Hot Air Balloon Styled Shoot with Tori Photography

The pre-spring winds here in New Mexico aren’t the only thing blowing us away today! Mimicking the buoyancy and uninhibited joy that is riding in a hot air balloon, this inspired shoot by Tori Photography has swept us off our feet. {Puns always intended.}

We have always been impressed with Tori, the creative behind Tori Photography of course, and her attention to detail… But this shoot has us stuck in a summer daydream! Splashes of vibrant primary colors contrasts energetically with the serene landscape of Tanoan Country Club, and the bursting bouquet frames the lighthearted couple perfectly.

Red, blue, and yellow pop off Tori Photography‘s stunning photos, Differently Designed‘s invitations, and Black Bow Event‘s tablescape. You can practically smell the honeysuckle that was surely blooming just out of frame, and feel the gentle summer breeze. Pairing Tori’s keen eye and innate ability to make her models comfortable, this shoot proves something we’ve known all along: Albuquerque + Santa Fe‘s creative collaborations always result in magic.

That, and that there is no wrong way to do a wedding! Straying from the traditional muted hues, lace edges, and sprigs of baby’s breath, this shoot stands out with it’s unapologetic vivaciousness and vitality. Now, there’s no need to throw out the lace entirely yet — because, c’mon, it’s beautiful — but let this out-of-the-box shoot change the way you think about your own future wedding. You can have anything your heart desires, no matter the theme, color palette, or style, and know that there are wedding professionals here in New Mexico who will make your dreams come true with elegance and perseverance.


Photography: Tori Photography
Video: Avid Pictures
Planner: Black Bow Events, LLC
Location: Tanoan Country Club
Flowers: Lavish Floral Boutique
HMU: C. Johnson Makeup
Invitations: Differently Designed
Couches: Darling Details Vintage Decor Rental Co.
Crown: Wild Grace Boutique
Cupcakes: Amanda J Moore & Smallcakes: A Cupcakery ABQ


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Devoted Love at Prairie Star {Video Feature}

Yes, yes, we did just feature a gorgeous wedding at Prairie Star. But what can we say? We’re suckers for the quiet serenity of the venue. Nestled in the Santa Ana Pueblo, the traditional adobe mansion is only a few minutes from downtown Albuquerque, and one of our favorite places to visit in New Mexico.

Prairie Star‘s stunning views and amazing team make every wedding + celebration there one for the books. If you really want to take advantage of the little slice of heaven though, the only way to make it even better is to pull in an equally incredible, just as local, entertainment company like COMPLETE Weddings + Events. Which Tara + Kevin did! {Not to mention, the other local vendors who came together as the cherry on top of a perfect day. Listed below!}

We’re so thankful that Luminance Wedding Films was there to capture their heartfelt + tastefully vintage wedding day. Cementing in memory the unparalleled way in which Prairie Star + COMPLETE collaborated to make Tara + Kevin’s day undeniably elegant and insanely fun — we’re just dying to share this Luminance wedding film with you all.

Turn up your volume, or pop in some headphones for this one. Maybe grab some tissues too, because Tara + Kevin’s radiating love and devotion is giving us — well, me, at least — some serious wedding fever.

Love You More….Tara {+} Kevin Wedding Short Film~Prairie Star from Luminance Wedding Films on Vimeo.


Cinematography | Luminance Wedding Films
Editing/Color Grading | Sarah Kanafani of Luminance Wedding Films
Venue | Prairie Star
Bridal Consultant | Vicki Newsom of Orange September
Photographer | Jones Photo Art
D.J. | Justin with COMPLETE Weddings + Events
Floral Design | Say Something Special With Flowers
Cake | Cake Fetish


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Jenna + Nestor’s Sweet + Classic Celebration

Now, we love all couples indiscriminately, it’s true. But there’s something particularly heart-warming about two best friends falling in love and committing their lives to one another. In this case, we’re so lucky to have had Nicole Bradshaw Photography there to capture all the sweetest moments in Jenna + Nestor’s big day!

The warm + caring couple married at Prairie Star here in Albuquerque, but had been best friends since their Freshman year in high school. With a deep friendship as the foundation for their love, the kindness they have toward one another is apparent at first sight. Nicole herself says, “They almost seemed to orbit around one another!”

Little pops of red scattered throughout Jenna’s bouquet and their wedding party’s attire made for a classic vibe for the day. An elegant sort of simplicity allowed for their love to truly be the focal point of the ceremony too. Not without their little details though, there were a few hidden things, making their day all the more meaningful and personal. {Like the tiny portrait charm of Jenna’s grandparents, which was fastened to the stem of her bridal bouquet.}

Thank you again to the ever-talented Nicole Bradshaw Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us! Somehow, we’re always stunned by her photographic eye, and the attention to composition and detail she shows her couples.



Thank you to all the hardworking vendors who made Jenna + Nestor’s day possible!

Photography | Nicole Bradshaw Photography

Ceremony Venue + Catering | Prairie Star 

Cake Designer | Christiana Romero {Jenna’s sister}

DJ | ICY Jams

Dress | Ann Mathews Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses | David’s Bridal

Groom’s Suit |Men’s Warehouse

Groomsmen’s Suits | Men’s Warehouse

Rings | Kay Jewelers


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Heritage Hotels {Vendor Spotlight}

For years now, Heritage Hotels has been offering local and out-of-state brides an incredible variety of spaces to choose from for their celebration. With each venue being unique in its own right, yet still intricately related to the culture that makes New Mexico so special, it’s no wonder they’ve hosted so many beautiful weddings. It’s also no surprise that we’re so very, very excited to welcome them to the Perfect Wedding Guide family!

Of the eleven incredible resorts and hotels — yes, you read that right, eleven! — it’s hard to pick our favorites. The Inn and Spa at Loretto showcases carefully curated art from local galleries, and even hosts artist residencies within it’s distinctly Santa Fean adobe walls. While the custom architecture of Hotel Albuquerque‘s grand lobby quite literally makes our jaws drop every time we have the pleasure of entering their doors. El Monte Sagrado, too, is impossible to not fall in love with — the high mountain retreat space has everything needed for a luxurious and unforgettable reprieve outside the city.

In fact, we almost feel badly for you darling brides, how could you pick one to get married in?! Can we make having 11+ different ceremonies for one wedding the new 2018 trend?

Though, your guests probably don’t have 11 different wedding outfits, so you’ll have to choose just one. If it helps, scroll on to get a quick taste of a few of their venues, and read what their guests have to say about each space. {If it doesn’t help, well, we understand. It’s like choosing a favorite child! The bright side is, every hotel + resort is impossibly beautiful and carefully staffed with kind people, so you really can’t go wrong.}



We were over the moon with our choice to have our wedding at the Eldorado hotel. Dan Liss and his staff were amazing and helped make our special day flawless and unforgettable. The La Capilla de oro chapel took everyone’s breath away! It is so beautiful and special, our guests were in awe. Our cocktail hour, reception and dinner also took place at the hotel. Everything was so elegant. I promise the Eldorado does not disappoint!!

Jessica, bride

Hotel Albuquerque


It was hands down the best place in Albuquerque to have a wedding. The hotel is beautiful, the outside garderns incredible and the wedding chapel romantic. The food was delicious and the service impeccable!

Samantha S., bride

El Monte Sagrado


My wife and I wanted to get married at El Monte for years. Their Intimate Wedding package included a ceremony in the Sacred Circle, the officiant, florist, and photographer. It included one night stay in the Taos Mountain rooms and a 4 course dinner with wedding cake. They created the perfect wedding for us. The location was beautiful, the dinner delicious and the officiant, florist and photographer made us feel special. They tailored their services to our wishes. I would do it all over again.

Lillian, bride

Inn and Spa at Loretto

Tony Gambino Photography

The Loretto was GORGEOUS! Perfect setting for our wedding! The staff was excellent and Vickie, Jen, Ludwig and Josephine were wonderful! It was a beautiful hotel and I’m so glad that our wedding was there! I loved it!

Lisa, bride

Thank you so much for joining our PWG family, Heritage Hotels!

Click the names of any venue for contact and booking information. To see even more of Heritage Hotel’s stunning spaces, you can visit them here.


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel

The place and atmosphere were pure fun and joy. I enjoyed every part of the place. I will definitely go back again and tell my family and friends of the place and what fun and joy. Thank you for such a great time.

– Terry, local to Albuquerque

It’s no secret to the locals that Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel lives to treat each and every one of their guests. But did you know that you can actually marry your sweetheart in their venue space too? We’re so excited to welcome Santa Ana Star on to the Perfect Wedding Guide team as our newest venue + member!

As long term fans of the space, we can’t help but be a little biased. It’s just that we always have such a wonderful time there, and now we get to direct our local brides there to celebrate their big day! I mean, the conference space + ballroom, which are flexible and accommodating, has over 30,000 square feet of space. Can you believe that?!

It’s not just for the bigger bridal parties either — “From 20 to 3,000 guests, our creative, knowledgeable and friendly staff will personalize YOUR event to perfection!” says their team, and we can attest to that.

Thank you, Santa Ana Star, for being a part of our family of Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding professionals. We appreciate you!

For more information on booking the venue, chat with the Santa Ana Star team here!

Image 1 - Kissing Couple


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Real Wedding at La Fonda | Ginny + Kolton’s Laid Back Celebration

We’re not exactly sure how Maura Jane Photography always gets to work with the most unique brides, but we’re starting to suspect there’s some magic involved here. Or, it could be because Maura herself is one of the most charming and down-to-earth photographers here in Albuquerque, so she attracts brides with similar vibes. (We like the idea of Maura casting spells to manifest interesting couples in her life, though.)

Either way, Ginny + Kolton’s cooler-than-cool ceremony at Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi might just be our favorite wedding at the Santa Fe venue of 2018 so far. Plus, a reception at La Fonda is always a good choice! Utilizing Santa Fe’s relaxed and restorative energy, the out-of-state couple made their wedding like a vacation for their guests, rather than a big production.

Keeping the event low-key didn’t detract from the day, though. Pops of blue {2018 wedding trend prediction anyone?} sparkled throughout the venue, the invites, and of course, New Mexico’s trademark skies — which dimmed respectfully as their guests enjoyed margaritas on La Fonda‘s terrace during the day’s finale.

Somehow, Ginny + Kolton got the best of both worlds: a relaxing celebration of their love AND the collection of tiny details that, when merged, created an absolute masterpiece of a day. We’re thankful that Maura was there to capture each moment. Savor what her lens captured below, and send a little thought of gratitude to the other vendors who made this day possible — also listed below.

{And may Ginny + Kolton live happily ever after! New Mexico already misses you both.}



Venue | Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi + La Fonda on the Plaza
Floral | Bloomstream Floral
DJ | DJ John Edwards
Dress | Saks 5th Avenue
Designer | Halston
HMU | Genica Lee, Makeup Artist

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico