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

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