7 of New Mexico’s Best Entertainment Experts

You know that classic saying, “it’s all about the music”? When it comes to your wedding, this statement couldn’t be more true. With the rise of technology, we have so many options when it comes to picking some tunes. Between customizable Spotify playlists and YouTube music stations, it’s so hard to say no to these easy and budget-friendly alternatives.

If you’re on the fence about which option is best, we’re going to help you out—you absolutely should book a local entertainment expert. Here’s why:

You’ll get a genuine and authentic experience. Not only are these local musicians and disc jockeys well seasoned in their craft, but they also know how to throw together one heck of a show. For the bride and groom looking for that authentic New Mexican experience—or even simply a classic, yet genuine, performance to make your wedding more elegant, you’ve come to the right place.

You won’t break the bank. With such a wide variety of vendors to showcase, you’re sure to find one that fits your wedding day budget. It is always good to remember that you are hiring an entertainment expert. These are folks who have been working in the industry for a long time and are sure to make your big day the most memorable day of your lives, and that itself is priceless!

Your wedding will be completely unique. From the gown to the venue, every bride and groom has their own personal touch to add to their wedding, and the music shouldn’t be the exception. By choosing a local entertainment expert you get to be in control of the look, the feel, and the mood of the day. You can work closely with the musician or DJ to make sure that all of your favorite songs and sounds will be implemented into the ceremony and reception. 

You don’t have to worry about anything. Seriously. Your job is to have a great time while the professionals handle everything. There’s no need to worry about that playlist glitching halfway through the ceremony because you’ll be in good hands. Now that should be music to your ears!

Whether you want a live accompaniment while you walk down the aisle or a reception DJ that makes your guests get up from their tables and dance, we can’t think of a better way to help those dreams come to life than to provide you with New Mexico’s greatest entertainment professionals.

1. Complete Weddings + Events

Working with Complete was as easy as you could possibly want when planning this stressful event. Justin sat down with us, heard our wants and requests, and paired us with a fantastic DJ and videographer who met our needs perfectly. Both David (our DJ) and Minh (our videographer) met with and developed a relationship with us beforehand to make sure they had an exact idea of our vision for our wedding day. We would definitely recommend Complete to anyone looking for a hassle free wedding experience!

– Sanae, Bride

2. Cutmaster Music

We chose Chris from Cutmaster Music to be our DJ at our reception. And I must say, he was worth every penny! Chris kept us on schedule and got all our guests hyped for our entrance! He then made our first dance extremely special by asking our guests to come stand around the dance floor. 

– Amanda, Local Bride

3. King Mobile Music

Brad King might very likely be the best DJ in Albuquerque, and you would be silly not to book him if you have the chance. My fiance and I met with Brad through a recommendation from our photographer because we had mentioned that our dream wedding reception was A LOT of fun and a had every guest dancing. Let me tell you, Brad delivered.

– Kayla, Local Bride

4. Cello for Weddings

Ryan’s talent, demeanor, and musical talent was the cherry on top of the most perfect day. My husband and I live in Seattle and had a destination wedding in Santa Fe, NM. Working with Ryan was the easiest part of the planning. By request, he played a beautiful cello compilation of my favorite Yanni song- a song which had deep meaning to both me and my dad. The song gave me absolute chills and caused my dad to burst into tears. I gave Ryan very little direction and trusted his experience and understanding. He showcased his talent and expertise in his field effortlessly.

– Briana, Bride

5. Absolute Entertainment

Soulstice was incredible, reliable, trustworthy, and in control. When our venue experienced a few hiccups during our wedding, Vicky grabbed the microphone and was to the rescue, improvising without anybody knowing. They are the best band in Santa Fe, by far, recommended everywhere.

– Heather, Local Bride

6. John P. Martinez, Guitarist Extrordinaire

John played for our daughter’s wedding. He is an amazing guitarist. Our outdoor wedding ended up with last minute rearrangements to indoor, very tight space. John had learned new music for the processional that ended up being the shortest processional ever and he had to sit in a tiny corner. None the less, the ceremony guitar music was beautiful and the cocktail hour music was great and fun.

– Dana, Mother of the Bride

7. Musicology DJ and Events

We booked Musicology for our wedding, after seeing them at a bridal show they put on (which was awesome in and of itself) and we couldn’t be happier that we did! Laura and Eliot were extremely helpful from the very beginning. We started talking about what we are looking at in terms of songs way ahead of the wedding. They’re really great at suggesting songs (their song library is huge, they have everything!)

– Kelly, Local Bride

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

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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2019 Wedding Gallery Recap

It is hard to believe that there are only a few more months left in 2019 and suddenly preparations for all of next year’s weddings are in full swing. With so much to be done and seemingly so little time, finding time to explore your wedding vendor options can be a dreaded task. Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we understand the natural instinct to feel loads of stress and anxiety about wedding planning, but it really shouldn’t be stressful at all. In fact, we think it should be a blast, and that is why we have created a very special and elevated wedding show specifically for you– The Wedding Gallery!

Wedding Gallery is specially curated for our New Mexico wedding community and prides itself on its unique approach to conventional wedding shows. This year’s show was an absolute blast filled with an abundance of marvelous vendors to chat with, food stations with mouthwatering options, specialty drinks– including, because I just HAVE to mention it, Cotton Candy Champagne, a couture fashion show and giveaways galore! Now if that hasn’t sold you yet, just wait, there’s more.

Every year, we, your dedicated hosts, try to incorporate a theme for the show that will inspire our vendors and inspire you for your own wedding. This year’s theme was something more close to home, because we are basically in love with New Mexico and think it possesses beauty beyond compare. Any idea of what the theme could be?

That’s right, you guessed it… the Southwest! There were lovely Southwestern vibes coming from Darling Clementine Crafts through their adorable succulent decor, the jaw-dropping hair and makeup by Blo Blow Dry Bar and the stunning wardrobe designs brought to life by Suits Unlimited & Bridal Elegance by Darlene. The essence of the Southwest was taken straight out of our backyards and placed at the heart of the show. Cacti, flowers, and free-flowing hairstyles took center stage at the couture fashion show for everyone to see.

We need to talk about the fact that there were SO many talented people involved with Wedding Gallery this year– it was really an all-star cast. With over 40 different vendors present, it was amazing to see the connections and relationships between local couples and local wedding professionals.

Our sponsors made sure that the show was even more elegant than we could imagine it to be! There were beautiful floral arrangements from Bosque Flower Studio, music from Cello for Weddings and King Mobile Music, incredible photos from Photographic Perspectives, magical decor by Simply Décor & Events, and last but not least, an incredible venue hosted by Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa.

I know, I know. You’re really bummed out that you missed this year’s show, but there’s no need to worry because we always have next year! There isn’t a better way to take the stress out of wedding planning and put the excitement in… plus, who doesn’t love fashion shows, food, and giveaways?

We would like to give a big thank you to our sponsors for this event, as well as Photographic Perspectives for capturing every moment. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you! You can check them out below:

Bosque Flower Studio
Blo Blow Dry Bar
Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Cello for Weddings
Darling Clementine Crafts
Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa
King Mobile Music
Photographic Perspectives
Simply Décor & Events
Suits Unlimited
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Who is YOUR Favorite Wedding Vendor?

Sometimes being surrounded by so many incredible people is overwhelming, but trust me, we’re not complaining! We work with so many phenomenal vendors every single day – we wish that we could reach out and hug everyone and tell them just how much we value both their friendship and their partnership with Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico.

Since it would most likely take an eternity to show everyone just how much we appreciate them, we decided it would be best to plan one special themed evening every year that is dedicated entirely to our lovely vendors full of food, drinks, music and dress-up! We call this our Vendor Appreciation Night, and you can read all about last year’s Bollywood-themed event here.

The team at the 2018 Vendor Appreciation Night by Tori Photography

In order to make the event even more exciting, which is hard to do considering how much fun it is already, we like to recognize a particular group of wedding vendors that are making a noticeable impact in the lives of brides and grooms in New Mexico. We call this the Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico “Elite Awards” – where hundreds of locals vote for their favorite wedding professionals in over 20 different categories. Check out last year’s winners here!

We are eager to hear your praise for the hard-working and beyond talented vendors that you’ve connected with. Want to vote? Keep reading below!

How to Vote

The voting process is simple! Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click here!
  2. Search for your favorite wedding professional
  3. Write a review explaining why you love them

And voila! Your vote has been submitted! Now all you have to do is repeat these steps for all of your favorite wedding professionals – we want to hear about everyone who made your day the best.

PLUS… All who vote will be entered to win several prizes including Chello Grill, Tour ABQ, and Symbolize It gift cards!

VOTE NOW! Voting ends on September 1st, 2019 at Midnight.

Vendor Appreciation Night 2019

Do you want to have some fun under the sea AND spend an evening with New Mexico’s most beloved wedding professionals?

Hangout with us at “The Siren’s Soiree and the Sailors Too” on September 18th, 2019 at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium from 6-9pm. Dress to impress in your deep sea best, and follow the siren’s song down to the water’s edge. The evening will be filled with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and the announcement of the 2019 Elite Award Winners! We can’t wait to see you there.

RSVP and learn more HERE!

Elite Award Winners 2018

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 Rondeña 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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Toby + Dan’s Intimate Santa Fe Wedding [with Kayla Kitts Photography!]

I’d like to say that fate put these two in the same place at the right time.  They met in St Louis, half a world away from Toby’s home.  And there in that city was Dan – and they say they knew right away that it was something special.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

If you didn’t know already, our little perch in the New Mexico wedding community happens to be right in between local engaged couples and the wedding professionals who serve them. So, luckily for us, we’ve been able to watch some serious magic happen in our desert state. Which, you might be thinking something along the lines of: come on, it’s weddings, love, and celebrations, so of course incredible, heartwarming, and tear-jerking stories come to Perfect Wedding Guide pretty much every day.

But what we want to chat about today is a more subtle kind of magic — like whatever unidentifiable force brought Toby and Dan together, and then together again with Kayla Kitts Photography. Because this trend of somehow managing to find the exact vendors who vibe with a couple’s personality happens all the stinking time here. Is it something in the air, in our Land of Enchantment? Maybe.

Or is it because engaged couples actually have a surprising amount of resources to make connecting with local small businesses who have dedicated their talents to weddings a bit easier? Also maybe. Or perhaps it’s a combination of both, or something else entirely. What matters, and what keeps our heart here in the wedding world of New Mexico, is that it happens so frequently.

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Kayla and her hubby Dominic, of Kayla Kitts Photography, are self-proclaimed belly laughers and people persons, and world renowned rays of sunshine. It’s a simple fact that we’ve all come to know as their photography craft has grown and evolved throughout the years of creative practice. Toby and Dan, two sides of the same coin, have a love grounded in a deep friendship and balanced with a sense of levity and humor. Their beaming smiles and bursts of laughter jump off their wedding photos and it’s not hard to imagine the giggles coming from behind the camera, too.

The collaborative and comfortable way Kayla and Dominic interact with couples and their wedding guests was the perfect approach for Toby and Dan’s intimate celebration in Santa Fe. As a couple of people who feel like your close friends even upon first meeting, we’re sure Toby and Dan’s actual close friends and family welcomed Kayla and Dominic’s presence with open arms. We just feel lucky enough to have lived vicariously through it!

To connect with Kayla Kitts Photography for your wedding or engagement, you can contact Kayla and Dominic here.

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They laughed hard as they told me about Dan “super cheesily” proposing on Valentine’s Day, and looked at each other sweetly as they told me about their special day.  As we sat and sipped coffee and cracked up over and over again, I knew that photographing their wedding was going to be awesome – and it was!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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Venue  |  Neptune Gallery and Studio Event Space + Dinner at The Compound Restaurant
Florist  |  Bloomstream Floral
Attire  |  Mr. Tux
Officiant  |  Erin Whitcomb
Cake  |  American Pie Bakery
Ceremony Musician  |  Cello for Weddings
Caterer  |  Walter Burke Catering
Coordinator  |  Lauren Mestas with Just Lovely Wedding + Event Planning

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What Local Engaged Couples Have to Say About Planning a Wedding in New Mexico

So, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most people in New Mexico know Perfect Wedding Guide for our wedding shows. Which makes sense, considering how many hundreds of engaged couples and local wedding professionals come together to make shows like the Diamond Dash, Bride’s Night Out, and the Wedding Gallery possible. We’re not really complaining, promise, but we actually have a lot of love and appreciation from some of our smaller events, like the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer!

The 2019 edition of the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer flew past us just this last week. (Of course months of planning, collaborating, and designing goes by in a dizzying but beautiful flash!) All we want to talk about is all the amazing nuggets of knowledge we learned, but wait…

What even is the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer?!

Great question, reader! This particular event was conceptualized to fill the gap between local engaged couples and the wedding professionals who serve them. (Sound familiar?) Essentially, the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer is oriented like a research or focus group. We invite around 10 engaged or recently married couples from the local community to come share their insights, triumphs, complaints, compliments, woes, worries, and wonders about the wedding planning process in New Mexico. 

Then, with bellies full of a complementary, gourmet dinner, the wedding professionals from all over New Mexico take note, adjust their practices, ask questions, and, hopefully, grow! It’s one of the few opportunities you have in any business-client relationship to truly hear and communicate with one another. It’s how we’re able to keep the eclectic New Mexico wedding market moving and evolving in the right direction.

Ready to learn what the engaged couples who have come before you have to say about the wedding planning process in New Mexico? Let’s jump in with our 3 main takeaways.

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1. Inclusivity is Key.

Another word for inclusivity here could be clarity. When we asked the couples, “What is the most important quality you are looking for when hiring a wedding professional?” the conclusion was the same across the board. Couples look for those who exude kindness and personality, and vendors who actually listen to their vision without imposing their own ideas on the couple. 

When we asked the couples what the vendors they choose did to earn their business, what we heard reaffirmed these values. They appreciated (and went on to book) the professionals who didn’t exclusively brag about themselves, whose websites were clear and communicative, and whose work accurately represented the couples they want to work with.

For example, if a wedding professional exclusively promotes straight couples on their website and social media channels, the chances of reaching LGBTQ couples are pretty much nil.

To sum: be clear, be kind, be inclusive, and listen well.

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2. Stick to Email, Folks.

Yes, the digital world is ever changing, and it’s so tempting to make texting your main form of communication. (You can do it from bed, from the gym, from the couch with Netflix playing in front of you, so we totally get it.)

But, because lots of couples create a specific email address for wedding planning, keeping all communications in one place is best. There’s higher visibility of conversations in email as well, so accountability comes much easier.

Also, hate is a strong word, but our couples felt strongly about this: they hate phone calls. Like, really and truly. Most couples are at work during a business’s hours of operations, or they’re at home with their partners and families.

Remember: stick to email.

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3. Yes, Social Media is Still Important.

Your website should still be the home of your business, but social media is where the vast majority of couples look for wedding inspiration. The two top contenders, which you might be able to guess already, are Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram is a great platform to utilize, according to the local couples, because it’s easy to return to feed posts for references — though they love seeing stories, especially of behind-the-scenes previews for styled shoots and weddings. Pinterest is beneficial for businesses as well because it’s so visually-oriented. Then, there’s always the concept of pinfinity, too!

(Pinfinity = the fact your pins continue to be recirculated by pinners long after you post them, whereas Instagram posts are usually only seen within the first 48 hours of posting.)

Here’s your excuse to log on, friends, and show the world what you’re working with.

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A very special thank you to all the incredible local businesses who made this awesome, collaborative event possible: Embassy Suites, for generously hosting us and feeding all our guests a marvelous meal; De Novo Pastoral Services for being our informed and entertaining emcee; Beth Waldron Photography for capturing all the fun above; Estella Floral Design for our darling centerpieces; Funky Olive Designs for our pretty little invitations; Cello for Weddings for serenading all our guests with delightful live cello music; and Black Swan Events, for transforming the ballroom into a conducive, inspiring space.

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