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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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

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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. 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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?”

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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Angie + Audra’s Backyard Wedding with Matt Blasing Photography

Luckily for our little Perfect Wedding Guide team, there are thousands of weddings here in New Mexico every year. Like, literal thousands of them. Which means we have a whole lot of color palettes, decor design, and unique ceremonies to be inspired by, and every single one ends up being very near and dear to our hearts. As a bride or groom or spouse-to-be, though, the thought of being one in thousands can be a little overwhelming, and maybe even a bit disheartening.

But have no fear — because of our slightly higher-than-average marriage rate here, we (you included!) get to watch as the wedding community evolves faster than ever before. Wedding professionals and engaged couples alike are pushing boundaries, thinking outside the box, and changing the way we honor and recognize love in its many forms. By incorporating new, intrinsically personal elements into each wedding, both sides of the equation are coming together to create celebrations of unity that truly are one in a million. (Or at least one in the several thousands here!)

For Angie and Audra, this concept was already second nature. The couple — smiling ear to ear with the dreamy sort of excitement we see ubiquitously when two people are truly in love — entwined their personalities and life’s stories into their wedding seamlessly, making it, at once, a comforting and familiar atmosphere, and a celebration of two souls so personal, we could never experience it the same way again. From the crafted wood arbor, made by Angie’s own hands, that framed the couple as they said their vows, to the tiniest detail of incorporating pine cones into the decor, there was no doubt that this wedding, of all of them, belong to Angie and Audra.

(The pine cones were collected during the couple’s adventures! They traveled all the way from Maine, Oregon, California, the UK, Tennessee, Hawaii, and more, to pay witness to the beginning of Audra and Angie’s new life together.)

Of course, without the unparalleled talent of one of New Mexico’s favorite wedding photography teams, Matt Blasing Photography, we would never be able to bask in the glory that is the heartfelt, totally consuming, and immensely inspiring details of Angie and Audra’s wedding. To book Matt Blasing Photography for your own celebration, you can contact Matt and Amy here

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DJ: Desert Sands Entertainment

Banque Loft Ballerina Shoot by Local Wedding Photographer

The best kind of love is the kind that takes your breath away year after year, moment after moment.

Coryn Kiefer Photography

For friends who have been hanging out here on the New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide blog for a while, the name Coryn Kiefer should ring delightful little bells in your head. We took some time to feature her incredible rock cabin styled shoot last Valentine’s Day because we fell in love with her creative finesse of a camera lens. And frankly, we’re still trying to catch our breath, so maybe this, right here, is the best kind of love!

We know that we’re not unique in this love-bordering-on-obsession with Coryn‘s wedding photography, though. How could we be, when her work so clearly reflects her passion and dedication to the craft? It comes as no surprise to discover her first steps into a dark room occurred over 20 years ago, or to discover the myriad of glowing reviews that follow her business’s digital footprint everywhere.

With our affection for her perfection in mind, and the fact Albuquerque already feels as balmy and breezy as it does in May, it feels only right that we share this ballerina-inspired styled shoot to usher us into spring.

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The inspiration behind the setting was to combine the airy elegance and beauty of a ballerina with a raw palette of an industrial wedding venue. Modern and vintage decor elements were artfully tied together to help bring this vision to life.

Coryn Kiefer Photography 

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With the softness of a ballerina in mind, the primary colors of this wedding are blush, green, and white. Accents of bronze, natural wood, and robin blue were added to round out and modernize the airy palette.

Coryn Kiefer Photography

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Photography | Coryn Kiefer Photography

Dress | Lace + Liberty

Florals | Floral Fetish

Venue | Banque Lofts

Jewelry | Shelton Jewelers

Decor | Rust Vintage Rentals

Staging | For the Love Events

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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Casi Sueno: Elegance in Action

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A lifetime of beautiful memories starts with a beautiful beginning.

When we first had the pleasure of working with Genevieve, of Casi Sueno Weddings + Events, it was at our 2017 Wedding Gallery wedding show. We had asked our participating business owners to style their booths and space with “greek chic” in mind, and, yes, everyone brought their A-game and we’re truly, eternally grateful… But Casi Sueno‘s takeover of one of Sandia Resort and Casino’s ballrooms had us floored.

Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to see the Casi Sueno team bring love to life for their couples all over Albuquerque. But honestly? I’m still not quite over their Wedding Gallery design.

Not only did they bring our wildest, greek-related fantasies to life, but their team far surpassed what we imagined possible for a wedding show here in New Mexico. {Because, as everyone knows, trends usually take a little longer to sweep the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding world than in other places like New York, Denver, L.A., etc.}

Casi Sueno Weddings + Events, ever-devoted to creating unforgettable moments, did exactly that for our Perfect Wedding Guide team, and all the incredible local brides who attended the show. It was hard to not feel spoiled! But, not only are they committed to excellence, and proudly known for their service-oriented work — Genevieve and her team bring both an otherworldliness here to Albuquerque, and a genuine love for celebration and design. Being motivated by a pure passion for what they do, there’s no need to feel spoiled when the Casi Sueno team transforms your wedding day, only grateful.

From start to finish, Casi Sueno Weddings + Events ushers your perfect wedding into existence. To bring your dream to life, you can contact their team for packages + availability here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be reliving the Wedding Gallery show with the stunning photos from Casi Sueno Wedding + Events‘ design below.

{Shot by the ceaselessly talented Photographic Perspectives.}

Perfect Wedding Guide planning design inspo ceremony inspiration marriage wedding vows celebration engaged planner tips tricks tablescape decor event New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe table decor event planner greek chic greenery white delicate classic elegant Perfect Wedding Guide planning design inspo ceremony inspiration marriage wedding vows celebration engaged planner tips tricks tablescape decor event New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe cake delicious natural nature sage naked cake Perfect Wedding Guide planning design inspo ceremony inspiration marriage wedding vows celebration engaged planner tips tricks tablescape decor event New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe details candles gold delicate elegant greek chic Perfect Wedding Guide planning design inspo ceremony inspiration marriage wedding vows celebration engaged planner tips tricks tablescape decor event New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe vintage decor gold greenery natural greek chic elegant trendy
More photos from our 2017 Wedding Gallery wedding show here.

 

To grab tickets for our 2018 Wedding Gallery wedding show — click here!

 

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