Southwestern Dreams: A Real Wedding with Alicia Lucia Photography

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

Wedding Invitations: Why You Should Stay Local

Wedding Invitations: Why You Should Stay Local

Header image | Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary

There are so many reasons why working with a local business is great, but the best and most important reason is because they get you.

Planning a wedding is no easy task and it can often feel like nobody is really listening to your individual needs. This is especially true when working with a national company that is catering to thousands of engaged couples per day. Here at Wedding Collective, our mission is to connect local couples with local vendors to make dream weddings come true. Incredible New Mexico weddings are possible because local vendors are able to give their undivided attention to their couples to ensure that they are being heard.

Wedding essentials like save-the-dates and invitations are in high-demand, and too often couples settle for ordering online from big corporations because it appears to be the most convenient option and/or they don’t know that there are super talented locals that can work with them personally. We are here to shed some light on all of the reasons to keep it local when it comes to paper goods and also to highlight some of our fave local stationary specialists.

It’s tempting to order paper goods online, and we get it, you want to save time and money all while trying to avoid leaving the comfort of your home. However, the benefits of locally made paper goods outweigh the downsides by far. Online companies tend to produce generic and lower quality products that are ordered by hundreds of thousands of brides and grooms. By working with local paper experts, you get to experience the quality of the paper before ordering and you can personalize your products to your liking. Not only will this face-to-face experience put your mind at ease, but it will also guarantee that your product is uniquely yours.

Local paper experts like Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary, Pennysmith’s Paper, and Darling Clementine Art + Illustration are exemplary creatives that take paper goods to the next level. We seriously cannot get over how stunning their end products are. Each of them bring something unique to the table, so you’re certain to find the one that can bring your vision to life. Let’s get to know these lovelies a little bit more:

Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary

Cam Storie Photography

Looking for a full-service, custom design studio specializing in bespoke invitations + paper goods? Look no further than Funky Olive! It’s all here, just for you. You can get in touch with these experts here.

Pennysmith’s Paper

Meet with a design consultant, choose from established designs or customize your own, and explore a wide variety of possibilities for all of your paper needs when you work with Pennysmith’s Paper! You can learn more about them here.

Darling Clementine Art + Illustration

Bella’s charming illustrations are created from the heart and are always completely customized. From wedding invitations to hand-bound books, Darling Clementine‘s creativity is endless. Get in touch with her here!

We want you to connect with a local wedding expert because your vision matters and your ideas deserve to be heard. Have questions or need some suggestions? We’re here to help!

Winter Magic: A Real Wedding at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Winter Magic: A Real Wedding at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Sydney and Christian had a romantic December wedding that was pure winter magic! Relying on the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains and the views of the golf course, the couple was able to keep the décor simple and elegant with subtle winter and holiday vibes.

– Lauren Landavazo, Director of Catering at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The holiday season is upon us and the hot New Mexico weather is finally starting to cool off. We are thrilled to start seeing all of the winter weddings rolling in–so let the festivities begin! New Mexico is the quintessential place for a winter wedding, not only because the weather stays nice until late November, but because of the abundance of versatile wedding ceremony and reception venues.

There are so many possibilities, from rustic farms with holiday lights strung up, to fairytale-like ballrooms, our wedding vendors can do it all. The Perfect Wedding Guide team is no stranger to helping our local brides and grooms find their ideal “Winter Wonderland”, because after all, who wouldn’t love to get married during the coziest season of them all? We’ve learned over the years that many brides already have a pretty good idea of what kind of wedding they want, they just need a little help getting there.

For Sydney & Christian, a December wedding was a must because it was their dating anniversary month (cue happy tears). A December wedding + reception absolutely meant hints of Christmas in their color scheme and menu–and with the help of The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club, they rocked it. Another must for the couple, and we couldn’t agree more, was to incorporate the breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains. Luckily for this beautiful couple, their reception venue was able to do just that and more.

“Our wedding was everything we had hoped for, with the help of all of our amazing vendors. I cannot speak highly enough about each and every person involved, who allowed all of our dreams to come to true. We are so blessed.”

– Sydney, Bride
Featured Venue: Event Center at Sandia Golf Club
Photography: Matt Blasing Photography
Videography: Southwest Wedding Films
Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Florals: Albuquerque Florist
Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci
Hair & Makeup: Alt Salon
Musician: The Real Matt Jones
DJ: Party Time DJ
Decor: Occasions Services + Events
Menswear: Suits Unlimited

Desert Vibes: A Styled Shoot with Briana Nicole Photography

Desert Vibes: A Styled Shoot with Briana Nicole Photography

The southwest is as diverse as it comes between the melting pot of cultures and geography, but that only means that you can use our gorgeous desert landscape to set the stage for your bright and vibrant color palette. 

It is officially time to say “hasta la vista” to the warm New Mexico weather, and welcome in the thrills and chills of late October. Even though we love a good fall breeze, it’s hard not to look back at sunnier days and feel a little bit wistful. Luckily for us, Briana Nicole Photography submitted this absolutely charming styled shoot conceptualized by Just Lovely Weddings so that we may indulge in our summertime cravings. The incredible images are the cherry on top!

The New Mexican desert is home to spectacular wildflowers, abounding sagebrush, and various cacti plants. It’s no wonder people gravitate to our state for photo opportunities galore. For this styled shoot, the designers used bright pinks, rich teals, and shimmering golds set against the neutral tones of the desert to create an astonishing performance of color contrast. Talk about photogenic!

Lauren with Just Lovely Weddings rounded up an amazing vendor team to share these pops of color, teal accents, geometric shapes, and desert vibes along with the creative usage of a hexagon arch as your romantic backdrop.

Just when we think we’ve seen it all, something new pops its head around the corner and surprises us. Our vendors really know how to put on a show, and we want front row tickets. The bespoke invitations from Funky Olive, the combo of colors in the florals, the macarons in the cake (can you spot ’em?), the gorgeous wedding ring from Ooh! Aah! Jewelry, the breathtaking gown from Bridal Elegance by Darlene… we’re speechless.

Styled shoots are aways a group effort that showcase the talents of so many wonderful local wedding vendors and it really is a community effort, that’s why we love them so very much. We can’t seem to get enough of styled shoots, so keep them coming our way all of you beautiful people!

This shoot came to life with the help of Briana Nicole Photography and her magical camera-eye. Check out the gallery below!

Photography: Briana Nicole Photography
Concept + Planning: Just Lovely Weddings
Décor: Darling Details Rentals
Florals: A Beautiful Theme
Cake: Sweet Grace Cake Co.
Hair & Makeup: Fancy Faces by Gina
Stationery: Funky Olive Invitation + Stationery
Jewelry: Ooh! Ahh! Jewelry
Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Menswear: Ted Baker
Models: Jenna Doddridge and JC Ciddio

Create & Cultivate: 2019 Speed Connecting Event at Four Seasons in Santa Fe

Create & Cultivate: 2019 Speed Connecting Event at Four Seasons in Santa Fe

We, your Perfect Wedding Guide team, want to give our vendors every opportunity possible to make connections with local couples. It’s our mission! However, we realize that the first step to any successful wedding business starts with a strong presence in the wedding community, which is why we host our speed connecting events. Speed connecting events allow local wedding businesses to have face-to-face conversations with other local wedding businesses– because the best connections are made when you’re willing to open up and share your story. Especially when scenic views, delicious eats, and good tunes are involved!

The event itself is different from other networking events because you won’t be waiting around for someone to come talk to you. Instead, we have carefully designed speed sessions where you are allotted a certain amount of time to introduce yourself and your business, share a brief history, and exchange business cards and contacts. The atmosphere is meant to be laid back and, we promise you, there’s no pressure involved. It’s simply your opportunity to spend some time with wedding professionals and watch the magic unfold in front of your eyes.

We hosted our annual Create & Cultivate: Speed Connecting Event at Los Poblanos over the summer, but we wanted to give our Santa Fe vendors an opportunity to meet each other as well, so we planned an October event at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado. The more events the merrier! The New Mexico wedding community joined us at the venue and everyone got to chat over drinks and great food, such as Aji Chile Shrimp Ceviche and a piece of Candied Bacon from the Candied Bacon Wall– doesn’t that sound amazing?! The atmosphere was incredible and laughter filled the air as the soft evening light draped everything in gold. This event is not only about networking, but also about making lasting memories and friendships. We can’t emphasize this enough.

All of this would not be possible if it weren’t for our amazing venue and our sponsors! We would like to express our gratitude to Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado for being our generous venue host, because everything was so welcoming and just drop dead gorgeous. The centerpieces by Bosque Flower Studio were radiant and the music from Absolute Entertainment had everyone in the dancing mood. Thank you to Funky Olive, PSAV, and Colorado Party Rentals for your help bringing it all together.

Finally, we would like to give a huge shoutout to our lovely photographer for the event, Kayla Kitts Photography. We couldn’t have captured the beauty, the blossoming friendships, and all around good vibes radiating from the event without her incredible eye. For those of you who missed out this go round, Kayla’s photos will give you a sneak peak into what you missed! And no need to fret, we host the event every year in Albuquerque, so we will see ya next time.

2019 Vendor Appreciation Night Recap

2019 Vendor Appreciation Night Recap

If you didn’t know already, we, your Perfect Wedding Guide team, love to have fun. Both the team and our local wedding vendors work hard everyday to make sure that we are building the strongest and most stress-free bridges between couples and their perfect wedding. Even though we are extremely dedicated to our jobs and to our local wedding community, we definitely aren’t all work and no play. What is life without a little music, dancing, food, drinks, and great company? Psssst. The answer is boring!

Since we love our jobs, our wedding community, and a good party, we decided to create one very special night each year that celebrates our vendors and their hard work: the Vendor Appreciation Night! This exciting evening encourages wedding professionals from all around New Mexico to relax and engage in conversation with other like-minded individuals, all while enjoying some yummy food and drinks.

Did we mention that there is also a different theme every year? That’s right– we get to play dress up as adults, too! For this year’s Vendor Appreciation Night, the theme was “Siren’s Soiree & the Sailors Too”, fittingly hosted by the Albuquerque BioPark Aquarium and their Shark Reef Cafe. We cannot put into words how thrilled we were to see all of the sequins, sparkles, and sailor hats as they began to fill the halls and the dining room. Everyone really nailed it this year, it’s going to be hard to beat it next year! 

As our guests arrived at the entrance to the aquarium, they checked in and received a gift and then were free to experience the wonders of the underwater world. There were exciting options at every turn, from blue margaritas to seared ahi tuna on a bed of seaweed salad (it was amazing). Rockin’ Piano Party took requests for music and we jammed out all night long. The music didn’t stop until everyone was gone and we even started our own Perfect Wedding Guide Team karaoke session during clean-up!

It would behoove us to mention the incredible table decor from The Flower Co., the stunning cakes from Honey & Salt Cake Co., and the delicious seafood themed hors d’oeuvres from Taste Catering. We were so grateful to have Brad from King Mobile Music there to liven up the party and announce our Elite Award Winners, which you can read about here. T. Rayne Photography did us the honor of capturing the evening and we are absolutely in AWE of how the photos came out. Without these amazing vendors, the night would not have been as beautiful and well put together!

If you attended the evening or not, you’re in for a treat when you see the T. Rayne Photography‘s photo gallery from the evening. Check it out below and make sure to join us for next year’s event!

Announcing the 2019 PWG Elite Award Winners!

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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