Hidden Gem Photographers in New Mexico

Yes, it’s true — we just said earlier this week that the fickle weather of spring had given way to steady sunshine and…..then it rained. So it goes in this beautiful, mercurial desert state! While we might not be able to rely on the weather for consistency, we can at least know that whatever rain comes to New Mexico won’t last very long. Plus, because temperamental weather is often on the horizon, local creatives have learned how to work with and around it, especially our wedding photographers.

We all know that rain on your wedding day is good luck — what with the symbolism of cleansing, renewal, and fertility and all — but what about the wind? Or the blazing New Mexican sun that occasionally becomes a bright and shining nuisance? Despite how perfectly you may plan your wedding, there are always a few uncontrollable weather variables. So, if you can’t control the weather, you’ll need a team of wedding professionals who aren’t afraid of a little Mother Nature.

Which is why we’ve put together a list of our 5 favorite hidden gem photographers. With years of experience in rain and shine, these local wedding photographers have been put to the test and come out on the other side with gorgeous visual art, a fine-tuned understanding of lighting, and a considerable dedication to their craft. So, if you maybe want someone you can count on to capture your wedding day — take a peak below.

1. Beth Waldron Photography

We’re starting out strong here with the creative known as Beth Waldron Photography. Like an amazingly talented fly on the wall, Beth photographed our Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer just a few weeks ago, and totally captured the essence, fun, and special moments of the event. (Not to mention, the photos were beautiful despite coming from a dimly-lit ballroom.) With an expressive edge that comes through in each shot, her wedding photography should be properly classified as works of art.

 

2. Jared Kellogg Photography

I feel life has a soul and there is nothing more beautiful than capturing it in a smile or in the twinkle in some one’s eye.

We couldn’t have described the creative driving force behind Jared Kellogg‘s photographic art any better than he does himself! With a unique blend of digital and film photography in his portfolio, Jared has come to understand the medium on a personal and artistic level, which shines through in his business. His clean and even approach to each couple makes his work feel comforting and familiar, with a kind of timelessness to last through each and every anniversary.

 

3. Chandelier Studio

It’s hard not to love Shannon, the creative powerhouse behind Chandelier Studio, from the first moment you meet her. All of her photographic work — weddings and boudoir — comes from a deeply artistic, deeply collaborative place, and it shows. The focus of her lens and creative practices is on making sure the women and couples in front of the camera feel beautiful, and know they’re beautiful. It’s no small wonder then, that each shot comes out looking comfortable, crisp, and perfectly balanced.

 

4. Rick Saul Photography

Rick Saul approaches each engaged couple in New Mexico with a keen awareness of the fact that his photos will long outlive the ceremony, reception, and even the honeymoon. It’s this knowledge that motivates his work, and ensures his talents are used to encapsulate all the most important moments of the day, whether they are precious and heartfelt, or silly and fun. His photographs are, essentially, his way of cementing your story in time forever, so that they may remind you of your unique love for decades to come.

 

5. Shutter Force Photography

To finish just as a strong as we started, we’re wrapping up here with Shutter Force Photography. Although we just did a special feature on the husband-and-wife photographer duo, it’s worth reiterating that their fun and loving approach to photography is totally unparalleled. Meagan and James, as they’re also called by, cultivate real, genuine relationships with their couples. It’s with this connection that they are able to express the inexpressible emotions, details, and depth of each love story within their photography.

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5 New Wedding Food + Catering Businesses in New Mexico

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It seems as though we’ve finally made it over the hump of wishy-washy spring weather here in New Mexico. At last, our days are filled with reliable sunshine, little desert flowers blooming in the sidewalk cracks, and that wide open sky for which we’re famed. As things start to warm up and settle into the season though, that also signals the crunch-time part of wedding planning for our engaged couples getting married in the summer and fall. For our lovely fall weddings — we’re already looking forward to your warm hues and undeniable coziness — you’re probably right around the 6 month mark on your countdown.  Which means the big things, like your caterer, need to be locked down like, right now. 

Luckily for the both of us, our Perfect Wedding Guide team has had the opportunity to connect with some local wedding professionals who dedicate their skills and love for weddings to food. We’ve put together a few of our new favorites — whether they’re new to New Mexico, new to us, or just doing something new that inspires us.

So, you might want to grab a snack for this particular New Mexico wedding vendor round-up, ’cause its a tasty one.

1. Celina’s Biscochitos

If we want to start with dessert, whose going to stop us?! Especially when up on the table are a dozen of Celina’s Biscochitos. For years, Celina has been perfecting the recipe which we all so love here in New Mexico. With new flavors that push the boundaries of tradition like red or green chile and café lattes, Celina combines all the comfort of a biscochito with innovative surprises.

2. UNM Food

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Then, to get a little bit savory up in here, let’s spend some time with another local treasure, UNM Food. Did you know the oh-so loved university was more than just a magical place to get married (or get a degree)? Everything from French-style service, high class Hors d’oeuvres, to home-style, traditional New Mexican food is possible. Engaged couples can choose from wedding menus, or collaborate on a custom menu with their team of chefs and creatives.

3. Les Blonde Bakery

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If you’re looking for a wedding food professional you can connect with, trust, and collaborate with the whole step of the way, then Les Blonde Bakery is the bakery for you. Crafting custom cakes of only the finest ingredients and designs, this one-woman run operation has been stealing the hearts of every engaged couple in New Mexico who works with her. Speciality desserts, delightful flavors, and unique tasting cakes mean that whatever your vision may be, Les Blonde can make it happen.

4. Chello Grill

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Ah, and then our dear Chello Grill. As mediterranean food lovers, we might be a bit biased toward their savory dishes, which are always, somehow, both bursting with flavor and melting in your mouth at the same time. Breaking away from what we think of as ‘traditional’ wedding food, their kabobs, fresh salads, and authentic Persian stews provide a delicious complement to your celebration of love.

5. Europa

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We simply had to include Europa here again, even though we just did a whole feature on the Los Lunas wedding venue slash floral farm slash organic catering business. If supporting local, farm-fresh food is important to you and your wedding guests, then look no further than Europa. You can grab some organic floral arrangements while you’re at it, too, and rest assured that neither your buffet or bouquet will have any creepy dyes or toxins — just pure, wholesome goodness.

Wedding Venue Hotspots in New Mexico {Part Two!}

Yep, it’s back already! If you missed our first round, you’ll definitely want to pop on over to the Wedding Venue Hotspots, Part One post. If you didn’t miss it, then we’re sure you’re on the edge of your seat for this post, just like we are! The variety of venues, vibes, and values available makes the New Mexico wedding-space scene one of our favorite sources of inspiration. From traditional adobe and colorful cathedrals, to modern farmhouses and rugged rail yards, the options are endless here.

Then, as you might imagine, trying to choose only 18 of our top wedding ceremony and reception venues seemed nearly impossible! Luckily, from our little perch here in the local wedding community, we’ve been able to cultivate awesome business friendships with the creative teams who run wedding venues in New Mexico. So it actually turned out to be pretty easy to choose, considering all of our favorites also have staffs who are dedicated to excellence, and stellar reputations to precede them.

Enough with the flattery though, let’s jump back into our curated list!

Hacienda Dona Andrea

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Shayla Edenfield Photography

Hacienda Dona Andrea is nestled in the hills 25 miles outside of Santa Fe and one of the hottest, and most private, spots to get married in New Mexico. The 13,000 square-foot old-world estate offers glowing mountain views, ceremony and reception spaces. Their nine deluxe bedrooms allow for up to 30 of your closest family and friends to stay with you while making lifelong memories during your special weekend. The hacienda is rented exclusively to one party at a time. Couples can plan their wedding their way with chairs, tables, and tableware rentals onsite and free choice of outside vendors. You get your wedding and the whole hacienda, too.

 

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town

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Blue Rose Photography

Whether it’s a magnificent formal reception or an intimate outdoor event, Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town offers a flexible and elegant array of wedding and reception spaces that can fulfill your vision. The property has more than 62,000 sq. ft. of event space, including two state-of-the-art grand ballrooms and gracefully landscaped gardens with fountains, rose arbors, lawn courts, and a Victorian-style pavilion. The centerpiece of Hotel Albuquerque is the 19th-century style non-denominational chapel, San Isidro de Capilla, which seats 156 guests under a soaring vaulted beam ceiling. Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town’s memorable settings are the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding.

 

Hotel Chaco

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Emily Joanne Wedding Films & Photography 

Albuquerque’s newest luxury hotel, Hotel Chaco, offers spectacular panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains, downtown Albuquerque, and historic Old Town. Designed by the world renowned architectural firm, Gensler, the uniquely contemporary spaces are perfect for intimate and grand events. The Terrace Suite is ideal for a grand outdoor event and the serene courtyard and gardens are perfect for a quaint wedding ceremony, with additional ceremony space available at the adjacent Hotel Albuquerque at Old town. This exciting space is unlike any rooftop ceremony and reception venue in Albuquerque. 

 

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces

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Lauren’s Photography

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces has a Spanish and Mexican Colonial ambiance and offers couples sophisticated wedding venues. Up to 500 guests can be accommodated in the tasteful San Andreas Ballroom, while the smaller San Rafael Ballroom can fit up to 200. Weddings can also be held at one of the several beautiful outdoor spaces, with palm trees, fountains, and colorful flowers. The events lawn, adjacent to the elegant pool, the Jardín Sagrado Event Garden, and the stylish Azul Lounge patio are all perfect for receptions and ceremonies. The unique settings at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces feature old world charm with modern amenities to make your special day perfect and memorable. 

 

Hyatt Regency Downtown Albuquerque

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Briana Nicole Photography

Hyatt Regency downtown Albuquerque is a historically urban venue for your wedding ceremony and reception. Our Whyte Room is a blank canvas to design your dream ceremony or reception. Experience our unique ABQ, city-vibe with a touch of contemporary, and a dash of elegance…all that’s left is your signature. 

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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

Royal Wedding, New Mexican Style

If you’ve picked up on anything from reading our little New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide blog here, then you know a couple things. First, we love love. Like, a lot. Second, we’re obsessed with high-quality, jaw-dropping weddings and styled shoots that prove our state is on par with coastal trends, despite being oh so landlocked. And third, we have a special affinity for weddings with super strong New Mexican vibes, for obvious reasons.

So when a photo comes across our desks that combines all three of those elements…well, let’s just say we do a lot of happy dancing in our office. And happy dance we did, the moment we saw this collab between a few of our very favorite local wedding businesses. Housed by the undeniably southwestern, yet luxuriously curated Hacienda Dona Andrea, Shayla Edenfield Photography came together with some incredible local vendors like Mr. Tux and The Flower Company to create a shoot that rivals royal weddings, with an added New Mexican flair.

Hacienda Dona Andrea, a traditional adobe structure, began as a 9-bedroom home to the Contreras in the 16th century. The home, which is actually more castle than townhome, is imposingly venerable in the best possible way, and now generously hosts weddings for New Mexican natives, and those otherwise enchanted from far-off places. With impeccably carved furniture around every bend, and of course debuting within the shoot itself, and hand-crafted fixtures hanging from above, the hacienda made the perfect venue for this dignified and colorful styled shoot.

Bright florals enhanced the already-bursting colors of the venue, from the traditional Spanish art and hand painted tiles, to the oriental rugs. It would all have been for naught, of course, if there weren’t any turquoise jewelry; luckily the darling bride wore the traditional stone across her neck. And thank goodness for Shayla Edenfield‘s light and bright style — as sunshine-y and heartwarming as the personality behind the lens — which captured it all in its shining, regal glory.

To book Hacienda Dona Andrea for your wedding, you can contact their team of dedicated creatives here.

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Photographer: Shayla Edenfield Photography

Floral: The Flower Company

Tux: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Dress:  Borrowing Magnolia

Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna

Cake: Cake Fetish

Turquoise Jewelry: Turquoise Direct

Furniture: Hacienda Dona Andrea

Stationery: Cordially Invited Events LLC

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Cello for Weddings: Vendor Spotlight

When the day finally arrives — yes, you know which day we’re referring to — the whole rest of the world melts away. Or at least it does when your wedding is coordinated by local professionals who have dedicated their talents to making dreams come true. The details, the timing, everything is handled. So, really, all you have to do is be there, be yourself, and marry the love of your life. 

With Cello for Weddings, releasing the stress of planning a wedding comes as an easy, full exhale. Ryan Smith, the musical talent behind the name, has cultivated an appreciation and understanding of sound for many years, so that every wedding may have the opportunity to be elevated by live cello. Whether it is accompanied by other instruments to round out the harmonies, or solo, amplified acoustic cello, you have a guarantee that the music will reach the ears and hearts of all of your guests. 

We’ve all watched movies, seen plays, and even some well-executed commercials whose carefully timed use of music creates an emotional vitality that forces us to be present and acknowledge our tenderness. Incorporating live music into your wedding ceremony or reception produces this kind of  experience for your guests, which is not one that will leave their minds for long after. 

From sweeping, classic ballads to modern love songs, Cello for Weddings has a range of tonal talent that ensures your personality can shine through. Lustrous and heroic in Beethoven and John Mayer alike, Ryan is proud to approach his playing with a collaborative spirit so your wedding feels and sounds like your wedding. As Cello for Weddings, Ryan even offers to learn a new song for each couple, should his vast library of available songs be missing your favorite one. 

Spend some time visiting with Cello for Wedding’s transcendentally vibrant music with the samples available below, and contact Ryan here to have it present for your wedding day.  

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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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