Let’s Get Planning! 5 Local Wedding Planners Who Will Get You on Track

One of our favorite things about working here at Perfect Wedding Guide is that we get to see so many incredible weddings everyday. From farmhouse chic winter weddings, to vibrant pink floral wonderlands in the spring, we’ve seen some of the most perfect weddings out there– and the exciting part is, it doesn’t end there! The possibilities are truly endless here in the Land of Enchantment, and with the help of local wedding vendors, your wildest wedding day dreams can become a reality.

Let’s talk planning, because achieving that dreamy wedding starts with a good plan, and finding the talented individuals who bring that plan to life should be your #1 priority. All of those DIY YouTube videos and Pinterest boards are great, and trust me, we love a good DIY wedding, but sometimes that’s not an option for the couple who is looking to take some weight off of their shoulders. Check out this blog that we wrote in June that dives deeper into the different types of wedding planning available to you!

Wedding planning is not meant to be stressful, but rather a time where you get to celebrate love and connection, so take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and keep reading to connect with a local wedding planner that can help you along your greatest adventure yet. Wedding planners are a great way to keep you on track for the big day, even when you’re at your wits end. These local wedding planners are trusted by our wedding community, and after seeing the stunning images from weddings that they’ve planned, you’ll totally agree.

1. Occasion Services + Events

Natalie and Celine are not only pros in the event planning business but are an absolute pleasure to work with throughout the entire process. Although they already had three other weddings scheduled the weekend of my big day, they agreed to take on our out-of-town wedding as well. They have top-of-the line quality products at reasonable prices and are quick to offer their creative vision in designing the perfect concept. They ran out of gold chiavari chairs the week of my wedding due to their high demand so they upgraded me to their vineyard chairs for the same price! I was thrilled! They added a personal touch to my wedding and I will undoubtedly go to Occasion for all my future event needs!  

– Hallee, Local Bride

2. Simply Done Events

Symone is a professional and she understands your vision for the event! She makes planning a party fun and easy! I loved having her on my wedding day. She was absolutely essential in making every detail go according to plan.

Larissa, Local Bride

3. Casi Sueño Weddings + Events

Genevieve and her team bring both an otherworldliness here to Albuquerque, and a genuine love for celebration and design. Being motivated by a pure passion for what they do, there’s no need to feel spoiled when the Casi Sueño team transforms your wedding day, only grateful.

4. NJR Event Planning

For nearly 3 decades, Naomi — the creative powerhouse behind NJR Event Planning — has been taking the inklings of dreams, and turning them into realities for New Mexico engaged couples. Her design expertise has weathered the storm through many a trend: cupcake-ballgowns, burlap + lace, bolero tops (Google it), puffed sleeves, etc…. Classic and modern though, the inherent talent of the NJR Event Planning team continues to evolve, meeting the needs of our generations respective trends like it’s second nature.

5. Black Swan Events

I cannot say enough positive things about this company. Joann and Brian were incredibly attentive, responsive, professional, and talented at what they do! They provided all of our floral decorations, lights, set our place settings, and everything was incredible! I was very thankful that when they gave us our quote, which included everything we initially wanted, they gave us multiple price points and allowed us to pick and choose. They communicated directly with our venue for set up, measuring, and other details and it made our wedding day beautiful and stress free. I hope to work with Black Swan again on future events!

– Bailey, Local Bride

Header photo: Maura Jane Photography

Love in the Mountains: A Real Wedding with Coryn Kiefer Photography

From the get go David and I both talked about not stressing out about the minor things and always keeping in mind that planning a wedding shouldn’t be a stressful experience.

– Alexis, Bride

Girl, we couldn’t agree more. Wedding planning is supposed to be a blast, and with the help of our local wedding vendors, it can be a breeze, too. At Perfect Wedding Guide, our mission is to foster the connection between engaged couples and the local wedding community… all for the love. We want you to know that your love story is in good hands with the help of local wedding professionals who are passionate and overflowing with talent.

A wedding is an incredibly special moment in everyone’s lives, whether you’re the bride, the groom, or simply family and friends of the couple. This is why we think that you deserve to laugh and play a little before (and on) the big day, not just your guests. For Alexis and David, having fun was number one on the list of to-dos. From unconventional wedding traditions, like having flower men instead of little flower girls, to specially made socks with pictures of their dog’s face on them, their wedding day was filled to the brim with AWESOME.

Alexis and David chose to have their wedding at Nature Pointe in Tijeras, the perfect place for a breathtaking, New Mexican wedding. Not to mention, the couple wanted to find a venue that offered a scenic mountain environment that wasn’t too far from the city, and Nature Pointe was able to provide that and so much more.

If there is a way to capture the essence of elegance, fun, and pure joy, Coryn Kiefer Photography holds the key. She managed to capture the fun, loving spirits of the couple with such grace through her light and airy photographs. We can’t get over the way that Coryn took the small moments and turned them into dreamscapes that any bride and groom would adore, and this is why we know you will love them too!

Photographer: Coryn Kiefer Photography
Venue: Nature Pointe Weddings + Events
Flowers: Desert Flower Co.
Cake: Sweet Grace Cake Co.
Hair: Hair by Shirley
Ceremony + Cockatil Hour Music: Cello for Weddings
DJ: Gabriel Ortega
Catering: Chello Grill

Top 10 Fall Wedding Essentials

Get those cozy sweaters out, it’s finally Fall! There’s nothing quite like the changing colors of the leaves amidst the desert landscape, and we love to see all of the gorgeous weddings that use the scenery to their advantage. This time of the year is one of our personal favorites, although, we might be a little biased since some of our Perfect Wedding Guide team celebrates their birthdays in the fall (*cough cough* our lovely Shauna & Alissia).

No matter what your favorite time of year is, we are sure that you will agree that fall weddings always rise to the occasion, thanks to the local wedding community. That is why we are here to share the top ten fall wedding essentials to make your autumnal wedding dreams come true, whether you want to incorporate spooky Halloween vibes or play with deep reds and burnt oranges for a more sophisticated look. With the help of our vendors, we were able to pull together some of our favorite fall “looks” to inspire you– check them out!

1. A Venue That Does Both

Elizabeth Wells Photography

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to find a venue that lets you and your guests enjoy the fall weather from the outside and the inside, because you never know just how chilly the day is going to be! It’s a huge plus if the venue gives you a good view of the changing of the leaves, like the courtyard at Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm.

2. Cozy Dishes

via Blue Plate Catering

When we think of fall, we think of warm home cooked meals while we are surrounded by family and friends. What better way to make everyone feel at home than to incorporate reusable and eco-friendly tableware and cutlery? With the help of a caterer like Blue Plate Catering, you can create a unique and zero-waste experience for your guests that will incorporate little hints of fall. Can you spot the little pumpkins accompanying the tableware?

3. Warm Color Palettes

Briana Nicole Photography

Everybody loves picking out a color palette for their wedding, and we know you’ve created that perfect Pinterest board full of your favorite complimentary colors. When it comes to fall trends these days, anything goes, but we love a warm color palette– and your photographer does too! Deep reds and oranges paired with navy blue and forest green will help you bring extra intimacy into your wedding day.

4. Moody Styles and Rich Flavors

Lavel Marie Photography

This may sound dramatic, but this cake specially made by Cake Fetish is to die for. It looks beautiful and tasty, with just the right amount of moody! For the perfect fall cake, throw in some deep purple and orange flowers and pair them with an ornate rich chocolate topping– trust me, it won’t disappoint. If purples, reds and rich chocolate doesn’t suit your fancy, not to worry, you can customize your fall wedding cake with the help of these local wedding cake professionals.

5. Spooky Invites & Goodies

via Pennysmith’s Paper

We love seeing every couple’s invitations and wedding favors because they all so perfectly encompass their personalities and uniqueness. For an October or November wedding, it’s time to get a little more playful and stray away from the conventional to get everyone in the spooky mood! Create invitations and wedding favors that will be a talking point between wedding guests, like these Día de los Muertos themed goodies from Pennysmith’s Paper.

6. Be Bold, Go Gold

Charlotte’s Flowers

When it comes time to pick out your floral arrangement, ditch the pastels and bring out the bold colors. If you must have those pretty pastels, pair them with a darker color to warm things up. You might want to try something totally new, like this elegant bouquet with golden leaves from Charlotte’s Flowers!

7. Dress to Impress & Stay Warm

Chrisi K Photography

It’s seriously hard to resist that perfect dress, and we get it, you want it to work no matter the season. Well, we have news for you! You can have your cake and eat it too… oh, and you can have that super perfect dress that you were hoping for. You can dress up those summertime gowns with a super cute scarf to keep warm and stay stylish!

8. Present Those Perfectly Plump Pumpkins

Matt Blasing Photography

If you love going to the pumpkin patch, then you are going to love this fall wedding decor. That’s right– pumpkins everywhere! Not only are pumpkins adorable, but they’re also a great way to add some color to your wedding. Plop a pumpkin down on the ground or on the table, and maybe let your guests take one home at the end of the day!

9. In With the Old… and Some of the New, Too.

Maura Jane Photography

We’re not saying you should turn your wedding into a haunted house or anything, but we do think this vintage furniture and gothic candle decor from Darling Details gives off a subtle hint of spooky season and makes for a lovely fall wedding. Like we’ve said before, adding a little bit of gold makes everything more elegant and more bold! Hey, that rhymed.

10. Play Dress Up

Jasper K. Photography

Isn’t fall all about that one night where everyone gets to dress up and pretend to be somebody else? Well, technically it’s not all about that, but it’s a pretty big deal to some folks. Maybe it doesn’t just have to be one night at all! Dress up for your fall engagement session or elopement, but fair warning, the fun that this entails isn’t for the faint of heart.

2019 Vendor Appreciation Night Recap

If you didn’t know already, we, your Perfect Wedding Guide team, love to have fun. Both the team and our local wedding vendors work hard everyday to make sure that we are building the strongest and most stress-free bridges between couples and their perfect wedding. Even though we are extremely dedicated to our jobs and to our local wedding community, we definitely aren’t all work and no play. What is life without a little music, dancing, food, drinks, and great company? Psssst. The answer is boring!

Since we love our jobs, our wedding community, and a good party, we decided to create one very special night each year that celebrates our vendors and their hard work: the Vendor Appreciation Night! This exciting evening encourages wedding professionals from all around New Mexico to relax and engage in conversation with other like-minded individuals, all while enjoying some yummy food and drinks.

Did we mention that there is also a different theme every year? That’s right– we get to play dress up as adults, too! For this year’s Vendor Appreciation Night, the theme was “Siren’s Soiree & the Sailors Too”, fittingly hosted by the Albuquerque BioPark Aquarium and their Shark Reef Cafe. We cannot put into words how thrilled we were to see all of the sequins, sparkles, and sailor hats as they began to fill the halls and the dining room. Everyone really nailed it this year, it’s going to be hard to beat it next year! 

As our guests arrived at the entrance to the aquarium, they checked in and received a gift and then were free to experience the wonders of the underwater world. There were exciting options at every turn, from blue margaritas to seared ahi tuna on a bed of seaweed salad (it was amazing). Rockin’ Piano Party took requests for music and we jammed out all night long. The music didn’t stop until everyone was gone and we even started our own Perfect Wedding Guide Team karaoke session during clean-up!

It would behoove us to mention the incredible table decor from The Flower Co., the stunning cakes from Honey & Salt Cake Co., and the delicious seafood themed hors d’oeuvres from Taste Catering. We were so grateful to have Brad from King Mobile Music there to liven up the party and announce our Elite Award Winners, which you can read about here. T. Rayne Photography did us the honor of capturing the evening and we are absolutely in AWE of how the photos came out. Without these amazing vendors, the night would not have been as beautiful and well put together!

If you attended the evening or not, you’re in for a treat when you see the T. Rayne Photography‘s photo gallery from the evening. Check it out below and make sure to join us for next year’s event!

Warming Hearts & Hands: Real Wedding at Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm

It ended up being 25 degrees on our wedding day, and we spent 2 hours taking photos and walking the grounds. Those 2 frigid hours were the most intimate part of our wedding. Los Poblanos was absolutely gorgeous in winter, and despite the cold weather, we could not be happier to be outside together before our ceremony.

– Kayla, Bride

We’re getting closer and closer to that highly anticipated time of the year full of pumpkin scented candles and that delightful crisp morning air! We can’t wait for the cold weather to make it’s grand entrance so that we may bring out our oversized sweaters and those cherished cups of hot cocoa. There seems to be something so special about the colder seasons, maybe it’s just because we get to cuddle up close with our loved ones to keep warm. It’s always nice to get that extra dose of love and intimacy to keep our hearts beating and a sense of joy flowing throughout the world.

For the Perfect Wedding Guide team, the colder seasons mean that the end of the year is upon us, and thus we are gearing up for our final big wedding show of the year in November, Diamond Dash! The show is incredibly exciting filled with the latest trends in fashion, wedding professionals, giveaways, and our favorite moment, the chance to dive into a cake to find FREE diamond jewelry. Aside from all of the show planning, we also get to reflect on the real weddings that are featured in our recent issue of the magazine. This wedding encompassed the ideal Fall/Winter vibes that we are so eagerly waiting for.

For our beloved couple Kayla & Roman, the cold brought them closer to each other on their wedding day than they had expected since they weren’t only warming their hearts, but also their hands. The bride and groom chose Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm for its rustic farm aesthetic that is simply magical year-round and it was a great match for their winter theme. Can we take a moment to talk about how much we love that our vendors offer a variety of options throughout the seasons? Every couple is looking for a location that is going to reflect their interests, because no two love-birds are the same! Whether you love the indoors, outdoors, rain, shine, snow, or any combination of all of these, we know that you’ll find a venue that speaks to your heart and soul. It is no doubt that Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm spoke to Kayla and Roman, and we are sure glad that they are able to share the day with all of us!

The varying shades of brown, subtle hints of auburn, and icy blues perfectly reflect the intimate vibes that the couple were hoping to find for their Winter wedding. Kayla wore a dazzling, snow-white wedding gown and Roman donned a black tux with a dapper bowtie– the two looked like they were ready to attend the most exclusive red carpet event. Kayla even threw on an adorable fur coat to keep warm for the outdoor sessions. Functional and stylish!

If you’re not convinced that Kayla & Roman had the best winter wedding ever, then see for yourself by checking out the gallery of dreamy photos captured by the incredible Elizabeth Wells Photography.

Featured Venue: Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm
Photographer: Elizabeth Wells Photography
Cake + Catering: Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm
Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee
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Announcing the 2019 PWG Elite Award Winners!

Sadly, the evening of our 2019 Vendor Appreciation Party has come and gone and we are left with remnants of glitter on our faces as we sit here thinking about the fun that we had hoped would never end. The evening was filled with the most wonderful surprises around every corner, from ocean water blue cocktails to seafood themed hors d’oeuvres and goodies! All of the sea creatures seemed to be enjoying all of the attention and excitement, too.

The night would not have been possible if it weren’t for our amazing venue, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium and the mouth-watering goodness provided by Taste Catering. We are so grateful to have such incredible sponsors for the event that provided the most stunning “under the sea” themed elements that simply brought the party to life, starting with our invitations by Funky Olive that made a splash! We adored the creative centerpieces by The Flower Co. and the beach-y tunes provided by King Mobile Music and Rockin’ Piano Party. We can’t forget to mention those phenomenal cakes from Honey & Salt Cake Co. because we all know we were dying to taste when we saw them placed on display.

These local wedding professionals, from wedding coordinators to wedding travel agencies, show exemplary performance in helping local brides and grooms make their wedding day dreams come true. Since we think that all of our vendors are shining stars every day, we ask locals to vote for their favorites to help make the process easier and more exciting. Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, and the moment we can’t wait to share with all of you, the winners of the PWG 2019 Elite Awards!

Drum roll please…

Coordinator | Black Bow Events
Bridal Beauty Expert | Vixen Looks by Vangie
Best Place to Order Wedding Cake/Dessert | The Cake Boutique
Best Catering or Restaurant | Eloisa Catering
Bachelorette/Bachelor Party | Bombshell Fitness
Reception | The View Event Center by Simply Décor & Events
Ceremony Location | Sandia Resort & Casino
Officiant | De Novo Concierge Pastors
Floral Designer | Desert Flowers Co.
Event Décor | My Beloved Vintage Rentals
Rental Company | Simply Décor Tents & Events
Bridal Gown Shop | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Men’s Formalwear | Suits Unlimited
Invitations | Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Disc Jockey | Cutmaster Music
Ceremony Musician | Cello for Weddings
Photographer | Maura Jane Photography
Cinematographer | Photographic Perspectives
Photo Booth Rental | Complete Weddings + Events
Unique Wedding Service | Urban Balloons by Dawn
Best Hotel Accommodations | Sheraton Uptown Hotel
Best Travel Agency | Connect Thru Travel

A big and super special thank you to the lovely T. Rayne Photography for capturing the evening and also having a blast with us while doing it. We can’t wait to share the night with everyone through her lens!

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New Mexico History and Culture: Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple

Our state is filled with a rich history, and as New Mexicans, we are deeply rooted in its culture. Stories sweep across vast, mesmerizing landscapes– from the expansive White Sands in the South to the snow-capped mountains in the North. Often times, we are so immersed in the present that we forget to look back at what built us.

As wedding professionals who love our state, we want to help you find wedding vendors that love our state just as much. If you are planning a wedding that will not only take place in New Mexico, but also incorporates our beautiful culture and history, then you have come to the right place! What better place to start this series of New Mexican history and culture than at the heart of our state in the lovely city of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple, Jo Whaley

We loved every aspect of Scottish Rite for our wedding. Beginning with the gorgeous theater, grand piano and set choices for our ceremony, and ending with the spacious reception hall with Tiffany-style fixtures! You would be hard pressed to find a more classy, glamorous and special site for a Santa Fe wedding.

Rena and Daniel Simpson

With pink exteriors, a lush courtyard and Moorish architecture, the Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple has stood tall and proud for over a century. The architecture was inspired by that of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and it is most definitely reflected through the arches and accents of Spanish design. Since 1912, the temple has served many purposes, but was primarily built for use by the Freemasonry fraternity and is still considered the College of Freemasonry. Today, the temple is a place of gathering for plays, concerts, special events, and our favorite kind of eventweddings!

The Lobby, Jo Whaley

For any bride and groom, comfort and elegance are at the forefront of wedding planning, and this venue does not disappoint. Together let’s imagine that we are going on a tour of this lovely venue, taking a step back in time and indulging in the wonders of the past. When you first walk in, you can expect to see the first of many Gothic arches and other arch motifs that are scattered throughout the temple. If you continue walking, you will find yourself in the Dining Hall with it’s endless rows of windows looking out to the patio. This is makes our fairytale wedding day dreams come true! Just when you think it couldn’t get any more breathtaking than this, it does.

Dining Hall, Jo Whaley

As you continue walking we will see the kitchen, the classroom and the exuberant courtyard, but none of this could prepare you for what people call the “Heart and Soul” of the temple– the theatre. This is where you will complete your imaginary tour and let your minds be at ease. Your eyes can take in the rest! Words fail us when we try to describe the historical richness of the building, but these beautiful images capture it perfectly.

The Theatre, Jo Whaley

“Our experience with the Scottish Rite could not have been better! Dori was in contact with us for each and every step along the way, and the Scottish Rite Stewards couldn’t have been more helpful. Everything went so smoothly that once the event started, we were able to completely enjoy the experience with our family and friends. The Grand Ballroom was perfect for our needs and was the shining jewel of the event (next to the bride and groom, of course!) The Santa Fe Scottish Rite comes with my highest recommendations!

– Phil Shirey

If you’re looking for a wedding venue that is going to merge the past and the present and create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests, then this is the place for you! To learn more about the temple, you can contact them here.

Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local