Zero-Waste Wedding: 5 Ways to Get There

If you know anything about your New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we love two things. One, New Mexico; two, weddings. Which seems pretty obvious, but it really is as simple as that.

Only, our love for New Mexico transcends an affection for the rich cultures, venerable mesas and mountains, and traditional architecture that surrounds us. There’s a foundation of respect for our home that supports the love we feel for all of those beautiful and inspiring New Mexican features. So, in our small ways, we try very hard to preserve the perfection of our wild state.

Whether it be through recycling, supporting local, or educating our community, each little step culminates to make a powerful act of love for New Mexico. Though of course, we adore weddings as much as we do our state, so combining values to create a zero-waste wedding that uplifts our local community, creates a killer party, and offers some kindness back to the land — does it get much better than that?

Chances are, if you’re reading about how to incorporate zero-waste principles into your wedding, then you know it really doesn’t get better than that. Before we jump in though, give your self a little pat on the back for taking extra steps to support your community by booking local vendors and reducing the waste your wedding creates. Every little thing counts!

So — after consulting with the local wedding professionals who are experts in their respective crafts — we’ve pulled together 5 simple tips to reduce waste at your wedding in New Mexico! Because we all get to enjoy the landscapes around us, let’s do our best to make sure the generations after us get to enjoy them, too.

1. All reusable, all the time.

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Matt Blasing Photography

Whether you’re having a small, intimate elopement, or inviting every single cousin, people will come expecting to eat at your wedding. Eating as a group, as lovely and communal as it can be, also offers up a lot of waste if you use single-use materials.

Luckily, with local and environmentally-conscious catering companies like Cafe Venture or Blue Plate Catering, you can have all reusable serving ware! Think cloth napkins, silverware, ceramic plates, and the like. Not only will this give your wedding a higher-end vibe, but all these things can be washed and reused after your wedding, instead of sitting in a landfill for the next several hundred years.

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Matt Blasing Photography

If the local catering company you’re working with doesn’t offer reusable serving ware, linens, and china like these guys do, then don’t fret! Thrift stores can still be your best friend. Grab vintage, reusable silverware and dishes, and pull it all off with an eclectic, artistic vibe. Then afterwards, you can give away the thrifted materials, or just donate them right back!

If you go this route, be sure to communicate with your caterer ahead of time, so no wires get crossed on the day of your wedding.

2. Power in the Flowers

Tori Photography

When it comes to floral arrangements, the best advice we have is to go silk! Does that seem counterintuitive?

While its true that flowers are compostable, you’ll want to pause before tossing them in your garden or local composting center. A majority of live flowers are treated with preservatives to ensure their long-lasting scent and beauty makes it through your ceremony. So before you bury them, be sure your florist sources from an organic farm like Europa, otherwise all those preservatives end up in your soil and, subsequently, the groundwater.

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With silk arrangements — like the gorgeous, can’t-believe-it’s-not-alive bouquets from Charlotte’s Flowers — you have a bit more wiggle room for reusing. The immortal bouquets can be rearranged into home decor after the wedding, used in future craft projects, or gifted to a friend.

Whether you go with organic live flowers, or silk arrangements, or just a bundle of chamomile from Trader Joe’s, you can always reuse the flowers from your ceremony for your reception. Chances are you and your bridal party aren’t going to be carrying your bouquets all night long, so repurpose them! It’ll save you money and reduce your floral carbon footprint.

3. Something old, nothing new.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

It’s true — the thought of buying a wedding dress from a thrift store sounds a bit horrifying to some. After all, this is the gown you’ll be wearing in hundreds of photographs, videos, and memories, is it worth it to risk it?

Thankfully, we have amazing local wedding professionals who can make a less-new dress totally risk-free. With shops like Bridal Elegance by Darlene, you can buy a gown ‘off the rack.’ Which, for those who don’t live and breathe bridal, just means it’s a sample of the gown, not one that was ordered, manufactured, and shipped just for you. With in-store seamstresses available for your wildest alteration dreams, too, there’s hardly a worry about making sure it fits in all the right places.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

Or you can opt for a second-hand gown from specialty shops like The Dressing Room West in Santa Fe. This local shop carries off the rack gowns as well, but they come as excess directly from designers who need to make space in their warehouses. Or sit down with Terese Rose Designs, a local custom bridal gown designer, and have a chat about sourcing fabrics and potential choices for your gown.

Last option, and a favorite for your wallet, is to haunt thrift stores and vintage shops. With seamstresses across the state, there’s some serious magic that can happen with a secondhand gown. It’s worth it to give new life to an old gown that might have just gone into the trash, if not for the power of a trained eye and tuned sewing machine.

4. Make things easy for your guests.

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Kayla Kitts Photography

As someone who personally composts, I’ll be honest: I don’t always compost when I’m out and about. Mostly because compost bins aren’t readily available around our state yet, and holding on to my food waste until I’m able to get home is smelly, messy, and not super convenient when I’m running around the town.

So you can expect a similar response at your wedding, even from your greenest of green friends. But luckily, you can mitigate this with a little bit of foresight during your wedding planning process.

Chat with your venue coordinator! When booking a venue, ask the coordinator ahead of time if they have enough trash cans to have one for landfill trash, recyclables, and compostables, all separated and labeled clearly. If not, bring your own!

Plus, if you’ve decided to book a local invitation and stationery company like Funky Olive Design or Pennysmith’s Paper, you can have your trash labels custom made. Then, there’s no sacrificing aesthetics for environmental-consciousness. Take it a step further by reusing the signs in your own home too, to make it easier for guests and kids that might be around to throw things away.

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5. Favors in your favor

View More: http://chrisikphotography.pass.us/aja--johnnys-wedding
Chrisi K Photography

As much as your friends and family love you, they might not love your favors. Which is okay! A lot of personalities are coming together in one space to celebrate you and your partner, so trying to please all of them is virtually impossible.

Keep this in mind when choosing your favors. If 1, 10, or 100 guests don’t take home their favors, what will happen to them?

You can go with an adorable little plant like Aja and Johnny did for their wedding — so in the off chances these get tossed outside, at least they’ll compost. (Or root and grow right there!) Plus the metal tins are reusable in a million different ways, so if the succulent gets replanted, the tin hopefully won’t go to waste. And anyways, how cute are they?!

Or be like Lynsey and Kent, who had one of our very favorite apple orchard weddings.

Arielei Kinzer Photography

Their apple-themed favors were not only delicious and charming, but super earth-friendly! For those who opted not to take their little jars home, the couple got some extra homemade apple butter for their own family. For those who did decide to enjoy the treat, they got a reusable jar and a delectable spread to remember the wedding by.

So, whether it’s through your dress, venue, or favors — whatever steps you decide to take to preserve all the beauty of New Mexico, we thank you. We’d like to keep loving this state and the weddings in it for many more generations to come, and a few choices on your part help to ensure that’s possible.

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

Dramatic New Mexican Skies with Local Wedding Professionals

Like all our favorite things — wine, cheese, Golden Girls reruns — the Perfect Wedding Guide Diamond Dash just continues to get better with age. Which, if you happened to catch any of our stories or posts from Sunday on social media, you’ll know it was one for the books! The energy and liveliness of the wedding show paralleled no other, and left us feeling inspired, reinvigorated, and so grateful to be a part of the local wedding community here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe.

With another round of wedding shows down for the entire year as well, we can’t help but to reflect on what made 2018 so spectacular. For us, it was undoubtedly the wedding professionals, like the ones who brought their A-game to the Diamond Dash, who we have the chance to support and be supported by. Being members of the New Mexico Wedding Professionals, or NMWP for short, is just one of the ways we get to do so, by working with and for the small businesses owners who make up the group of experts.

And when we say experts, we mean it. Florists, officiants, venues, photographers — if you can name it, there’s a dedicated member of NMWP who can do it. So when this styled shoot came to fruition from their wedding-obsessed minds, we were absolutely swooning.

With the stage set at The View Event Center — whose booth at the Diamond Dash was gorgeous, by the way — Kevin’s Photography captured the urban magic of the venue perfectly. Charlotte’s Flowers, one of the many talented wedding veterans of Albuquerque + Santa Fe, arranged the gorgeous modern bouquets, while Bridal Elegance by Darlene and Suits Unlimited outfitted the couple.

We had a wonderful time capturing the essence of a wedding day at this beautiful venue! The eclectic decor was a perfect setting for the elegant styles of the bridal outfits and flowers, each working together for a unique photo shoot every bride dreams of. The dramatic New Mexico skies presented a perfect background for this couple from the wrap around balcony overlooking the picturesque city of Albuquerque! Appreciation to all who participated in sharing their time and talents.

Kevin, Kevin’s Photography

We second that Kevin! So much appreciation to all who participated in the styled shoot, and continue to serve local, engaged couples with their wedding expertise and industry knowledge.

 

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Concept: New Mexico Wedding Professionals

Venue: The View Event Center

Photographer: Kevin’s Photography

Florals: Charlotte’s Flowers

Decor: Simply Decor & Events

Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Suits Unlimited

Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Hair + Makeup: Bliss Salon & Spa

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

A Bride’s Best Friend: Pups in Weddings

Can you imagine a world where you could bring your dog everywhere with you? We can’t know for certain, but we’d willing to wager that crime rates would lower, there’d be triple the number of weddings every year, and everyone would have clear skin and a smile on their face at all times. {We can dream, right?}

Until this world exists though, we’re all just going to have to keep spending as much time with our furry companions as we can. So why not sneak your pup into your wedding, too?! Yes they might steal the show, if we’re being honest, but if you can get past that then the added cuteness factor to your wedding is totally unparalleled.

{Now, we’re not saying we are unique in our love for dogs of all shapes and sizes. We know that, universally, dogs are the most wonderful creatures. But when it comes to dogs in wedding parties, well… We’re truly their #1 biggest fans. Don’t challenge us on that one.}

The recent resurgence of this puppy-in-the-wedding-party trend has us feeling all of the feels, so we picked out our three favorite ways that local photographers and wedding planners have been incorporating their engaged couples’ dogs into their wedding celebration. So scroll on to check them out, and let your little fur-ball know it’s time to get out their Sunday best!

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1.

Engagement photos! Your dog is an integral part of your family, we’re sure, so it’s only fair that they’re included in this glorious familial transition. As long as you have a photographer whose not afraid of a little fur, your best friend can be a part of one of the earliest steps of wedding planning. {Like Maura Jane Photography!}

dogsMaura Jane Photography

2.

Save the dates! Want your save the dates to stand out from all the other weddings of 2019/2020? Or do you need to entice your long-distance relatives and friends to make the trek out to New Mexico for your wedding? Or are you nervous about having your photo taken? Bring your dog! Problem solved.

 

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3.

Last but not least, the ceremony! Surely by now you’ve seen one of the many excruciatingly adorable photos and videos of dogs being teeny tiny ring bearers — we’ve definitely watched our fair share. But what if your pup isn’t exactly aisle-trained? Not a problem. It’s no longer necessary to have an assigned “role” for your dog, especially when there are florists like Charlotte’s Flowers to make a flower crown or lei. Then they match the color scheme of your wedding, and no one could possibly question their presence.

 

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1145de_69d287a5bd0149e1a612b94f1f252cf5~mv2_d_2343_3500_s_2Maura Jane Photography

 

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

 

PWG Meet-up at Classic Event + Tent Rentals {Casual Networking}

On the morning of April 21st, The Perfect Wedding Guide Team headed over to Classic Event + Tent Rentals for a casual networking event. We planned on having a simple get-together with coffee and some snacks, but we were pleasantly surprised with gorgeous table settings by Classic, charming arrangements by Charlotte’s Flowers, and a tasty breakfast from Lettuce Cater. It was so wonderful to walk into the space and see Classic’s staff’s talent. They transformed the space into a charming venue, making it so nice to sit down and discuss life with some of Albuquerque’s finest vendors. When we talked with them, we got to see how much they care for their clients and all the hard work that goes into making each couple feel uniquely special. This event was a blast, and it gave everyone the opportunity to not only discuss business, but build relationships.

Charming arrangement by Charlotte's Flowers!
Charming arrangement by Charlotte’s Flowers!

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Tasty AND good-looking quiches by Lettuce Cater
Tasty AND good-looking quiches by Lettuce Cater
The Perfect Wedding Guide and a great cup pf coffee make a flawless morning
The Perfect Wedding Guide and a great cup of coffee make for a wonderful morning…
Just a sample of Classic's talent!
Just a sample of Classic’s talent!
More of Charlotte's Flowers!
More of Charlotte’s Flowers!

This little meet-up was so much fun. The unexpected effort from the different businesses just went to show how much our advertisers care. They go above and beyond to make everything they participate in look and feel special.

Special thanks to these vendors, we couldn’t have done this without you:

Venue and Tables/Linens: Classic Event + Tent Rentals

Catering: Lettuce Cater

Flower Samples: Charlotte’s Flowers

 

For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, visit perfectweddingguide.com!

 

 

 

 

Kaelee + Stetson {Shabby-Chic Texan Ranch Wedding}

Awe – oh my gosh- you guys,  this next celebration is the shabby-chic Texan Ranch wedding of my dreams! Truly warmed my soul to peruse through the photos and thoughtful details on this cold, dreary winter afternoon. Where in the world would we be without Alena Swanson LLC? She is always there to make sure each detail is perfectly planned + coordinated from beginning to end. Here is what she had to say about being a part of this gorgeous celebration:

[Alena Swanson LLC] ” I’m in love with all the creative DIY decor Christy, the mother of the bride, made for her daughter’s wedding! Check out their handmade signs, photo booth lounge, tables and place settings, burlap chandeliers, wood coasters, and shelving for drink-ware and the candy bar! Although it was hot and then rainy at this Ft. Davis wedding in July, the couple had a dream wedding under the Texas stars, made complete by a sparkler dance.”

Enjoy! -A

One of our FAVORITE local silk flower professionals also makes a debut, Charlotte’s Flowers ladies + gents! Check her out : mycharlottesflowers.com

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Professionals that helped pull this wedding full circle:

Charlotte’s Flowers– all the artificial boutonnieres, corsages, bouquets, and centerpieces. (from ABQ)
Thanks to Joshua Ratliff Photography  (from Texas) for the stunning photos of Kaelee & Stetson’s Shaby-Chic Texan Ranch Wedding!
Emily Joanne– Wedding Films (from ABQ): They were there capturing some film, can’t wait to see it!
HE Sproul Ranch 
David’s Bridal

And of course: Alena Swanson LLC: Wedding + Event Planning 

And until next time lovelies, for more on everything wedding + wedding planning please visit us online at PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Picking the Perfect Bouquet

Your bouquet plays a huge role in setting the tone for your wedding celebration. The style of your wedding gown is a big factor in selecting the arrangement you will carry down the aisle. For example, a modern bride in a Vera Wang sheathe might choose a single, dramatic calla lily, while the informal bride may opt for a hand-tied bouquet of wildflowers. Here are easy ways to find the right bloom for your big day.

Charlotte's Flowers
Charlotte’s Flowers

                                Color

Color plays a large part in your wedding planning floral choices. Although traditional bouquets usually are white, bouquets of bright colors and strong contrasts are increasingly popular. Some brides break with traditional white to choose rich hues that complement the dresses worn by their bridesmaids. The bouquet to the left done by Charlotte’s Flowers uses very vivid shades of purple and lavender which is without a doubt eye catching and beautiful. 

                            Seasonality 

Although almost every flower is available year-round for a price, the season in which you’ll marry can influence your bouquet choice. For example, a spring bride might choose peonies, tulips or daffodils, while the late summer bride may prefer marigolds or delphiniums. (Our gallery of Wedding flowers will help you visualize these bouquet options)

                              

Your style of bouquet is a matter of personal style and taste but is also the perfect opportunity to show your personality. For example the bouquet below done by Albuquerque Florist Inc was bound with a strand of pearls-  a very elegant and personal touch.

Albuquerque Florist Inc

 Popularity 

The most popular flowers for wedding flower bouquets are roses, lilies, stephanotis, orchids, peonies, irises, daisies, gardenias and hydrangeas. But there are dozens of other options. Consult your florist to find your perfect mix.

Some of the more popular wedding flower bouquets include:

1. Biedermeier. Often bound by a lace or ivy collar, the Biedermeier has a number of complementary flowers

tightly bound into a compact ball, usually with an oversized blossom at the center.

2. Cascade. Long-stemmed flowers are combined with flowing ivy and other greenery for a cascading effect down the front of your gown.

3. Composite. Individual flower petals are wired together to create a single large flower.

4. Crescent. Similar to a cascade, it’s a curved bouquet designed to nestle along your arm. Neither cascades or crescents currently are as popular as clutch bouquets.

5. Nosegays. A variety of flowers and greenery are tied into a tight, round bunch with ribbon, lace or strands of crystal and pearls.

6. Spray. A few blossoms are fashioned together in a triangular shape and bound by ribbon or decorative cord.

Azarel Floral Co
Azarel Floral Co.

Azarel Floral Co. created the arrangement to left and I not only love that the florist picked the very trendy and popular color tangerine for the focal flowers but also how they got the color to pop by surrounding the flowers with lush greenery.

These are just a few things to consider as to ensure that you absolutely love your bouquet on your special day.

Browse our Wedding flowers gallery for more ideas and inspiration!

Sources : Editors of Perfect Wedding Guide

Albuquerque Florist Inc

Charlotte’s Flowers

Azarel Floral Co.

Congratulations to our Spring 2011 I Do Giveaway Crew Winners

Congratulations to Laura & Jeffrey for being Perfect Wedding Guide’s I Do Giveaway Crew’s Spring/Summer 2011 winners. They plan to be married on September 24, 2011 in Angel Fire, New Mexico.

All Photographs by Kevin’s Photography

Laura & Jeffrey were winners of fabulous prizes from generous local wedding businesses. In addition to winning prizes from the sponsors below, the couple will also be featured in a double page spread in the upcoming Spring/Summer 2011 Issue of Perfect Wedding Guide! Click here to sign up to get your free copy of Perfect Wedding Guide mailed to you.

You can also win fabulous prizes from local wedding businesses for your upcoming wedding! Enter now for your chance to be our next I Do Giveaway Crew Winner!

Visit us on Facebook to view more photos of Laura & Jeffrey.