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  • Con: Chances are, you will register for a bunch of trendy items that in a few years will make your house look outdated.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?

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Mountainside Elopements: Nature’s Sanctuary

One of the many things I love about New Mexico are the varying landscapes within its borders. As you travel along the highway, you can pass through everything from deserts, farmland and open meadows of the Valles Caldera to majestic mountain peaks of the Sandias and Sangre de Cristos, all within a matter of hours. With such beautiful scenery across our diverse state, there is ample opportunity for romantic elopements.

If you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget (or not) and would rather bypass all the stress of a large wedding anyway, a whimsical outdoor elopement is perfect for you! Mountainside elopements are one of the hottest trends on the wedding scene — and for good reason. Not only are they naturally beautiful and fun, they are completely budget friendly. And with a wide variety of climates and landscapes to choose from in our gorgeous state, you don’t have to be limited to mountainsides.

First off, you still get to plan all the fun stuff like a wedding dress, bridal bouquet, photographer and wedding cake to complete your epic celebration. Lucky for you, New Mexico is home to amazing photographers and officiants who live for adventurous moments like this. Secondly, you get to save a ton of money on decorations because nature provides the best and most beautiful decor (no setup necessary). More importantly, your venue will cost so much as a day pass, if anything at all!

Another cool thing is that you get to share this special occasion with your closest family and friends — if, that is, you decide to include others. With a mountainside elopement, the pressure is off and you are free to plan and execute your wedding however you see fit! Check out this amazing mountainside elopement captured by Matt & Tish Photography at the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Photos by Matt & Tish Photography

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

The Minimoon: A Local Honeymoon Staycation

Want to go on a luxurious, romantic honeymoon, but don’t want to break the bank? Minimoons, or local honeymoons, are the perfect solution. Rather than spending thousands of dollars to fly across the country (or the world) to stay a short time together in a foreign land with jet lag, invest in your future and go on local honeymoon instead — it’s just as fun and romantic without all the stress of traveling. Plus, you get to relax from all the wedding festivities!

Once you find the perfect minimoon spot, you can still do all the fancy things you would normally do on a conventional honeymoon far far away. You can still have a beautiful candlelight dinner, get a his and her massage or go sightseeing and discover new things about each other and your city on bike, horseback or trolley. Best of all, you don’t have to spend the first few nights as a married couple in crowded airports and rental cars!

Lucky for you, we have some of the most beautiful and relaxing honeymoon spots right here in New Mexico! Some of our favorites include Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, Sandia Resort & Casino, Hotel Andaluz, Girliebird & Co, La Fonda on the Plaza and Isleta Resort & Casino. And many of these gorgeous locations offer all the amenities you would want on a romantic honeymoon getaway and then some.

For instance, Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm offers a beautiful farm-to-table breakfast and dinner. Not to mention, they can make arrangements for a couples massage or local bike tour. If you would like a more intimate setting, Girliebird & Co is the perfect option. Like a home away from home, they offer a cozy honeymoon cottage and delicious homemade breakfast. It is so charming you won’t want to leave.

What about a romantic weekend at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe? Explore the historic sites of Santa Fe by day and relax with a rooftop dinner overlooking the city by night. Whether you’re staying in a friends cabin, a family vacation home or one of our honeymoon favorites, you don’t have to go in debt to have a romantic minimoon staycation. Besides, just being together is what a honeymoon is all about! ♥

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Photo by Kevin & Amanda
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Photo by Mike Crane Photography
Girliebird & Co
Girliebird & Co
La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe
La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe

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

Trending: The Gift Lounge

Favors and gifts for guests are one of my favorite things about weddings. They give you the perfect opportunity to share your love and gratitude with all your friends and family. With so many options and ideas, however, it can be hard to narrow it down to one item. Thankfully, that’s where the gift lounge comes in! You no longer have to limit your gifts to one item. You can dedicate a whole area, or room (depending on your venue), to gifts for your guests. Best of all, they have the freedom to pick and choose the things they like most.

Similar to bars beyond cocktails, gift lounges are simply a “gift bar” — and the sky is the limit when it comes to assembling your perfect gift lounge. For instance, you can have gourmet sodas and candy, local goods, handmade or personalized items and even fresh local fruit. With so many local vendors in the area, planning a fun and gorgeous gift lounge couldn’t be easier. Some of our favorites include Chocolate Maven, Thirty-One Gifts, Pennysmiths Paper and American Pie Company, just to name a few.

Take a look at some of their amazing favors and treats!

American Pie Bakery
American Pie Bakery
Brandon Kidd Photography
Chocolate Maven, Photo by Alicia Lucia Photography

Gift lounges may sound extravagant and intimidating, but if you think about it, we’ve been doing gift lounges for years — with gift bags! Whether you would like the help of a local professional or a completely DIY gift lounge, you can keep it simple, affordable and best of all, creative. Simply allow your guests to assemble their own gift bag, and — voilà — you have a gift lounge!

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

Trending: Cake Designs to Take Your Breath Away

Most of us usually don’t think of the amount of skill and work it takes to create one these beautiful masterpieces when we think of wedding cakes. And yet, that’s exactly what they are — a masterpiece. Creating one of these modern marvels is like creating an edible work of art. Especially with the endless styles and designs people dream up, wedding cakes are no longer limited to the buttercream frosting and fake pearls of old.

Cakes have only become more intricate with modern trends including metallics, ruffles and polka dots, sprinkles, fruit and edible flowers and one of my favorites, hand-painted. Wherever you draw your inspiration, however, we have the best local wedding cakes artists who are always up for a challenge. To help you decide on a cake for your wedding, here are some of the trending masterpieces sweeping bakeries around the world.

I. Dripping & Metallic Cakes

Metallic and mouthwatering dripping cakes are perfect for brides and grooms who are trendy and all about modern design. These cakes are classy and edgy all wrapped into one delicious concoction!

Cake by Hansel & Gretel Cakes. Photo by Tennille Fink
Cake by Chocolate Maven, Photo by Alicia Lucia Photography

II. Ruffled & Polka Dot Cakes

For a softer touch, ruffles and polka dots are perfect for a romantic wedding with soft colors. No matter what trends come and go, these classic styles are always a beautiful option.

Cake by Chocolate Maven
Cake by Savory Fare, Photo by Maura Jane Photography

III. Fruit Topped & Edible Flower Cakes

Coinciding with the farm-to-table movement, cakes mounded with fresh fruit and edible flowers are perfect for those of us who prefer an organic-style cake inspired by nature.

Photo by We Are All Stardust
Cake by Chocolate Maven

IV. Sprinkle Cakes

You can never go wrong with sprinkles! With a modern twist on sprinkles these days, they are sophisticated and fun. Give your inner child the option to have sprinkles or not and you will always choose sprinkles!

Cake by Bespoke Bride
Cake by Style Sweet CA

V. Hand Painted Cakes

As an artist, it’s only natural for me to love hand-painted cakes. If Leonardo da Vinci were still alive, I’m certain his inbox would be flooded with requests for one of these original works of art!

Photo by Cake Ink
Cake by Bobbette & Belle, Photo by Vicki Bartel Photography
Cake by Olofson Design, Photo by Anneli Marinovich Wedding & Lifestyle Photography

As you can see, many of these cakes are a combination of modern trends and styles. Have fun and play with different styles to create your own original wedding cake masterpiece!

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

Trending: Bars Beyond Cocktails

We’ve all seen them. You know what I’m talking about… the plethora of this, that and the other “bar” on Pinterest. They’re everywhere screaming at you to have one at your wedding. And, well, you should! Bars beyond cocktails are one of the things your guest will love the most. They go beyond the traditional, yet delicious wedding cake (which you still need to have by the way). That is, unless you want to start a riot!

Not to worry, bars have come such a long way since the days of boxed wine and Shirley Temples. In fact, the skies the limit when it comes to bars and the more creative the better! I recently had the pleasure of attending a friend’s wedding and she had a mouthwatering popcorn bar with all kinds of different flavors I never knew existed, even green chile cheese! And to be quite honest, I don’t think I enjoyed popcorn more than I did that day.

Aside from popcorn, however, there are so many options when it comes to bars. Like I said the skies the limit, so be creative! They’re just so much fun and certainly leave a lasting impression. Here’s a list of popular bar ideas to get your bar juices flowing: s’mores, popcorn, candy, coffee, ice-cream, fruit, pie, donuts, bake-off (bar meets contest). Just remember to put your own spin on your bar and you’ll be golden!

Photo by Lauren Rae Photography
Photo by Novel Hill Studio
Photo by Novel Hill Studio
Photo by Lauren Kirkbride Photography
Photo by This Love of Yours Photography

For some reason treats taste so much better from a “bar.” Having the freedom to choose the flavors you want and going back for seconds and thirds without any judgement is what makes bars so amazing. After all they’re pretty much the fancy equivalent to an all-you-can-eat buffet!

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

Trending: Suspended Wedding Decor

It’s easy to see why suspended wedding decor has become so popular in the recent years. If you have ever seen these delightful decorations, you know exactly what I’m talking about! They add a magical touch that simply can’t be accomplished any other way. With a little creativity, the possibilities for suspended wedding decorations are endless.

For example, you can use chandeliers, jars with candles or flowers, balloons, lanterns, leaves, umbrellas and so on. One of the most popular options for hanging decor, however, are light bulbs. The clusters of hanging Edison bulbs give the impression of sitting beneath the stars. They’re super romantic and perfect for adding a modern touch to any venue.

The obvious and most beautiful option, however, are flowers! Suspended flowers are super gorg and even more tempting over an altar or dinner table. And because they are so versatile, you can create a look that’s prim and proper or wild and whimsical. I personally prefer the latter with flowers and greenery draping over the edges like nature intended.

Finally, if you have a tight budget the good news is that many of the of the options for suspended decor are DIY friendly. Making paper flowers, for instance, is a budget friendly option to have suspended decor at your wedding. Not to mention, they look just as beautiful and you can easily create a focal point over the bride’s and groom’s dinner table.

Photo by Studio Impressions
Photo by Lauren Gabrielle Photography
Photo by Brklyn View Photography

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