A Grand Beginning: Where Happily Ever After Begins

Meeting and building relationships with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local vendors is, by far, one of the most wonderful parts of being on the Perfect Wedding Guide team. Not only does it mean that I get to drink a lot of coffee with really inspiring business owners, but means that I get to meet and support people like Lynn Grand, with A Grand Beginning.

When I first met Lynn, her warmth and vitality were the first things I noticed. Next, was her amazing organization skills, of which I’m still extremely jealous. As an officiant, her ceremonies, which she tailors to fit the needs of each individual couple, are already written in a sample format (and packaged up in the most darling, color-coordinated binder). This makes it super easy + super seamless for engaged couples to pick and choose each line of their ceremony.

“You can tell that this is more than just a job for Lynn,” one of her brides, Jennifer, says. And it’s true — Lynn is big on customization because she herself had a slightly-less-than-traditional wedding ceremony. Her and her hubby, Warren, were married in their home by a local officiant on New Years Eve, surrounded by their family and children. Incorporated into their ceremony too, was the Unity “Family” Candle ceremony that their children all participated in, to represent the divine union of two people into one family.

She recognizes that each couple values different aspects of the customary ceremony format, and that some want to pull in puzzle pieces from their cultures or traditions, and that some want something completely new. The malleability of her ceremonies is matched too, but only by her unwavering support and dedication to crafting the perfect combination of words to symbolize a union of love.


Lynn was just amazing. I couldn’t have walked down the aisle if it wasn’t for her. She not only delivered an incredibly beautiful ceremony but she treated my husband and I, and our entire family, with love and respect. Our guests couldn’t stop talking about her and the ceremony she gave us.

-Liz, recently married




[Lynn] really made the process a breeze and the end result was extremely beautiful. We received so many compliments on how unique and personalized the ceremony was. I would highly recommend Lynn to anyone looking for an officiant. She is the perfect combination of warmth and professionalism and she’s affordable, too!

-Jennifer, recently married

To chat with Lynn about dates and availability, you can reach her here.


Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


If Your Man Were to Plan: 5 Ways to Include Your Groom in Your Wedding Planning

Photo Credit: Robert Holley Productions

When in the midst of planning your wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of what you have always been dreaming of. And rightfully so, as you have been planning your dream “I Do” since you were 10-years-old. While the wedding day attention typically falls on the bride, we can’t forget about the groom. He’s getting married, too!

Most grooms are happy to leave the planning up to their better half. Flowers and table linens? They’re thinking, “Just let me know when it’s time for the cake tasting.” We get it, the frills of wedding planning leave men less than thrilled to participate. But, there are a couple areas that you can incorporate your man into and draw out a little wedding planning enthusiasm.

1. Tantalize his taste buds with some guy grub by requesting his input for passed hors d’oeuvre options for cocktail hour. Manly muches don’t have to scream bar food. Brainstorm basic, tasty foods he loves and then dress them up! He wants burgers? How about mini lamb and feta sliders with mint aioli?

2. Give him free rein over his day-of duds to allow his unique style to show through. Maybe he’s a suspenders kind of guy, or he’s known for his rebelliously colorful dress socks. Agree on one rule, he must stick to the color pallet, and then let him at it.

3. Help him get creative with groomsmen gifts by suggesting some customizable options. Engraved engine turned lighters with a mild bodied cigar, a can of coke paired with a Jack Daniels mini and monogramed whiskey glass, or cufflinks adorned with each guy’s favorite team logo – he’ll enjoy picking just the right gift for his friends to thank them for being a part of your special day.

4. Think outside of the icebox for décor options. How cool would a beer-filled canoe be? Maybe he can’t get excited about picking out centerpieces, but he loves outdoor activities. Enlist his help in finding cooler alternatives based on what he loves – wheelbarrows, tractors, an old boat or something he can build himself.

5. Hand over the gun – the wedding registry scanner gun that is. A planning-friendly way to keep the man of the hour happy is to let him pick out some items he’ll actually enjoy too. Maybe he’s had his eye on that George Forman grill, he needs a new tool chest, or he simply wants a new gadget. New bath towels are only exciting to a certain degree, so let him have a hand in choosing some registry items.

Enjoy the wedding planning process together by making him feel that his role extends beyond simply showing up on your wedding day. To create an event that reflects who you are as a couple, it’s important to incorporate his personal touches, too



Via/ www.perfectweddingguide.com/wedding-blog/

Wedding Guests: What Not to Wear

Our very own Susan Southerland, National Expert for Perfect Wedding Guide was interviewed by Huffpost Weddings about what wedding guests should not wear. Below is the complete article

Weddings are a great place to people watch. Observing family dynamics (both the sweet moments and the crazy drama) is more entertainment than much of what you see on television.

I also really enjoy watching guests’ fashion decisions. You can learn a lot about what’s hot for different body types, and even more interestingly — you can see what is an absolute fashion faux pas for everyone. Here are some tips to help you avoid being thegauche guest the next time you attend a wedding.

1. Avoid wearing white: Unless you are invited to a white-themed wedding, don’t take attention away from the bride by showing up in a white gown. Trust me, people will talk!

2. Don’t wear anything too short or too low-cut: Even worse, don’t wear something that is both too short and too low-cut. I have spent hours watching guests tugging their dresses down and then adjusting them back up only to have to repeat that over and over again. Other guests will notice. It looks hilarious, but I’m sure it’s quite uncomfortable.

3. Ladies, wear appropriate undergarments: In other words, please wear underwear, or Spanx, or something under your dress. This is especially important if you decide to wear something short. (see item number two above) I have witnessed many female wedding guests on the dance floor who show off more than I think they intended.

4. Take cues from the wedding invitation about the formality of the event: Is the invitation itself formal or casual? Does the wedding take place after six o’clock or during the day? Is the ceremony in a house of worship or an outdoor setting? These are all indicators of how you should dress. Formal invitation equals formal attire. After six usually means to dress more formally than during the day. Churches, synagogues and even hotel ballrooms tend to be more formal than a park, garden or a beach. If you absolutely cannot figure out how to dress by looking at the invitation, don’t be shy. It’s better to ask the bride, groom or their families than show up in something that sticks out like a sore thumb.

5. Wear clothing appropriate for going to a house of worship: This means no sneakers, jeans, t-shirts or tank tops. Many churches and synagogues also require that women’s shoulders be covered, so if you want to wear something a little sexy for the reception, make sure to bring along a sweater or jacket so that you can cover up for the ceremony.

6. Don’t wear casual clothes to a formal wedding: It is so awkward to be dressed for a sporting event while everyone else is dressed in cocktail attire. During my duties as a wedding planner, I have nearly had security toss out guests who are dressed in jeans and t-shirts, not because I am a self-appointed fashion police officer, but because I have mistaken them for wedding crashers!

7. Don’t wear formal clothes to a casual wedding: Being overdressed for a wedding is just as uncomfortable as being underdressed. You may also inadvertently detract from the wedding party if you are dressier than they are.

8. Wear appropriate shoes: I have worked on many beach and garden weddings where ladies show up in stiletto-heeled shoes. Walking through the sand or sinking into the lawn is horribly uncomfortable. If you want to wear those stylish heels, bring an extra pair of flats to make sure that you can glide through the grass.

When it comes to dressing for a wedding, don’t be afraid to show your personal style, just be mindful that in addition to the wedding being a party, it is a significant ceremony and right of passage. Keep the simple tips above in mind, and you will have no problem dressing to impress!

My Perfect Planner

Be sure to check out all of our online planning tools to help you organize for your big day.  These tools include: 

  • Checklist
  • Budget Calculator
  • Guest List Planner
  • Bridal Board (gab with other brides about advice and reviews)
  • Seating Chart Organizer
  • and setup your own Wedding Website for FREE! 

I wish the Perfect Wedding Guide had these around when I got married!  I could look up my guest list and seating chart online anywhere I was…and didn’t have to lug around my wedding binder.

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