Southwestern Dreams: A Real Wedding with Alicia Lucia Photography

Jason and Natalie met about four years ago and even though Natalie cancelled their first date, Jason was persistent and the two of them finally met. After an eight hour date walking around Lake Michigan, these babes knew they were meant for one another…

Alicia Lucia Photography

During these times of uncertainty and chaos, there is one thing that remains strong and mighty in the face of fear: love. No matter how many bridges we must build to cross wild waters or stores we must visit to find toilet paper, we still have beautiful love stories that deserve to be heard. That’s right, it’s that time of year again where we share our favorite “Real Weddings” with all of you!

Love is our universal language. No matter where in the world you might be, we all have this in common. Here in the great Land of Enchantment, love is buried deep within the dirt we stand on and can be seen in our beautiful sunsets. It makes sense that many couples want to travel from far and wide to celebrate their wedding day amongst their loved ones in such a special place.

For Jason + Natalie, this couldn’t be any more true. The stunning couple live in Chicago with their black lab/collie mix, Bartlet, but knew that their hearts were meant to join as one in the southwest. We love when couples choose to have a destination wedding in our charming state because we get to meet new people with the most incredible + unique personalities.

On a very lovely Santa Fe day, Jason and Natalie said “I do” with the most spectacular, southwestern-boho wedding ever! These lovers came all the way from Chicago to celebrate the start of forever and they pulled out all the stops.

Alicia Lucia Photography

We’re loving the details of these lovebirds’ boho Santa Fe wedding. Hand-painted florals, a cake with pink watercolor cacti, and the most charming save-the-dates + invites from Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery simply stole the show. And that’s not all. Natalie + Jason chose the dreamiest venue imaginable – La Fonda on the Plaza. If this doesn’t inspire you to start planning your perfect southwestern wedding, I don’t know what will.

If you want to see all of the beauty for yourself, check out the lovely gallery from Alicia Lucia Photography below with sneak peeks from Jason + Natalie’s dreamy day.

Featured Photography: Ashley + Breanna of Alicia Lucia Photography Venue: La Fonda on the Plaza Planning: For the Love Events Rentals: Rust Vintage Florals: Renegade Floral Invitations + Paper Goods: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery Hair: Jewel Hair Design Makeup Artist: Kata Baron Bridal Gown: Ines di Santo Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids Grooms Attire: ESQ Clothing Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux Cake: Maggie’s Wedding Cakes Music: Absolute Entertainment

Santa Fe I Do Giveaway

Shauna and I spent most of yesterday in Santa Fe and we sure did have fun! We started off by getting some delicious breakfast at Twisters (yum) for our drive. Our first plan was to do our Santa Fe “I Do Giveaway” but we had to get flowers for our winning bride so we stopped by Amanda’s flowers and Carol (owner) put together a beautiful bouquet for us. We then met Carolyn, our photographer form The Photography Studio at the Loretto Chapel. We thought that this would be a beautiful location for our giveaway and luckily enough, Mary the events coordinator was nice enough to let us use this location. Our lucky bride, Sindy was very shocked with all of the free gifts that she received.  Carolyn captured some great photographs that I will post early next week as well as the video that we recorded.

We then visited the beautiful Hotel La Fonda and popped in Tom Taylor Custom’s, SantaFe’s premier source of Custom, Handmade Belts and Buckles. We spoke with Philip and he signed up for our next issue which includes a Destination Santa Fe feature. Tom Taylor is a great store to buy items that will add a Santa Fe feel to any wedding.

Artichokes and Pomegranates was our next stop, which is a beautiful shop that customizes in fine floral arrangements for weddings and other events. Fred, the owner was very excited to hear about our upcoming Santa Fe feature and decided to be included! Keep an eye out for our next guide that hits the streets on July 22, which will be packed with informative information on how Santa Fe weddings.

Next item of business was restocking some of our Santa Fe distributors which included M & J Bridal Boutique, Body of Santa Fe, Massage Envy and Que Bonita. Visit any of theses locations or see our list of distributors here.

Thank you to our I Do Giveaway (Santa Fe) Sponsors:

The Photography Studio

M&J Bridal Boutique

Bear Creak Adventures 

Fit-nominal Health

B Beautiful Luxury Salon and Spa

Silpada Jewelry by Petra

Luminance Wedding Films

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Many couples dream of getting married in a church, synagogue or mosque, but plenty of others are interested in a slightly more natural wedding venue: the outdoors. Whether you’re looking at a beach, a park or a landmark, choosing to have your special day under the sun can be exciting, but it’s also nerve-wracking to be at Mother Nature’s mercy. However, there are plenty of tips to help you pull the whole thing off without a hitch.

For one thing, the experts say, don’t try to override nature’s beauty with super-elaborate decorations.

“Brides tend to forget that the outdoor scenery – whether you are on the water or standing in a lush, garden – is stunning enough for guests. Rather than competing with your natural surroundings, brides and their coordinators should merely enhance it by adding simple touches, like smaller, personalized centerpieces for the reception and minimal décor at the ceremony,” said Patrick Rafferty, social specialist at Hornblower Cruises and Events in Marina del Rey, California.

It is also important to plan for possible inclement weather. Since rain can roll in at any minute, brides who plan to wed outdoors should have a back-up plan ready in case it begins to drizzle. This can be simple – many outdoor wedding venues offer tents that can actually be quite well-decorated and blend in well with the motif of any wedding. For the best shot at a beautiful day, brides should try to plan their nuptials in temperate climates that are known for year-round sunshine.

For more information on wedding tips and trends, click

6 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

Destination weddings offer a number of benefits as an alternative wedding option. From adventure seekers to beach bums, these out-of-town nuptials can offer a tailored romantic excursion for every couple’s personality. Here, six reasons why brides and grooms are forgoing the traditional ceremony and reception for destination wedding experiences to last a lifetime.

1. Destination weddings can take place anywhere
Contrary to popular belief not all destination weddings have to take place at the beach. “Destinations” are considered anywhere away from where the bride and groom live. When booking your DW, consider locations that you and your groom would enjoy visiting most-the scenic landscape of a mountain range, the rustic feel of the woods or even on the grounds of a fairytale castle. A destination is anywhere the imagination takes you.

2. Destination weddings can actually save you money
Sticking to a proposed budget is often a major stressor for wedding planning. But the affordability of destination weddings has made this option increasingly popular for many budget-conscious couples. All-inclusive resorts combine accommodations with all meals provided. And an added benefit of booking at a resort or island location-no additional traveling for the honeymoon (you’re already there!).

3. Destination weddings are a growing trend (which means plenty of options)
Out of 2.4 million weddings that take place each year, 17 percent are destination weddings. Due to its increase in popularity, a number of hotels and resorts offer special romance packages and have on-site romance concierge services to schedule couples-themed activities for destination wedding guests.
For more ideas on destination weddings, visit Check out our links to the left to find additional wedding services in your area.

A Luxurious Destination Wedding

The name Encantado means enchantment, and the Encantando Resort o06-casita-suite-livingroomutside of Santa Fe, New Mexico embraces the Land of Enchantment to its fullest. Located just ten minutes out of Downtown Santa Fe, the Encantado Resort and Spa is situated on 57 acres of romantic landscape and endless sky. All the guest rooms and suites are made up of casitas, with contemporary adobe-style design and private outdoor terraces, spread over several acres.  
Encantado Resort and Spa is fully able to provide a couple with an amazing wedding experience. The 65 casitas and suites can be reserved for family and friends, and an extensive banquet menu gives brides the option to customize their reception even more. Encantado offers over 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space that can be rented for weddings. Their seasonal outdoor venues 09-poolinclude poolside, patios, terraces and event lawn. (Can you imagine having a poolside reception looking out onto the beautiful New Mexico Sunset?) Click here to view more pictures of event space available.
Encantado also has a full-service luxury spa which encompasses steam rooms, soaking pools, relaxation areas, a labyrinth, a fitness facility and a movement studio. In addition to the rejuvenating spa treatments, Encantando offers fine dining at its nationally renown restaurant, Terra, which was awarded a coveted spot on Esquire Magazine’s list of top 20 Best New Restaurants of 2008.
What is particularly refreshing about the resort is its responsible approach to luxury. They incorporate a number of sustainable practices throughout the resort. They employ green design principles by using landscaping that preserves water and by installing energy-efficient fixtures that minimize waste. 
Encantado offers an opportunity to get away from it all while being ten minutes from of the pleasures of Santa Fe—museums, galleries, restaurants, shopping and performances. This would make a fabulous destination wedding for any bride.  The resort offers a luxurious retreat in the hills of New Mexico that wedding guests will be talking about for years.
To Find out more about how to make this your dream wedding, you can contact Encantado’s Wedding Coordinator, Felicia  Ponca.
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