-themed favors were not only delicious and charming, but super earth-friendly! For those who opted not to take their little jars home, the couple got some extra homemade apple butter for their own family. For those who did decide to enjoy the treat, they got a reusable jar and a delectable spread to remember the wedding by.

So, whether it’s through your dress, venue, or favors — whatever steps you decide to take to preserve all the beauty of New Mexico, we thank you. We’d like to keep loving this state and the weddings in it for many more generations to come, and a few choices on your part help to ensure that’s possible.

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Wedding Venue Hotspots in New Mexico {Part One!}

When you stop and consider the New Mexico landscape for a moment, it really comes as no surprise that visual industries are on the rise in our home state. Film, design, fine art, architecture — every medium has an inspiration because, well, we have everything! Mountains and mesas, high and low desert, urban cityscapes, lush forests, and small towns are all in abundance, which makes for varied and personal experiences with the state for all who visit or reside.

Finding a wedding venue, then, is at once the easiest and most difficult decision you’ll have to make while planning your wedding in New Mexico. Easier than ever before because, as wide a range of landscapes to choose from, is the type of venue within those places. From traditional New Mexican adobe and Spanish-inspired cathedrals, to crisp modern art spaces and whimsical woodland cabins, there’s a venue for pretty much every vibe. So whatever dream wedding fantasy you’ve got tucked away on your Pinterest or even just your subconscious, New Mexico has you covered.

With such an incredible variety to choose from though, and every option is gorgeous in its own exceptional way, the decision-making can become a bit overwhelming. So we, from our unique vantage point between engaged couples and local wedding businesses, compiled 18 of New Mexico’s hottest spots for ceremonies and receptions. Starting with the just the first three in the series, these venues have been vetted and are certified beautiful, with incredible teams of dedicated wedding pros behind the curtains. Keep an eye out for the rest of our absolute favorite venues as part of the hotspots feature!

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Shutterfreek Photography

1. Eldorado Hotel & Spa

Eldorado Hotel & Spa offers unique and elegant venue spaces for the perfect Santa Fe wedding. La Capilla de Oro, the stunning non-denominational chapel, features natural and customizable lighting with an artisan-crafted gold leaf alter as the backdrop.

The rooftop presidential suite has gorgeous views of the city as well as the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Historic Casa España, the stylish and antique filled club, is available for unforgettable receptions as well as the 7,000sq. ft. Eldorado Grand Ballroom (the largest in Santa Fe).

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Emily Joanne Wedding Films and Photography

2. El Monte Sagrado Spa and Resort

With unparalleled amenities, mountain views, lush landscapes, and 7,000 square feet of event space, El Monte Sagrado Spa and Resort is the perfect destination for an unforgettable Taos wedding. Couples can say “I do” in the Sacred Circle, an intimate outdoor space encircled by mature willows and cottonwoods. 

Ceremonies and receptions in the elegant Rio Grande Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 guests. There is a wide variety of rooms and settings from which to choose, from the intimacy of the Library to the Grand Bohemian Gallery overlooking aspen trees and waterfalls.

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Talitha A. Tarro Photography

3. Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

From jaw-dropping views to high-end finishes, the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club provides a one-of-a-kind venue to say “I Do.” With expansive glass windows bringing in gorgeous natural-light, views of the pristine golf course and dramatic views of the Sandia Mountains, you won’t have much need for additional décor!

The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club is the perfect spot for an intimate, casual wedding, but if high-end is your dream, pulling off a sophisticated soiree is easily done! For a unique, gorgeous place like no other in New Mexico, we promise you won’t be able to get enough of this gorgeous venue!

 

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5 Benefits Of A Limo Hire Perth For Your Wedding {Guest Post!}

A very special thank you to Allure Limousine for sharing some of their vast knowledge with us, and now you!

One of the most significant milestones in any person’s life is getting married. It’s more than just a ceremony; it signifies the beginning of your lives together. That’s why a majority of couples put a lot of thought into the details of their wedding, from the décor, to the table settings and even to the type of car that will be used for the entourage or the guests.

If you’re thinking about renting a car for your big day, here are some benefits of hiring limo service that you should consider:

1. Elevates Your Experience

There’s a reason why limos are the popular choice for proms and weddings. They make special occasions more memorable right at the start. Ultra-stretch options from Luxury Wedding Car & Limousine Hire Perth will incorporate a touch of style and sophistication to your event. Whether it’ll be the bridal car or a vehicle to transport your guests, you can be sure that everyone is comfortable and feels valued.

 

2. Reduces Wedding Jitters

Knowing that every little thing, including transportation for you and your guests, is taken care of can drastically lessen any anxiety that you may feel on your wedding day. It’s you and your significant other’s moment to shine, so don’t let such a minor detail dampen your mood. Book a limo service months before to cross it off on your to-do list.

This timeline can help you stay on track with your wedding preparation:

  • 1-6 Months

    • File for legal documents.
    • Plan the flow of your ceremony and reception.
    • Finalize instructions and requests to suppliers such as the menu for the caterer and the song list for the band.
    • Send out wedding invitations through the mail or electronically.
    • Confirm seating arrangements.
    • Contact your suppliers to double-check the date, times, and location.
    • Get confirmation of guests.

 

  • 7-12 Months

    • Pick your top priority date and two in case there is conflict in the schedule with your must-have venue or supplier.
    • Prepare your budget.
    • Determine the planner, photographer, videographer, limo company, caterer, florist, and band you want to work with. If you’re sure that you want them and their fees fit your budget, hire them as early as you can so they can block off their schedule for your big event.
    • Choose who will be part of your wedding party from the maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, and groomsmen as well as other roles included in the ceremony.
    • Create your guest list.
    • Reserve your wedding and reception venues.
    • Book the marriage officiant.
    • Send out your Save the Dates.
    • Pick out wedding outfits for you and your partner. Give enough time for fittings and other alterations.
    • Look for hotels for guests who will be flying in from out of town.
    • Prepare your gift registries. It’s better if you have this with major retailers to make it easier for your guests.

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3.  Safe

Limo services often include a chauffeur who can drive you and your guests back to the hotel without any fear of breaking the law due to drunk driving. Everyone can enjoy the night’s festivities and still get to their rooms in one piece. If you’re planning a mountain wedding celebration, you ought to arrange transportation to pick up and bring guests to the location safely.

 

4. Has Awesome Amenities

Aside from the comfortable ride, limos also have luxurious amenities that you and your guests can enjoy. Some have minibars with drinks such as rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey while others have a dedicated wine bar.

Some limousines also have plasma screen TVs, DVD players, theater-quality sound system, and even video game consoles. If you enjoy singing, dancing, or both, check with your limo service provider if they have one that has a karaoke machine.

 

5. Affordable

A luxury limo may seem expensive, but hiring one for your big day is reasonable enough. You save time and money on various factors such as you and your guests’ comfort, the protection that it provides after a night of good-natured fun, as well as assuring you that this particular detail won’t pose a problem on your wedding day.

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Conclusion

Renting out a limousine will give your wedding a touch of elegance and luxury. It can quickly get you to and from your ceremony and reception venues without delay. Make your big day memorable, a day that you will remember fondly as the years go by; not just with each part coming together to create a special memory, but also with the joy you share with your family and friends.

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Wedding Details Big and Small: Occasion Services Spotlight

You’d think that after watching the magic unfold from the Occasion Services & Events team at so many of our wedding shows, we’d be a little bit used to it by now, right? Wrong. Even via the digital world, we still find ourselves trying to catch our breath when we stumble across one of the many seemingly impossible, absolutely fantastical weddings Occasion Services & Events manifests all the time like it’s no big deal.

So, honestly, it’s pretty understandable that we do some occasional, light stalking of their team’s Facebook and website. Now, we agree, it’s a completely different experience to sit back and watch many hands flurrying about in unison as they, somehow, turn ballrooms and backyards into dreamscape wonderlands. But having the option to be spoon-fed photos of their mesmerizing decor at our fingertips? Well, now, maybe the internet isn’t such a dark place after all.

There you have it, the whole truth. We happened upon this fresh and fanciful wedding when we were Facebook stalking Occasion Services & Events, and we’re not afraid to admit it. Lively vines serpentining down long, farmhouse tables; accents of eucalyptus and greenery tucked in every possible corner; a delicate wooden arbor to frame the happy couple during their vows. How could we not share it?

With not a cloud in the sky, but plenty of rainy eyes, Brenna + Landon were married in our very own Santa Fe. Occasion Services + Events, with the help of some dedicated local wedding experts, made their wedding day as pure and invigorating as the couple’s love story. To book their team for your own celebration, you can contact them here.

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Photographer: Kayla Smith Photography

Florist: Bloomstream Flowers

Cake: American Pie Bakery

Venue: The Club at Las Campanas

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Rockin’ Piano Party: Live Wedding Performance

Whatever your vantage point may be, it’s no secret that today’s world has quite a bit of turmoil and tumult. Which, in our humble opinion, is probably why the current trend of experiential weddings has risen, and continues to evolve with each passing month. Couples want to create an experience for their guests, rather than just the typical Sunday-in-June, afternoon ceremony. Because, well, sometimes life is hard! Or boring, or stressful, or just plain ol’ exhausting.

But weddings shouldn’t be — they should be fun, inspiring, memorable, and a reminder of all the secret moments of happiness and love that the world has to offer. Luckily, with local wedding professionals like Jorge, of Rockin’ Piano Party, they can be all of those lovely things and none of those daily-life things. Yes, you might still spill coffee down the front of your dress, just like you would at work, but at least now it’ll be because you’re dancing.

The Rockin’ Piano Party first began as a nascent, but quickly growing, love of music from Jorge. Being raised in a musically inclined family definitely helped, and Jorge’s passion for innovation and fun carried the idea to fruition. His first drum set was a hand-built, lovingly crafted collection of five-gallon buckets!

Today, Rockin’ Piano Party‘s wedding packages don’t include any five-gallon buckets, unfortunately. No need to worry though, because they do include two baby grand pianos, an advanced sound system monitored by experts, specialized event lighting, and extra microphones, so guests can jump in on the action, if they feel so inclined. Which, of course they will! The Rockin’ Piano Party is high-energy and interactive, so it’s downright impossible to not want to participate.

With two available shows — dueling pianos, or a single player — every type of wedding vibe can be bolstered with the unparalleled sound of live piano. To see videos, get more information, and book Rockin’ Piano Party for your wedding, you can contact Jorge and his team here.

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Story Time: Local Business Spreading Love

Being surrounded by proposals, engagements, weddings, ceremonies — and the business owners who make all those magnificent things possible — means that here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we’re never worried about any shortage of love. How lucky is that?! And because we feel so blessed, we do our darnedest to make sure we’re constantly showing gratitude to the people who make our world perpetually rose-colored.

Though it is a bit hard to not grow acclimated to the love and support around us, especially because it is so bountiful. Which is why we believe it’s important to share when, every once in awhile, something happens that tugs on our heartstrings a little bit more than usual, and encourages us to stop and spend a moment reflecting on how lucky we are to be a part of the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding community. Which is what we’re doing now, if you couldn’t tell already.

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Cutmaster Music, a team of DJs with unparalleled creativity and energy, has been a part of the Perfect Wedding Guide family for quite some time now. So, when something went awry with our 12 Months of Giveaways recently, we knew we could count on Cutmaster to lend us a helping hand.

The 12 Months of Giveaways is exactly what it sounds like: a year-round wedding giveaway, with new couples chosen for prizes every single month. The prizes, each valued at over $300, come from our local wedding professionals and change annually. A few months ago, a lovely engaged couple was chosen for the 12 Months of Giveaways, and decided to claim their favorite of the 12 prizes: a free photo booth for their reception!

Luckily, their wedding was still several months away. (Planning points to them!) Shortly after the couple chose their prize, the photo booth company that had offered their services had to shut down, due to health complications. That’s where Cutmaster Music came in!

CutmasterMusic.com

Founded with the intention of breaking the mold of traditional DJ services, Cutmaster has already garnered a reputation of generosity and dedication here in New Mexico. And it’s truly no wonder — their team stepped in and saved the day, offering their photo booth and technicians to the engaged couple, free of charge. The couple was able to keep the prize they truly wanted instead of having to choose a new one, and Cutmaster Music lived up to the expectations of integrity and excellence they promise their couples.

Thank you, Cutmaster! We’re eternally grateful for you. To book Cutmaster Music, and guarantee the highest quality of expertise and kindness, you can contact their team here.

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