2018 Wedding Gallery Recap

Since our last wedding show of the year has, tragically, already come and gone, we think it’s only fair to spend a little bit of time reminiscing on one of our favorite shows of 2018. While all of our Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding shows are things we celebrate and enjoy, my personal favorite of the year was the Wedding Gallery show at Sandia Resort and Casino.

On the sunny morning of August 5th this past year, our Perfect Wedding Guide team arrived bright and early at Sandia Resort to watch the magic unfold in one of their most grand ballrooms. And let us tell you, folks, it really did. We got to watch — and lend a helping hand, of course — as dozens of vendors filled the room, bringing their best decor, goodies, flyers, and free stuff to one space for you, our local couples.

The theme of this year’s Wedding Gallery show was jeweled elegance, and my gosh, was it rich. Bright golds and silvers complimented the deep maroons and greens, blues and mustards throughout the ballroom. Every vendor carefully coordinated their corner of the space to showcase and showoff all the enchanting things they can make possible, and it came together in the most cohesive, jewel-toned wonderland you can imagine.

After the mingling and connecting of local vendors to the hundreds of engaged couples who graced us with their presence, then came the fashion show. With styles from Suits Unlimited for the fellas, and Bridal Elegance by Darlene for the ladies, every couple got a New York worthy dose of in-real-life wedding fashion inspiration, that was also tied in with our overall theme for the event. Velvet, vintage couches headed the runway, and Brad with King Mobile Music lit the stage to perfectly illuminate the fine details on the gowns and tuxes.

Lastly, there were, of course, tons and tons of giveaways and prizes. With free goodies from venues, florists, officiants, and more, so many couples walked a way with a spring in their step after winning some serious discounts and freebies.

We couldn’t have done it without our incredible sponsors, or the amazing couples whose love stories are what make the whole day worthwhile. So, from the bottoms of our hearts, thank you!

(Especially to Sandra + her team at Photographic Perspectives, for capturing the glamour with her magical photography powers!)

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Bombshell Fitness: Where Your Bachelorette Party Needs To Be

Ain’t no party like a Bombshell Fitness party, ’cause a Bombshell Fitness party…accepts all bodies and bridal parties as beautiful and bountiful! And it doesn’t stop, either. (Not as catchy as the original phrase, sure, but it’s totally true, and that’s what matters.)

This past week, our amazing Social Media Maven, Keara, sat down with Jamie from Bombshell Fitness here in Albuquerque, New Mexico to chat bachelorette parties with the experts of fun and dancing. As with most local wedding professionals who serve bridal parties for their actual parties, Bombshell Fitness is high energy, maximum entertainment, and catered to YOU. (Proverbial you being our local engaged couples + brides-to-be, of course.)

In reality though, Bombshell Fitness is so much more than just being a killer spot for your bachelorette party. Which, we could have guessed, based on our many interactions with their perpetually kind team, but Jamie brought a whole new level of self-love and importance to the table.


Keara: The time before a wedding can be really hard on brides and their self esteem, do you think Bombshell can help brides with their confidence? 

Jamie: Absolutely! Bombshell Fitness is totally a judgement-free zone. We encourage all shapes, all sizes, all genders, all ages of women to come — and men too, of course. It helps everybody tap into that confidence deep down inside of you that’s just waiting for someone to help open it up, and allow for it to be acceptable.

Especially when we’re told we’re not meant to be sexy or desired — we’re trying to stay lowkey and stay away from the limelight. But this is what pole dancing is all about: putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, and accepting who you truly are.

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Keara: So, Bombshell Fitness won our 2018 PWG Elite Award for Best Unique Service — what is it that makes Bombshell unique? 

Jamie: So I think definitely our environment is what makes Bombshell a unique spot for brides, you know? We allow for bridal parties to explore a fun, sexy side; they get to learn new skills that they can use here or possibly take home for further use.

And then that gets them more excited to learn about body movement! Which means learning to be engaged with yourself, and loving yourself for whatever you have. Whether it’s a stretch mark, a roll, or something you’re not comfortable with, it’s about learning to be comfortable with what you have and understanding that people love you for what you have.

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Keara: What’s your favorite part about working with bridal parties in particular, then? 

Jamie: So, the thing that I really enjoy about our bridal parties is that we get a lot of excited people, right? From the moment they walk in the door, they’re ready and already in party-mode. They’re always giving the bride lots of love and attention, making sure anything she needs is taken care of.

I think that is super exciting to see how friends really come together to make sure the bride feels special. It’s hard for people sometimes! To really take the attention off of themselves and make it all about one person. So that’s really what I enjoy to see, is when friends can not be all about themselves, and just be all about the bride.

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You can contact Jamie with Bombshell Fitness for your super-fun, super-accepting, all-about-self-love, confidence-boosting bachelorette party here.

 

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Announcing the 2018 PWG Elite Award Winners!

Ah yes, the morning after an incredible night. It seems like we spend all year long waiting for our favorite event, the Vendor Appreciation Party, and then suddenly it’s here and over far too quickly. Luckily our henna tattoos and memories of gold + glam will last a lifetime, even if the Bollywood-themed night couldn’t!

A very special thank you to The View Event Center by Simply Decor for truly tantalizing the senses with authentic chai, stunning performances, and a breathtaking space for us to celebrate and appreciate all of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s best, local wedding professionals.

In the midst of all the glitz, we also awarded some particularly dedicated local wedding experts with well-deserved awards in categories like Best Floral Designer, Best Bridal Gown Shop, and Best Photographer. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to take our word for it that these vendors were worthy of awarding — they were chosen by local, engaged or recently married couples just like you!

So without further adieu, scroll on to get the scoop on the best wedding vendors Albuquerque + Santa Fe has to offer, as chosen by real local couples!

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2018 PWG Elite Award Winners:

Best Wedding Coordinator | Black Bow Events

Best Bridal Beauty Expert | Makeup by Kim Fisher

Best Spa or Place to Relax | Bliss Salon and Spa

Best Place to Order a Wedding Cake | Cake Fetish

Best Catering or Restaurant | Blue Plate Special

Best Place to Have a Bachelorette Party | Duke City Pedaler

Best Place to Have a Reception | The View Event Center by Simply Decor

Best Location to Have a Ceremony | Casa Rondena Winery

Best Wedding Officiant | Amor Ceremonies

Best Floral Designer | All The Pretty Flowers

Best Event Decor | Simply Decor & Events

Best Rental Company | Occasion Services & Events

Best Bridal Gown Shop | Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Men’s Formalwear Shop | Suits Unlimited

Best Place to Order Invitations | Funky Olive Design Invitations & Stationery

Best Disc Jockey | Dream Factory Productions

Best Live Ceremony Musician | Cello for Weddings

Best Local Band | Absolute Entertainment

Best Photographer | Matt Blasing Photography

Best Cinematographer | Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photo Booth Rental | Snapshot Selfies

Best Unique Wedding Service | Bombshell Fitness

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Our sincerest gratitude to the magnificent sponsors, who made our Vendor Appreciation Night the speculator party it was!

The View Event Center by Simply Decor | King Mobile Music | Tori Photography | Little Bear Media | Cafe Venture Catering | Funky Olive Invitations | The Acre Restaurant | Hacienda Del Rio | Jaz Catering | Magic Mirror NM Photo Booth | Tully’s Catering | Simply Decor

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The Sweetest Day: Dennis + Michelle’s Real Wedding

Just a few months ago, as spring was beginning it’s transition into yet another sunny New Mexican summer, a parallel transition was happening at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Albuquerque. Michelle + Dennis, whose love began a long time ago, ushered in the evolution of their relationship from fiancées to newlyweds, while framed by the pristine, white chapel at the Hyatt Regency.

There to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment was Albuquerque’s very own, Bryan’s Photography, and we’re so glad. Michelle + Dennis have a love story that matches their wedding — timeless, exuberant, elegantly celebratory — and with Bryan’s Photography there to preserve each special moment in time, we’re able to relive the joyous occasion as if we were there with the couple.

Though the details of the wedding — splashes of gold, luxurious white bouquets, full-bellied laughter, undeniable fun — jump out from the photos, perhaps the most endearing and inspiring part of Dennis + Michelle’s story is exactly that: their story. Which, luckily for us, Michelle wrote about for our Fall/Winter edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine, and now, we get to share with you!

Scroll on to read about how Dennis + Michelle came to be husband and wife {spoiler, it’s incredible} and to contact the local wedding professionals who made their celebration possible. {Spoiler, they’re also incredible.}

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Dennis and I dated 14 years ago, and when we realized that fate had brought us back together after a long journey of searching for that happiness that people so rarely find, we knew it had to be special. We wanted to host an evening of fun and elegance for our friends and family to celebrate our reunion and our love. The Hyatt Regency Downtown was the perfect venue for our ceremony and reception, providing a backdrop of modern elegance. Nothing spoke to our dream wedding more than the classics like the black tux with bow tie and stunning décor. We kept it modern and trendy by incorporating items like ahi poke (a tribute to our favorite place Kauai), champagne Jello squares studded with flecks of 14k gold and a casino night, making the evening uniquely us! It was very important to me to bring on my very own “dream team” of wedding professionals that I have had the pleasure of working with for several years. The evening was exactly how I imagined, it was full of love, laughter and the beginning of my life with the man that I know I am meant to be with.

-Michelle, Bride

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Venue: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque

Photographer: Bryan’s Photography

Bridal Gown: Suzanne’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Jewelry: Shelton Jewelers

Flowers: Something Special with Flowers

Décor: Occasion Services and Events

Wedding Cake: Casey Trent

DJ: Complete Weddings + Events

Photobooth: ABQ Amusements

Lighting: Heritage Audio Visual

Casino Night Vendor: On the Go Casino

Reception Place Cards: Differently Designed

 

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Andrea + Rebecca’s Real + Rosy Wedding

In Albuquerque alone, there’s an estimated 5,000 marriage licenses given out every single year. Which, if you’re ever feeling down about the state of the world, is a beautiful statistic to consider. (5,000 couples pledging their love to each other!) But it’s also a little overwhelming. How can we possibly give the attention and recognition that each wonderful marriage deserves?!

Realistically, we can’t. Luckily though, weddings like Andrea + Rebecca’s make us forget about all others. Not because it was a wedding from the royal family or America’s equivalent — the Kardashian’s — but because there’s something distinctly universal about the love that emanates from Andrea + Rebecca.

Maybe it’s the full-bellied laughter that accompanied the misty eyes during their ceremony, or the secret lover’s dance captured by Matt Blasing Photography, or just a combination of all the tiny, exquisite moments from their day. Whatever it may be, Andrea + Rebecca’s wedding calls to mind the memory of a pure, unbridled kind of joyous love.

Though, not everything about their celebration was universal. Sidestepping tradition, Rebecca + Andrea walked down the aisle hand in hand, with Rebecca in a bright red dress that accentuated both brides’ rosy cheeks and Andrea’s tie, of course. {Plus the day took place at the unparalleled venue, Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm, which is truly a one-of-a-kind space.}

Somehow, as always, the husband and wife duo that is Matt Blasing Photography managed to capture the couple in all their uniqueness and wholeness. Through their lens we’re able to participate, albeit from a distance, as two distinct individuals come together in a brand-new, unique union, while also recognizing the ubiquitous nature of their love and how it mirrors all the love that came before them.

Thank you, Andrea + Rebecca, and Matt Blasing Photography, for sharing this special day with us so we could, in turn, share it with our lovely readers.

{To book Matt Blasing Photography for your wedding, contact them here!}

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Spilling the Beans {Part Two!}

You might remember our post Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets from last month — super sneaky budgeting tricks ring a bell? Or never-before-heard pro-tips? Well, we’re back with more! In a never-ending quest to make dreams come true for New Mexico’s wedding professionals and local engaged couples, we decided throw even more wedding planning advice at you.

Coming straight from the mouths of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s top wedding vendors, the following tips are money-saving, stress-reducing, fun-inducing guaranteed. But don’t take our word for it, scroll on, then call up your local vendors and put them to use!

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Maura Jane Photography

Your Photos

When choosing a photographer first look at the different styles that each photographer offers and narrow it down to ones that really vibe with your taste and personality. A lot of photographers offer beautiful trendy photos with lots of filters and moodiness which is something we do not do. While our shooting style is natural and romantic, our editing style is clean and classic, so when you look at your photos 10 years from now you still love them just as much as the first day you saw them.

Maura Jane Photography

 

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On Paper

We can do as little or a much as you need for your wedding invitations. You can buy the paper from us and print them yourself. You can even bring in your own design that we would be more than happy to print.  You can have us design, print, assemble, address and even go to the post office for you!

Pennysmith’s Paper

 

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The Experience

One of our biggest secrets is centered around your event experience. We always strive to give more value than contracted. Sometimes it includes additional gear for sound or lighting, or maybe it’s a custom monogram or our 360 media guru footage. It’s always something that enhances your event experience beyond the original scope. Going the extra mile isn’t extra, it’s who we are.

Cutmaster Music

 

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Last, but certainly not least!

For big weddings, an open air photo booth is a must. Whether you’re taking a quick snap with your bestie or capturing your entire wedding party, it’s the versatility you will depend on. On the other hand, a traditional, enclosed booth may be more fitting for an intimate celebration. Never be afraid to ask for references from either your venue or your photographer and be sure to follow up with an interview! Book early because typically dates fill up fast.  And give your guests a challenge + have fun with it! Have your guests do things like tell a story in three pictures, get a picture with the mother of the bride or the loudest person at the wedding. It gets the guests to laugh more and branch out to mingle!

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Check out our first set of tips + tricks for more advice on your big day here!

 

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Erin + Zach’s Timeless Celebration

It was easy to see that Erin carries herself with such class, and Zach is absolutely smitten with everything about her.  I knew right away that their wedding day would be filled with poise and joy, and I was absolutely right.

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— And boy, was Kayla right! Living vicariously through our photographers isn’t always ideal. If we could, we would totally dedicate our lives to attending all the incredible weddings that happen in our city.  Luckily for us though, Kayla makes it easy to pretend we’re right there, in this case, at Casas de Suenos.

{Because, well, we can’t retire and become perpetual wedding attendees quite yet.}

Capturing the even the tiniest details and expressions, Kayla paints us a perfect picture of Erin + Zach’s stunning wedding. As a focal point, Erin’s high-neck, retro-but-classic gown set the tone for the ceremony. Timeless and stylish in any era or locale, it’s a lot like the love between the happy couple. After meeting in Colorado, moving to Arizona, and celebrating their union in New Mexico, it’s pretty obvious that Erin + Zach’s love knows no geographical bounds.

They fell in love quickly too, which makes their story even sweeter. Don’t we all dream of that one person that, upon first glance, know we’ll be making whiskey toasts to at our wedding, some years later? Now, I can’t guarantee that was what went through Zach’s mind when he met Erin, but the unbridled adoration he has for her makes it clear — their love is one for the books.

A very special thank you to one of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s finest photographers for letting us sneak in on their day. To Casas de Suenos {and every other darling vendor as well!} thank you for collaborating together to make this travelin’ couple’s dreams come true here, in our home state.

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Thank you again to the vendors who made this day possible!

Venue  |  Casas de Suenos
Dress  |  David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  Salon Helena
Florist  |  Enchanted Garden
Shoes  |  Amazon
Jewelry  |  Brides Family
Paper Products  |  The American Wedding
Suit  |  Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Jim Hering
Cake  |  ABC Bakery
DJ  |  Dream Factory Productions

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Meet Albuquerque’s PWG Team

Since the rebirth of the Albuquerque + Santa Fe Perfect Wedding Guide team ten years ago, the driving motivation behind everything we do has been our local wedding community. Having a personal relationship with some of the most inspiring business owners makes the hard work we put in to every event, giveaway, and of course, our magazine, totally worth it.

Not only do we love being able to introduce local engaged couples to photographers, officiants, DJs that we know on a first name basis, but it’s important to us that we match up couples with vendors that we know can make their dreams come true. We can only do that by really getting to know each business — their goals and dreams, and even their personality quirks, which we find endearing.

So, why not share the same courtesy with our amazing readers and engaged couples?! Our team is tight-knit and we rely on each other a lot, but we’re also constantly learning more about one another too. We often do little games during our Monday morning meetings, and wanted to introduce ourselves to you with a particularly fun one. We made acronyms describing our personality using the letters in our names which, I must add, is much harder than it sounds if you have a “z” in your name.

Grab some tea or coffee and scroll on! Meet our team and comment your own acronym below.

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{Very, very thankful to the darling Jacqueline Vega Photography for rockin’ out our new headshots! Book her for your wedding here.}

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

{Delish restaurant lives up to the name}

The PWG team tries to meet outside of the office at least once a month to discuss ongoing projects and deadlines. What we especially love about our planning meetings is that they are also a great excuse to adventure a little and try something new. We recently decided to try Delish restaurant {we are huge fans of their “sister in deliciousness” company Sassy Apron so we knew it had to be good}  and we were right!

The atmosphere at Delish is eclectic, inviting and beyond cozy. There is something about the décor and colors that make you feel right at home.  One of those places that you can see yourself  becoming a regular at very quickly. We felt like we were hanging out in an episode of Friends at the Central Perk – this place is amazing!

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Image + Description via nmgastronome.com

Their coffee was right on point {bold and creamy-just how we like it} and our food and dessert seemed to disappear right before our eyes.  We had the Xango for dessert { layered pastry stuffed with cheesecake filling and deep fried like a chimichanga then drizzled with brown sugar} and we seriously can’t stop thinking about  it: WARNING teaser photo ahead:

We also can’t stop thinking about how perfect this place is for a fun bridal brunch or how amazing their food would be at a catered wedding or special event. Check out some Delish menu items {breakfast menu here} + {lunch menu here}  and dare to indulge and give this lovely place a try… you won’t be sorry!

gbs062314e/WEST-RIO -- Rachel Broglie, owner of Delish restaurant, stands in the dinning room, that is just opened. the restaurant is next to The Sassy Apron (a prepared dinner delivery service), which she also owns at 3705 Ellison NW, on Monday, June 23, 2104.  (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

DELISH – 3705 Ellison Rd NW #A
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Located on Ellison & Alameda in the Barnes & Noble Shopping Center
Phone – 505.899.0197

For more on everything wedding + wedding planning visit perfectweddingguide.com

Sneak Peak- Going to the Chapel featuring National Hispanic Cultural Center and Prairie Star

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Our goal with the Going to the Chapel feature is to give brides the essential, pertinent, information about wedding ceremony locations throughout Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  After all the first big task of wedding planning  is to secure your dream venue! Here is a sneak peak of a couple of our inclusions that you can expect to see in the next issue of the Perfect Wedding Guide hitting the streets in late November.

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Click on the above image to see it larger in another window. 

We encourage you to really figure out the finer details, like how many guests you plan to invite and what location will work best for traveling guests and family and then figure out what venue will accommodate your wedding in the best way. Check out each of their PWG web profile’s by clicking the below links!

Stay tuned for more sneak peaks of our features! For more on everything wedding and wedding planning, visit PerfectWeddingGuide.com 

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