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!

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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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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.

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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.

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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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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

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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

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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!

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