Emily + Luke’s Blue Hues

You’d think that after seeing and being a part of so many beautiful local weddings, we’d start to get used to all the raw love and emotion in the air around here. But, nope! Emily + Luke’s gorgeous wedding at Casas de Suenos brought happy tears to our eyes, even after all these years. It’s couples like these, Emily and Luke, that remind us of why we do what we do.

Captured by the always incredible Kayla Kitts Photography, it was the little details of this celebration that really plucked away at our heart strings. From the bride’s wide-as-the-Sandias grin, to the flowing, happy tears from the groom, every sentimental and exciting moment of this magnificent day was captured by Kayla’s lens and unique talent.

Blue hues, reminiscent of New Mexico‘s wide open skies, swirled around Emily and Luke’s ceremony, offering guests a hopeful sort of joy as they celebrated man and wife. Also present was their love for travel and adventure — which is almost as deep as their love for each other. From the little flags made of maps, to the suitcases full of goodies for attendees, the couple’s personality truly encompassed the day.

Scroll on to hear the couple’s love story, read a note from our darling Kayla Kitts, and to see for yourself just how inspiring this moment in time was.

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To say Emily + Luke’s wedding day was an epic celebration…well that would be putting it lightly.  You see, Emily and Luke are teachers that live in the Philippines.  But, it hasn’t always been that way – they met in Egypt, when Luke landed a job where Emily’s parents were his bosses!  He says he was excited about the new job, but even more excited about Emily.  If you ask him – he knew he’d marry her the moment he saw her.  He was head over heels for her, and I’d say that hasn’t changed a bit.  As time passed, they fell in love, and since then have continued their exploration of the world – but now, as they begin the school year in Manila, they’re officially Mr + Mrs!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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A big thank you to the talented vendors who made this day possible for Emily + Luke.

Photography | Kayla Kitts Photography

Venue | Casas de Suenos 

Dress | Ann Cuantico

Shoes |  Ecco

Hair | Kayla Chory with Heart + Soul

Makeup  |  Nina Simbana

Florist  |  Ansely

Rings  |  Tiffanys + Jared Jewlers

Suit  |  Ann Cuantico

Officiant  |  Hany Salam

Cake  |  Laura Keen

DJ  |  TJ

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

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Wedding Videography: New Mexico’s Best

Everyone knows the importance of wedding photography. Because, well, of course you need a professional there whose only mission is to capture the intimacy and love of your big day. But wedding videography is often still looked at as an “add – on” to your services, and not as the highly important and wonderfully magical essential piece that it is for your wedding day. Luckily, a few of New Mexico’s very best photographers + filmmakers are changing that connotation, and showing brides just how very special the medium is.

Take Glory Ranch Films, for example. Husband and wife filmmakers, Tom and Jenny Ragan have dedicated their lives to storytelling, and it shows in their work. More than just documenting the event, their wedding videography always encapsulates each couple’s unique sort of devotion. Precise camera work and high quality equipment make a big difference in film, it’s true, but the fondness they feel for each union is what truly cements their talent. They offer couples a chance to not only look back on their wedding day, but to truly relive it, to be completely immersed in its memory.

We showcased Glory Ranch Films not too long ago here, but just to make sure you can really see what kind of talent we’re talking about, check out Tom Ragan’s updated reel below. You won’t regret it.

The best part about the upward trend of wedding videography too, is that with more talented filmmakers offering their talent to engaged couples, there are more styles for you to choose from. It’s just like choosing a photographer — you want someone whose style is similar to your own. You definitely can’t go wrong with any Albuquerque + Santa Fe videographers (it must be something in the air here), but each couple now has the opportunity to work with someone who shares the same visions as them.

Maybe you’ll connect with the ever-talented Brad Tillotson of Southwest Wedding Films, whose 4k coverage of weddings always leaves us breathless…

 

Or maybe you’ll opt for the magnificent team over at Photographic Perspectives, who always manage to capture our events perfectly, and for that, we trust + recommend them endlessly…

 

Or Briana Nicole Photography — we were SO excited when we found out that not only is Briana going to continue offering her natural talent + sunny disposition to local couples, but also wedding videography too!

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Though, of course, no wedding would be complete without Complete Weddings + Events. (See what we did there?) To be frank, Complete has it all. We’re focusing on wedding videography, yes, but with Complete you also get to supplement the film with photos, a photo booth, lighting and DJ services. Need we say more?

We could go on bragging about our local vendors forever, but we’ll end it here with a cherry on top. Or cherie, actually — Lauren Cherie Photography! Lauren’s work is incredible, that’s for sure, but her pure and unbridled love for weddings is what truly makes her stand out as a photographer + videographer.

 

Want more? Check out more Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding videographers here! We’re going to go binge-watching their reels too, so don’t feel guilty if you spend a couple hours doing the same.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Red: A Storybook Styled Shoot

The first time we saw these photos from magic-maker, Maura Jane Photography, our jaws quite literally dropped. That’s because when we hear the words “winter wedding styled shoot,” we think muted hues, cozy cups of hot chocolate, and maybe a faux fur shawl or two. We were totally unprepared for this striking, fairytale-esque shoot straight from wedding heaven!

(Although, we shouldn’t have been surprised that Maura Jane gave life to such a remarkable concept. She has a way of enchanting everything she photographs.)

From the perfect plum lip to the balanced-yet-wild bouquet, Maura and her dream team of local vendors truly brought their A-game to this sophisticated and invigorating shoot. We’re expecting to see this deep contrast and bold color scheme popping up in winter weddings everywhere this 2018 because, well, how could you not be inspired to do the same?!

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Inspired by the beautiful winter weather and the moodiness of the red riding hood fairy tale we decided to put together a winter bridal portrait session with a little bit of a fairy tale twist. Using the deep color of Marsala as opposed to bright red, we wanted to add more mood to the shoot as well as inspire brides getting married in colder months. Protea and berries were added to the bouquet complete with long feathers for something unique.

-Maura Jane, Owner of Maura Jane Photography 

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Meet the vendors who made this fairytale possible:

Concept + Photography: Maura Jane Photography | Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee

Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Floral: The Flower Company 

Model: Jaiden Mazon

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Relax with a Romantic Spa Date Before You Say, “I Do”

In the midst of all the wedding planning excitement, it is always a good idea to slow down and remember what’s really important — your love for each other and your soon-to-be new life together. One of the ways couples are staying grounded is with a relaxing spa date or “pre-moon,” if you will.

Depending on your idea of relaxation, however, there are many ways to recharge in New Mexico, and some at little to no cost. For instance, you can go for a hike at one of our beautiful national preserves like the Valles Caldera or melt your cares away in one of our crystal clear hot springs.

Of course, a luxurious day at the spa is always a convenient option to slip away for a romantic mini getaway and perfect for pampering pre-wedding day! If you would like to unwind before your big day, slip away to one of these beautiful spas right here in the city or just a short drive away.

Photo by La Fonda on the Plaza

Five of Our Favorite Spas Across the State

  1. Green Reed Spa at Sandia Resort & Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  2. The Spa at La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  3. Spa Botanica at Sanctuary on the River, Ruidoso, New Mexico
  4. The Spa at Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  5. Bliss Salon & Spa, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Photo by Sanctuary on the River

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Dark & Moody Woodland Beauty: A Northern New Mexico Styled Shoot

Danessa Gonzales, of Black Bow Events, did what she does best for this stunning styled shoot. After her imagination took off and the planning and design stage started to take shape, Danessa recruited some of her favorite experts to bring her vision to life, including Jasper Kay Photography, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, The Flower Company and even Rebel Donut.

At the pleasure of Danessa’s parents, these lovelies set up in the back yard of the Gonzales family residence in the beautiful mountain town of Questa, New Mexico. Everything about the property and surrounding landscape was the perfect setting for the dark and moody color palette paired with dusty pink accents to compliment our legendary pastel sunsets.

As you can see, their hard work paid off and the finished product came together so naturally. Every contribution and design element added the perfect touch, including the place settings by Nambé and the unique jewelry by Lilly Barrack. With a little inspiration and collaboration, the team you hire can make your ideas a dream come true.

My vision for this styled shoot was to showcase the beautiful and opulent lands of northern New Mexico, while going bold with all of the designs. My goal as a planner and designer is to broaden the visions of engaged couples and remind them that nothing is impossible and every vision is worth creating — big or small.

At the heart of my design was the lacy black wedding dress, which perfectly complimented the woodland vibe. From the donut tower to the mountainous backdrop and intimate table setting, there was nothing mundane about this styled wedding shoot. Adorned with thousands of twinkle lights and candles, it was the perfect amount of glimmer and romance.

— Danessa R. Gonzales, Black Bow Events

Photos by Jasper Kay Photography

Meet the professionals who made this styled shoot possible:

Planning, Styling & Décor: Black Bow Events | Photographer: Jasper Kay Photography | Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Makeup: Edgar Campos | Hair: IG @hmiram + @finessebarberstudio | Jewelry: Lilly Barrack | Suit: Dillard’s | Floral Design: The Flower Company | Beverages: Nuevo Cerveza + Bloody Maria | Place Settings: Nambé | Dessert: Rebel Donut | Venue: Gonzales Residence, Questa, NM

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Earthy Autumn Inspo at El Nido Farm

Nestled in the charming and agricultural landscape of the south valley, the old world architecture and natural elements of the Rio Grande fashioned the perfect setting for this earthy styled shoot at El Nido Farm. Captured by our very own Briana Nicole Photography, I can’t think of a better place to inspire true love than El Nido Farm — which literally means “the nest.”

Like an all-star cast, it is a treat to see these local wedding professionals merge with a kaleidoscope of creativity and talent to design this modern, yet romantic styled shoot to compliment our iconic New Mexico surroundings. This lovely group of ladies who collaborated on this one-of-a-kind shoot are among our faves here at Perfect Wedding Guide.

From the mouthwatering cake by Small Cakes to the antique-style stationery by Funky Olive, the moody color palette is so romantic and timely for this time of year. As we embrace the darker colors of fall, the stained walnut tones of the vintage decor by Darling Details, paired with fig and golden accents against a forest green backdrop creates the perfect mood for autumn inspo.

The inspiration for the cake was vintage romance. We chose a cream and rose gold color palette with a classic design to compliment the warm earth tones of El Nido Farm.

— Brigid, Small Cakes

Photos by Briana Nicole Photography

Meet the professionals who made this styled shoot possible:

Venue: El Nido Farm | Photographer: Briana Nicole Photography | Decor: Darling Details | Planner: Just Lovely Wedding & Event Planning | Floral: 21 Flowers | Cake: Small Cakes | Stationery: Funky Olive | Hair + Makeup: Gypsy Trail Makeup and Hair | Attire: Forever Yours

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Registry or Money Tree? The Pros + Cons

As you plan your wedding, you may be wondering whether you should create a registry or ask for money. While both options are beneficial in their own way, the benefits of one far outweigh the other. In fact, in my own experience, the registry proved to be a waste. To help you figure out which option is best for you, we’ve come up with a few pros and cons of registries and money trees. At the end of the day, however, it all comes down to what you really want.

The REGISTRY

  • Con: You may not know what style of décor you want for your house, so registering for random stuff can make your new home together feel cluttered. *Tip for New Wives: Remember, your new home also belongs to your husband so you want to make sure to choose things you both agree on and that he would feel comfortable living with. Some men may not care, but most aren’t going to feel comfortable with pink and white shabby chic everything.
  • Con: Chances are, you will register for a bunch of trendy items that in a few years will make your house look outdated. *Tip: If you decide to go with a registry, make sure to register for classic, timeless items that will go with any décor and will never go out of style. As your style evolves as a new couple, the items you registered for will blend right in.
  • Con: To add to the first two, if you don’t know exactly what you want or need, a registry may prove to be a waste of time and money.
  • Con: You may not have a home together, so if you register for items without knowing what your future home will look like, this could be a problem.
  • Con: Not to mention, items may look a lot different in the store or on the internet than they do in your house or in person.
  • Pro: If there are specific essentials you know you will both need for your new home and new life together a registry can be a life saver.

The MONEY TREE

  • Pro: Instead of just putting “money tree” on your invitation, you can get specific and ask your guests to contribute to one big purchase. For instance, you can ask your guests to contribute to your honeymoon, a down payment on a new home or even a charity. For example, a friend of mine asked guests to contribute to their honeymoon to Scotland. When I received my “thank you” in the mail, she included a picture of her and her new hubby on their honeymoon in Scotland.
  • Pro: Asking guests to contribute to a money tree for a specific purpose, can help eliminate the chance of receiving an expired basket of sausage and cheese from old aunt Liz.
  • Pro: If you’re not sure what you want, you can save the money until you both figure out how you want to decorate your new home together. Instead of having random stuff (that looks a lot different in your house than it did in the store or on the internet), later on, you will have a nice stash to purchase the things you really want when you’re ready.
  • Pro: Not only will you save yourself time, but you will also save your guests time and money, from having to go out and purchase your registered gift or buying online and paying for shipping.
Photos by Arielei Kinzer Photography

What are your thoughts on creating registries or asking for money? Personally, I can’t think of any cons for a money tree, can you?

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning