You’re Engaged, Now What? A Comprehensive Guide on Planning Your Wedding

Your partner popped the big question and you said yes–congratulations! Although the excitement of your engagement has your stomach filled with butterflies and you wish you could hold onto these perfect and stress-free moments forever, you are probably starting to wonder when the chaos of wedding planning is going to begin. More importantly, you’re probably wondering where to start, and that is where we come in! Before we go any further, we want to tell you that planning your wedding is meant to be filled with personality, joy, laughter, and bonding. It can truly be an amazing experience for you AND your loved ones, and we encourage you to have some fun!

The First Steps

Let’s take a deep breath. Sit down. Close your eyes. Imagine your ideal wedding. What do you see? What does your dress look like? What does your suit look like? Is your wedding inside or outside? Do you see trees? What about a chapel? How many people do you want surrounding you while you say ‘I do’? These thoughts can quickly become overwhelming and we know that money and time are the first things that come to mind. For just a moment, imagine that these concepts don’t exist and then open your mind to the possibilities! Instead of seeing them as negative thoughts, turn them into opportunities. This is the moment where you let your personality and imagination take control. After you’ve designed your ideal wedding, now you can take it to the drawing board and decide on the details.

However, we know that some people enjoy having a professional to guide them in their first steps, and that is why wedding + event planners exist! One of our own lovely wedding planners, Danielle of D Events and Weddings, is an expert in her craft and offers full service event planning just for you from beginning to end. Remember that wedding you just imagined, the one that seemed impossible? She’s here to make it possible–and she’s done it countless times before. Yup, you can breathe easy now.

Jasper K Photography | Black Bow Events

Local Wedding Vendors

So you’ve reached out to your wedding planner, or maybe you’ve decided to DIY, but either way you’re ready to start building your team of love experts. Find your venue, caterer and get all of the high priority planning squared away. Your wedding planner will be right by your side during this process for smooth sailing and emotional support (it’s not in their job description, but we know that they must be pretty good at it). After that, it’s time to grab your gals or your bros and have some fun. Dress and suit shopping, creating ‘save the dates‘, florals–local wedding vendors will have everything you need without the hassle of ordering online and waiting to see your product. We do love a good Etsy shopping spree, but we also encourage you to support your community because they’re kind of flippin’ awesome.

You can also get discounts on local vendors when you have a wedding planner like Black Bow Events, another local business who has years of experience planning amazing weddings. We love that event planners are there every step of the way and have cultivated connections with the wedding community so that planning your wedding can be stress-free and budget friendly.

Brandon Harwell Photography | D Events and Weddings

Just Months and Even Days Away

The wedding is months away, and everything is pretty much settled. Well, as settled as it can be–we get it. Now it’s time for all of the final preparations, like teeth whitenings, spa days, gym memberships, guest accommodations, etc. A wedding planner can help you get set up with all of these things if you’ve lost the energy! But beyond all of this, it’s your time to rest and focus on the love between you and your honey. These moments before the big day are unique and exciting, they should be embraced. So put down your notebook filled with wedding planning notes, go grab the love of your life, and remember why you’re doing it all–for the love.

Feel like you need more wedding planning help + inspiration? You can check out our own website here where you can find upcoming wedding shows, local vendors, discounts, and giveaways. We would be honored to be a part of your planning process and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Lavel Marie Photography | D Events and Weddings + Black Bow Events

Header photo: Lavel Marie Photography

A ‘Breaking Bad’ Inspired Wedding Shoot

“The universe is random. It’s not inevitable. It’s simple chaos.”

– Walter White

Talk about chemistry, right? If you’ve been keeping up with us here at Wedding Collective, you know that we live for styled shoots and anything that showcases our home state. This Breaking Bad inspired shoot took things to a whole new level. We. Are. Obsessed. From a beautifully designed wardrobe to the lovely decor, our vendors have the formula to create the most amazing weddings– it’s just science.

Bridal Elegance by Darlene never fails to make wedding day dreams come true for any bride looking for a wedding gown– and ladies, we are absolutely saying ‘yes’ to this dress right now. For this specially styled shoot, a stunning mermaid gown with lace embellishments created the most breathtaking marriage between elegance and drama. After all, the shoot was based on one of the most dramatic and powerful shows in the history of television.

Being in the wedding industry, we know that it is all in the details. Darling Clementine’s creations are the highlight of the tablescapes, bringing the beloved story to life like we’ve never seen it before. The charming drink menu illustrations and the invitations cannot be recreated, and that is why we adore them so much. Darling Clementine Art & Illustration produces one-of-a-kind work that is completely perfect for the couple who is looking to make a lasting impression.

Jasper K Photography took these amazing photos that bring the vision to life– but tread lightly, they might just blow your mind.

Photography | Jasper K Photography
Hair & Makeup | Viva Grace Makeup
Table setting and layout | Black Bow Events
Wedding Dress | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Stationary, table tags, acrylic board, and envelopes | Darling Clementine Illustration
Blue Crystal Doughnuts | Rebel Donut
Floral Design | The Flower Company

Top 10 Fall Wedding Essentials

Get those cozy sweaters out, it’s finally Fall! There’s nothing quite like the changing colors of the leaves amidst the desert landscape, and we love to see all of the gorgeous weddings that use the scenery to their advantage. This time of the year is one of our personal favorites, although, we might be a little biased since some of our Perfect Wedding Guide team celebrates their birthdays in the fall (*cough cough* our lovely Shauna & Alissia).

No matter what your favorite time of year is, we are sure that you will agree that fall weddings always rise to the occasion, thanks to the local wedding community. That is why we are here to share the top ten fall wedding essentials to make your autumnal wedding dreams come true, whether you want to incorporate spooky Halloween vibes or play with deep reds and burnt oranges for a more sophisticated look. With the help of our vendors, we were able to pull together some of our favorite fall “looks” to inspire you– check them out!

1. A Venue That Does Both

Elizabeth Wells Photography

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to find a venue that lets you and your guests enjoy the fall weather from the outside and the inside, because you never know just how chilly the day is going to be! It’s a huge plus if the venue gives you a good view of the changing of the leaves, like the courtyard at Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm.

2. Cozy Dishes

via Blue Plate Catering

When we think of fall, we think of warm home cooked meals while we are surrounded by family and friends. What better way to make everyone feel at home than to incorporate reusable and eco-friendly tableware and cutlery? With the help of a caterer like Blue Plate Catering, you can create a unique and zero-waste experience for your guests that will incorporate little hints of fall. Can you spot the little pumpkins accompanying the tableware?

3. Warm Color Palettes

Briana Nicole Photography

Everybody loves picking out a color palette for their wedding, and we know you’ve created that perfect Pinterest board full of your favorite complimentary colors. When it comes to fall trends these days, anything goes, but we love a warm color palette– and your photographer does too! Deep reds and oranges paired with navy blue and forest green will help you bring extra intimacy into your wedding day.

4. Moody Styles and Rich Flavors

Lavel Marie Photography

This may sound dramatic, but this cake specially made by Cake Fetish is to die for. It looks beautiful and tasty, with just the right amount of moody! For the perfect fall cake, throw in some deep purple and orange flowers and pair them with an ornate rich chocolate topping– trust me, it won’t disappoint. If purples, reds and rich chocolate doesn’t suit your fancy, not to worry, you can customize your fall wedding cake with the help of these local wedding cake professionals.

5. Spooky Invites & Goodies

via Pennysmith’s Paper

We love seeing every couple’s invitations and wedding favors because they all so perfectly encompass their personalities and uniqueness. For an October or November wedding, it’s time to get a little more playful and stray away from the conventional to get everyone in the spooky mood! Create invitations and wedding favors that will be a talking point between wedding guests, like these Día de los Muertos themed goodies from Pennysmith’s Paper.

6. Be Bold, Go Gold

Charlotte’s Flowers

When it comes time to pick out your floral arrangement, ditch the pastels and bring out the bold colors. If you must have those pretty pastels, pair them with a darker color to warm things up. You might want to try something totally new, like this elegant bouquet with golden leaves from Charlotte’s Flowers!

7. Dress to Impress & Stay Warm

Chrisi K Photography

It’s seriously hard to resist that perfect dress, and we get it, you want it to work no matter the season. Well, we have news for you! You can have your cake and eat it too… oh, and you can have that super perfect dress that you were hoping for. You can dress up those summertime gowns with a super cute scarf to keep warm and stay stylish!

8. Present Those Perfectly Plump Pumpkins

Matt Blasing Photography

If you love going to the pumpkin patch, then you are going to love this fall wedding decor. That’s right– pumpkins everywhere! Not only are pumpkins adorable, but they’re also a great way to add some color to your wedding. Plop a pumpkin down on the ground or on the table, and maybe let your guests take one home at the end of the day!

9. In With the Old… and Some of the New, Too.

Maura Jane Photography

We’re not saying you should turn your wedding into a haunted house or anything, but we do think this vintage furniture and gothic candle decor from Darling Details gives off a subtle hint of spooky season and makes for a lovely fall wedding. Like we’ve said before, adding a little bit of gold makes everything more elegant and more bold! Hey, that rhymed.

10. Play Dress Up

Jasper K. Photography

Isn’t fall all about that one night where everyone gets to dress up and pretend to be somebody else? Well, technically it’s not all about that, but it’s a pretty big deal to some folks. Maybe it doesn’t just have to be one night at all! Dress up for your fall engagement session or elopement, but fair warning, the fun that this entails isn’t for the faint of heart.

4 of New Mexico’s Favorite Wedding Cake Shops

Your wedding day is going to be one of the most treasured days of your entire life – and with the help of our favorite local wedding cake shops, it’s also going to be the sweetest! When we think “wedding“, we think about some of the most anticipated moments during the special day: the bride walking down the aisle, the groom’s reaction and, last but not least, the cutting of the cake. Who doesn’t love to see the happy newly-weds smash their beautiful cake into each other’s beautiful faces?!

I think we can all agree that wedding cakes are a true work of art from the delicious ingredients on the inside, to the intricate details on the outside. Stylized color palettes and detailed personal touches make any wedding cake feel like it was made only for you – with love!

Between venue scouting, dress shopping and dozens of other necessary wedding planning tasks, picking out a wedding cake can seem like just another daunting challenge. However, these local sweet-tooth experts will make it a piece of cake (literally)!

1. The Cake Boutique

White wedding cake, floral, new mexico florist, new mexico wedding cakes
Chrisi K. Photography
new mexico wedding cake, pink wedding cake, gold wedding cake, gold cake, wedding cake

We were invited to sample the cake. Birdie talked us through the different tier and flavour options, and we conferred so she could get an understanding of our colour/decoration needs. Birdie worked with our florist to ensure the arrangements were in place for the floral topper. The cake was delivered on time, it looked great and tasted delicious! We had a three-tiered round cake with colours and decorations chosen by us and a plain sheet cake, and we were able to have two different flavours (chocolate and vanilla). The cake was definitely the tastiest we had tried in Albuquerque.  

– Jamie, Local Bride

If you’re looking for a cake shop that offers pretty much everything, whether it be conventional or something completely out of the ordinary, then you’re in the right place! Locally owned and operated by Birdie, The Cake Boutique is conveniently located on the Westside of Albuquerque for you to stop in and explore all of their breathtaking options. You can learn more about the shop and how to get in contact with them here.

2. Maggie’s Cakes

airplant cake, plant wedding cake, new mexico plant cake, new mexico cake
Kevin Guevara Photo + Film
cactus cake, new mexico wedding cake, southwestern cake
Alicia Lucia Photography

Zara has the perfect eye for creating stunning work. Her cake artistry is unparalleled… From cupcakes to 5 tiered masterpieces, she CAN create ANYTHING you can IMAGINE! From the moment you arrive in her artistic space until the moment your creation is presented, she is simply magical.

-Devonna, Local Bride

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we are clearly obsessed with our state – and Maggie’s Cakes so perfectly represents the southwest in all of its glory. From simple and chic Earth tones to vibrant blush bursts of color, this shop has everything you could dream of. You can find Zara, the artist behind the cakes, and your future delicious creation at her Santa Fe shop. You can find more information here!

2. Les Blonde Bakery

maura jane photography, white wedding cake, new mexico wedding cake
Maura Jane Photography
white wedding cake, baby's breath cake, pretty cake, forest cake, new mexico wedding cake

I had Les Blonde Bakery make my wedding cake and my daughters first birthday cake. They were better than I imagined! The frosting was my favorite (and I am not a frosting person!) Not only was the cake DELICIOUS, but Kerian was wonderful! I will absolutely be ordering more cakes!!

– Michelle, Local Bride

Wedding cakes, cupcakes, desserts galore! Les Blonde Bakery is well versed in the world of sweet things, and just looking at Kerian’s elegant baked goods makes our mouths water. Their unique displays and cake toppers are reason enough to stop by the bakery and see for yourself what makes Les Blonde Bakery so special! You can learn more about how to get in contact with them here.

4. SmallCakes: A Cupcakery

jasper k. photography, new mexico wedding cake, southwestern wedding cake, purple cake
Jasper K. Photography
fig wedding cake, fig cake, pink wedding cake, glittery cake, new mexico wedding cake
Briana Nicole Photography

I spent many weekends tasting cakes before I decided on SmallCakes. They have a great selection of flavors and we received so many compliments on our cake. I knew I could trust them with our cake and they proved themselves on the day of our wedding.

– Romilly

Last, but certainly not least, SmallCakes focuses on creating a diverse range of cakes that look almost too good to eat. Just look at those colors… and that texture! *Heart eyes* From cupcakes to wedding cakes, there are options for everyone. Stop by their shop in Northeast Albuquerque to take the next step in ordering your cake for your wedding day, or visit them here!

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

First Photoshoot of Fall: Black Bow Events

The season’s turn is a few weeks behind us now, but let’s be real. In our desert landscape, it takes a little while for summer to fully wane and for autumn to settle in. (Yes, it’s chilly this fine fall morning, but unfortunately, we’ll probably be regretting these cozy outfits when it goes back to being 80 degrees this afternoon!) Luckily for us though, we’re getting all the sweater-weather vibes from the shimmering golds, deep maroons and warm rose tones from one of Black Bow Events signature styled shoots.

If you’ve worked with Danessa, Black Bow Events founder, owner, and wedding expert,  then it’s no wonder she won our 2018 PWG Elite award for best wedding coordinator in Albuquerque + Santa Fe. Her vibrant passion for love and buoyant personality combine to make her not only a dedicated wedding planner, but a wonderful person to have on your team in general.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to  work with Black Bow Events just yet, then… It’s still no wonder! Because Danessa’s penchant for the divinely particular shine through in all her styled shoots.

Northern New Mexico is best known for its Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, mountainous landscapes, and countless art influencers. These are just a few of the reasons why I love New Mexico and everything it offers! Georgia O’Keefe said, “I found that I could see things with color and shapes that I couldn’t see any other way-things I had no words for.” —which describes perfectly why I choose to design and create such visions for my couples.

-Danessa, Black Bow Events

And Georgia O’Keefe would be proud, because Danessa has totally mastered the art of bringing unique shapes into her collaborative shoots. Reminiscent of New Mexico’s famed mountainous landscape, Danessa and her team of local wedding vendors incorporated the sacred geometry of triangles into the deeply contrasted shoot in a way we’ve never seen before.

While we’re always inspired by Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals, we’re especially touched by this teamwork from Black Bow Events, Jasper K Photography, Bridal Elegance by Darlene, Mr. Tux and more, to elevate the artistic efforts in New Mexico. So, brides-to-be, without further adieu, come and bask in the real-life inspo that is this incredible styled shoot. You can contact Danessa with Black Bow Events here, and bring some unparalleled magic into your wedding day too!

BlackBow4

BlackBow3

BlackBow1

BlackBow2

BlackBow6

BlackBow5

BlackBow7

Coordination + Design: Black Bow Events

Photographer: Jasper K Photography

Dresses: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Flowers: The Flower Company

Makeup: Marisa Lux Makeup & Viva Grace

Desserts: Frank’s Eats & Sweets

Cake: Smallcakes

Jewelry: Lilly Barrack

Invitations: Cordially Invited Events

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

%d bloggers like this: