Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets

One of the most fabulous parts of working with incredible, local wedding vendors is having the inside scoop on all things wedding planning. The downside? No one on our team is currently engaged (yet!), so what can we do with all these amazing tips and tricks?

Well, share them with you, of course! Whether it’s local deals and promotions, wedding budget calculators, or upcoming wedding shows, we always try to pass on these goodies to all the lovely brides in our sphere and around the world.

{Some say we’re terrible at keeping secrets, but really we’re just wedding enthusiasts.}

This time around, we asked some of our favorite local vendors to divulge their best kept secrets of the industry. So read on, bride-to-be! Check out these four ways to make the most of your wedding day.

 

Photo + Gown: Maggie Sottero

Remember to keep an open mind in terms of designer and style. A dress always looks different on the body than it does on the rack! Choose your consultation party wisely. When deciding who to bring, limit it to those whose opinions matter the most. Make sure to start looking for and order a dress early on! It can take can up to 3-9 months, especially for big designers, for a dress customized to your specifications to come in. If you’re a bride on a budget, don’t hesitate to ask your dress shop for discontinued dresses. You will almost always receive a bargain on those kinds of gowns.

– Darlene, with Bridal Elegance by Darlene

 

 

 

 

One of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks out there and one that can give you the biggest bang for your buck is here!  Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake-cutting, pictures, & feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all your wedding guests to enjoy. You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam. Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… trust us!”

Birdie, with The Cake Boutique

 

…the general advice you will get is to think about the basics:  the price and thecapacity. However, the process of selecting a venue can really make or break your planning experience. Once you have selected one, it should be a place that leaves you feeling completely confident about your big day, not frustrated or depleted. Once all of the planning is done, everything will come together and it will center around the venue,  so ask the tough questions and make sure that you trust the venue to execute your vision.

Lauren, The Event Center at Sandra Golf Club

 

 

 

 

Remember, this is the time in your life that you will be the most photographed.  Why not make the most of it and be camera ready at all times? When booking your wedding trial run with your hair and makeup artist, book your engagement pictures after. Or perhaps plan it to be done on the morning of your bridal shower, that way you can be camera ready for the shower.

Ric Kent, Hair and Makeup Artist

{Pssstt… Want more tips? Subscribe to our blog here for part two of this post!}

 

 

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Plan Your Dream Wedding at Hacienda Vargas

Britianie Tyler Photography

Located along the Rio Grande Valley between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Hacienda Vargas has been the only bed and breakfast on the Camino Real since the 17th century. With thick adobe walls, genuine saltillo tile floors, authentic folk art by local artisans and breathtaking natural surroundings, you won’t be disappointed with Hacienda Vargas. Whether you’re a traveler passing through, newlyweds looking for a romantic honeymoon stay or an engaged couple planning a wedding, look no further!

From elopements to full scale weddings, Hacienda Vargas has all you need for an authentic New Mexico wedding in their historic facilities. They can do everything from small weddings for up to 15 guests in their gorgeous chapel to large weddings for up to 150 guests. If you’re planning to elope, however, their elopement package starts as low as $575 and includes an intimate ceremony in their historic chapel or location of your choice, a wedding officiant and witnesses, a honeymoon suite and gourmet breakfast.

For convenient and cozy lodging for your wedding party, friends and family, or even out-of-town guests, Hacienda Vargas has seven unique rooms to accommodate up to 20 guests a night. Each room at Hacienda Vargas is fully decorated with original southwestern furniture and comfy bedding to make you and your guests feel right at home. Plan your wedding at Hacienda Vargas and welcome your guests to an unforgettable experience immersed in New Mexico’s rich history, vibrant culture and unique cuisine.Britianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler PhotographyBritianie Tyler Photography

Britianie Tyler Photography
Photos by Britianie Tyler Photography

As you can see, Hacienda Vargas is an obvious choice for a New Mexico wedding. To see more photos of this gorgeous wedding at Hacienda Vargas take a look at Ted and Dena’s Old Adobe Wedding on our local Perfect Wedding Guide Blog.

The Best DJs to End Your Wedding with a Mic Drop!

After the dress, the reception entertainment may well be the most important part of your wedding celebration. A boring officiant will soon be forgotten after the nuptials are exchanged, and mediocre food will be forgiven with a good old-fashioned piece of cake, but bad reception entertainment will be hard to recover from.

That, my friends, is exactly why you need to hire someone who knows what they’re doing! — someone who can get the party started, someone who can get your guests off their seat and on their feet, someone with skills! Lets face it, brides and grooms want their wedding to be epic and that can only be accomplished with good entertainment.

If your guests slowly make their escape because they would rather be counting sheep, chances are you don’t have good entertainment, but if you have to kick them out because your contract with the venue just expired, you probably aced it. To ensure your wedding is the latter, we’ve compiled an exclusive list of our favorite DJs just for you!

Photo by Cutmaster Music

Our Favorite DJs in Albuquerque + Santa Fe

  1. COMPLETE Weddings + Events
  2. Cutmaster Music
  3. Absolute Entertainment
  4. Bad Dog! Multimedia
  5. King Mobile Music
  6. Dream Factory Productions
Photo by Bad Dog Multimedia

A mic drop is the gesture of intentionally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech to signal triumph. Figuratively, it is an expression of triumph for a successful event and indicates a boastful attitude toward one’s own performance.

— Wikipedia

Photo by Absolute Entertainment

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Delight the Senses with Table Occasions

Like so many other success stories with humble beginnings, the gals at Table Occasions got their start with a small batch of tablecloths and the rest is history. Table Occasions soon blossomed into a successful event planning and design business with convenient locations in three major cities throughout the southwest including Santa Fe, Las Cruces and El Paso.

The thing that sets Chia and Claudia apart from the rest, however, is their remarkable eye for design and their custom made décor. Unlike the competition, this dynamic duo designs and manufactures their linens from sketch to event. Creating their own unique linens not only frees them from the ordinary styles of conventional designs, but it also sets Table Occasions above the rest as a chic and luxurious design brand.

Whether you’re planning a wedding, birthday, anniversary, corporate event or thanksgiving dinner, leave it to Table Occasions to transform your special day into a stunning soiree to delight the senses. From event planning, design and management services to fine furniture and décor rentals, you can be sure your event will be exquisite, inspiring and unforgettable.

The best get together should be as fun to prepare as they are to attend. At Table Occasions, our goal is to incite your creative spirit and to translate your color and vision into a one-of-a-kind event — fit for a Gatsby Party and Royal enough for a King or Queen.

— Chia and Claudia, Table Occasions

Photos by Table Occasions

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Sanctuary on the River: The Perfect Venue to Say, I Do

If you haven’t found the right venue for your wedding ceremony and reception, chances are you haven’t found Sanctuary on the River. This amazing and very unique wedding venue is one of New Mexico’s best kept secrets. About a three hour drive southeast of Albuquerque, this exclusive getaway is the ideal location for a wedding unlike any other.

Surrounded by the picturesque mountain landscape of Ruidoso, Sanctuary on the River is naturally beautiful and perfect for that woodland style wedding. With the fresh smell of pine blowing through the cool mountain air and the soothing sound of the Ruidoso River in the background, Sanctuary on the River is the ultimate setting for a romantic outdoor wedding.

Even better, their all inclusive packages make it easy to plan the wedding of your dreams without all the added stress of conventional venues. From Spa Botanica and Hair We Are, their onsite spa and salon, to their talented wedding planners and gorgeous facilities, Sanctuary on the River has everything you need to make your wedding come to life.

Look no further than Sanctuary on the River. Our lovely indoor and outdoor spaces offer couples a variety of options that are guaranteed to make your wedding day an event to remember.

— Sanctuary on the River

Photos by Sanctuary on the River

Check out this clip of Tara + Logan’s wedding by Gray’s Studio at Sanctuary on the River:

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Relax with a Romantic Spa Date Before You Say, “I Do”

In the midst of all the wedding planning excitement, it is always a good idea to slow down and remember what’s really important — your love for each other and your soon-to-be new life together. One of the ways couples are staying grounded is with a relaxing spa date or “pre-moon,” if you will.

Depending on your idea of relaxation, however, there are many ways to recharge in New Mexico, and some at little to no cost. For instance, you can go for a hike at one of our beautiful national preserves like the Valles Caldera or melt your cares away in one of our crystal clear hot springs.

Of course, a luxurious day at the spa is always a convenient option to slip away for a romantic mini getaway and perfect for pampering pre-wedding day! If you would like to unwind before your big day, slip away to one of these beautiful spas right here in the city or just a short drive away.

Photo by La Fonda on the Plaza

Five of Our Favorite Spas Across the State

  1. Green Reed Spa at Sandia Resort & Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  2. The Spa at La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  3. Spa Botanica at Sanctuary on the River, Ruidoso, New Mexico
  4. The Spa at Isleta Resort & Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  5. Bliss Salon & Spa, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Photo by Sanctuary on the River

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Dark & Moody Woodland Beauty: A Northern New Mexico Styled Shoot

Danessa Gonzales, of Black Bow Events, did what she does best for this stunning styled shoot. After her imagination took off and the planning and design stage started to take shape, Danessa recruited some of her favorite experts to bring her vision to life, including Jasper Kay Photography, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, The Flower Company and even Rebel Donut.

At the pleasure of Danessa’s parents, these lovelies set up in the back yard of the Gonzales family residence in the beautiful mountain town of Questa, New Mexico. Everything about the property and surrounding landscape was the perfect setting for the dark and moody color palette paired with dusty pink accents to compliment our legendary pastel sunsets.

As you can see, their hard work paid off and the finished product came together so naturally. Every contribution and design element added the perfect touch, including the place settings by Nambé and the unique jewelry by Lilly Barrack. With a little inspiration and collaboration, the team you hire can make your ideas a dream come true.

My vision for this styled shoot was to showcase the beautiful and opulent lands of northern New Mexico, while going bold with all of the designs. My goal as a planner and designer is to broaden the visions of engaged couples and remind them that nothing is impossible and every vision is worth creating — big or small.

At the heart of my design was the lacy black wedding dress, which perfectly complimented the woodland vibe. From the donut tower to the mountainous backdrop and intimate table setting, there was nothing mundane about this styled wedding shoot. Adorned with thousands of twinkle lights and candles, it was the perfect amount of glimmer and romance.

— Danessa R. Gonzales, Black Bow Events

Photos by Jasper Kay Photography

Meet the professionals who made this styled shoot possible:

Planning, Styling & Décor: Black Bow Events | Photographer: Jasper Kay Photography | Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Makeup: Edgar Campos | Hair: IG @hmiram + @finessebarberstudio | Jewelry: Lilly Barrack | Suit: Dillard’s | Floral Design: The Flower Company | Beverages: Nuevo Cerveza + Bloody Maria | Place Settings: Nambé | Dessert: Rebel Donut | Venue: Gonzales Residence, Questa, NM

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com