2018 Wedding Trend: Live Music

Have you heard, bride-to-be? Tides are shifting in the world of weddings! The budget-friendly option of preset playlists and iPods on shuffle for reception music were all the rage for a little while there, but it’s time to hang up the aux cord. Live, professional music is back in style! {Though in our opinion, it never really left.}

It’s no wonder either, especially here in New Mexico, where there are so many options for brides who want a genuine, authentic experience for their wedding day. Luckily too, the variety of choices available mean you don’t have to break the bank to switch out your brother-in-law’s Spotify playlist for the ever-romantic option of a live musician.

No need to feel overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of individuals that are here to make your celebration unforgettable this wedding season. We picked three amazing musicians that are local and ready for you to book for your wedding, because we love you.

From guitar, to harp, to full band, it’s hard to choose our favorite live musicians from Albuquerque + Santa Fe, but luckily we don’t have to. The reputation of these talented artists speaks for themselves. {It’s no surprise they all have 5-star reviews on Perfect Wedding Guide!}


Ryan Smith, of Cello for Weddings

is the perfect fit if you’re looking to add an unparalleled touch of elegance to your ceremony or reception. Not only does he offer traditional wedding music, but also pop, rock, acoustic, soundtrack/classical, country, folk, motown, and oldies! Even custom arrangements, if your heart should so desire. Does it get better than that?

Book him here!

Absolute Entertainment

Absolute Entertainment‘s own band Soulstice,

has been voted as Santa Fe’s leading event band by brides. And of course they have! Graceful or groovy, the band plays everything from cross-generational classics to today’s hits. Whatever vibe {or vibes!} you choose, Soulstice delivers above and beyond expectations every time.

Book Soulstice here!

Last, but very certainly not least,


Sandi Ludescher, Albuquerque’s favorite Harpist

has graced couples with her delightful music, and several of our events too, since 2005. With a broad range of available compositions, there’s a spot in every celebration for her harp! {Highly customizable as well, Sandi once played my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song for me on her harp — it was unforgettable!}

Book Sandi here!


Want more?

You can find local musicians, bands, and DJs available for your wedding here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico



On Trend with Alchemy Confections Co. {Vendor Spotlight}

Food is a language of care.

D’Mitri Agnes, Founder

Our love story with Alchemy Confections Co. began long ago, when we first discovered their crazy gorgeous Instagram feed. The vibrant cakes, cookies, cookie-cakes, biscotti, marshmallows, and gummy bears totally enraptured us. Then we had the pleasure of seeing the gorgeous confections IRL {in real life} at our Tablescape Designer Showdown! Fulfilling all our wildest, internet-crush dreams, their agate cookies and quartz lollipops were even more delicious to eat.

Now, we’re so honored to welcome them to our Perfect Wedding Guide family of local vendors! And thank goodness they did, now that we’ve had a taste of their amazing creations, we can’t imagine life without them.

With an impeccable attention to detail, everything that comes from the Alchemy Confections Co. team is just as much a work of art as it is a delightful treat. Taking the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding scene by storm, their goodies are so on-trend and aesthetically pleasing we wouldn’t be surprised to see your wedding guests taking selfies with the desert bar.

{Plus, rosé infused gummy bears? Can you think of a more perfect party favor?!}

Here’s some eye candy to tide you over until you get the chance to gorge on some cookies. It’s okay to drool, we won’t judge. Welcome to the team, Alchemy Confections Co.! We’re so happy you’re here.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetRosé Gummy Bears

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMarigold Piñon Cookie

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetStrawberry Milk Agate

28238805_10156272349939114_1888273253768787525_oQuartz Point Lollipops {From Black Bow Events‘ set-up at the Tablescape Showdown!}

To book Alchemy Confections Co. + make your celebration one to remember, you can contact their magnificent team here.


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Inside Scoop on PWG Buck {$500!}

If you’ve had the opportunity to attend one of our PWG Wedding Shows, then you’ve probably heard the term PWG Bucks tossed around a few times. Sometimes we do little giveaways on our Snapchat {pwgnm} or Instagram too, but typically the $500 is reserved for the beautiful engaged couples who attend our Diamond Dash shows.

But wait… What are PWG Bucks exactly?

They’re basically like free wedding service coupons except — get this — you choose what service to use them on. Each participating vendor will have a special package or service available to you that you can take up to $500 off!

But how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your $500 in PWG Bucks?

Our first tip is to start thinking about PWG Bucks when you register for the event. Come to the show already knowing which vendors you still need to connect with. That way, when you one of our lovely team members checks off your name with a smile and hands over your $500 in PWG Bucks, you’ll know where you’re going to use them.

The Bucks come in $100 increments, which means you can spend 5 on 5 different vendors, or 3 on 1 vendor, etc., etc. Big decisions, we know. After you’re all checked in for the event though, you’re ready to jump into the ballroom that’s packed full of local photographers, officiants, invitation companies, and everything else you need to plan a wedding. {Not to mention, snacks, champagne, a couture fashion show, and door prizes given away ever 30 minutes but, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.}


With your $500 in hand, you can peruse the incredible display booths, chat with vendors, and fill up on little freebies from the local wedding professionals. Each vendor who is participating in the PWG Bucks program will have a little sign on their booth clearly indicating that they will accept the Bucks as a form of payment. So here’s our next tip: if you see the sign, don’t be shy! 

Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s vendors are incredible, it’s true, but unfortunately they’re not mind-readers. If you think you might like to spend a few of your PWG Bucks on one of their services, let them know! They’ll direct you to whichever packages are available to you, how much you can save with the PWG Bucks, and really, it’s just a great way to get the conversation going. Essentially, the PWG Bucks are your icebreakers and your wallet-savers in one.

Lastly, don’t forget to ask when they expire. PWG Bucks themselves expire at 4pm, when the wedding show comes to a close. But luckily, because the local wedding professionals are ever so kind, most of them will allow you to redeem them up to a week — or even 6 weeks! — after the show. If you feel a connection with a vendor, but maybe need to talk it over with your partner before you book, just let your vendor know! It’s all about communication.


So there you have it, the briefest of rundowns on how to get the most out of your $500 in PWG Bucks. Because not ever budget is limitless, and not every bride is going to splurge or save on the same services. Use this cash however you’d like, so long as it’s going toward creating the wedding day of your dreams.


Questions? Leave your comment below!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Pro-Tip: Wedding Day Hair Care

We know wedding planning is not always a walk in the park. Sure, it’s magical and wonderful and leading you toward the day you say I do! to the love of your life. But sometimes all the details, vendors, prices, fabrics, taste-testings, dress-fittings start to pile up, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Lucky for you, we’re about to add one more thing to your yard-long to-do list! Yes, you read that right, but here’s the thing: it’s fun.

{Surely you’ve read the title of this post by now and, with your super-sleuth skills, have figured out we’re talking about hair care with pro-tips from one of the loveliest of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s Hair + Makeup Artists.}

But we’re also talking about self care in general, because you probably have a lot on your plate right now. It’s easy to get caught up in planning your wedding day and accidentally put yourself on the back burner. A little self-care in the weeks or months leading up to your wedding can go a long way for your mental health, and if you pair it with these pro-tips too, also your physical health! Well, your hair’s physical health. Same thing, right?

So scroll on for the wisest of words from Macey, Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup‘s magnificent owner, and be keeping in mind how you can incorporate these little hair-care rituals into your own life. They’re simple, little ways you can bring your hair to its fullest potential, and also carve out some me-time in your busy schedule.

Arielei Kinzer Photography {full shoot here!}

1. Get a good hair oil!

One of the easiest + most life saving tips. After every wash apply hair oil from mid hair down.

2. Deep condition hair once a month.

Remember those self-care rituals we mentioned? Here’s the perfect one! Wrap those locks up in a deeply moisturizing conditioner, pop on a re-run of Friends, and maybe even do a face mask too. If anyone asks: you’re planning your wedding!

3. Get rid of those split ends.

Remember the vigor with which you cut people from your guest list to save on catering? Do that to your split ends. And — keep up the trimming every 6 weeks, says our beauty expert Macey. Sounds like a perfect excuse to grab some coffee and vent to your stylist if you ask me, and that is truly the epitome of modern-day self care.

a4a06bd4-9f92-47ac-8887-e7af42be64d2Hair + MU by Gypsy Trail Makeup + Hair {more here!}

4. Avoid washing hair daily.

Now this one might raise some eyebrows, but Macey swears by it. Your hair loves its natural oils! Stripping them with your shampoo every day is pretty harsh, so try washing every other day to start. For those prone to greasy hair, try using dry shampoo between washes, says Macey. Your hair will thank you, and if you shower in the morning like I do, you can use that extra time to lay in bed with your fiancé before work. Who doesn’t want that?

5. Avoid using hot tools daily.

Now, after your wedding, you’re absolutely welcome to do whatever pleases you with your hair. I’m emotionally attached to my blow dryer, I could never give it up cold-turkey, so I get it. But in the months leading up to your wedding, it’s a good idea to cut back. Opt for a cute braid or messy bun, Macey suggests, and if you’re going to use heat, always use a heat protectant first. And again, less time spent on your hair in the morning = more time snuggling and/or eating breakfast with your love.

Briana Nicole PhotographyHair + MU by Gypsy Trail Makeup + Hair {full shoot here!}

One last note:

If coloring or highlighting your hair for your wedding, go to your regular stylist you trust. Schedule your appointment one to two weeks prior to your wedding. This will give you time to ‘live in’ your color and time for any touch ups.

Macey Robinson, Gypsy Trail Makeup + Hair 

A very, very special thank you to Macey for allowing us to share her expertise! We hope these easy-peasy tips inspired you to indulge in a little self-care hair maintenance. To book Macey’s sweet + talented self for your own big day, you can contact her here.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

{Psst… Got a useful or unique hair tip of your own? Comment below!}





Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re putting together the final pieces of a V-Day scavenger hunt for your lover, or hibernating until the 15th when all the candy goes on sale, we have a little something for you. Come enjoy some of this visual deliciousness in honor of Valentine’s Day! We promise, this isn’t your typical holiday shoot.

Coryn Kiefer Photography, an East-coaster whose fallen in love with the Southwest, brought her 20+ years of photography experience and her unparalleled artistic visions together for this out-of-the-box Valentine’s shoot. Collaborating with some incredible local creatives to manifest a modern look on their model, the sequins and bursting blooms contrasted with their location perfectly. Shooting in the Juan Tabo Rock House, the combination of the two elements seemed to reflect Albuquerque as a whole: tied to a deep, rich history, but forward-thinking and always evolving.

Everything we do here at Perfect Wedding Guide is done for love, and we adore watching local businesses keep love at the forefront of their practices as well. So thank you, Coryn + team, for the sweetest peak into a shoot which helped to remind us how lucky we are to live and work here in New Mexico with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s most magnificent vendors. 

Wishing a wonderful Valentine’s Day to all of New Mexico’s darling engaged couples, business owners, and single-pringles too! Enjoy!

Rock House VDay Shoot_47Rock House VDay Shoot_11Rock House VDay Shoot_1

Bringing a bit of sparkle to the rustic New Mexico landscape with our Rock Cabin Valentine’s Day inspired shoot. With blankets on hand we hiked up through the snow to one of the remaining rock cabins nested amongst boulders in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. The modern bridal fashion of a rose gold sequin dress and brilliant blooms brought warmth to the abandoned cabin built over 90 years ago. It is believed that the name Sandia, which is Spanish for watermelon, was given to the mountains for the pinkish color they turn at sunset which our dress and blooms complemented beautifully.

Coryn, Coryn Kiefer Photography

Rock House VDay Shoot_65Rock House VDay Shoot_49Rock House VDay Shoot_44Rock House VDay Shoot_93

Thank you to each + every vendor who turned this vision into a reality!

Photography | Coryn Kiefer Photography

Floral | Stephanie Yardman

MUA | Betty Rose by Alanna

Hair | Joshua Halladay 

Rings | Shelton Jewelers 

Dress | Honey Qiao


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Spilling the Beans {Part Two!}

You might remember our post Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets from last month — super sneaky budgeting tricks ring a bell? Or never-before-heard pro-tips? Well, we’re back with more! In a never-ending quest to make dreams come true for New Mexico’s wedding professionals and local engaged couples, we decided throw even more wedding planning advice at you.

Coming straight from the mouths of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s top wedding vendors, the following tips are money-saving, stress-reducing, fun-inducing guaranteed. But don’t take our word for it, scroll on, then call up your local vendors and put them to use!

Maura Jane Photography
Maura Jane Photography

Your Photos

When choosing a photographer first look at the different styles that each photographer offers and narrow it down to ones that really vibe with your taste and personality. A lot of photographers offer beautiful trendy photos with lots of filters and moodiness which is something we do not do. While our shooting style is natural and romantic, our editing style is clean and classic, so when you look at your photos 10 years from now you still love them just as much as the first day you saw them.

Maura Jane Photography


Pennysmiths Paper

On Paper

We can do as little or a much as you need for your wedding invitations. You can buy the paper from us and print them yourself. You can even bring in your own design that we would be more than happy to print.  You can have us design, print, assemble, address and even go to the post office for you!

Pennysmith’s Paper



The Experience

One of our biggest secrets is centered around your event experience. We always strive to give more value than contracted. Sometimes it includes additional gear for sound or lighting, or maybe it’s a custom monogram or our 360 media guru footage. It’s always something that enhances your event experience beyond the original scope. Going the extra mile isn’t extra, it’s who we are.

Cutmaster Music



Last, but certainly not least!

For big weddings, an open air photo booth is a must. Whether you’re taking a quick snap with your bestie or capturing your entire wedding party, it’s the versatility you will depend on. On the other hand, a traditional, enclosed booth may be more fitting for an intimate celebration. Never be afraid to ask for references from either your venue or your photographer and be sure to follow up with an interview! Book early because typically dates fill up fast.  And give your guests a challenge + have fun with it! Have your guests do things like tell a story in three pictures, get a picture with the mother of the bride or the loudest person at the wedding. It gets the guests to laugh more and branch out to mingle!

Selfie Sensations


Check out our first set of tips + tricks for more advice on your big day here!


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico