Family is Forever: A Real Wedding with Alicia Lucia Photography

Here at Wedding Collective, family is everything. Our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, children and pets are our support system and livelihood! We like to think that our entire wedding community is our family, as well, which gives us this warm and fuzzy feeling in our hearts. No matter who you consider your family to be, you’ll want them to be by your side as you celebrate your marriage together.

Lauren + Andrew were thrilled to be gaining new families on their wedding day, and they absolutely made it one of the most memorable days of their lives. With family and friends traveling all the way to New Mexico from the East Coast, the couple wanted to show them the awe-inspiring views of the Southwest, so they chose La Mesita Ranch as their ceremony venue. The combination of blush florals, vintage furniture, and southwestern textures, while completely on trend, spoke to the couple’s unique personalities and love for each other.

“We chose La Mesita Ranch because we loved the beautiful property and breathtaking vistas and felt like it would really wow our mostly East Coast guests. If we were going to ask our friends and family to come all the way to New Mexico we needed to show them the #NewMexicoTrue beauty!”

– Lauren + Andrew, bride and groom

What made the day most special were the little touches that Lauren included to honor the life of her father. Like any great father-daughter duo, their love of sweet treats is what brought them together to make memories. Lauren remembered making biscochitos and eating oreos together, so she served those to her guests to keep his spirit alive. The sweetness doesn’t end there, though, because Lauren’s mother sewed her father’s wedding ring into her dress so that he could still walk her down the aisle.

As the evening carried on, the golden light washed over the couple and their guests like a wave of pixie dust, making for the most romantic views. Lauren + Andrew chose Alicia Lucia Photography to bring those raw moments to life – and let us tell you, it’s honestly hard to believe that they are real. For any and every wedding, the key ingredient to those incredible, movie-scene moments to be captured through the lens, is the love between people. Whether you are with your life partners, friends, or family, there is no greater memory than that of true happiness when you’re with the ones you love.

“We chose many of our vendors after seeing a lot of their work in Alicia’s photos and knowing that we would be in AMAZING hands with each of them – especially in that we were planning from afar. I feel most happy that we rushed to book Alicia and her team because we were floored by how well our pictures came out. It felt as if they captured every great moment and helped us to stay relaxed.”

– LAUREN + ANDREW, BRIDE AND GROOM

You can see the cinematic + intimate gallery provided by the talented Alicia Lucia Photography below:

Featured Photography: Alicia + Breanna of Alicia Lucia Photography Venue: La Mesita Ranch Estate Planning: Just Lovely Wedding & Event Planning Rentals: Darling Details Vintage Rentals Florals: Albuquerque Florist Paper Goods: Protea Paper Hair: Genica Lee Makeup Artist: Betty Rose by Alanna Bridal Gown + Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection Groom’s Attire: Bonobos Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux Catering: Walter Burke Catering Cake: Chocolate Maven Band: Diamond Empire Band

Ghost Ranch: A Real Wedding with Carissa & Ben Photography

“Of Ghost Ranch, the great painter Georgia O’Keeffe said, “Out here, half your work is done for you.” We whole-heartedly agree.

Carissa & Ben Photography

These days we’re craving long drives through vast New Mexico landscapes that heal our souls and remind us of the massive amount of beauty that the world gifts us with. Plus, long drives allow us to find an abundance of hidden gems where local couples can celebrate their love stories and say their “I Dos”.

This mystical elopement between Alaina + Jack emphasizes this and so much more, hinting to us that you can find beauty all over New Mexico, if you’re willing to be adventurous! Their chosen location, Ghost Ranch, sits near the village of Abiquiú and has a rich history of art, culture, and education sweeping across the 21,000 acres of land. For many, it is known as the home of Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s no wonder this couple chose to travel from California to join hearts there!

“We’re from California, but we chose New Mexico for our elopement because of its gorgeous landscapes and laid back feel. We fell in love with the idea of a desert wedding and once we discovered Ghost Ranch we never looked back! We always say to each other that our wedding day was perfect and we wouldn’t do anything differently!” 

– Alaina + Jack, Bride and Groom

The couple chose decor that went with their desert theme – cow skulls decorated with native florals, warm blankets, vibrant bouquets, and a touch of modern with a unique geometric arch. It was important that the elopement focus on their love for each other and their love of the desert, so the simplicity in their wedding complimented this perfectly. Ghost Ranch speaks for itself with all of it’s mystery + natural wonder.

Ghost Ranch is one of our favorite places on the planet. And when Alaina and Jack got in touch with us and we learned that they were drawn to the New Mexico landscape because of its stark beauty, we knew we had found some like-minded friends. It was a joy to help them find and partner with some of our very favorite vendors here in New Mexico, and their elopement ended up being a testament to the beauty, uniqueness, and enchanting nature of our state, and the artists that work here.

Carissa & Ben Photography

Without seeing this sunny elopement for yourself, it might be hard to imagine. Thankfully, the adventurous photographer duo, Carissa & Ben Photography, captured the day perfectly. From arrival until sundown, the magic never seemed to cease. Check it out for yourself below!

If we could live on Ghost Ranch, we would! Ben’s grandparents visited often and painted scenes from it’s stunning landscape. Ben even wore his grandpa’s bolo tie that he got from the ranch in the 1960s as a little nod to the artists who have come before us to enjoy the beauty of this place. Alaina and Jack’s day was absolute magic, thanks especially to the incredible state we call home.”

Carissa & Ben Photography

Featured Photography: Carissa & Ben Photography Venue: Ghost Ranch Florals: Renegade Floral Officiant: De Novo Concierge Pastors Hair + Makeup Artist: Genica Lee Bride’s Ring: Erica Winters Bridal Gown: Lulus Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply + Allen Edmonds

Hello, Spring: An Intimate Elopement with Maura Jane Photography

We’ve been given a little blessing in disguise as we are forced to stay home to keep the world safe. We can spend time in our backyards enjoying the springtime blooms and ideal weather, catching some rays + planning weddings. Even though lovely 2020 springtime weddings are to be rescheduled, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them from the comfort of your jammies!

Thankfully, our wedding vendors are always providing us with the best inspirational content to share with all of you. When we need a pick-me-up, and we know you do too, an expert sends in a feature that fills us with positivity and happiness. When all of the chaos hit, our own lovely Maura Jane Photography did just this! We’re about to share with you one of our favorite springtime elopements that will make you feel the love of the season.

“Stacey and Manny met online, with Stacey immediately being attracted to Manny’s big, bright smile. As they dated, they began to realize more and more that they were simply made for each other. They even joked to us that they discovered they had complimentary OCD tendencies. On Valentine’s Day, he invited her to his house and then proposed after dinner. Of course, she was elated!…”

Maura jane photography

A breathtaking location, meaningful details, and true love set the stage for this marriage story. These are three ingredients that are guaranteed to make an awe-inspiring elopement. Really, these are the only things you DO need – but this couple took it even further. Stacey + Manny wanted to create memories that would last forever, so they manifested their best day yet. All of this came to life with the help of local vendors and was beautifully captured by Maura Jane Photography.

“…This couple traveled from Houston, having chosen the quaint and beautiful Santa Fe for their mountain-desert themed intimate wedding. A few members of friends and family joined them as well for a small ceremony, along with a close-knit dinner party in favor of a large reception. The wedding party consisted of her best friend, his brother, and most importantly to the couple, Manny’s lovely daughter…”

Like many couples tempted by our enchanting state, Stacy + Manny made the journey from Houston to Santa Fe to celebrate their love. They didn’t celebrate alone, either! The couple were surrounded by the people who mattered to them most and were able to take in all of the rich culture that welcomed them to the State Capitol. We’re loving the details of the wedding, but they’re best expressed through images. So, please, fall in love all over again and enjoy the gallery by Maura below!

“…We loved that Stacey chose to have mariachi serenade her down the aisle as she carried a bouquet of ranunculus, daffodils and roses. We also loved that Renegade Floral incorporated daffodils into her wedding flowers as it was such a nod towards spring being upon us and saying goodbye to winter.”

Venue:  Four Seasons Santa Fe Photography: Maura Jane Photography Invitations: Minted Planner: Stephan Miller Florist: Renegade Floral Hair and Makeup: Genica Lee, Makeup Artist Dress Store: Princess Bridal, Texas Dress and Designer: Leandra Blue by Enzoani Cake: Four Seasons Santa Fe

Timeless Romance with Coryn Kiefer Photography

“Life without love, is no life at all.” – Leonardo da Vinci

With springtime so gracefully happening all around us, vibrant colors and incredible new beginnings steal the show. It is no wonder local couples choose this time of year to have their jaw-dropping New Mexico weddings. Since we’re now learning to live with these unexpected changes, couples must reschedule their weddings. We want you to know that it’s 100% okay to be sad, and maybe even really angry, since you’ve been preparing for this moment your whole life. Good news, though! You now have plenty of time to get back to the drawing board, without any distractions, and get inspired.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again – one of our favorite ways to get inspiration for weddings is local styled shoots. New Mexico wedding vendors from all over the bring their talents together to create something magical. Our lovely Coryn Kiefer Photography wanted to bring her vision for timeless romance to life, so she did just that through incredible colors, textures, and scenery.

“While love remains timeless, traditional weddings are changing. Weddings today break free of monotony and add unique elements that tell the couple’s story and personality more than ever before. This styled shoot aimed to embrace the modern wedding while keeping the simplicity of love in the forefront.”

Coryn Kiefer Photography

The models are wearing a modern take on wedding attire – a pantsuit for the bride and a mismatched suit for the groom. While these elements of fashion are unconventional, they compliment each other and are a perfect match for the ornate decor that surrounds them. The decor + florals are fit for a queen. We get some serious fairytale vibes and all of our little girl dreams are coming true.

As we like to say, it’s all in the details. The hand lettering, the jewelry, and the cake are all exquisite. Check out the gallery below to see how Coryn + her team brought this fairytale to life:

“Tessa’s Rime Arodaky pantsuit was the epicenter. Pairing this modern fashion with the Old World style of the El Rey Court was the perfect fit. Elements of Mustard and Sage were added to highlight the whites and add a punch of color to the setting.”

coryn kiefer photography

Photography + Styling: Coryn Kiefer Photography Venue: El Rey Court Decor + Rentals: Darling Details Rentals Floral: Desert Flower Co. Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee Hand Lettering: Hello Jori Cake: Honey & Salt Cake Co. Jewelry: Ooh! Aah! Jewelry Bridal Attire: Rime Arodaky Groom’s Attire: J Crew Styling Assistant: Krissy Williams Models: Tessa & Deangelo

Embracing the Beauty of Change: Meghan’s Rainy Day Wedding Story

When everything is falling apart, or at least it feels like it is, sometimes it’s so hard to keep spirits high–especially when it comes to your wedding day. Months, and sometimes even years, go into careful searching, planning, and preparing to celebrate the first day of the rest of your lives together. To be honest, it really never all goes completely according to plan. And that’s just life.

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we see just about every perfect wedding out there, because every wedding is perfect in our eyes with the help of local New Mexico vendors. However, perfection is subjective and it isn’t necessarily measured by how successful we are in meeting our goals. It is truly measured by how we adapt and react to change.

For our sweet, kind, and radiant bride Meghan, her meticulously planned Santa Fe wedding didn’t go quite according to plan, but she embraced it like a queen. Aside from holes in Meghan’s wedding gown, their venue had to make some quick adjustments when the moody New Mexico skies decided to rain all over the outdoor ceremony space at the Museum of International Folk Art. Luckily for the couple, the museum has a spacious and artistic interior where they were able to pronounce their love for each other in front of friends and family without everyone getting soaking wet.

Meghan sent us the most incredible testimonial after she was able to process all of the chaos that ensued, and we would be crazy not to share something so powerful for the rest of our brides who fear the rain on their wedding day. Read her statement below:

Everyone hopes that it doesn’t rain at their outdoor wedding, but that’s not what the clouds had in store for us. A classic New Mexico monsoon was in full throttle right as we were taking our photos (outside) and everyone just started running. Having a full panic attack in front of all 160 of your guests isn’t ideal… but my husband held me, helped me breathe, and I looked at him, like really looked at him, and realized all of this didn’t matter: it’s me and him and it’s that simple. Then the power went out! In the moment, I was wrecked. I spent this entire year meticulously planning every detail to reflect my husband and me, researching vendors who aligned with both our values and budget, and all I could do was fake smile through the rest of the photos (and cry in-between every snap… my makeup didn’t budge a bit thanks to the amazing work of Genica). With time and perspective, I realized that while I was having my meltdown every single one of our guests mobilized. With our amazing day-of-coordinator (Symone of Simply Done Events) at the helm, cousins moved chairs, family friends brought wads of paper towels from the bathroom to wipe the floor, aunties arranged florals inside… all to make sure that Ryan and I had our day. I still some sometimes feel sad that this wasn’t the “best day ever” and it’s easy to be consumed with the negatives. And I think it’s important to share with couples that however you feel, even if it’s sad, that’s okay. But then I remember all the overwhelmingly beautiful things: my sweet husband’s vows promising to feed me forever, the hundreds of biscochitos Ryan’s cousins baked for us, our family and friends spanning continents and countries to celebrate with us namely my grandmother and uncle flying from the Philippines, the magical elote and amazing pies (Street Food Institute and Emerald Pie Bar), a friend composing a beautiful processional song, our DJ (Too Hot to Stop) throwing Burger King crowns during “Dancing Queen”, our parents’ love and support, oh, and of course the llamas passing out White Claw. There was so much of that day that was good. There was so much of that day that was us. So it wasn’t the best day, but it was our day, and that’s what makes a perfect wedding.

– Meghan Montelibano-Gorman, Bride

We are so grateful to Meghan and all of the amazing vendors who were able to tell such a wonderful love story. And that is what it is all about–the love.

Photos by Kady McKeehan Photography

Catering: Street Food Institute
Florals: Barton's Flowers
Venue: Museum of International Folk Art
Photographer: Kady McKeehan Photography
DJ: Too Hot to Stop
Pies: Emerald Pie Bar
Day of Planner: Simply Done Events
Rentals: American Tent Rentals
Booze/Bar: Kelly's Liquors
Llamas: Lllamas Del Sol
Hair/Makeup: Genica Lee MUA
Videography: Clay Carlson Films
Photo booth: Wedding Crashers
Groomsmen attire: Men's Wearhouse
Bridesmaids attire: Lulu's
Suit: Suit Supply
Wedding gown: Altar Bridal
Emergency alterations: Bella Tailor
Mariachi Mestizo: Absolute Entertainment
Heels: Nine West
Tennies: Kate Spade for Keds

Warming Hearts & Hands: Real Wedding at Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm

It ended up being 25 degrees on our wedding day, and we spent 2 hours taking photos and walking the grounds. Those 2 frigid hours were the most intimate part of our wedding. Los Poblanos was absolutely gorgeous in winter, and despite the cold weather, we could not be happier to be outside together before our ceremony.

– Kayla, Bride

We’re getting closer and closer to that highly anticipated time of the year full of pumpkin scented candles and that delightful crisp morning air! We can’t wait for the cold weather to make it’s grand entrance so that we may bring out our oversized sweaters and those cherished cups of hot cocoa. There seems to be something so special about the colder seasons, maybe it’s just because we get to cuddle up close with our loved ones to keep warm. It’s always nice to get that extra dose of love and intimacy to keep our hearts beating and a sense of joy flowing throughout the world.

For the Perfect Wedding Guide team, the colder seasons mean that the end of the year is upon us, and thus we are gearing up for our final big wedding show of the year in November, Diamond Dash! The show is incredibly exciting filled with the latest trends in fashion, wedding professionals, giveaways, and our favorite moment, the chance to dive into a cake to find FREE diamond jewelry. Aside from all of the show planning, we also get to reflect on the real weddings that are featured in our recent issue of the magazine. This wedding encompassed the ideal Fall/Winter vibes that we are so eagerly waiting for.

For our beloved couple Kayla & Roman, the cold brought them closer to each other on their wedding day than they had expected since they weren’t only warming their hearts, but also their hands. The bride and groom chose Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm for its rustic farm aesthetic that is simply magical year-round and it was a great match for their winter theme. Can we take a moment to talk about how much we love that our vendors offer a variety of options throughout the seasons? Every couple is looking for a location that is going to reflect their interests, because no two love-birds are the same! Whether you love the indoors, outdoors, rain, shine, snow, or any combination of all of these, we know that you’ll find a venue that speaks to your heart and soul. It is no doubt that Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm spoke to Kayla and Roman, and we are sure glad that they are able to share the day with all of us!

The varying shades of brown, subtle hints of auburn, and icy blues perfectly reflect the intimate vibes that the couple were hoping to find for their Winter wedding. Kayla wore a dazzling, snow-white wedding gown and Roman donned a black tux with a dapper bowtie– the two looked like they were ready to attend the most exclusive red carpet event. Kayla even threw on an adorable fur coat to keep warm for the outdoor sessions. Functional and stylish!

If you’re not convinced that Kayla & Roman had the best winter wedding ever, then see for yourself by checking out the gallery of dreamy photos captured by the incredible Elizabeth Wells Photography.

Featured Venue: Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm
Photographer: Elizabeth Wells Photography
Cake + Catering: Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm
Hair + Makeup: Genica Lee
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Desert Elopement on White Mesa {Styled Shoot}

At this point, you’d be hard pressed to find a local engaged couple that hasn’t yet been inspired by one of Maura Jane Photography‘s styled shoots or wedding photos. For 9 years, Maura has been capturing weddings in New Mexico and beyond, adding her signature touch of radiance to every shoot. Her sweet demeanor and dedication to the craft shines through her work — how lucky are we to have her here in our beautiful state?!

Constantly drawing inspiration from her Southwestern surroundings, Maura and her team effortlessly blend the ephemerality of a moment with the enduring grandeur of local landscapes. Pretty much every time she shares a shoot with us — from her Storybook Styled Shoot in the snow, to the Romantic Mountain Elopement in the Sandias — we all agree that this one is our favorite so far. But don’t let our obsession diminish what you’re about to read:

This one is our favorite so far. 

With the White Mesa as a focal point, each detail of this styled shoot both blends with and enhances the others. From Teresa Romero‘s Victorian-inspired gown, to Darling Details‘ vintage couch, it’s clear that Maura’s talent extends past photography and makes her a master of collaboration as well.

Quite frankly, we’re floored by what local wedding professionals are creating with just a little bit of inspiration and a whole lot of teamwork.

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Its so easy to find inspiration in the beautiful landscape that surrounds us in our state of New Mexico. From the pink Sandia mountains that tower over Albuquerque’s city to the unique white mesa’s that wind through the Land of Enchantment’s desert.

Maura, Maura Jane Photography

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Photography + Concept | Maura Jane Photography

Gown | Teresa Romero Atelier 

Floral | Table and Vase

Hair + Makeup | Genica Lee, Makeup Artist

Furniture | Darling Details

Ribbon | Desert Garden Silk 

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico