Winter Magic: A Real Wedding at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Sydney and Christian had a romantic December wedding that was pure winter magic! Relying on the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains and the views of the golf course, the couple was able to keep the décor simple and elegant with subtle winter and holiday vibes.

– Lauren Landavazo, Director of Catering at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The holiday season is upon us and the hot New Mexico weather is finally starting to cool off. We are thrilled to start seeing all of the winter weddings rolling in–so let the festivities begin! New Mexico is the quintessential place for a winter wedding, not only because the weather stays nice until late November, but because of the abundance of versatile wedding ceremony and reception venues.

There are so many possibilities, from rustic farms with holiday lights strung up, to fairytale-like ballrooms, our wedding vendors can do it all. The Perfect Wedding Guide team is no stranger to helping our local brides and grooms find their ideal “Winter Wonderland”, because after all, who wouldn’t love to get married during the coziest season of them all? We’ve learned over the years that many brides already have a pretty good idea of what kind of wedding they want, they just need a little help getting there.

For Sydney & Christian, a December wedding was a must because it was their dating anniversary month (cue happy tears). A December wedding + reception absolutely meant hints of Christmas in their color scheme and menu–and with the help of The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club, they rocked it. Another must for the couple, and we couldn’t agree more, was to incorporate the breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains. Luckily for this beautiful couple, their reception venue was able to do just that and more.

“Our wedding was everything we had hoped for, with the help of all of our amazing vendors. I cannot speak highly enough about each and every person involved, who allowed all of our dreams to come to true. We are so blessed.”

– Sydney, Bride
Featured Venue: Event Center at Sandia Golf Club
Photography: Matt Blasing Photography
Videography: Southwest Wedding Films
Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Florals: Albuquerque Florist
Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci
Hair & Makeup: Alt Salon
Musician: The Real Matt Jones
DJ: Party Time DJ
Decor: Occasions Services + Events
Menswear: Suits Unlimited

Simply Glowing: A Real Wedding at Embassy Suites Albuquerque

The Perfect Wedding Guide team is always working hard to make sure you have all of the resources you need to plan your wedding day. Our blog posts and stories are made just for you, all for the love! However, sometimes we can’t seem to put into words how incredible our local wedding vendors are, so we love when newly-weds and their vendors share testimonials and photographs for us to show the world. 

With these testimonials, we are able to share so many awe-inspiring real weddings that help other couples find inspiration and their perfect vendor. One of the first things that couples look for is wedding venue inspiration, and we get giddy just thinking about all of the New Mexico venues that we just adore so much. 

Our special day was a dream… the staff at the Embassy Suites exceeded our expectations and made everything so easy for us while keeping it within our price range. Our color scheme was spot on and the ballroom had a warm dreamy glow. We lit up when we were shown the gorgeous centerpieces, elegant chair covers and so much more!  

– Adrian + Pablo, Bride and Groom

Adrian and Pablo found their perfect wedding reception venue at the Embassy Suites Hotel ballroom in Albuquerque, and it was simply glowing. From burnt oranges to sparkling silvers, the room was filled with warmth and elegance. Embassy Suites Albuquerque went above and beyond when it came to providing a welcoming space for friends and family, and it made Adrian and Pablo feel right at home. The lighting, layout, the food—everything was perfect.

They went above and beyond and it definitely showed. And the food was amazing of course. Embassy Suites was the perfect place to have our wedding reception.

As Adrian and Pablo entered the space, the candles weren’t the only thing all aglow. Their smiles radiated a light beyond compare! You can see the stunning image gallery from Adrian and Pablo’s wedding by Patti Cooke and Francisco Roybal below.

Featured Venue: Embassy Suites Albuquerque
Photographer: Patti Cooke and Francisco Roybal
Flowers: Something Special with Flowers
Décor: Occasion Services + Events and Genesis Decorations + Cakes
Makeup: Joani Turnbow and Amber Garcia
DJ: Wayne and Maryjane
Photo Booth: Wedding Crashers

7 of New Mexico’s Best Entertainment Experts

You know that classic saying, “it’s all about the music”? When it comes to your wedding, this statement couldn’t be more true. With the rise of technology, we have so many options when it comes to picking some tunes. Between customizable Spotify playlists and YouTube music stations, it’s so hard to say no to these easy and budget-friendly alternatives.

If you’re on the fence about which option is best, we’re going to help you out—you absolutely should book a local entertainment expert. Here’s why:

You’ll get a genuine and authentic experience. Not only are these local musicians and disc jockeys well seasoned in their craft, but they also know how to throw together one heck of a show. For the bride and groom looking for that authentic New Mexican experience—or even simply a classic, yet genuine, performance to make your wedding more elegant, you’ve come to the right place.

You won’t break the bank. With such a wide variety of vendors to showcase, you’re sure to find one that fits your wedding day budget. It is always good to remember that you are hiring an entertainment expert. These are folks who have been working in the industry for a long time and are sure to make your big day the most memorable day of your lives, and that itself is priceless!

Your wedding will be completely unique. From the gown to the venue, every bride and groom has their own personal touch to add to their wedding, and the music shouldn’t be the exception. By choosing a local entertainment expert you get to be in control of the look, the feel, and the mood of the day. You can work closely with the musician or DJ to make sure that all of your favorite songs and sounds will be implemented into the ceremony and reception. 

You don’t have to worry about anything. Seriously. Your job is to have a great time while the professionals handle everything. There’s no need to worry about that playlist glitching halfway through the ceremony because you’ll be in good hands. Now that should be music to your ears!

Whether you want a live accompaniment while you walk down the aisle or a reception DJ that makes your guests get up from their tables and dance, we can’t think of a better way to help those dreams come to life than to provide you with New Mexico’s greatest entertainment professionals.

1. Complete Weddings + Events

Working with Complete was as easy as you could possibly want when planning this stressful event. Justin sat down with us, heard our wants and requests, and paired us with a fantastic DJ and videographer who met our needs perfectly. Both David (our DJ) and Minh (our videographer) met with and developed a relationship with us beforehand to make sure they had an exact idea of our vision for our wedding day. We would definitely recommend Complete to anyone looking for a hassle free wedding experience!

– Sanae, Bride

2. Cutmaster Music

We chose Chris from Cutmaster Music to be our DJ at our reception. And I must say, he was worth every penny! Chris kept us on schedule and got all our guests hyped for our entrance! He then made our first dance extremely special by asking our guests to come stand around the dance floor. 

– Amanda, Local Bride

3. King Mobile Music

Brad King might very likely be the best DJ in Albuquerque, and you would be silly not to book him if you have the chance. My fiance and I met with Brad through a recommendation from our photographer because we had mentioned that our dream wedding reception was A LOT of fun and a had every guest dancing. Let me tell you, Brad delivered.

– Kayla, Local Bride

4. Cello for Weddings

Ryan’s talent, demeanor, and musical talent was the cherry on top of the most perfect day. My husband and I live in Seattle and had a destination wedding in Santa Fe, NM. Working with Ryan was the easiest part of the planning. By request, he played a beautiful cello compilation of my favorite Yanni song- a song which had deep meaning to both me and my dad. The song gave me absolute chills and caused my dad to burst into tears. I gave Ryan very little direction and trusted his experience and understanding. He showcased his talent and expertise in his field effortlessly.

– Briana, Bride

5. Absolute Entertainment

Soulstice was incredible, reliable, trustworthy, and in control. When our venue experienced a few hiccups during our wedding, Vicky grabbed the microphone and was to the rescue, improvising without anybody knowing. They are the best band in Santa Fe, by far, recommended everywhere.

– Heather, Local Bride

6. John P. Martinez, Guitarist Extrordinaire

John played for our daughter’s wedding. He is an amazing guitarist. Our outdoor wedding ended up with last minute rearrangements to indoor, very tight space. John had learned new music for the processional that ended up being the shortest processional ever and he had to sit in a tiny corner. None the less, the ceremony guitar music was beautiful and the cocktail hour music was great and fun.

– Dana, Mother of the Bride

7. Musicology DJ and Events

We booked Musicology for our wedding, after seeing them at a bridal show they put on (which was awesome in and of itself) and we couldn’t be happier that we did! Laura and Eliot were extremely helpful from the very beginning. We started talking about what we are looking at in terms of songs way ahead of the wedding. They’re really great at suggesting songs (their song library is huge, they have everything!)

– Kelly, Local Bride

Announcing the 2019 PWG Elite Award Winners!

Sadly, the evening of our 2019 Vendor Appreciation Party has come and gone and we are left with remnants of glitter on our faces as we sit here thinking about the fun that we had hoped would never end. The evening was filled with the most wonderful surprises around every corner, from ocean water blue cocktails to seafood themed hors d’oeuvres and goodies! All of the sea creatures seemed to be enjoying all of the attention and excitement, too.

The night would not have been possible if it weren’t for our amazing venue, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium and the mouth-watering goodness provided by Taste Catering. We are so grateful to have such incredible sponsors for the event that provided the most stunning “under the sea” themed elements that simply brought the party to life, starting with our invitations by Funky Olive that made a splash! We adored the creative centerpieces by The Flower Co. and the beach-y tunes provided by King Mobile Music and Rockin’ Piano Party. We can’t forget to mention those phenomenal cakes from Honey & Salt Cake Co. because we all know we were dying to taste when we saw them placed on display.

These local wedding professionals, from wedding coordinators to wedding travel agencies, show exemplary performance in helping local brides and grooms make their wedding day dreams come true. Since we think that all of our vendors are shining stars every day, we ask locals to vote for their favorites to help make the process easier and more exciting. Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, and the moment we can’t wait to share with all of you, the winners of the PWG 2019 Elite Awards!

Drum roll please…

Coordinator | Black Bow Events
Bridal Beauty Expert | Vixen Looks by Vangie
Best Place to Order Wedding Cake/Dessert | The Cake Boutique
Best Catering or Restaurant | Eloisa Catering
Bachelorette/Bachelor Party | Bombshell Fitness
Reception | The View Event Center by Simply Décor & Events
Ceremony Location | Sandia Resort & Casino
Officiant | De Novo Concierge Pastors
Floral Designer | Desert Flowers Co.
Event Décor | My Beloved Vintage Rentals
Rental Company | Simply Décor Tents & Events
Bridal Gown Shop | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Men’s Formalwear | Suits Unlimited
Invitations | Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Disc Jockey | Cutmaster Music
Ceremony Musician | Cello for Weddings
Photographer | Maura Jane Photography
Cinematographer | Photographic Perspectives
Photo Booth Rental | Complete Weddings + Events
Unique Wedding Service | Urban Balloons by Dawn
Best Hotel Accommodations | Sheraton Uptown Hotel
Best Travel Agency | Connect Thru Travel

A big and super special thank you to the lovely T. Rayne Photography for capturing the evening and also having a blast with us while doing it. We can’t wait to share the night with everyone through her lens!

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

New Mexico History & Culture: Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple

Our state is filled with a rich history, and as New Mexicans, we are deeply rooted in its culture. Stories sweep across vast, mesmerizing landscapes– from the expansive White Sands in the South to the snow-capped mountains in the North. Often times, we are so immersed in the present that we forget to look back at what built us.

As wedding professionals who love our state, we want to help you find wedding vendors that love our state just as much. If you are planning a wedding that will not only take place in New Mexico, but also incorporates our beautiful culture and history, then you have come to the right place! What better place to start this series of New Mexican history and culture than at the heart of our state in the lovely city of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple, Jo Whaley

We loved every aspect of Scottish Rite for our wedding. Beginning with the gorgeous theater, grand piano and set choices for our ceremony, and ending with the spacious reception hall with Tiffany-style fixtures! You would be hard pressed to find a more classy, glamorous and special site for a Santa Fe wedding.

Rena and Daniel Simpson

With pink exteriors, a lush courtyard and Moorish architecture, the Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple has stood tall and proud for over a century. The architecture was inspired by that of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and it is most definitely reflected through the arches and accents of Spanish design. Since 1912, the temple has served many purposes, but was primarily built for use by the Freemasonry fraternity and is still considered the College of Freemasonry. Today, the temple is a place of gathering for plays, concerts, special events, and our favorite kind of eventweddings!

The Lobby, Jo Whaley

For any bride and groom, comfort and elegance are at the forefront of wedding planning, and this venue does not disappoint. Together let’s imagine that we are going on a tour of this lovely venue, taking a step back in time and indulging in the wonders of the past. When you first walk in, you can expect to see the first of many Gothic arches and other arch motifs that are scattered throughout the temple. If you continue walking, you will find yourself in the Dining Hall with it’s endless rows of windows looking out to the patio. This is makes our fairytale wedding day dreams come true! Just when you think it couldn’t get any more breathtaking than this, it does.

Dining Hall, Jo Whaley

As you continue walking we will see the kitchen, the classroom and the exuberant courtyard, but none of this could prepare you for what people call the “Heart and Soul” of the temple– the theatre. This is where you will complete your imaginary tour and let your minds be at ease. Your eyes can take in the rest! Words fail us when we try to describe the historical richness of the building, but these beautiful images capture it perfectly.

The Theatre, Jo Whaley

“Our experience with the Scottish Rite could not have been better! Dori was in contact with us for each and every step along the way, and the Scottish Rite Stewards couldn’t have been more helpful. Everything went so smoothly that once the event started, we were able to completely enjoy the experience with our family and friends. The Grand Ballroom was perfect for our needs and was the shining jewel of the event (next to the bride and groom, of course!) The Santa Fe Scottish Rite comes with my highest recommendations!

– Phil Shirey

If you’re looking for a wedding venue that is going to merge the past and the present and create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests, then this is the place for you! To learn more about the temple, you can contact them here.

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


Pink + Perfection: Real Wedding with Briana Nicole Photography

We tied the knot on the most perfect day! I chose the colors gold and “50 shades of pink” because what girl doesn’t love pink, and no girl likes just one shade of pink. I knew I wanted peonies, ranunculus, and roses with a touch of eucalyptus.

– Esmeralda, Bride

Peonies, roses, eucalyptus… oh my!

As wedding connoisseurs, we like to think that we know almost everything about love and all that mushy, heart-felt stuff– but every time we hear stories from our local newlyweds, we realize that we have barely scratched the surface. We seem to learn new things every day because our wedding vendors know exactly how to bring a couple’s visions to life, and every vision is magnificently unique! Briana Nicole Photography did just this when she captured Esmeralda and Miguel’s sweet and serene wedding.

We are simply swooning over recent wedding color palette trends that are filled with pastel pinks and muted greens. Esmeralda and Miguel chose the most ravishing floral combo for their wedding day, but the awe-inspiring details don’t stop there. From the dresses to the venues, the couple made it a point to embrace their bright personalities and the interconnection between their love story and the scenery.

bride smiling at her bridesmaids, bride, new mexico bride, hotel albuquerque at old town, abq flowers, new mexico weddings, perfect wedding guide

I really wanted our venue to be tied with the Sandia Mountains where Miguel proposed so we choose The View Event Center, since they are so close. We also really wanted an outdoor ceremony, where there would be lots of florals and greenery, so Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town was the perfect spot with the vines covering the pavilion and the chandeliers hanging from it. Everything was so gorgeous!

– Esmeralda, Bride

Here in the breathtaking state of New Mexico, we have been utterly rewarded with impressive scenery, from the golden mesa to the blushing Sandia Mountains. At every turn there is something that reminds us just why so many couples decide to get married in the Land of Enchantment.

We live in a photographer’s oasis, and Briana Nicole Photography captured the ceremony at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town like no other. The couple was beaming with joy and the fun never seemed to end! One could only hope for their wedding day to be bottled up without losing its integrity so that it could be experienced again and again, and Briana Nicole Photography does this flawlessly through her lens.

bride smiling at groom, bride, new mexico bride, hotel albuquerque at old town, abq flowers, new mexico weddings, perfect wedding guide
bride and groom outside with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, bride smiling, bride, new mexico bride, hotel albuquerque at old town, abq flowers, new mexico weddings, perfect wedding guide

Esmeralda and Miguel spent the evening celebrating their new life together and taking in the beauty of the city lights of Albuquerque at The View Event Center. Could there be any more “pink” and “perfect” in one day? I think not, but hey, we are always surprised by our local weddings and the vendors that make them happen, so we never know what will come next!

bride and groom kissing, the view event center, new mexico wedding, new mexico sunset, new mexico bride, new mexico wedding gown
Photographer: Briana Nicole Photography
Planner & Florist: A Beautiful Theme
Ceremony Venue: Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town
Reception Venue: The View Event Center
Cake: ABC Cake Shop & Bakery
DJ: Red Sapphire DJ Entertainment
Catering: Café Venture Catering
Bridal Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna
Officiant: Amor Ceremonies
Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 10.23.49 AM

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 10.24.27 AM

7e9fd3da-885b-46ba-96b6-83e2dcc5ea69.jpg

Jessica Ash Photography

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