Albuquerque’s Most Beloved Bakery: The Cake Boutique

Florists, officiants, and DJs, oh my! We say this a lot, but planning your wedding really is quite the task. You’ve got vendors to meet and book, aunts and uncles to invite (or not invite — we don’t judge), shoes to find, makeup trials, gowns to get fitted — and that’s not even the half of it all. So if you’re feeling inundated, we understand. And we’re here to offer you some relief, as there’s one delicious treat waiting for you in your near future: your wedding cake!

When you choose The Cake Boutique for your cake, the whole process is even sweeter, too. For over 5 years, The Cake Boutique has been serving Albuquerque + Santa Fe locals the most delectable confections for their special day, knowing full well that your wedding celebration is one of the most important moments of your life. Creating custom wedding cakes (or cupcakes and cookies!) is The Cake Boutique‘s speciality, and working with every couple’s budget is of the utmost importance to their team.

Which is why we value Birdie, a wedding cake expert from The Cake Boutique, and her advice so highly, and over the years, we’ve compiled some incredible tips and tricks from her. Luckily for you, we aren’t in the business of hoarding industry secrets. Remember when we said we understand what an incredible feat it is to plan your wedding? We truly meant it, so we’re here to share everything we’ve learned, with some gorgeous cake inspo to boot!Andaluz-16

The best advice I can give to those blushing brides is to prioritize where the wedding cake will fit into her perfect day. Hopefully she can then create a budget for what she would like to spend on the cake. For example, if flowers are not high on the list of where she wants to make the most lasting impression from her day, she can then allocate fewer funds towards the purchasing of flowers to allow her more design options for her wedding cake!

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Here’s one of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks ever:

Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake cutting, pictures, and feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all of your wedding guests to enjoy.

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And another wallet-saving tip!

You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam! Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less, by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… Trust us!

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And some final words for all couples, regardless of cake preferences:

My words of wisdom for brides out there would be to just be a little bit selfish when planning her wedding. I’ve met with so many brides who get caught up in trying to please all of the different people in their lives. Trying to consider everyone else’s thoughts and opinions when it comes down to what will be right for them will only lead to undue stress.

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To Boudoir or To Not Boudoir? 5 Reasons Every Bride Should Have A Shoot

Not every wedding trend is going to be your jam, obviously. Maybe you opted for deep, jewel tones instead of the traditional muted hues and pastels. Maybe you went totally 1940’s classic chic as opposed to the rustic, burlap-and-lace vibe. Or maybe you threw out the whole wedding, and instead had a styled elopement! {Like this — totally one of our favorites.} Isn’t that the great part of weddings? How truly collaborative and customizable the whole experience is?

Okay but wait, before we get carried away talking about how much we love weddings, there’s one wedding trend that truly transcends all personal aesthetic choices: boudoir photography. It’s a bit controversial, sure, but regardless of your style, there’s space in your wedding planning for a boudoir shoot. We promise.

Though not every bride-to-be is sold on the idea of getting super vulnerable in front of the lens. {Which, as a fellow shy person, I understand and couldn’t imagine doing it myself.} But when we sat down with one of our favorite photographers, Shannon MacLean from Chandelier Studio, to chat about boudoir photography — her speciality — it totally changed the way we think of the art form.

My absolute favorite part of each shoot is the reveal, because as fun as it is to create ‘pretty pictures,’ creating lasting love for who she is as a woman is far more rewarding.

Shannon, Chandelier Studio

So we asked Shannon to come up with her top 5 reasons why every bride should do a boudoir shoot. Scroll on, friend! You can book Chandelier Studio for your personalized shoot here.

{Not sold yet? Don’t worry, you will be by the reason #5 and can book using the link at the end.}

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1. Get comfortable in front of the camera. Because let’s face it, most brides are regular human people, and many of us human people feel uncomfortable having our photo taken. Don’t wait until your wedding to try and rectify this anxiety — get cozy with a Canon before your big day and have one less thing to worry about.

2. It’s the perfect wedding day gift. Stuck trying to figure out something meaningful to pass on to your soon-to-be spouse? Not anymore!

3. Capture your ‘wedding bod’ while it’s extra fabulous. Disclaimer: all bodies are beautiful, and your body will be beautiful on your wedding day and on your 40th anniversary. But if you’ve been putting in some extra work to feel particularly perfect on your big day well then, hello! Let’s celebrate that!

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4. Learn posture and posing techniques to look great in your wedding photos. ‘Cause again, there are going to be a lot of cameras trained on you for your big day. We all know our best angles when it’s just us alone in the mirror, of course, but with a boudoir shoot as a practice round, you can learn to manifest those killer poses even outside of your bathroom.

5. The first wedding anniversary theme is paper — gift your spouse with an album! Already got the perfect, meaningful gift for your wedding day? Not a problem. Have your gorgeous photos made into an album or print, and ta-da! You’ve got the first anniversary covered ahead of time.

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Book Chandelier Studio for your wedding + boudoir shoot here!

 

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Rebekah + Julio’s Unforgettable Albuquerque Wedding

With so many weddings every year, it’s easy to get lost in the bustling world of planning, budgeting, hiring wedding professionals, choosing venues, themes, and color schemes. But, a wedding day is, at its core, a ritual used to symbolize the coalescence of two lives into one. With all the precious details of Rebekah + Julio’s effortlessly elegant union, the couple reminded guests of this message hidden within the celebratory day.

Thanks to Chrisi K Photography, we’re also able to relearn the deeper meaning behind the tradition. Behind her lens, the famed Albuquerque photographer captured every moment — including, of course, when the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. As they made way for the bride, darned in muted hues to complement the venue {Casas de Suenos} and vibes, the message became clear. When each woman came to the outdoor altar, they removed one flower from their personal bouquet and added it to a vase which sat, front and center at the end of the aisle.

Representing both the support each couple had from their loved ones, and the coming together of their separate lives, the vase grew larger and more beautiful with each bridesmaid’s floral addition. The end result was an arrangement to rival all others — bursting with color and life, it represented the happy future each guest envisioned for Rebekah + Julio together.

Even more lively and awe-inspiring than the bouquet though, was the couple themselves. When Rebekah joined her soon-to-be husband in front of their guests, the joy and harmony that surrounded the couple was quickly the center of attention. Rebekah’s sleek gown combined vintage details with a modern elegance through its empire waist and high neckline. Julio’s tux, traditional and impeccably-pressed, complemented her attire perfectly, just as they do for one another in their relationship. Though they were essentially there, on a stage of sorts, it seems as if the two were in a world of their own.

How Chrisi K Photography manages to preserve each special second of the ephemeral day, we’ll never know. We can say though, with absolute certainty, that any engaged couple would be lucky to have her on their team for their big day.

To book Chrisi K Photography for your celebration, you can contact her here.

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Local + Lovely: Albuquerque’s Favorite Wedding Show

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Okay, so maybe the Diamond Dash is actually your favorite wedding show. Which makes sense — where else do you have the opportunity to dive into a giant wedding cake and dig around for diamond jewelry? {No, seriously, is there somewhere else you can do that? Because we’d love a shot at it ourselves…} But the Wedding Gallery Wedding Show is my personal favorite, and I’ll tell you why.

First, Sandia Resort and Casino — the famed location of the Wedding Gallery — provides the perfect backdrop for the event. Each little corner and crevice is filled with local wedding professionals who have dedicated their entire Sunday to making the wedding planning process a little bit easier for you. Sounds like a wedding show, right? Well, what makes the Wedding Gallery different in this aspect, though, is how each booth is meticulously curated.

Last year’s theme, for example, was greek chic. When our team walked into the ballroom and saw not only the stage for the couture fashion show, but each local professional‘s hard word and dedication to this theme, our jaws dropped. As the morning continued, our jaws stayed on the floor with every impeccable detail that was added. From Black Swan Events‘ multi-table spread, to Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup‘s boho-greek space, not an ounce of the ballroom was left untouched by love.

For the discerning couple, this is the place to do your planning. Some of the vendors even recruited one another to ensure their booths were perfectly enticing and aligned with the theme. Not only was it magical to watch this greek chic dream suddenly solidify in reality, but witnessing the wedding experts build each other up made the whole day unreal. And isn’t that the whole point of a wedding show? To see how local businesses can take a vision and bring it to life, while working together with the other wedding experts on the big day?

{Oh! I almost forgot to mention — the cocktails, food stations, wedding inspo, VIP bridal couture fashion show, giveaways, games, and prizes are pretty incredible, too. But you probably already knew that.}

See you there!


SNAG YOUR TICKETS HERE!

 

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Basic Invite: Anything But Basic Vintage Stationery

Ah, yes, save-the-dates — one of the very first steps in the wedding planning process, with the actual wedding invitations following on their heels. That initial leap into planning one of the biggest events of your lives together can actually be pretty nerve-wracking, if you ask us. Especially when that step involves proof-reading and sending out hundreds of paper products with potential spelling, time and date, or design errors to all your closest friends and family…

Luckily, with Basic Invite, you can lay these fears to rest! {And if you didn’t have anxiety about your wedding invitations until we mentioned all the possible mistakes then, well, our sincerest apologies for the emotional roller coaster.} Since 2006, Basic Invite‘s team of highly creative, highly talented designers and artists have been dutifully handcrafting customizable, vintage wedding invitations, save-the-dates, announcements, photo cards, and basically everything else stationery related from their home base in Saint George, Utah.

Sure there are plenty of options for custom, online stationery design nowadays, but there’s something about Basic Invite that truly sets them apart. Or maybe it’s not one particular thing, but a conglomeration of their attributes that, together, can quell any bride-to-be’s anxiety around the intimidating permanence of paper products. Take their customer service, for example. The moment you click over to their website — which is super intuitive and clean, also — a little window pops up, offering brides the option of live-chatting with one of their team members.

Or even better, their custom samples. Basic Invite is one of the very, very rare invitation companies that will send you and your fiancé a sample of your handcrafted designed stationery before you order. Not only can you physically hold the invite or save the date in your hand to check for texture, color, and design perfection, but you can proofread it once more then, too. Just in case.

Then there’s all the free stuff too! We’re big fans of free things, as are most normal human beings, and Basic Invite is actually chock full of free goodies. Like their all-new wedding websites, which are 100% customizable, just like their invitations. Pop in your wedding details, photos, maps, and all other info your guests would possibly need, all in one convenient spot. {Because, sigh, there will undoubtedly be at least a handful of guests who lose their invitations and have to ask for all the details again.}

All this said and we still haven’t even mentioned the custom options! {Over 40 different envelope options, and over 800 different wedding invitation sets. Yeah, you read that right.} But at this point we’re starting to sound a bit like obsessive fangirls, so we’ll let you, lovely engaged couple and blog-lover, check them out yourself at their site here. Try to not get too obsessed after scrolling through their gorgeous designs — but if you do, we won’t hold it against you.

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All The Pretty Flowers {Local Florist Spotlight}

Is it too much to ask of our local vendors to be, at once, professional, personable, committed, and creative in their craft? Maybe, but that’s what makes Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding vendors unlike any others in the world — they juggle it all so well. In the case of All The Pretty Flowers though, it’s not enough to be the perfect blend of friend and expert. They’re exceedingly mindful in their practice, too.

For Amanda Schutz, of the famed Santa Fe floral company All The Pretty Flowers, having happy couples comes first. Directly behind this devotion, though, is a parallel dedication to mindfulness in her craft. For 5 years, Amanda has been working with flowers with respect by sourcing their blooms with careful consideration, recycling all product packaging, and prioritizing locally sourced flowers as often as possible.

Amanda’s degree, which focused on architecture, art history and interior decoration, complements her natural penchant for floral beauty perfectly, ensuring her arrangements are cultivated with care. When the process of creation is done with such meticulous deliberation, it’s no wonder the end result is of such a high caliber!

Of her methods, Amanda says:

Color, shape, size, smell, longevity and personality, among other things, must be considered, and I love that.  All of this is exciting and enticing and provides me with never-ending thoughts and ideas. The possibilities are endless! It’s truly wonderful, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.  When it comes to flowers, the skies the limit!

And we couldn’t agree more! How exceedingly fortunate are we to have a florist like All The Pretty Flowers in New Mexico, exploring possibilities and pushing boundaries to offer local engaged couples only the best for their wedding day?

There are no words to adequately express our gratitude, but we will say this: Thank you, All The Pretty Flowers. To book their team for your celebration of love, you can contact them here.

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Shawna Noel Photography

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