Smallcakes, Big Hearts {Vendor Spotlight!}

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we don’t pick favorites when it comes to the incredible local wedding professionals in New Mexico. When every business contributes, in its own way, to the eclectic wedding market here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, providing engaged couples with so many options for their big day… well, how could we?!

Actually, never mind. We can do it just like this: Smallcakes is our favorite cupcakery in New Mexico. 

Whew! Feels good to get that out in the open and, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Smallcakes is the only team of bakers and makers in New Mexico who have specifically dedicated their talents to becoming cupcake experts. Although, that is a pretty good reason to love them, too.

Smallcakes: A Cupcakery is our favorite cupcakery in New Mexico because they actually do so much more than just cupcakes. Whatever you’ve previously believed about bakeries, cupcakes, wedding cakes, and the like — throw it out the window, because Smallcakes transcends all the customary boundaries. We’re not just talking your typical customization options, either.

Custom, handmade cookies? Check. Bachelorette parties? You got it. If that’s not enough for you either, they also do groom cakes — which we haven’t seen anywhere else — smash cakes, and gluten-free cakes. The best part too, is they have over 120 flavor choices for you to taste, delight in, and choose from.

Oh, and get this. Did you know that if you order your sweet treats from Smallcakes for your wedding day, you’ll also receive a complimentary couple’s cake for your one year anniversary?! There. Your anniversary dinner is already taken care of for you.

The team at Smallcakes: A Cupcakery is ceaselessly working to improve and elevate the wedding community here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, so yes. They are our favorite cupcakery. This might be controversial to some, but with the flavors, fun, and friendly faces, how could they not be?

To schedule a tasting for your custom wedding sweets, you can contact Smallcakes: A Cupcakery here.

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Why Your Photographer Thinks You Should Hire a Wedding Planner {Guest Post!}

A very special thank you to Beth Waldron Photography, a New Mexico photographer based in Corrales, for sharing her wedding expertise with us + allowing us to pass it on to our local engaged couples in this guest post!

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4 Reasons to Hire a Planner — from a Photographer’s Perspective

Planning your wedding can be really fun. It can also be a source of stress in what should otherwise be a joyful time. If you have room in your budget for a wedding planner, then here are four reasons to hire one, from a photographer’s perspective. 

1.

Your decor – This might be the first thing you think of when you hear “wedding planner.” A well dressed person running around with material swatches and flower arrangements.

They do so much more than this, but the gorgeous decor part is definitely true.

When you want your wedding decorations to be on point and everything to look amazing, hiring a planner is a great way to do that. They’ll get to know you and take everything you hope and dream about your wedding and make magic with your ideas to turn them into reality. It’s what they do. Especially if you have a vision of a wedding that is uniquely you. They work tirelessly behind the scenes and at all hours…building and crafting and designing and ironing. They create magic.

Truthfully, all weddings can be photographed beautifully. But if you read wedding magazines and blogs and you love how beautiful and styled everything is in the articles, and want your wedding to be like that … that wedding styling is generally the genius of a wedding planner. They make everything, including photographers, look good.

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2.

Your timeline – Your wedding day needs a timeline. And your wedding planning needs a timeline too. The reasons for this could fill another blog post. There are a lot of details to get done for your day to happen and run smoothly. Wedding planners know when things have to happen in order to get everything done in time for your wedding day. When do you need to have all of your ideas finalized so everything can be ordered or made in time? When do you need to order everything? When do you start making decor items you can’t buy somewhere? Anyone can be organized, so while the organization is great, it’s the experience and knowledge of a planner that makes them worth the expense.
A planner will help you build a realistic timeline for your wedding day. How much time do you need for getting ready? How much time will your wedding party need? Will you really have enough time to get from location A to location B? What will your guests do while you’re taking portraits with the photographer? Who will decide when to do toasts and cake cutting?

It’s true that your vendors can help you with your timeline. Your photographer can suggest you pad certain areas with more time and estimate how much time you’ll need for portraits. Your DJ can suggest when to have your toasts and when to cut the cake. Your hair and makeup team can estimate how long it will take to get everyone ready. But a wedding planner will have a vision for the day, pull all of the pieces together, and keep everyone to it as well as they can, while also handling any crisis that comes their way.

If you contract a wedding planner for day of services, then they’ll be there setting things up and keeping things running all day and you get to relax and be present. And then they clean up, which is awesome. Some wedding planners have a day of only service as well.

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3.

Your budget – Your planner will keep you on budget. A good planner evaluates what details  are most meaningful to you in your ideas. They’ll see where you can spend and where you should think about being more thrifty. And they keep you on track in your contracts and payments with vendors.

Your planner will have the hard discussions with you and manage your expectations. If your dreams don’t align with your budget, then your planner can help you find areas to spend less for more or where things can be made instead of purchased.

Wedding planners keep everything in one place. There’s a list of vendors working on the wedding with a timeline for when they get payment for their services.

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4.

Your vendors – Planners can recommend vendors to work with, which is a great thing. But even when you choose your own vendors, a planner keeps them informed about everything. Who’s doing what? Where do they go? When are they supposed to be there? What’s happening when? Who to talk to about what details? Are they delivering what they promised? Are they where they’re supposed to be? They might feel like they herd cats.

A planner is also a single point of contact for all of your vendors, and they defuse any situations that may arise, vendor and personal. And for any of you thinking, “It’s a wedding, what situations could there be?” Oh, it happens. It could be anything from “the bus arrived late to get the bride from the cabin where she’s getting ready with her bridesmaids and the bride will be at least 45 minutes late to the ceremony” (yes…this one is real) to a disagreement between vendors or an overly rowdy guest/family member.

As a vendor, it’s very helpful to have a point of contact for the entire wedding. Planners keep you informed and send you information you don’t even know you need until you need it. Amazing. If you want this level of detail, definitely hire a wedding planner and let your friends and family relax with you on your wedding day while someone else takes care of everything.

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If you’ve ever had the thought, “Do I really need a wedding planner? What do they do anyway?” or wished that someone who isn’t a wedding planner give you some real talk for why you should spend your money on a wedding planner, there it is. A good wedding planner is going to make sure your wedding is gorgeous and everything goes smoothly for you and your wedding vendors. Worth every penny.

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Announcing the 2018 PWG Elite Award Winners!

Ah yes, the morning after an incredible night. It seems like we spend all year long waiting for our favorite event, the Vendor Appreciation Party, and then suddenly it’s here and over far too quickly. Luckily our henna tattoos and memories of gold + glam will last a lifetime, even if the Bollywood-themed night couldn’t!

A very special thank you to The View Event Center by Simply Decor for truly tantalizing the senses with authentic chai, stunning performances, and a breathtaking space for us to celebrate and appreciate all of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s best, local wedding professionals.

In the midst of all the glitz, we also awarded some particularly dedicated local wedding experts with well-deserved awards in categories like Best Floral Designer, Best Bridal Gown Shop, and Best Photographer. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to take our word for it that these vendors were worthy of awarding — they were chosen by local, engaged or recently married couples just like you!

So without further adieu, scroll on to get the scoop on the best wedding vendors Albuquerque + Santa Fe has to offer, as chosen by real local couples!

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2018 PWG Elite Award Winners:

Best Wedding Coordinator | Black Bow Events

Best Bridal Beauty Expert | Makeup by Kim Fisher

Best Spa or Place to Relax | Bliss Salon and Spa

Best Place to Order a Wedding Cake | Cake Fetish

Best Catering or Restaurant | Blue Plate Special

Best Place to Have a Bachelorette Party | Duke City Pedaler

Best Place to Have a Reception | The View Event Center by Simply Decor

Best Location to Have a Ceremony | Casa Rondena Winery

Best Wedding Officiant | Amor Ceremonies

Best Floral Designer | All The Pretty Flowers

Best Event Decor | Simply Decor & Events

Best Rental Company | Occasion Services & Events

Best Bridal Gown Shop | Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Men’s Formalwear Shop | Suits Unlimited

Best Place to Order Invitations | Funky Olive Design Invitations & Stationery

Best Disc Jockey | Dream Factory Productions

Best Live Ceremony Musician | Cello for Weddings

Best Local Band | Absolute Entertainment

Best Photographer | Matt Blasing Photography

Best Cinematographer | Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photo Booth Rental | Snapshot Selfies

Best Unique Wedding Service | Bombshell Fitness

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Our sincerest gratitude to the magnificent sponsors, who made our Vendor Appreciation Night the speculator party it was!

The View Event Center by Simply Decor | King Mobile Music | Tori Photography | Little Bear Media | Cafe Venture Catering | Funky Olive Invitations | The Acre Restaurant | Hacienda Del Rio | Jaz Catering | Magic Mirror NM Photo Booth | Tully’s Catering | Simply Decor

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Bliss Salon and Spa: A Review of Albuquerque’s Finest

Who could have known, when Bliss Salon and Spa first opened their doors in 2009, that they would grow to be one of Albuquerque’s most beloved one-stop beauty shops? Well… actually, most of their clients probably did. The family owned and operated business has been famed for its welcoming environment for 9 years now, and the quality of their services has only continued to evolve with each passing year.

Most often, when we highlight a local business or wedding professional, it’s because their products or services have taken the wedding world by storm. We’ll hear about them from locally engaged couples, other wedding vendors, wedding guests — you name it. This is true of Bliss, of course, but we also have personal experience with the salon and spa.

Not only does their team provide the hair and makeup for our models at the Diamond Dash and Wedding Gallery couture fashion shows, but recently I also had the opportunity to come in the shop for a pedicure. Let me tell you, my toes have never been happier. From the moment I walked in, I was greeted with the warmth of a regular, and treated with the utmost kindness. While their nail artist made my feet look like that of a princess, we chatted amicably about her time in cosmetology school, and how lucky she felt to work at Bliss Salon and Spa with her best friend and some of the most talented people in Albuquerque.

Then, as if the glorious pedicure wasn’t enough for me, I mentioned to the front desk receptionist that I needed a hair trim and that I should make an appointment for the following week. Before I could blink they had a chair open for me and a cape around my neck. The same lovely and talented nail artist pulled out her scissors and started trimming my hair.

Normally would have been hesitant, as I’ve only ever had my hair cut professionally one other time, but I remembered the raving reviews for Bliss Salon and Spa that litter their listing on the Perfect Wedding Guide site, and felt totally confident in their team’s abilities. I was right, too! She took my overgrown, mostly dead hair and transformed it into a chic bob with the perfect amount of messiness to match my personal style.

While it might not be on the visible horizon for me just yet, I know without a doubt which team of stylists I want there with me on my wedding day. {It’s Bliss Salon and Spa, if that wasn’t already abundantly clear.} After seeing so many brides, bridesmaids, and models have their natural beauty illuminated with care and consideration by their team, I know how comfortable and confident I’d feel having Carmen Joe, Bliss Salon‘s owner, and her team of incredible women styling me for such an important day.

Thank you to the whole team for working so diligently to provide Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s wedding parties with the best service our state has to offer! We’re so grateful for you.

{See the team in action at during the couture bridal fashion show at our next event — the Wedding Gallery Wedding Show! Grab your tickets here.}

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The women (and men) who make the Bliss Salon run are wonderful, sweet, and compassionate people. They work with your budget, accommodate your needs, and provide a great salon and spa experiences you can have in the city of Albuquerque.

-Courtney

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Real Wedding with Matt Blasing Photography: Instagram Takeover

If this wedding looks familiar, it’s not just because the love between Katie + George is so pure and comforting. {Though it totally is.} You’re probably remembering the incredibly thoughtful details from our Instagram story a couple weeks ago. Captured by the ever-talented Matt Blasing Photography, the local photography team allowed us a behind-the-scenes look at Katie + George’s celebration at Nature Pointe.
 
Taking all of us along on their journey to express the couple’s love story through the lens, Matt Blasing Photography showed us not only how stunning the day was, but also the magic that spawns from combining two unique lives into one. Now, with the final photos from the team, even more intimate details are clear. From the muted blue hues of the bridesmaids gowns, to the carefully considered features of their menus and invitations, Katie + George elucidated their values as a couples, and the intricate components of their love.
 
Blending their home states of New Mexico and Texas, Katie + George had a wedding logo created to represent their coalescence. Featured on their cake topper, paper products, and even some delicious cookies, the logo polka-dotted the details of the day, reminding guests and loved ones of just how special was this union.
 
Matt + Amy, of Matt Blasing Photography, were the first and only choice for Katie + George. After meeting the wedding professionals at a wedding show, the couple knew they were the perfect match. {They even booked Matt Blasing Photography before they had a venue!}
 

The morning after our wedding and we are still grinning ear to ear. The Blasing duo are the best wedding photography team any couple could dream of! […] Their kindness and friendliness from the start made us feel so comfortable! 

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And the feeling was mutual! Amy, when describing Katie + George’s wedding day, called it a labor of love.
 

Their families were both so supportive, and their wedding was truly a labor of the love of family and friends. Many pre- and post-wedding events were hosted by friends and family to celebrate their marriage.

We’re so grateful to have been a part of this wedding day, albeit only tangentially. Thank you Katie + George for allowing us a peak into your day of love, and to Matt Blasing Photography for capturing it so beautifully, as always!
 


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Special Thanks to these vendors
Venue: Nature Pointe Weddings and Events
Photography: www.mattblasing.com
Video: Southwest Wedding Films
DJ: Nathan Duran with Too Hot to Stop DJ Service
Floral: Shannon Loves Flowers
Wedding stationary, programs, and menus: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Hair/Makeup: Genica Lee, Makeup Artist
Officiant: Stephen Nickle
Catering: Mike Tafoya
Cake/Desserts: Le Chantilly Fine Pastries, Rude Boy Cookies, and Mike Tafoya
Dress Provided By: The Dressing Room West
Suit Provided By: Mr. Tux Formal Wear
Live Music: Hillary Smith and Chill House


 

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PWG Elite Awards: Vote Now!

While it’s true that we, the Perfect Wedding Guide team, do have some authority when it comes to showcasing Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals, we fully admit to not knowing everything. To stay humble, each year we reach out to hundreds of local engaged — or recently married couples — to get the full scoop on what it’s like to work with vendors like Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, or Prairie Star.

{Because, if we could get to see these professionals in action by having a wedding every weekend, we totally would. Unfortunately, half our team is already married.}

Then we take all this incredible info from real couples, and we bestow the Perfect Wedding Guide Elite Awards to the hardest working, kindest, and most deserving wedding vendors! And guess what?

Voting for 2018 is open NOW!

Here’s your chance to, with a few clicks, pass on all you learned while planning your own wedding, to other engaged couples! Your vote is essentially your recommendation to all the amazing love-birds of Albuquerque + Santa Fe. So if you really vibed with or were impressed by a wedding professional who worked to make your day special, here’s a super simple way to pass back some of the love they showed you!

{Not married yet? That’s alright too — feel free to vote for any vendors who have made your planning process a little more enjoyable, because that’s just as important too.}

You can vote for your favorite business owners HERE

Then, keep an eye peeled for the winners who will be announced later this year, and see if your fave team made the cut!

Oh yeah, and those amazing vendors we mentioned at the beginning of this post? {Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, and Prairie Star} They’re just a few of last year’s venerable winners. You can check out the rest of 2017’s PWG Elite Award Winners here, and follow the links included to book them for your wedding, too!

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Matt Blasing Photography

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now venue marriage Prairie Star ceremony

Prairie Star by Maura Jane Photography

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Kelly Atkin, of Amor Ceremonies

 

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Less Stress, More Fun with NJR Event Planning

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We do what we can to ease the stress of planning your wedding. With Perfect Wedding Guide’s online budget calculator, wedding checklists, and inspiration boards on your side, you’re pretty much set… as long as you have loads of free time dedicated to planning.

But, for most engaged couples, spending every day researching local vendors isn’t possible — no matter how fun it sounds! Your life, job, family, and friends have to come first, we know. Which is why there are dedicated people like Naomi J. Romero, of NJR Event Planning, whose expansive knowledge of weddings is here to do the hard work for you.

Naomi is an incredible combination of creative & critical! She comes up with imaginative themes & works to make sure that every detail is in place. Besides that Naomi is upbeat & such a positive person to be around. She’s fun!

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For the lucky few who are able to manage every detail of a giant celebration, the internet is your best friend. For the rest of us, we have Naomi.

With 30 years of experience, NJR Event Planning has been evolving to meet the needs of brides for decades. Though wedding trends may come and go, Naomi’s eye for design remains timeless and classic. The locally operated business also offers event decor for their couples, from altar and arch arrangements, to barware, chair covers, chocolate fountains, glassware, furniture, linens and china. Oh my!

Having a expert on your team who knows the ins and outs of the industry from start to finish means you can feel completely confident releasing some creative control to NJR Event Planning. Which, let’s be honest, you deserve to do! Giving yourself space to breathe and live while planning your wedding only means the big day will be that much sweeter and stress-free.

To ensure your day of love — no matter how big or small — is as seamless and beautiful as you dream, you can book NJR Event Planning for your wedding here.

Perfect Wedding Guide planning design inspo ceremony inspiration marriage wedding vows celebration engaged planner tips tricks tablescape decor event New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe floral table sign china colorful weddingPerfect Wedding Guide planning design inspo ceremony inspiration marriage wedding vows celebration engaged planner tips tricks tablescape decor event New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe officiant outdoor ceremony intimate big day happily ever after lovePerfect Wedding Guide planning design inspo ceremony inspiration marriage wedding vows celebration engaged planner tips tricks tablescape decor event New Mexico Albuquerque Santa Fe details outdoor reception photography gorgeous sunflowerJane Bernard Photography

 

 

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