What Local Engaged Couples Have to Say About Planning a Wedding in New Mexico

So, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most people in New Mexico know Perfect Wedding Guide for our wedding shows. Which makes sense, considering how many hundreds of engaged couples and local wedding professionals come together to make shows like the Diamond Dash, Bride’s Night Out, and the Wedding Gallery possible. We’re not really complaining, promise, but we actually have a lot of love and appreciation from some of our smaller events, like the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer!

The 2019 edition of the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer flew past us just this last week. (Of course months of planning, collaborating, and designing goes by in a dizzying but beautiful flash!) All we want to talk about is all the amazing nuggets of knowledge we learned, but wait…

What even is the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer?!

Great question, reader! This particular event was conceptualized to fill the gap between local engaged couples and the wedding professionals who serve them. (Sound familiar?) Essentially, the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer is oriented like a research or focus group. We invite around 10 engaged or recently married couples from the local community to come share their insights, triumphs, complaints, compliments, woes, worries, and wonders about the wedding planning process in New Mexico. 

Then, with bellies full of a complementary, gourmet dinner, the wedding professionals from all over New Mexico take note, adjust their practices, ask questions, and, hopefully, grow! It’s one of the few opportunities you have in any business-client relationship to truly hear and communicate with one another. It’s how we’re able to keep the eclectic New Mexico wedding market moving and evolving in the right direction.

Ready to learn what the engaged couples who have come before you have to say about the wedding planning process in New Mexico? Let’s jump in with our 3 main takeaways.

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1. Inclusivity is Key.

Another word for inclusivity here could be clarity. When we asked the couples, “What is the most important quality you are looking for when hiring a wedding professional?” the conclusion was the same across the board. Couples look for those who exude kindness and personality, and vendors who actually listen to their vision without imposing their own ideas on the couple. 

When we asked the couples what the vendors they choose did to earn their business, what we heard reaffirmed these values. They appreciated (and went on to book) the professionals who didn’t exclusively brag about themselves, whose websites were clear and communicative, and whose work accurately represented the couples they want to work with.

For example, if a wedding professional exclusively promotes straight couples on their website and social media channels, the chances of reaching LGBTQ couples are pretty much nil.

To sum: be clear, be kind, be inclusive, and listen well.

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2. Stick to Email, Folks.

Yes, the digital world is ever changing, and it’s so tempting to make texting your main form of communication. (You can do it from bed, from the gym, from the couch with Netflix playing in front of you, so we totally get it.)

But, because lots of couples create a specific email address for wedding planning, keeping all communications in one place is best. There’s higher visibility of conversations in email as well, so accountability comes much easier.

Also, hate is a strong word, but our couples felt strongly about this: they hate phone calls. Like, really and truly. Most couples are at work during a business’s hours of operations, or they’re at home with their partners and families.

Remember: stick to email.

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3. Yes, Social Media is Still Important.

Your website should still be the home of your business, but social media is where the vast majority of couples look for wedding inspiration. The two top contenders, which you might be able to guess already, are Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram is a great platform to utilize, according to the local couples, because it’s easy to return to feed posts for references — though they love seeing stories, especially of behind-the-scenes previews for styled shoots and weddings. Pinterest is beneficial for businesses as well because it’s so visually-oriented. Then, there’s always the concept of pinfinity, too!

(Pinfinity = the fact your pins continue to be recirculated by pinners long after you post them, whereas Instagram posts are usually only seen within the first 48 hours of posting.)

Here’s your excuse to log on, friends, and show the world what you’re working with.

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A very special thank you to all the incredible local businesses who made this awesome, collaborative event possible: Embassy Suites, for generously hosting us and feeding all our guests a marvelous meal; De Novo Pastoral Services for being our informed and entertaining emcee; Beth Waldron Photography for capturing all the fun above; Estella Floral Design for our darling centerpieces; Funky Olive Designs for our pretty little invitations; Cello for Weddings for serenading all our guests with delightful live cello music; and Black Swan Events, for transforming the ballroom into a conducive, inspiring space.

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2018 Four Seasons Connection Luncheon Recap

Okay, so maybe we’re a bit nostalgic, but is that so wrong? Especially since we’re only a few days into 2019, and here in New Mexico, 2018 was one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s best years yet. We had wedding shows, luncheons, and parties galore, plus relationship building, contest-throwing, giant giveaways, and more. The only way to rectify our desperate reminiscing is to start look eagerly toward our upcoming events, which we’re definitely doing, don’t get us wrong.

But before we jump ahead, we have to spend at least a moment discussing the experience of our Four Seasons Connection Luncheon that was in December of 2018. Because that’s exactly what it was — an experience. Four Season‘s unparalleled elegance, the crisp, clean air of Santa Fe, and Alena Bard LLC.‘s wisdom all combined to create a truly moving afternoon.

Lucky for us, Keara Lloyd Photography was there to capture every moment, too, from the first course to the last lingering conversation. The former being, if you can believe it, warm quail on a bed of roasted fennel salad, decorated with a complimentary beet puree, roasted almonds, and white balsamic glazed blueberries. Then came the duel entrees: slow braised short ribs with green chile mashed potato, and chorizo and macadamia roasted Chilean sea bass.

Accompanying every bite was a light and refreshing sparkling wine that prepared the palette for our team’s personal favorite, the dessert: strawberry trifle with sponge cake, vanilla and Chantilly cream. The only thing that rivaled the dessert’s sweetness was the absolute treat of hearing local wedding planner Alena Bard LLC. share her knowledge to the group of local business owners. She talked finding your purpose, holding onto it, and weaving passion and self-compassion into your business practices. We walked away feeling filled to the brim with inspiration and delectable cuisine.

The best part of being positioned between local engaged couples and the businesses who serve them is being able to spoil both parties. For our engaged couples, it’s through our giveaways, wedding shows, online tools, print guide, etc., etc., etc. And for the local wedding professionals, who work so hard to elevate and evolve Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s market, it’s through indulgent, invigorating, innovative days like this.

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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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Get $500 Off Your Wedding at the Diamond Dash!

Ah yes, our most popular event of the year has come around again. It’s the Diamond Dash! Famed for the apex of the event — the actual diamond dash, where a lucky few engaged couples get the chance to dive into a giant wedding cake to hunt around for diamond jewelry that’s baked inside — this year, it’s the very last wedding show of 2018, on October 28th.

Typically, the opportunity to win diamond jewelry, tons of other prizes + giveaways, all while enjoying cocktails and conversations with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding experts is enough to draw in all of New Mexico’s gorgeous engaged couples. But, there’s one more hidden little perk to doing your wedding planning in person at a Perfect Wedding Guide wedding show, and it only happens at the Diamond Dash

PWG Bucks.

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What are PWG bucks exactly? They’re essentially free wedding service coupons, except they’re totally customizable. So the power is totally in your hands and you get to choose what service to use them on. All participating vendors have special packages or services available that you can take up to $500 off of!

The best part is the PWG Bucks come in increments of $100. Which means you can spend five on five different wedding services, three on one big package, two on two, etc., etc. Big decisions, we know!

This next part is an important one though — how do you get the most bang for your PWG Buck?

Our advice is to start planning out your PWG Bucks budget the moment you register for the event. That way, you can come to the show already knowing which types of wedding professionals you still need to connect with. Then, when you walk in the door of the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, you’ll already know which booths to spend your $500.

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Perusing through the myriad of wedding vendor booths with your $500 in hand, you can absorb some IRL (in real life) wedding inspiration, chat with local professionals, and even snag some snacks and freebies from all the experts. Each professional who is currently participating in the PWG Bucks deal will have an adorable little sign on there table that clearly indicates that they will accept your PWG Bucks as a form of payment. Some more advice: if you see the sign, don’t be shy!

Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s vendors are wonderfully talented, it’s true, but they’re actually not mind-readers, if you can believe it! If you’re connecting with a local professional and want to use some of your $500 of free money, just let them know and get the conversation started. They’ll be happy to direct you to the packages available to you and let you know how many hundreds of dollars you can save.

Essentially, the PWG Bucks are your icebreakers and your wallet-savers in one.

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Lastly, remember that PWG Bucks themselves expire at 4pm, when the wedding show finally begins winding down and reaching a close. Luckily, because the local wedding professionals are constantly so considerate, most of them will allow you to redeem them up to a week — or even a month! — after the show. It’s all about the communication, so if you feel a connection with a vendor, but maybe need to talk it over with your partner before you book, just let your vendor know!

Ready to get started? Grab your tickets and secure your $500 by registering for the event 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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2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show: Recap!

With so many wedding shows, bridal events, parties, and shindigs for engaged couples to go to, it can be hard to keep track of the myriad of pre-wedding fun. It might feel like once you’ve been to one wedding show, you’ve been to them all — save for the new local business owners at each one, of course. But there is one wedding show that always stands out: the Diamond Dash.

Not to toot our own horns, either. We love checking out, being a part of, and supporting all other wedding shows + events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. All we’re saying is: Have you been to another local wedding show where 5 brides-to-be dove into a wedding cake before?

Ah, yes, the famed diamond dash that happens at the end of every Diamond Dash Wedding Show. 5 local fiancés, darned in custom PWG aprons to protect their pretty clothes, dig around in a giant wedding cake courtesy of Cake Fetish, to find a diamond necklace that’s been baked inside the delicious cake.

But that’s not all that goes down at the Diamond Dash — especially not this time around at our March 2018 Diamond Dash, at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. On top of the cake dive, King Mobile Music spent the whole Sunday morning giving away prize after prize after prize, hosting dance competitions between brides and grooms, and keeping the energy amped.

They Hyatt Regency Albuquerque’s cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and gorgeous ballroom rounded out the day, and set the stage perfectly — and literally! — for the fashion show. Bridal Elegance by Darlene and Suits Unlimited, two of Albuquerque’s best businesses, showcased couture bridal fashion on gorgeous models with hair and makeup done by Bliss Salon and Spa. The best part? All local vendors = all the fashion, makeup, and inspo is at your fingertips.

Luckily, Photography Perspectives was there to capture the day, so you don’t have to take our word for it. You can see the hype through their team’s always-incredible photographic eye! Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to reminiscence too.

Grab tickets for the next Diamond Dash on Oct. 28th, 2018 HERE!

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For more photos from our March 2018 Diamond Dash Show, check them out here!

 

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Bride’s Night Out 2018

Well folks, engagement season is finally wrapping up! It’s been such a wonderful time to watch adorable local couples take the next step in their relationship. From snowy mountaintop engagements pictures, to the most fantastically festive holiday proposals, it truly has been one of the best seasons yet.

So what’s the next step for freshly bloomed brides-to-be? Wedding shows of course! And we totally have you covered. The Diamond Dash is right around the corner, on March 4th from 12-4pm, but if you can’t break away from your busy schedule during the day, there’s always the famed Bride’s Night Out.

This year, on May 18th, your favorite local vendors are bringing their A-game for the BNO. It’s hard to pick favorites when every wedding show leaves our team feeling so inspired by our community, but Bride’s Night Out is definitely one of my personal faves. Boutique vibes, delicious cocktails + treat, all in one of Albuquerque’s most uniquely stunning venues: Hotel Andaluz. How could you not love it?!

{PLUS! The first 50 brides get a swag bag totally free, that’s totally jam-packed with goodies from local vendors. Right?!}

So come join us! For now you can live vicariously through these stunning photos from last year, courtesy of Matt Blasing Photography. Tickets to this event fly off the shelves pretty fast though, so lock yours down here!

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Can’t wait to see you there!

Grab your tickets here.

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