Bride’s Night In: Meet Your Favorite Wedding Vendors

Now is the perfect time to be planning your wedding – the sun is shining, the air is warm with a slight breeze, and you’ve got some extra time on your hands! Finally, you get to plan the big day without distractions, except maybe the urge to brew yourself a nice cup of coffee or check your Instagram feed.

Every year, Wedding Collective hosts an exciting evening specifically for local brides (and the grooms, too) to get out, have a good time, and meet local wedding vendors – the Bride’s Night Out. This year, the event was supposed to be held in May, but with the recent events that have transpired, we want to keep our community safe and save the event for more ideal days.

However, this doesn’t mean we forgot about you or your amazing weddings. In fact, we’re bringing all of the vendors that were going to participate in the evening right to your computer screen. We’re calling this rendition “Bride’s Night In” – cheesy, I know. We encourage you to make a little snack, pour yourself a fancy drink, and throw on your bride-to-be attire, paired with some cute pajama bottoms, while you dive into this article.

Alright, lovelies. Let’s get your virtual meet-and-greet started! Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. Check out all of the vendors listed below
  2. Fall in love with one of them? Click on the link to their vendor profile.
  3. Learn a little more about them by perusing their photo gallery and their services.
  4. Send them a little “hello” letting them know that you like what you see and that you are interested in their services, even if you’re still on the hunt. Let them know you found them on Wedding Collective so they know who sent them.
  5. Ready to book already? Send them an inquiry or give them a call! They would love to hear from you while they have this extra time to chat!

— Ready, set, go! —

312 Mobile Bar & Liquor Service

312 is a Mobile Bar Service with over 20 years of experience crafting drinks + cocktails and making memories along the way. We’ve been growing at a rapid rate since inception, growing the number of our loyal clients and leading the beverages industry forward. It is our mission to provide you with top-notch service.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Celebrity China & Crystal

Handcrafted china, crystal cutlery, and tableware is what Celebrity China loves to do, and does best. Whether you’re engaged, happy newlyweds, or celebrating your 50th anniversary, Celebrity China’s multitude of offerings ensures there’s the perfect addition to your kitchen collection every time.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Cello for Weddings

With Cello for Weddings & Events, you will know you are working with a true professional who makes the entire process fun and simple, yet tailored to your particular style and vision! As a Classically-trained cellist, composer, and music producer, Ryan has a giant resume including performance in nearly all genres.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Courtney Faye’s Wedding & Event Planning

At Courtney Faye’s Wedding and Event Planning, everyone is family. With that in mind, it’s my mission to make sure that your special event is stunning, memorable, and, above all, stress-free.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Dinner4Two

Since 1959 Hy Cite Enterprises has been providing Newlyweds and the home cook with superior performance minimum moisture cookware and kitchen tools.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa

Our staff is well equipped and ready to guide you through every step, providing you with the ability to have a stress-free event. Our hotel is in a prime location, just minutes away from historic Old Town and centrally located between Albuquerque Convention Center and the University of New Mexico.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Enchanted Events Party Rentals

Tent rentals are great for any occasion when enjoying an outdoor event. Enchanted Events LLC is a new upcoming company with brand new equipment. It does not matter if your event is a small gathering to a large wedding we can handle it.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Glam by Jeet

Glam By Jeet specializes in on-location hair and makeup for weddings, special occasions, boudoir and editorial photo shoots in the greater Albuquerque area and beyond.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Hilton Garden Inn Rio Rancho

Hilton Garden Inn knows how important your big day is and we can help. From room blocks for your guests to on-site catering and space to hold your wedding, we are here to help ensure your biggest day is a successful one. Hilton Garden Inn Rio Rancho has everything you need for a successful wedding offering a ballroom at 1700 square feet.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Hotel Andaluz

With a passion for superior service and one breathtaking location, Hotel Andaluz is proud to be Albuquerque’s pinnacle of luxury. Proving exquisite ceremonies, majestic ballroom celebrations, and a stunning rooftop bar for all our couples and guests, we strive to make simply stepping foot in our historic venue a magnificent experience. 

VISIT THEM HERE!

Isleta Resort & Casino

Simply put, our team of wedding professionals are proudly dedicated to your special day. From the earliest planning stages, all the way through to your vows, you can rest assured that your wedding day will be just as you’ve imagined. From over-the-top, unforgettable extravaganzas to cherished, intimate gatherings with your loved ones, there is an accommodating space waiting for you here, at Isleta Resort.

VISIT THEM HERE!

King Mobile Music

At King Mobile Music, our wedding DJ services in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico are designed to provide you with enjoyable entertainment that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Mary Kay Cosmetics, Melissa Frei

I help women look their best by selling Mary Kay skin care and makeup.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Matt Blasing Photography

For me, photography is to see the world with brand new eyes every time I pick up my camera. Every couple is unique with a love story all their own, and our job is to tell your story the best way we know how.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Pennysmith’s Paper

At Pennysmiths Paper we also love to create custom invitations to reflect a bride’s personal style. We offer the full Envelopments line of papers and pockets and many other papers, ribbons and embellishments to create customer wedding invitations. We have also created our own line of Southwestern Wedding Invitations and have the ability to do completely custom designs.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Shutter Force Photography

By building strong relationships with our couples, we craft genuine and memorable images to best illustrate the heart and soul of your wedding day. There’s a magic that evolves from the combination of shared emotions, specific moments in time and beautiful custom details. 

VISIT THEM HERE!

Smallcakes A Cupcakery

A core value of Smallcakes is to make not only BEAUTIFUL looking cakes and cupcakes, but DELICIOUS tasting ones as well! With over 120 cake flavors to choose from, and award-winning decorators who can bring your ideas to life, the possibilities are endless! We even offer more than just cupcakes.

VISIT THEM HERE!

T. Rayne Photography

Freezing time and capturing life’s special moments. T. Rayne Photography is here to provide you with a fun and comfortable photography experience. With our natural style, we will have fun activities for all to capture the best smiles.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Vixen Lips by Vangie

Senegence is an amazing line that carries make-up, skin care, and hair care. The products are long lasting, smudge proof, water proof, kiss proof, and food proof. I also love the fact that they are chemical free. All products are Vegan, GMO free, Gluten free, wax free, lead free, made in the USA, and not tested on animals. 

VISIT THEM HERE!

We hope you made some great matches and are on your way to booking your next wedding vendor! Before you go, since you don’t get a physical swag bag, we’ve built a digital one for you here:

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CHECK IT OUT HERE

Be sure to grab a ticket for our Wedding Gallery show in August where you can meet some of these vendors + more in person! We hope you had fun and feel free to share with your friends, whether they’re getting married or not!

Winter Magic: A Real Wedding at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Sydney and Christian had a romantic December wedding that was pure winter magic! Relying on the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains and the views of the golf course, the couple was able to keep the décor simple and elegant with subtle winter and holiday vibes.

– Lauren Landavazo, Director of Catering at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The holiday season is upon us and the hot New Mexico weather is finally starting to cool off. We are thrilled to start seeing all of the winter weddings rolling in–so let the festivities begin! New Mexico is the quintessential place for a winter wedding, not only because the weather stays nice until late November, but because of the abundance of versatile wedding ceremony and reception venues.

There are so many possibilities, from rustic farms with holiday lights strung up, to fairytale-like ballrooms, our wedding vendors can do it all. The Perfect Wedding Guide team is no stranger to helping our local brides and grooms find their ideal “Winter Wonderland”, because after all, who wouldn’t love to get married during the coziest season of them all? We’ve learned over the years that many brides already have a pretty good idea of what kind of wedding they want, they just need a little help getting there.

For Sydney & Christian, a December wedding was a must because it was their dating anniversary month (cue happy tears). A December wedding + reception absolutely meant hints of Christmas in their color scheme and menu–and with the help of The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club, they rocked it. Another must for the couple, and we couldn’t agree more, was to incorporate the breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains. Luckily for this beautiful couple, their reception venue was able to do just that and more.

“Our wedding was everything we had hoped for, with the help of all of our amazing vendors. I cannot speak highly enough about each and every person involved, who allowed all of our dreams to come to true. We are so blessed.”

– Sydney, Bride
Featured Venue: Event Center at Sandia Golf Club
Photography: Matt Blasing Photography
Videography: Southwest Wedding Films
Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Florals: Albuquerque Florist
Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci
Hair & Makeup: Alt Salon
Musician: The Real Matt Jones
DJ: Party Time DJ
Decor: Occasions Services + Events
Menswear: Suits Unlimited

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.

Who is YOUR Favorite Wedding Vendor?

Sometimes being surrounded by so many incredible people is overwhelming, but trust me, we’re not complaining! We work with so many phenomenal vendors every single day – we wish that we could reach out and hug everyone and tell them just how much we value both their friendship and their partnership with Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico.

Since it would most likely take an eternity to show everyone just how much we appreciate them, we decided it would be best to plan one special themed evening every year that is dedicated entirely to our lovely vendors full of food, drinks, music and dress-up! We call this our Vendor Appreciation Night, and you can read all about last year’s Bollywood-themed event here.

The team at the 2018 Vendor Appreciation Night by Tori Photography

In order to make the event even more exciting, which is hard to do considering how much fun it is already, we like to recognize a particular group of wedding vendors that are making a noticeable impact in the lives of brides and grooms in New Mexico. We call this the Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico “Elite Awards” – where hundreds of locals vote for their favorite wedding professionals in over 20 different categories. Check out last year’s winners here!

We are eager to hear your praise for the hard-working and beyond talented vendors that you’ve connected with. Want to vote? Keep reading below!

How to Vote

The voting process is simple! Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click here!
  2. Search for your favorite wedding professional
  3. Write a review explaining why you love them

And voila! Your vote has been submitted! Now all you have to do is repeat these steps for all of your favorite wedding professionals – we want to hear about everyone who made your day the best.

PLUS… All who vote will be entered to win several prizes including Chello Grill, Tour ABQ, and Symbolize It gift cards!

VOTE NOW! Voting ends on September 1st, 2019 at Midnight.

Vendor Appreciation Night 2019

Do you want to have some fun under the sea AND spend an evening with New Mexico’s most beloved wedding professionals?

Hangout with us at “The Siren’s Soiree and the Sailors Too” on September 18th, 2019 at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium from 6-9pm. Dress to impress in your deep sea best, and follow the siren’s song down to the water’s edge. The evening will be filled with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and the announcement of the 2019 Elite Award Winners! We can’t wait to see you there.

RSVP and learn more HERE!

Elite Award Winners 2018

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 Rondeña 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

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

7 Wedding Venues Outside the City

As much as we love the hustle and bustle of our vibrant city here in the southwest, we can’t lie… Taking a step back from the noise and enjoying New Mexico’s myriad of landscapes is one of our favorite parts of living in such a wild state. The mountains and mesas, rivers and roving fields, can all enliven even the most downtrodden spirit, honestly. So when we hear a local engaged couple wants to get away from the city for their wedding, we get it.

And luckily for couples in New Mexico, everyone else here seems to get it, too. Whether you’re ready to make the trek to the deeply restorative forests of Ruidoso, or just popping over to sunny and sprawling Los Lunas, there’s already a wedding venue there waiting for you and your loved ones.

So if your wedding guests, bridal parties, or partner-to-be are in need of some R&R, why not let your wedding be that gift to them? Not every horror story you’ve heard about wedding day chaos is true, and even if they were, there are steps you can take to ensure nothing unsavory transpires during celebration.

Step one — utilize all available wedding planning resources, like our print magazine and online tools.

Step two — book local wedding vendors who have dedicated their lives to ensuring weddings, like yours, are the happiest of all occasions.

And finally, step three — choose a beautiful venue surrounded by nothing but fresh air and a great view, like Prairie Star or Hacienda Doña Andrea, or one of the other 7 wedding venues listed below.

1. Prairie Star

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Maura Jane Photography

Prairie Star truly captures the gorgeous New Mexican culture with the best view of the Sandia Mountains. My wedding was everything I hoped for and I am very appreciate of the staff here. We had an hour rain delay and the staff helped keep the guests comfortable and calm. The coordinator, Rebecca, knows her stuff! She is very responsive and helpful.

The food here is AMAZING and the professionalism of the staff is impeccable. They even stayed 30 minutes later to let us continue the reception due to the rain delay. We rented an event tent for the lawn and had a plated dinner out there. The staff was great and timely about serving the guests. Prairie Star is a wonderful venue! I can’t say enough about it!  

Shelby, local newlywed

2. Hacienda Doña Andrea

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Shayla Edenfield Photography

We had a lovely and intimate wedding at the Hacienda – the venue is beautiful and had the perfect southwest ambiance that we were looking for for our New Mexican wedding. The day of the wedding had multiple mishaps (as weddings do) and the event staff on hand was SO accommodating and helpful.

We are so happy that we chose this venue and almost all of our guests asked where we found such an amazing and scenic place. The rooms were beautifully decorated and comfortable accommodations overall. Even when our guests were up far into the night, the rooms were quiet. We had everything we needed to stay over the weekend.

Tabitha, local newlywed

3. Europa

couple wedding New Mexico Europa Los Lunas bridal gown tuxedo planning wedding ceremony venue outdoor photographer

I never write reviews, but let me tell you. I have lived in the area for a long time and have never come across anything that even comes remotely close to the experience you get here. You’d be hard pressed to find another place that’s close to this. I feel like it’s basically impossible to best it as well.

The workers do a fantastic job, the whole experience is so unique and amazing, that I almost feel guilty about it. This place is the absolute definition of a diamond in the rough. Such a hidden gem.

Jacob, local New Mexican

4. Sanctuary on the River

Sanctuary on the River

When looking for an outside venue for our wedding and something a little out of the way The Sanctuary on the River was by far the best. I made all arrangements over the phone so it was hard to tell exactly what I was getting. Two weeks before our wedding we visited the Sanctuary and was very impressed.

The staff and owner were very nice, extremely helpful and made sure our special day was spectacular. I would definitely recommend this venue for any kind of wedding. The decorations, the bridal suite and the gazebo were decorated perfectly. The bridal suite fit about 6 of us comfortably with our own private bathroom. There is no complaints all compliments here. Thank you to the staff of the Sanctuary for making this a day we will never forget.

Jennifer, local newlywed

5. Nature Pointe

MBPhotography12
Matt Blasing Photography

Nature Pointe is one of the most beautiful spaces I have seen locally. It has an amazing natural fee with wood and stone and iron. Feels so New Mexico without being in Santa Fe or downtown. We love the mountains and this spacious venue has amazing views you can’t get in Albuquerque. We are super impressed with Courtney and her team and how communicative and helpful they have been, making us feel special and not just another wedding. We are excited about both the inside and the outside of Nature Pointe.

The kicker for me was just how much was included in the price. Tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, vases, candles, cake cutting supplies, signage, etc. The list goes on and on. It was a bit more than we were planning to spend initially, but as soon as we drove up, we fell in love with Nature Pointe and are so excited for our special day. 

6. El Monte Sagrado

EMSBigPhoto2
Emily Joanne Wedding Films + Photography

Honestly, I didn’t know places like this still existed. Besides El Monte Sagrado being breathtakingly beautiful, the customer service was out of this world! I had my wedding here at the beginning of the year and everyone at the resort made sure that my family, friends, husband and I had everything we needed!

Rarely am I impressed by wedding food, but our filets were some of the best I have ever had – thank you to the chef, Cristina Martinez, and our wonderful dinner team, Madelyne, Matt, and Marge. Last, but not least, Melisha Romero planned and coordinated my wedding from beginning to end. I could go into the nitty, gritty detail, but the long and short of it is that when I had a problem or was not 100% happy with the proposed plan, Melisha came back to me with other suggestions and resolutions. I owe so much to this beautiful woman for easing my mind from over 1,200 miles away (we are in Birmingham).
My wedding was perfect and the week was an absolute dream. All of our guests said it was their favorite wedding they’ve ever been apart of and I believe them! I can’t wait to go back!

Jillian, local newlywed

7. Casa Perea Art Space

couple wedding outdoor venue Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico Casa Perea long sleeve gown tuxedo bowtie floral arrangement natural light photography Maura Jane
Maura Jane Photography

This venue is a treasure both in its beauty and historical value to this community. From the office gals to the grounds keeper, the care and service over our wedding event was impeccable, professional and most importantly, personal. Their flexibility is a blessing during sometimes stressful decisions.

The included tables, chairs, linens and parking shuttle are all blessings which freed us up to handle the more pleasant details of food, music and florals. The beauty of this adobe garden home made the need for further decorations minimal. Our wedding at Casa Perea was both intimate, grand and simply lovely. Many thanks to the owner and staff at Casa Perea for sharing this historical treasure with us!  

Helene, local newlywed

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White Sands Elopement with Matt Blasing Photography

While the white hot heat of a New Mexican summer might have some of your eyes trained on the impending autumn, we’re not quite finished with this season yet! With weddings every weekend, sunshine for days, and the occasional light afternoon rain, it’s no small wonder why summer weddings in New Mexico are such a hit — or why this is our favorite season at Perfect Wedding Guide.

So before we let the long days slip into fall, we have to pay homage to one of our state’s most famed landscapes. As certified New Mexico-obsessed residents, we can’t pick favorites, but we definitely were on the edge of our seats waiting for a White Sands wedding or styled shoot to get us through the rest of the year.

And, if you’ve been following along, you know we’ve had elopements on the brain more than usual. Who could we call on to fulfill our wishes, besides one of the most loved husband and wife duos in the wedding photographer community, Matt Blasing Photography?!

These guys are professionals. And they are pleasant, fun, and cool people to have along for the ride on a wedding day. I would hire them again and again except I only plan to get married once!

Sandy, newlywed

Joey and Sandy made the trek to New Mexico all the way from the pacific northwest for their elopement. And thank goodness they did! Sure there are beaches all across the coast, and sure most of them have vast expanses of sand. But none quite compare when it comes to the inexplicable electric energy of White Sands. For Joey and Sandy, this ethereal space perfectly paralleled the otherworldly foundation of friendship and love that unites them.

With not a soul around, save their photographers and officiant of course, Joey and Sandy commemorated their new chapter together with the desert sun above and their toes in the sand below. Matt Blasing Photography, a team of creatives renowned for their easygoing humor and disarming humbleness, captured all the smallest moments of magic as they mirrored the unending landscape around them.

Hammer & Johnson Wedding - Ceremony-4

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Hammer & Johnson Wedding - The Couple-57

The whole time shooting felt comfortable and easy. I am somebody who does not like taking photos – they always seem to turn out bad, so I did have some fears and really appreciated every bit of direction [Matt Blasing Photography] provided. I found myself totally letting go and being myself on my wedding day.

Sandy, newlywed

Hammer & Johnson Wedding - Ceremony-46

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Albuquerque’s 6 Best Ballrooms

When outdoor weddings first started gaining popularity several years ago, no one in New Mexico was surprised. Why wouldn’t we, especially here in our home state, have outdoor weddings?! With a myriad of differing landscapes — all responsible for inspiring countless artists — and a mild, predictable desert climate, there’s not much else you need for a fantastic al fresco celebration here.

Even with all the perks and predictability though, New Mexico isn’t immune to the forces of nature. It’s true our springs are a bit windy, and yes, temperatures do drop in the evenings and during the winter months. So while barnyard, fresh field, and riverside weddings stayed in vogue, the quiet and classic champion of weddings — ballrooms! — persisted.

And thank goodness they did! The timeless elegance of a grand ballroom has come back en vogue, and the indoor spaces across Albuquerque still stand proudly. Hosting receptions, ceremonies, and celebrations of all kinds, the ballrooms in our city easily make all who enter forget about the world outside their doors. With the comfort and ease of an indoor space with dedicated event staff, a hefty amount of wedding-day jitters and stress can be relieved as well.

So for the winter weddings, urban vibes, and modern brides alike, we’ve compiled 6 of Albuquerque’s most loved indoor ballroom spaces. While varying decor and aesthetics differentiate these local wedding venues, the uniting factor between all 6 is their impeccable attention to detail and on-staff wedding experts available for each celebration. You can’t go wrong!

1. Isleta Resort & Casino

Alicia Lucia Photography

See more of what Isleta Resort has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

2. Albuquerque Sheraton Uptown

The Youngrens Photography

See more of what Sheraton Uptown has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

3. Embassy Suites

Photography by Patti Cooke and Francisco Roybal

See more of what Embassy Suites has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

4. Sandia Casino and Resort

Matt Blasing Photography

See more of what Sandia Casino & Resort has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

5. Hyatt Regency Downtown 

Briana Nicole Photography

See more of what Hyatt Regency Downtown has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

6. Hotel Andaluz

Tori Photography 

See more of what Hotel Andaluz has to offer for engaged couples here!

 

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Zero-Waste Wedding: 5 Ways to Get There

If you know anything about your New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we love two things. One, New Mexico; two, weddings. Which seems pretty obvious, but it really is as simple as that.

Only, our love for New Mexico transcends an affection for the rich cultures, venerable mesas and mountains, and traditional architecture that surrounds us. There’s a foundation of respect for our home that supports the love we feel for all of those beautiful and inspiring New Mexican features. So, in our small ways, we try very hard to preserve the perfection of our wild state.

Whether it be through recycling, supporting local, or educating our community, each little step culminates to make a powerful act of love for New Mexico. Though of course, we adore weddings as much as we do our state, so combining values to create a zero-waste wedding that uplifts our local community, creates a killer party, and offers some kindness back to the land — does it get much better than that?

Chances are, if you’re reading about how to incorporate zero-waste principles into your wedding, then you know it really doesn’t get better than that. Before we jump in though, give your self a little pat on the back for taking extra steps to support your community by booking local vendors and reducing the waste your wedding creates. Every little thing counts!

So — after consulting with the local wedding professionals who are experts in their respective crafts — we’ve pulled together 5 simple tips to reduce waste at your wedding in New Mexico! Because we all get to enjoy the landscapes around us, let’s do our best to make sure the generations after us get to enjoy them, too.

1. All reusable, all the time.

VanArsdale & Sanchez Wedding - PreCeremony-43
Matt Blasing Photography

Whether you’re having a small, intimate elopement, or inviting every single cousin, people will come expecting to eat at your wedding. Eating as a group, as lovely and communal as it can be, also offers up a lot of waste if you use single-use materials.

Luckily, with local and environmentally-conscious catering companies like Cafe Venture or Blue Plate Catering, you can have all reusable serving ware! Think cloth napkins, silverware, ceramic plates, and the like. Not only will this give your wedding a higher-end vibe, but all these things can be washed and reused after your wedding, instead of sitting in a landfill for the next several hundred years.

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Matt Blasing Photography

If the local catering company you’re working with doesn’t offer reusable serving ware, linens, and china like these guys do, then don’t fret! Thrift stores can still be your best friend. Grab vintage, reusable silverware and dishes, and pull it all off with an eclectic, artistic vibe. Then afterwards, you can give away the thrifted materials, or just donate them right back!

If you go this route, be sure to communicate with your caterer ahead of time, so no wires get crossed on the day of your wedding.

2. Power in the Flowers

Tori Photography

When it comes to floral arrangements, the best advice we have is to go silk! Does that seem counterintuitive?

While its true that flowers are compostable, you’ll want to pause before tossing them in your garden or local composting center. A majority of live flowers are treated with preservatives to ensure their long-lasting scent and beauty makes it through your ceremony. So before you bury them, be sure your florist sources from an organic farm like Europa, otherwise all those preservatives end up in your soil and, subsequently, the groundwater.

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With silk arrangements — like the gorgeous, can’t-believe-it’s-not-alive bouquets from Charlotte’s Flowers — you have a bit more wiggle room for reusing. The immortal bouquets can be rearranged into home decor after the wedding, used in future craft projects, or gifted to a friend.

Whether you go with organic live flowers, or silk arrangements, or just a bundle of chamomile from Trader Joe’s, you can always reuse the flowers from your ceremony for your reception. Chances are you and your bridal party aren’t going to be carrying your bouquets all night long, so repurpose them! It’ll save you money and reduce your floral carbon footprint.

3. Something old, nothing new.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

It’s true — the thought of buying a wedding dress from a thrift store sounds a bit horrifying to some. After all, this is the gown you’ll be wearing in hundreds of photographs, videos, and memories, is it worth it to risk it?

Thankfully, we have amazing local wedding professionals who can make a less-new dress totally risk-free. With shops like Bridal Elegance by Darlene, you can buy a gown ‘off the rack.’ Which, for those who don’t live and breathe bridal, just means it’s a sample of the gown, not one that was ordered, manufactured, and shipped just for you. With in-store seamstresses available for your wildest alteration dreams, too, there’s hardly a worry about making sure it fits in all the right places.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

Or you can opt for a second-hand gown from specialty shops like The Dressing Room West in Santa Fe. This local shop carries off the rack gowns as well, but they come as excess directly from designers who need to make space in their warehouses. Or sit down with Terese Rose Designs, a local custom bridal gown designer, and have a chat about sourcing fabrics and potential choices for your gown.

Last option, and a favorite for your wallet, is to haunt thrift stores and vintage shops. With seamstresses across the state, there’s some serious magic that can happen with a secondhand gown. It’s worth it to give new life to an old gown that might have just gone into the trash, if not for the power of a trained eye and tuned sewing machine.

4. Make things easy for your guests.

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Kayla Kitts Photography

As someone who personally composts, I’ll be honest: I don’t always compost when I’m out and about. Mostly because compost bins aren’t readily available around our state yet, and holding on to my food waste until I’m able to get home is smelly, messy, and not super convenient when I’m running around the town.

So you can expect a similar response at your wedding, even from your greenest of green friends. But luckily, you can mitigate this with a little bit of foresight during your wedding planning process.

Chat with your venue coordinator! When booking a venue, ask the coordinator ahead of time if they have enough trash cans to have one for landfill trash, recyclables, and compostables, all separated and labeled clearly. If not, bring your own!

Plus, if you’ve decided to book a local invitation and stationery company like Funky Olive Design or Pennysmith’s Paper, you can have your trash labels custom made. Then, there’s no sacrificing aesthetics for environmental-consciousness. Take it a step further by reusing the signs in your own home too, to make it easier for guests and kids that might be around to throw things away.

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5. Favors in your favor

View More: http://chrisikphotography.pass.us/aja--johnnys-wedding
Chrisi K Photography

As much as your friends and family love you, they might not love your favors. Which is okay! A lot of personalities are coming together in one space to celebrate you and your partner, so trying to please all of them is virtually impossible.

Keep this in mind when choosing your favors. If 1, 10, or 100 guests don’t take home their favors, what will happen to them?

You can go with an adorable little plant like Aja and Johnny did for their wedding — so in the off chances these get tossed outside, at least they’ll compost. (Or root and grow right there!) Plus the metal tins are reusable in a million different ways, so if the succulent gets replanted, the tin hopefully won’t go to waste. And anyways, how cute are they?!

Or be like Lynsey and Kent, who had one of our very favorite apple orchard weddings.

Arielei Kinzer Photography

Their apple-themed favors were not only delicious and charming, but super earth-friendly! For those who opted not to take their little jars home, the couple got some extra homemade apple butter for their own family. For those who did decide to enjoy the treat, they got a reusable jar and a delectable spread to remember the wedding by.

So, whether it’s through your dress, venue, or favors — whatever steps you decide to take to preserve all the beauty of New Mexico, we thank you. We’d like to keep loving this state and the weddings in it for many more generations to come, and a few choices on your part help to ensure that’s possible.

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

Flowers & Things: New Mexico’s Go-To Wedding Florist

If you’re into weddings as much as we are — and you probably are, considering you’re on a wedding blog right now — then you probably keep up with local and national trends. If you keep up with local and national trends, then you’ve definitely seen the newest craze with wedding bouquets: moody succulents. Yes, moody has taken over the previously bright-and-airy vibe of weddings, and yes succulents have splattered everyone’s Pinterest boards and Instagram grids for quite some time now.

But moody succulents? Now that’s something fresh, and not easy to accomplish. Especially when you’re in New Mexico, which is usually a beat or two behind the costal trends that shape this year’s wedding aesthetic. (It’s the Land of Mañana, we’ll get there when we feel like it!) Of course, there was one local team of florists who beat us all to the punch: Flowers & Things.

Flowers & Things handcrafted a custom bouquet of spiraling succulents juxtaposed by dazzlingly white hydrangeas last year that, yes a year later, we are still obsessed with. (Don’t worry — here’s a pic, so you can drool along with us.)

d6949475-ce5c-41db-85f6-d8a7eacd7e7f-2Lavel Marie Photography

Since this magical arrangement first graced our eyes, we’ve seen it replicated a few dozen times from florists across the state and we love it just the same. We love that it sparked a new take on the bridal bouquet, but most of all we love how well it encapsulated the talents and values of the creative team at Flowers & Things.

At first glance, Flowers & Things seems to be your standard, high-quality floral shop. Bouquets, boutonnieres, and bursting blooms adorn their shelves, but alongside the traditional ribbon and basket that supplement their arrangements, they also have a myriad of customization options that make their flowers next level. Succulents of course, but also berries, butterflies, pearls, rhinestones, feathers, and so much more.

Lavel Marie Photography

That’s why the moody succulent bouquet represented Flowers & Things so well. Their craft is rooted in tradition and their florists are expertly trained, yet they have so much passion for what they create that they’re constantly innovating. When their team incorporates modern trends into their customized arrangements, it’s with a finely tuned eye and careful consideration. So you never have to worry about ending up with a bouquet that, 20 years from now, will make your wedding look very, ahem, 2019.

You don’t have to take our word for it though — feel free to do your research with their 300+ reviews of happy, local people who collaborated with Flowers & Things on the floral arrangement of their dreams, starting with a free consultation. In the meantime, we’ll be here dreaming of propagating succulents and throwing peony petals after a wedding ceremony.

Tony Gambino Photography

Matt Blasing Photography

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

8 Local Wedding Businesses Run by Husband + Wife Teams

We can’t lie. As New Mexico’s Perfect Wedding Guide team, we get to be on the forefront of a whole lot of magic coming from our community. From whimsical winter weddings, to sensational spring styled shoots, to first-time collaborations between wedding professionals, to proposal stories that would make anyone tear up — it’s almost too much love for us to handle! 

While all our wedding professionals are the source of unending inspiration and buckets of love, there is one particular category of businesses, specifically, that warms our hearts and keeps us committed to our local wedding community. That is, of course, the local wedding businesses run by husband and wife teams. 

We’re not alone in this particular penchant either. As much as we like to suggest local couples approach their wedding planning process in a methodical, step-by-step process, we’ve found that they often flock toward these wedding businesses too. Booking them first based on instinct, and then hoping all the other factors — budget, dates, etc. — fall into place.

Which comes as no surprise. Especially as a soon-to-be-wed couple, the comforting familiarity of working with a team that is both partnered in business and in life is totally unparalleled. A lot of these boss-babe, business couples were actually married in New Mexico too, so knowing they were once in the very same shoes as you — well, how much more reassuring can it get? Their wedding was so great they decided to not only stick with this partnership of love, but to jump in on the wedding industry themselves.

So we couldn’t let another day pass without sending some love back to these amazing couples, who give so much of their time and heart to our community. We couldn’t possibly highlight every married duo whose killing the game in the wedding community of New Mexico, but we can pick out a few of our favorites! Plus, we, Perfect Wedding Guide, have had the pleasure of working one-on-one with these businesses, and are totally confident in recommending their magical talents to you.


1. Matt Blasing Photography

The best part of being in business with my wife Amy is that she brings an administrative business balance to my creative side (she’s a Hospital CEO by day), and she seems to quickly connect with just about anyone, so our couples always love her. Working with your spouse is such an advantage when you know you work well together. After being married for years (and after photographing over a hundred weddings together), you start to learn to read each other’s minds.

At weddings where every minute matters and the schedule can be rushed, being able to anticipate what we need to do, often without even speaking, really helps us not only stay on task regardless of the hurdles that might occur on a wedding day, but do so seamlessly and without stress.

Matt, Matt Blasing Photography


2. Absolute Entertainment

Working together as a couple we discovered we were able to divide up the tasks  serving both of our strengths. We had very successful careers before moving to New Mexico so started out as a well rounded team. Chris & I, Vicky, have successfully worked together for 22 years.
As with anything in a relationship you have to come to workable agreements and this actually becomes a powerful exercise in personal growth.  You always need to nurture your relationship. With communication, kindness and staying out of your Ego you can resolve anything.

3. Shutter Force Photography

The biggest challenge we had to overcome as married business partners was determining how we would build a photography studio with two photographers who have incredibly different styles and “eyes” for photography.
We are both very different people, different artists, different photographers. We learned that this is something our couples like about our style, and we finally let go of the fear that we’re “too different.” After embracing the idea of keeping our independence while blending our styles to tell a story in an exciting way, we learned this is something that truly sets us apart. It took a long time for us to see that the only way we’d find success is to stay true to who we are and to walk a different path than other vendors in the industry.

4. Orange September + Casa Roñdena Winery

Vicki and Jerry are known as the powerhouse duo behind both the well-loved wedding venue, Casa Roñdena Wineryand the esteemed event planning company Orange September. Somehow, they manage to balance being business-oriented creatives as well as life partners, while always keeping the focus on their couples and their special day.


5. Photographic Perspectives

So John & I were married in Villanueva, NM (near Pecos) in the same church that my parents were married in and my grand-parents; and it’s in this tradition and roots in New Mexico that reinforces our role as story tellers.  Our families’ roots in New Mexico has taught us to appreciate the traditions passed down in other families, and we always strive to keep these traditions alive in the photos and videos so that they are not lost for the generations that are yet to come.

If we could get married again, I would have loved to have Lupe from Genesis to help me.  Her creativity and knowledge in lighting & décor can transform any location!

Sandra, Photographic Perspectives


6. The View Event Center by Simply Decor & Events

Akshay and Payal, the married couple whose glowing personalities match that of their stunning venue, The View Event Center, do more than just host weddings and events. They first began working together as Simply Decor, and still continue to fabulously furnish the weddings at their modern and metropolitan wedding venue and beyond. With an unmatched eye for beauty, Akshay and Payal not only continuously support each other, but the couples they work with, too.


7. Kayla Kitts Photography

Anyone who’s ever met Dominic know he has the biggest heart – and it definitely shines through on wedding days!  Things can be hectic – but our job is to stay calm and keep others calm, and it never fails that Dominic comes to the rescue with whatever that couple, that family, or that day needs.  Grandma needs help with the door?  He’s on it.  Kiddo needs a funny dance to smile?  Done.  Groom needs a place for all the things before he walks into the ceremony?  You betcha.  Someone needs the shirt off his back?  Sure thing.  He’s a man of his word, a jack of all trades, and absolutely the guy you want by your side on a special day because he’s for sure gonna be there for ya.

We’re so thankful to call this our job!  It’s a dream, with days filled with love and celebration and so many memories – and we’re so honored to be a part of it all!


8. King Mobile Music

Last but certainly not least, a married duo who we rely on several times a year, Brad and Heather King of King Mobile Music. As the emcees and certified fun-masters who make our wedding shows as successful as they are, we can’t recommend them as a team enough. With a smile and a laugh readily available to anyone and everyone who needs it, their levity balances the weight of a busy wedding day or event.


 

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

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