Timeless Romance with Coryn Kiefer Photography

Timeless Romance with Coryn Kiefer Photography

“Life without love, is no life at all.” – Leonardo da Vinci

With springtime so gracefully happening all around us, vibrant colors and incredible new beginnings steal the show. It is no wonder local couples choose this time of year to have their jaw-dropping New Mexico weddings. Since we’re now learning to live with these unexpected changes, couples must reschedule their weddings. We want you to know that it’s 100% okay to be sad, and maybe even really angry, since you’ve been preparing for this moment your whole life. Good news, though! You now have plenty of time to get back to the drawing board, without any distractions, and get inspired.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again – one of our favorite ways to get inspiration for weddings is local styled shoots. New Mexico wedding vendors from all over the bring their talents together to create something magical. Our lovely Coryn Kiefer Photography wanted to bring her vision for timeless romance to life, so she did just that through incredible colors, textures, and scenery.

“While love remains timeless, traditional weddings are changing. Weddings today break free of monotony and add unique elements that tell the couple’s story and personality more than ever before. This styled shoot aimed to embrace the modern wedding while keeping the simplicity of love in the forefront.”

Coryn Kiefer Photography

The models are wearing a modern take on wedding attire – a pantsuit for the bride and a mismatched suit for the groom. While these elements of fashion are unconventional, they compliment each other and are a perfect match for the ornate decor that surrounds them. The decor + florals are fit for a queen. We get some serious fairytale vibes and all of our little girl dreams are coming true.

As we like to say, it’s all in the details. The hand lettering, the jewelry, and the cake are all exquisite. Check out the gallery below to see how Coryn + her team brought this fairytale to life:

“Tessa’s Rime Arodaky pantsuit was the epicenter. Pairing this modern fashion with the Old World style of the El Rey Court was the perfect fit. Elements of Mustard and Sage were added to highlight the whites and add a punch of color to the setting.”

coryn kiefer photography

Photography + Styling: Coryn Kiefer Photography Venue: El Rey Court Decor + Rentals: Darling Details Rentals Floral: Desert Flower Co. Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee Hand Lettering: Hello Jori Cake: Honey & Salt Cake Co. Jewelry: Ooh! Aah! Jewelry Bridal Attire: Rime Arodaky Groom’s Attire: J Crew Styling Assistant: Krissy Williams Models: Tessa & Deangelo

Southwestern Dreams: A Real Wedding with Alicia Lucia Photography

Southwestern Dreams: A Real Wedding with Alicia Lucia Photography

Jason and Natalie met about four years ago and even though Natalie cancelled their first date, Jason was persistent and the two of them finally met. After an eight hour date walking around Lake Michigan, these babes knew they were meant for one another…

Alicia Lucia Photography

During these times of uncertainty and chaos, there is one thing that remains strong and mighty in the face of fear: love. No matter how many bridges we must build to cross wild waters or stores we must visit to find toilet paper, we still have beautiful love stories that deserve to be heard. That’s right, it’s that time of year again where we share our favorite “Real Weddings” with all of you!

Love is our universal language. No matter where in the world you might be, we all have this in common. Here in the great Land of Enchantment, love is buried deep within the dirt we stand on and can be seen in our beautiful sunsets. It makes sense that many couples want to travel from far and wide to celebrate their wedding day amongst their loved ones in such a special place.

For Jason + Natalie, this couldn’t be any more true. The stunning couple live in Chicago with their black lab/collie mix, Bartlet, but knew that their hearts were meant to join as one in the southwest. We love when couples choose to have a destination wedding in our charming state because we get to meet new people with the most incredible + unique personalities.

On a very lovely Santa Fe day, Jason and Natalie said “I do” with the most spectacular, southwestern-boho wedding ever! These lovers came all the way from Chicago to celebrate the start of forever and they pulled out all the stops.

Alicia Lucia Photography

We’re loving the details of these lovebirds’ boho Santa Fe wedding. Hand-painted florals, a cake with pink watercolor cacti, and the most charming save-the-dates + invites from Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery simply stole the show. And that’s not all. Natalie + Jason chose the dreamiest venue imaginable – La Fonda on the Plaza. If this doesn’t inspire you to start planning your perfect southwestern wedding, I don’t know what will.

If you want to see all of the beauty for yourself, check out the lovely gallery from Alicia Lucia Photography below with sneak peeks from Jason + Natalie’s dreamy day.

Featured Photography: Ashley + Breanna of Alicia Lucia Photography Venue: La Fonda on the Plaza Planning: For the Love Events Rentals: Rust Vintage Florals: Renegade Floral Invitations + Paper Goods: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery Hair: Jewel Hair Design Makeup Artist: Kata Baron Bridal Gown: Ines di Santo Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids Grooms Attire: ESQ Clothing Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux Cake: Maggie’s Wedding Cakes Music: Absolute Entertainment

Vendor Spotlight: Inn of the Mountain Gods

Vendor Spotlight: Inn of the Mountain Gods

Say “I Do” With a Mountain Oasis View

– Inn of the Mountain Gods

It’s finally warming up outside and the seasons aren’t the only thing making big changes. Wedding Collective has been anxiously waiting for the Spring/Summer copy of our guide to arrive at our doorstep so that we can share all of the new inspo with you! All of the recent changes made to our brand have us ready to take on new challenges, new content, and new springtime “I dos”.

If you’ve always dreamed that your “I do” moment would be straight out of a fairytale, then we have some really good news for you – your dreams can become a reality. Nestled in the mountains of Ruidoso, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino sits proud and tall surrounded by greenery and gorgeous lakes. This fairytale-like venue offers more than just a beautiful backdrop, but also a complete Southern New Mexican experience, no matter the season.

The wedding turned out perfect! This is the best place to have a wedding if you love the outdoors and scenery! Everything was well planned and I could not have asked for a better wedding venue!!!

– Tammy, Bride

Finding the perfect venue can be challenging since there are so many options out there, from backyard weddings to luxurious gardens. It is possible, though, to find the venue that makes your heart say, “this is exactly where I am meant to be”. At Inn of the Mountain Gods, you’ll find your new favorite place where your love story will be in good hands. From start to finish, the venue ensures that you and your guests have everything you need to create the memories that will live on forever.

Blonde Buffalo Photography

Inn of the Mountain Gods offers a wide range of services and you can tell just from their enthusiasm that caring for their clients’ needs is of utmost importance. Couples, just like you, want to choose a venue that is flexible and can provide a range of options, and the resort heard those requests and has exceeded expectations by offering indoor + outdoor ceremony spaces, set-up, seating + table arrangements, meals, cakes, and so much more. You want to check off as many items on your list as possible – and babe, we totally get it. That is why the Inn of the Mountain Gods should be number one on your venue list!

A lakeside wedding surrounded by trees and rolling hills awaits you, and we’re honestly a little bit jealous that we aren’t the ones getting married at such a dreamy location. If you want to get in contact with Inn of the Mountain Gods to learn more, you can visit them here.

20 Must-Have Wedding Photos

20 Must-Have Wedding Photos

Wedding Collective is all about community, and we are so fortunate to work with wedding vendors in all different specialties and interests. When we receive wedding photos from local couples and wedding experts, we celebrate, because photos are the magical little gift that allows us to see how all of the vendors and their work come together to create something incredible.

We know how important wedding photos are to you, too, which is why we’ve compiled a list of our must-have wedding photos. Sometimes during the wedding planning process, it gets crazy deciding on food, venues, and decor, and it’s easy to completely forget about working with your photographer on what you really want captured on your big day. We’ll expedite the process for you a little bit by providing you with 20 great photo ideas to ask your photographer for:

1. Getting Ready

These are some of our favorite kinds of photos because of the intimacy they reveal. Those small moments of excitement before putting on the dress and going out in front of beloved family and friends are the most raw–which is what makes them so beautiful.

2. Detail Shots

Even though everyone else will be able to stare in awe of your good looks on the day of the wedding, you might want to remember what you looked like as well. Sometimes the small details get buried in the chaos of the day, and having photos to look back on makes all the difference.

3. The Dress

The wedding dress is hand-picked by the bride herself, putting all of her personality, love, and care into the process. The dress is perfectly shaped to her form, creating the most lovely sight you’ll ever see–so a photo is essential!

4. First Look

The “first look” is a moment unlike any other, the moment when you first see each other and the first moment of the rest of your lives together. A photo beautifully captures the emotions and genuine love between two people.

5. Bridesmaids Celebrating

Grab your lady friends and celebrate! These fun photos always make great memories and take the stress out of the wedding day. Your girls will cherish these photos forever, too.

6. Groomsmen

Guys, don’t worry. We didn’t forget about you! Your dude group is just as good-looking as the bride tribe, so you will love to look back on these photos of you and the people who will always be on your side.

7. Invitations & Save the Dates

Just as we said before, the small details have so much thought put into them that it would be a shame if they weren’t captured! We love invites and Save the Dates because they’re all so unique.

8. The Groom’s Reaction

Haley Lupinski Photography

Similar to the “first look”, capturing the groom’s reaction as the bride walks down the aisle brings out that vulnerable and pure love that the couple feel for each other as they prepare to say “I do”. After all, the lovebirds are about to spend the rest of their lives together, and who wouldn’t shed happy tears?!

9. The Moment They Kiss

This one is a no-brainer, but we are putting it in our top 20 faves because, well, we love it so much. This celebratory moment has everyone clapping, tearing up, shouting, jumping for joy, and in some cases, throwing flower petals in the air.

10. The Ring

Oh, do we ADORE wedding rings! The gorgeous photos of the elegant details in a wedding ring are always a treasure. Accenting the photo by holding florals is just one way to capture this sentimental piece of jewelry.

11. The Bouquet

Brandon Harwell Photography

This is a wedding photo that has been trending lately, and we’re about it. Wedding flowers are an essential part of every wedding, and with their natural beauty, deserve every chance they can get to be photographed. Get the bridesmaids together and snap some photos of the bouquets together.

12. Decor + Tablescapes

The possibilities are endless when it comes to wedding decor. The colors, textures, and designs are all too magical to be seen only once. This is where photos come in! You’ll want to remember all of the beauty that surrounded you on your wedding day.

13. The Flower Girl

She’s adorable. ‘Nuff said.

14. Food

Catering, drinks, and baked goods always look like works of art. Food, in general, is a work of art, so a photo of the beautiful plates being served to your guests is always a good idea. Plus, unique ideas like the pie bar pictured above are fun to share with other couples looking for inspiration.

15. Time Alone Together

After all of the festivities of the ceremony have calmed down and the guests are heading to the reception, it’s always a good idea to sneak off and have some alone time together. It’s time to relax, have some fun, and get silly. The photographer is there to capture your intimate moments, whether they’re tears or smiles.

16. The Cake

Cakes are a big part of the wedding day and a lot of work goes into making them beautiful and uniquely yours. The gorgeous colors and embellishments make for the best photos.

17. The Bride

Beth Waldron Photography

The bride’s reactions and laughter are going to be the highlight of her day, and she will want to see how cute she looked later on. The makeup, the hair, the dress, and the love between the couple are all so deserving of great photographs.

18. The Dances

The first dance, the father-daughter dance, and so may others, are all tradition. These moments are emotional and entertaining for everyone to watch. The photographs of these special moments will be passed down for generations to come.

19. Bouquet/Garter Toss

The bride and groom don’t get to see the expressions on their guest’s faces as a bouquet or garter comes hurdling at them, and trust us, their priceless. This is a moment that you’ll love to look back on after the wedding day for a good laugh!

20. The Scenery

Last, but definitely not least, the ceremony and reception venues are always the perfect backdrop for couple’s photos. Whether you choose Los Poblanos’ lavender fields or the Sandia Mountains, the scenery will bring out the beauty of your wedding venue.

The Bowie Wedding

The Bowie Wedding

We’re always filled with excitement when we see the sweetest emails pop up in our inbox from local couples that want to share their special day with us. It really is one of the best things about being part of Perfect Wedding Guide! The incredible thing about weddings is that no matter how small or how big, there is always a unique and beautiful love story to go along with it. We live for these stories.

For Kirsten + Justin, their story began a lot like many other love stories–love at first sight. Kirsten had just started a new job at Safelite Autoglass in March of 2014. She was introduced to everyone in the office, but there was one particular employee that caught her eye: Justin Bowie. She was only working there for two weeks when Kirsten was offered an internship at Sandia National Laboratories. We can imagine it would be hard to pass up that opportunity, so she put in her two weeks. Despite her excitement to start a new job, Justin was still on her mind. They had talked a few times during her short time at Safelite, and she felt like they had a spark. On her last day, April 25, she emailed Justin her phone number (he wasn’t around when she was leaving for the day to give it to him in person). He sent her a text later that night, and exactly a month later on May 25, he asked her to be his girlfriend. Four years later, on May 25, 2018, Justin asked Kirsten to marry him and the rest is history. Yup, it’s the perfect love story and they’re pretty much adorable.

Kirsten + Justin are big fans of DIY projects and spending time together, and this didn’t change when it came to their wedding. They handmade all of the decor themselves in order to put as much of their personalities as possible into their wedding day. Between working on the decor together and planning, the whole process helped them bond even more than they could have ever imagined. Justin does home construction for a living and Kirsten has a DIY & Home Decor blog (A Bowie Project), so creating the beautiful decor that they shared with family and friends on their wedding day made them even more excited to see what they could do with future projects as husband and wife. And we can’t wait to see what they do, as well!

We were so thrilled to see that their day was captured flawlessly by the incredible Arielei Kinzer Photography. Check out the gallery below!

Congratulations to Kirsten + Justin! The Perfect Wedding Guide team sends our best wishes to you both and cheers to your new life together.

Bride and Groom: Kirsten and Justin Bowie Photographer: Arielei Kinzer Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of the Assumption Church Reception Venue: El Nido Farm Florist: Agave Florist Tables, chairs, tent & dance floor: American Tent Rentals Bar & Connect Four Game: My Beloved Vintage Rentals Groom & Groomsmen Tuxes: Mr. Tux Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal My dresses: ballgown is Justin Alexander and mermaid is Grace Loves Lace Decor: Mostly DIY Couples IG handles: @kirstenmbowie and @justin.bowie.562

Rentals, Decor & So Much More

Rentals, Decor & So Much More

Chic, glamorous, simple, boho, elegant. These are just some of the words that come to mind when thinking about wedding rentals & decor. No two people are the same, and this is especially true when it comes to planning your big day. Some people are lovers of all things that shimmer, while some prefer the minimalistic approach. Full disclosure, wedding decor is one of our favorites because it can be the most necessary, exciting and enjoyable aspect of planning. The possibilities have no limit. This year, the 20’s are back in style and jewel tones are on-trend, and if you love both of those ideas, why not try out a mix of both? It’s your day, design it with passion.

No matter your style, there are so many fantastic options available to you that will fit your personality perfectly! No need to rely solely on your adorable Pinterest boards and lose sleep wondering if your guests will have a place to sit, because there is a decor expert ready to make your dreams a reality. Luckily for you, there are some right here in New Mexico and we already have a couple experts in mind. P.S. They’re the best of the best.

First up…

Colorado Party Rentals

Although their home-base is in Colorado, this vendor has a dream-team located in Santa Fe. Specializing in all times of wedding decor, it is no doubt that you will fall in love with every scene they create. Just look at these photos–they look like something straight out of a fairytale! Offering everything from table linens, aisle runners, dance floors, and tenting, to china and glassware to create gorgeous tablescapes, there will be no lack of gems to choose from. Colorado Party Rentals has quite the list of services from 3-D renderings to set up/break down. Want to learn more about these decor experts? You can get in contact here.

Social Collective

Social Collective, FKA Occasion Services & Events, is a team of highly experienced designers and planners offering rentals and designs that know how to bring a wedding to the next level–and we’re not exaggerating. This team of experts knows how to create a perfect wedding for any couple, no matter the style, location, or arrangement. Social Collective is on-trend and well-prepared with everything you need, from the initial concept planning, to tables and chairs, to lighting and floral design. It’s safe to say that we’re in love with every single event they put together. If you want to learn more and get in touch, you can visit them here.

This can be a lot of information, but don’t get discouraged. Wield your Pinterest boards as your shield and your decor expert as sword and absolutely slay your wedding! If you want to read about more of our decor experts, click here.

Header photo: Maura Jane Photography

You’re Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

You’re Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

Your partner popped the big question and you said yes–congratulations! Although the excitement of your engagement has your stomach filled with butterflies and you wish you could hold onto these perfect and stress-free moments forever, you are probably starting to wonder when the chaos of wedding planning is going to begin. More importantly, you’re probably wondering where to start, and that is where we come in! Before we go any further, we want to tell you that planning your wedding is meant to be filled with personality, joy, laughter, and bonding. It can truly be an amazing experience for you AND your loved ones, and we encourage you to have some fun!

The First Steps

Let’s take a deep breath. Sit down. Close your eyes. Imagine your ideal wedding. What do you see? What does your dress look like? What does your suit look like? Is your wedding inside or outside? Do you see trees? What about a chapel? How many people do you want surrounding you while you say ‘I do’? These thoughts can quickly become overwhelming and we know that money and time are the first things that come to mind. For just a moment, imagine that these concepts don’t exist and then open your mind to the possibilities! Instead of seeing them as negative thoughts, turn them into opportunities. This is the moment where you let your personality and imagination take control. After you’ve designed your ideal wedding, now you can take it to the drawing board and decide on the details.

However, we know that some people enjoy having a professional to guide them in their first steps, and that is why wedding + event planners exist! One of our own lovely wedding planners, Danielle of D Events and Weddings, is an expert in her craft and offers full service event planning just for you from beginning to end. Remember that wedding you just imagined, the one that seemed impossible? She’s here to make it possible–and she’s done it countless times before. Yup, you can breathe easy now.

Jasper K Photography | Black Bow Events

Local Wedding Vendors

So you’ve reached out to your wedding planner, or maybe you’ve decided to DIY, but either way you’re ready to start building your team of love experts. Find your venue, caterer and get all of the high priority planning squared away. Your wedding planner will be right by your side during this process for smooth sailing and emotional support (it’s not in their job description, but we know that they must be pretty good at it). After that, it’s time to grab your gals or your bros and have some fun. Dress and suit shopping, creating ‘save the dates‘, florals–local wedding vendors will have everything you need without the hassle of ordering online and waiting to see your product. We do love a good Etsy shopping spree, but we also encourage you to support your community because they’re kind of flippin’ awesome.

You can also get discounts on local vendors when you have a wedding planner like Black Bow Events, another local business who has years of experience planning amazing weddings. We love that event planners are there every step of the way and have cultivated connections with the wedding community so that planning your wedding can be stress-free and budget friendly.

Brandon Harwell Photography | D Events and Weddings

Just Months and Even Days Away

The wedding is months away, and everything is pretty much settled. Well, as settled as it can be–we get it. Now it’s time for all of the final preparations, like teeth whitenings, spa days, gym memberships, guest accommodations, etc. A wedding planner can help you get set up with all of these things if you’ve lost the energy! But beyond all of this, it’s your time to rest and focus on the love between you and your honey. These moments before the big day are unique and exciting, they should be embraced. So put down your notebook filled with wedding planning notes, go grab the love of your life, and remember why you’re doing it all–for the love.

Feel like you need more wedding planning help + inspiration? You can check out our own website here where you can find upcoming wedding shows, local vendors, discounts, and giveaways. We would be honored to be a part of your planning process and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Lavel Marie Photography | D Events and Weddings + Black Bow Events

Header photo: Lavel Marie Photography