Hello, Spring: An Intimate Elopement with Maura Jane Photography

We’ve been given a little blessing in disguise as we are forced to stay home to keep the world safe. We can spend time in our backyards enjoying the springtime blooms and ideal weather, catching some rays + planning weddings. Even though lovely 2020 springtime weddings are to be rescheduled, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them from the comfort of your jammies!

Thankfully, our wedding vendors are always providing us with the best inspirational content to share with all of you. When we need a pick-me-up, and we know you do too, an expert sends in a feature that fills us with positivity and happiness. When all of the chaos hit, our own lovely Maura Jane Photography did just this! We’re about to share with you one of our favorite springtime elopements that will make you feel the love of the season.

“Stacey and Manny met online, with Stacey immediately being attracted to Manny’s big, bright smile. As they dated, they began to realize more and more that they were simply made for each other. They even joked to us that they discovered they had complimentary OCD tendencies. On Valentine’s Day, he invited her to his house and then proposed after dinner. Of course, she was elated!…”

Maura jane photography

A breathtaking location, meaningful details, and true love set the stage for this marriage story. These are three ingredients that are guaranteed to make an awe-inspiring elopement. Really, these are the only things you DO need – but this couple took it even further. Stacey + Manny wanted to create memories that would last forever, so they manifested their best day yet. All of this came to life with the help of local vendors and was beautifully captured by Maura Jane Photography.

“…This couple traveled from Houston, having chosen the quaint and beautiful Santa Fe for their mountain-desert themed intimate wedding. A few members of friends and family joined them as well for a small ceremony, along with a close-knit dinner party in favor of a large reception. The wedding party consisted of her best friend, his brother, and most importantly to the couple, Manny’s lovely daughter…”

Like many couples tempted by our enchanting state, Stacy + Manny made the journey from Houston to Santa Fe to celebrate their love. They didn’t celebrate alone, either! The couple were surrounded by the people who mattered to them most and were able to take in all of the rich culture that welcomed them to the State Capitol. We’re loving the details of the wedding, but they’re best expressed through images. So, please, fall in love all over again and enjoy the gallery by Maura below!

“…We loved that Stacey chose to have mariachi serenade her down the aisle as she carried a bouquet of ranunculus, daffodils and roses. We also loved that Renegade Floral incorporated daffodils into her wedding flowers as it was such a nod towards spring being upon us and saying goodbye to winter.”

Venue:  Four Seasons Santa Fe Photography: Maura Jane Photography Invitations: Minted Planner: Stephan Miller Florist: Renegade Floral Hair and Makeup: Genica Lee, Makeup Artist Dress Store: Princess Bridal, Texas Dress and Designer: Leandra Blue by Enzoani Cake: Four Seasons Santa Fe

Wedding Invitations: Why You Should Stay Local

Header image | Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary

There are so many reasons why working with a local business is great, but the best and most important reason is because they get you.

Planning a wedding is no easy task and it can often feel like nobody is really listening to your individual needs. This is especially true when working with a national company that is catering to thousands of engaged couples per day. Here at Wedding Collective, our mission is to connect local couples with local vendors to make dream weddings come true. Incredible New Mexico weddings are possible because local vendors are able to give their undivided attention to their couples to ensure that they are being heard.

Wedding essentials like save-the-dates and invitations are in high-demand, and too often couples settle for ordering online from big corporations because it appears to be the most convenient option and/or they don’t know that there are super talented locals that can work with them personally. We are here to shed some light on all of the reasons to keep it local when it comes to paper goods and also to highlight some of our fave local stationary specialists.

It’s tempting to order paper goods online, and we get it, you want to save time and money all while trying to avoid leaving the comfort of your home. However, the benefits of locally made paper goods outweigh the downsides by far. Online companies tend to produce generic and lower quality products that are ordered by hundreds of thousands of brides and grooms. By working with local paper experts, you get to experience the quality of the paper before ordering and you can personalize your products to your liking. Not only will this face-to-face experience put your mind at ease, but it will also guarantee that your product is uniquely yours.

Local paper experts like Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary, Pennysmith’s Paper, and Darling Clementine Art + Illustration are exemplary creatives that take paper goods to the next level. We seriously cannot get over how stunning their end products are. Each of them bring something unique to the table, so you’re certain to find the one that can bring your vision to life. Let’s get to know these lovelies a little bit more:

Funky Olive Invitations + Stationary

Cam Storie Photography

Looking for a full-service, custom design studio specializing in bespoke invitations + paper goods? Look no further than Funky Olive! It’s all here, just for you. You can get in touch with these experts here.

Pennysmith’s Paper

Meet with a design consultant, choose from established designs or customize your own, and explore a wide variety of possibilities for all of your paper needs when you work with Pennysmith’s Paper! You can learn more about them here.

Darling Clementine Art + Illustration

Bella’s charming illustrations are created from the heart and are always completely customized. From wedding invitations to hand-bound books, Darling Clementine‘s creativity is endless. Get in touch with her here!

We want you to connect with a local wedding expert because your vision matters and your ideas deserve to be heard. Have questions or need some suggestions? We’re here to help!

20 Must-Have Wedding Photos

Wedding Collective is all about community, and we are so fortunate to work with wedding vendors in all different specialties and interests. When we receive wedding photos from local couples and wedding experts, we celebrate, because photos are the magical little gift that allows us to see how all of the vendors and their work come together to create something incredible.

We know how important wedding photos are to you, too, which is why we’ve compiled a list of our must-have wedding photos. Sometimes during the wedding planning process, it gets crazy deciding on food, venues, and decor, and it’s easy to completely forget about working with your photographer on what you really want captured on your big day. We’ll expedite the process for you a little bit by providing you with 20 great photo ideas to ask your photographer for:

1. Getting Ready

These are some of our favorite kinds of photos because of the intimacy they reveal. Those small moments of excitement before putting on the dress and going out in front of beloved family and friends are the most raw–which is what makes them so beautiful.

2. Detail Shots

Even though everyone else will be able to stare in awe of your good looks on the day of the wedding, you might want to remember what you looked like as well. Sometimes the small details get buried in the chaos of the day, and having photos to look back on makes all the difference.

3. The Dress

The wedding dress is hand-picked by the bride herself, putting all of her personality, love, and care into the process. The dress is perfectly shaped to her form, creating the most lovely sight you’ll ever see–so a photo is essential!

4. First Look

The “first look” is a moment unlike any other, the moment when you first see each other and the first moment of the rest of your lives together. A photo beautifully captures the emotions and genuine love between two people.

5. Bridesmaids Celebrating

Grab your lady friends and celebrate! These fun photos always make great memories and take the stress out of the wedding day. Your girls will cherish these photos forever, too.

6. Groomsmen

Guys, don’t worry. We didn’t forget about you! Your dude group is just as good-looking as the bride tribe, so you will love to look back on these photos of you and the people who will always be on your side.

7. Invitations & Save the Dates

Just as we said before, the small details have so much thought put into them that it would be a shame if they weren’t captured! We love invites and Save the Dates because they’re all so unique.

8. The Groom’s Reaction

Haley Lupinski Photography

Similar to the “first look”, capturing the groom’s reaction as the bride walks down the aisle brings out that vulnerable and pure love that the couple feel for each other as they prepare to say “I do”. After all, the lovebirds are about to spend the rest of their lives together, and who wouldn’t shed happy tears?!

9. The Moment They Kiss

This one is a no-brainer, but we are putting it in our top 20 faves because, well, we love it so much. This celebratory moment has everyone clapping, tearing up, shouting, jumping for joy, and in some cases, throwing flower petals in the air.

10. The Ring

Oh, do we ADORE wedding rings! The gorgeous photos of the elegant details in a wedding ring are always a treasure. Accenting the photo by holding florals is just one way to capture this sentimental piece of jewelry.

11. The Bouquet

Brandon Harwell Photography

This is a wedding photo that has been trending lately, and we’re about it. Wedding flowers are an essential part of every wedding, and with their natural beauty, deserve every chance they can get to be photographed. Get the bridesmaids together and snap some photos of the bouquets together.

12. Decor + Tablescapes

The possibilities are endless when it comes to wedding decor. The colors, textures, and designs are all too magical to be seen only once. This is where photos come in! You’ll want to remember all of the beauty that surrounded you on your wedding day.

13. The Flower Girl

She’s adorable. ‘Nuff said.

14. Food

Catering, drinks, and baked goods always look like works of art. Food, in general, is a work of art, so a photo of the beautiful plates being served to your guests is always a good idea. Plus, unique ideas like the pie bar pictured above are fun to share with other couples looking for inspiration.

15. Time Alone Together

After all of the festivities of the ceremony have calmed down and the guests are heading to the reception, it’s always a good idea to sneak off and have some alone time together. It’s time to relax, have some fun, and get silly. The photographer is there to capture your intimate moments, whether they’re tears or smiles.

16. The Cake

Cakes are a big part of the wedding day and a lot of work goes into making them beautiful and uniquely yours. The gorgeous colors and embellishments make for the best photos.

17. The Bride

Beth Waldron Photography

The bride’s reactions and laughter are going to be the highlight of her day, and she will want to see how cute she looked later on. The makeup, the hair, the dress, and the love between the couple are all so deserving of great photographs.

18. The Dances

The first dance, the father-daughter dance, and so may others, are all tradition. These moments are emotional and entertaining for everyone to watch. The photographs of these special moments will be passed down for generations to come.

19. Bouquet/Garter Toss

The bride and groom don’t get to see the expressions on their guest’s faces as a bouquet or garter comes hurdling at them, and trust us, their priceless. This is a moment that you’ll love to look back on after the wedding day for a good laugh!

20. The Scenery

Last, but definitely not least, the ceremony and reception venues are always the perfect backdrop for couple’s photos. Whether you choose Los Poblanos’ lavender fields or the Sandia Mountains, the scenery will bring out the beauty of your wedding venue.

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Flowers

With 2020 approaching and new wedding trends making their way into the spotlight, we are seeing a shift in traditions. More and more couples are choosing to find unconventional wedding venues, from coffee shops to their own backyards, and we dig it. The possibilities are truly endless! However, there are some wedding traditions that never seem to change, one of them being a fan favorite–wedding flowers.

Your wedding day is getting nearer and nearer and we get it, everything seems to be hitting you all at once. We’re here to help ease that tension and make wedding planning an enjoyable experience. When it comes to floral arrangements, planning is really easy. There are so many options for wedding flowers out there and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming–but it is actually a blessing in disguise. The Perfect Wedding Guide team has spent years working with the best florists in New Mexico, and in doing so, we’ve learned a lot of insider secrets to help out our local couples. Whether you are looking for a environmentally friendly option for your wedding day, or want to design your wedding venue to look like a floral wonderland, our local wedding florists can do it all.

We thought that we would give you a little guide to finding the right flower options for your wedding, because we are your guide to a perfect wedding after all. Plus, we have included some of our favorite local vendors for your convenience. Who knows, maybe today is the day that you book your new floral bestie!

Getting started + planning it all out

The first step in booking a florist is taking into consideration your color palette, the season, and the flower type. Here are some tips:

Colors | Think about your accessories and your bridesmaids! Are they wearing pastels? Or is it more of a moody wedding with maroons and navy blues? Choose colors that compliment your wardrobe and the decor, or choose colors that are complete opposite to create contrast. Be bold and have fun with this part!

A classic white rose bouquet to compliment the white gown. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Briana Nicole Photography
An elegant + moody rose and succulent arrangement. Bouquet by Arranged Elegance || Fender Photography
Vibrant jewel tones + pops of contrasting colors that look incredible together. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design

Season | There are some flowers that are only available seasonally, so you want to make sure that the flowers you have your eye on are going to work with your wedding date. It is possible, though, to find a flower out of season, it might take a little more effort as a result. We want to help you make picking out your flowers as smooth as possible, so we suggest you take into consideration all of the options available to you ahead of time. Choose colors that compliment the season, from springtime pinks to winter blues.

Lovely pastel + succulent arrangement for the warmer seasons. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Lauren Cherie Photography
A stunning bouquet with a focus on seasonal sunflowers. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design
The most charming holiday floral arrangement with an ornament. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || via Bosque Flower Studio

Flower Type | We have a quite a few options now when it comes to preserving wedding day flowers. Everyone loves a good living flower that smells fresh and can be pressed and saved for years to come, but there is another option that we have been loving lately–silk flowers. We get to see plenty of real and artificial flowers in the wedding business and we’re gonna tell you a secret… we can’t tell the difference most of the time. They are all SO lovely.

Flawless silk floral arrangement with embellishments. Bouquet by Charlotte’s Flowers || T. Rayne Photography
A wide variety of gorgeous flowers. Arrangement by Flowers and Things || Via Flowers and Things
A centerpiece with just a pop of color and mostly focused on leaves and embellishments. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || Kayla Kitts Photography

Perks of hiring a wedding florist

They are the experts. They have years of experience in this business and know just exactly what flowers compliment other flowers and embellishments. The styling and arranging is like second nature to these wedding professionals! When the big day comes, you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong because you chose someone who was dedicated specifically to making your perfect arrangements happen.

You can relax. All of the “doing” and “making” is done by the pros, so you get to focus on the other details of your wedding. Although it might be fun to gather up your gal and guy pals and create an assembly line of matching, cutting, and trimming, it’s not for everyone. Take some time for yourself and let a dedicated florist do what they do best. You won’t regret it!

You can be silly and make your wildest dreams come true. Like we said earlier, anything is possible. We mean it! The best thing about hiring a florist is that they are there to help you develop and carry out your vision–even if it means creating flower crowns for you, your bridesmaids, AND your furry friend.

A flower crown made specially for your best friend. Made by Charlotte’s Flowers || Maura Jane Photography

Want to see a list of our fave florists that take flower power to a whole new level? Check them out here!

5 Hidden Wedding Venue Gems in New Mexico

The wonderful thing about our state is that it never ceases to amaze all of those who visit – particularly those who are planning a wedding and are looking for that special place to say “I do”. There is no doubt that every turn there is something exciting to be discovered, and we, your Wedding Collective team, are here to help you cultivate every element of your New Mexico wedding while you sit back, relax, and enjoy a warm cup of coffee.

It turns out that New Mexico is actually the place where history, landscape, and culture collide, which makes for the most stunning of weddings. Our fellow wedding planners picked the best spot to call their home base, and we did too. With such vast landscapes and the perfect weather year-round, the possibilities are endless. Want to plan an outdoor wedding in the winter? No problem. Want a private and beautiful spot to elope in the desert? No problem. Our wedding vendors know New Mexico and weddings like Taylor Swift knows heartbreak. Yeah, they’re that good.

As a group of “love” fangirls, we pretty much obsess over anything wedding related. But when it comes to hidden gems and unique venue locations, we can’t even begin to explain how thrilled we are – and we are even more thrilled that we get to share our fave spots with you. Ready to find and book your favorite hidden gem wedding venue? Keep reading below!

1. Casa Perea Art Space

Via Casa Perea Art Space
Maura Jane Photography

We adore this spot not only because of how picture perfect it is, but also because the space indulges all of the senses. From scenic gardens, to the smell of herbs and florals growing in the surrounding area… Everything. Is. Perfect.

2. Europa

Via Perfect Wedding Guide
Stills by Gerard

Nestled in the heart of Los Lunas, this venue takes farm-to-table to a new level. With acres of land and rustic farmhouse vibes, Europa is the most unique and charming little spot just outside of Albuquerque. There are both indoor and outdoor venue options so that you can enjoy what they have to offer year-round!

3. Hacienda Doña Andrea

Via Hacienda Doña Andrea
Lauren Cherie Photography

From these pictures alone, you can understand why we love this place so much. The adobe and architecture already feels like New Mexico, and to top it off, you could have the whole thing to yourself and your wedding party. You heard correctly, this romantic venue is a private estate where your wedding dreams come true.

4. Nature Pointe

Kevin’s Photography

We are a little biased because we happen to love the scenery of the outdoors here in New Mexico, so of course we would try to find a little gem that showcases Mother Nature. Aside from the natural beauty of Tijeras, New Mexico, this venue also offers a wide range of services to help make your day stress-free!

5. UNM Alumni Memorial Chapel

Maura Jane Photography
Chrisi K Photography

Some people might say this gem isn’t really hidden, but being tucked behind trees on the University of New Mexico campus, we think it deserves a little spotlight. This beautiful chapel was built in 1962 to honor alumni who lost their lives in line of duty has become the gathering place for renewals, memorials, and weddings.

Our Favorite 2020 Wedding Trends

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, the end of the year means planning, preparing, and jumping for joy because we get to learn about all of the upcoming trends for next year! We would by lying if we told you that we aren’t a little sad to see 2019 go, though. This year was definitely one for the books, filled with the most beautiful weddings and exciting wedding shows & events. We loved hearing all of your perfect wedding stories and having the honor of sharing them with other brides and grooms that are looking for some inspiration.

As our pinky promise to you, we will continue to provide you with the most current and trendy tips and inspiration each and every year because we think you’re the best. We are so eager to share what is in store for next year that we are going to give you some insider knowledge right now that the Perfect Wedding Guide team picked up at this year’s Wedding MBA Conference in Las Vegas. Yesterday we hosted our annual Wedding MBA Recap Breakfast at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club and got to hear some notable takeaways from our fellow local wedding professionals that also attended the conference.

We thought that we would have a little fun with this one and look back at some of the decade’s biggest wedding trends while introducing the future forecast for wedding trends in 2020.

First, the oldies, but goodies.

2019 | Private ceremony + elopement locations

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | Animals in weddings

Coryn Kiefer Photography

2019 | White weddings

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pastels, pinks, and blushes

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Pear-shaped rings

Maura Jane Photography

2019 | Romantic lighting rentals

Briana Nicole Photography

2019 | Unique venues

Lauren Cherie Photography

2019 | Specialty cakes

Maura Jane Photography

And now for the upcoming trends for 2020!

2020 | The “Roaring 20s” (of course)

Via todaysbride.com

2020 | Bright & bold pops of color

Al Gawlik Photography

2020 | Ceiling installations

Anna Jones Photography

2020 | Textures

Via HiMissPuff.com

2020 | Greens + grasses

Via Happywedd.com

2020 | Mirrored floors

Darin Images

2020 | Cake backdrops

Buffy Dekmar

2020 | Texture, minimalism, capes, and beyond

2020 | Donuts, mini cakes, & tall cakes

2020 | Sustainability

Via thegoodbeginning.com

So there you have it, a decade of trends and some new ones to welcome to the table. We’re ready for you, 2020!

There’s No Place Like Home: A Fall Wedding with Maura Jane Photography

The tall cottonwood trees arched all the way over the long paved Los Poblanos driveway as we made our way to Lauren and Andrews wedding. The leaves were already changing and several of the trees here and there were really showing off their colors. The couple had traveled all the way from New York City for their big day in the Land of Enchantment, and they were excited that fall was beginning to appear. 

– Maura Casados, Maura Jane Photography

As many New Mexicans know by now, it is hard not to return back home when you leave our lovely state. We hear stories all of the time about couples who move away for various reasons, but decide to have their wedding here in the Land of Enchantment because it truly stole their hearts. We totally get it. There is something so captivating about the landscape and the people – it really is a gem.

Lauren & Andrew seemed to both agree that New Mexico was the ideal place for their fall wedding, even though they live all the way on the East coast in New York City. When you live all the way on the other side of the country, sometimes you need to call the family back home to ask for a little wedding planning help, and that is just what Lauren did. Lauren’s mom knew just the location to celebrate the marriage between her daughter and to-be-son-in-law – Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm! The couple booked the venue without hesitation. And who wouldn’t after seeing the stunning backdrops of lavender fields and rustic farmhouse chic decor?

The couple chose different shades of burgundy and blush for their colors, which complimented the fall foliage perfectly. Lauren wore her hair low and side-swept in a perfect bun and donned a stunning lace dress that fell off her shoulders softly. Perhaps our favorite detail was her pointed Bella Belle heels that matched her dainty belt perfectly.

The Perfect Wedding Guide crew is swooning over the small details from this perfect autumnal wedding. The rose gold ring, the pastel invitations, the perfectly fitting gown, and their absolutely radiant love for each other are just a few of the things that have us struck with awe. Not to mention that this day was captured by the one and only Maura Jane Photography whose style fits seamlessly with the warm + pastel fall vibes.

They exited the ceremony with a dried rose petal toss before joining their guests for cocktail hour on the back lawn. White pumpkins, candles and eucalyptus decorated the tables as guest toasted the newlyweds and sipped lavender gin cocktails and champagne. We finished the evening with a quick photo in front of the old historic building that hosted their reception as the couple kissed while being surrounded by farolitos.

We are so honored to have been sent the gallery from Lauren & Andrew’s wedding day. Take a peek & let the feeling of pure bliss come over you as you immerse yourself in the beautiful photos taken by Maura and her team!

Congratulations Lauren and Andrew, we are so happy for you both!

Venue: Los Poblanos Inn and Historic Farm
Planner/Designer: Chelsea Martinez
Florist:  Bagel's Florals
Hair and Makeup: Mark Pardo Salon
Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes
Dress store: David's Bridal
Dress Designer: Melissa Sweet
Ties and Pocket Squares: The Tie Bar
Cake/Desserts: Los Poblanos
DJ: Cutmaster Music
Invitations: Minted
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Photography: Maura Jane Photography

i

Let’s Get Planning! 5 Local Wedding Planners Who Will Get You on Track

One of our favorite things about working here at Perfect Wedding Guide is that we get to see so many incredible weddings everyday. From farmhouse chic winter weddings, to vibrant pink floral wonderlands in the spring, we’ve seen some of the most perfect weddings out there– and the exciting part is, it doesn’t end there! The possibilities are truly endless here in the Land of Enchantment, and with the help of local wedding vendors, your wildest wedding day dreams can become a reality.

Let’s talk planning, because achieving that dreamy wedding starts with a good plan, and finding the talented individuals who bring that plan to life should be your #1 priority. All of those DIY YouTube videos and Pinterest boards are great, and trust me, we love a good DIY wedding, but sometimes that’s not an option for the couple who is looking to take some weight off of their shoulders. Check out this blog that we wrote in June that dives deeper into the different types of wedding planning available to you!

Wedding planning is not meant to be stressful, but rather a time where you get to celebrate love and connection, so take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and keep reading to connect with a local wedding planner that can help you along your greatest adventure yet. Wedding planners are a great way to keep you on track for the big day, even when you’re at your wits end. These local wedding planners are trusted by our wedding community, and after seeing the stunning images from weddings that they’ve planned, you’ll totally agree.

1. Occasion Services + Events

Natalie and Celine are not only pros in the event planning business but are an absolute pleasure to work with throughout the entire process. Although they already had three other weddings scheduled the weekend of my big day, they agreed to take on our out-of-town wedding as well. They have top-of-the line quality products at reasonable prices and are quick to offer their creative vision in designing the perfect concept. They ran out of gold chiavari chairs the week of my wedding due to their high demand so they upgraded me to their vineyard chairs for the same price! I was thrilled! They added a personal touch to my wedding and I will undoubtedly go to Occasion for all my future event needs!  

– Hallee, Local Bride

2. Simply Done Events

Symone is a professional and she understands your vision for the event! She makes planning a party fun and easy! I loved having her on my wedding day. She was absolutely essential in making every detail go according to plan.

Larissa, Local Bride

3. Casi Sueño Weddings + Events

Genevieve and her team bring both an otherworldliness here to Albuquerque, and a genuine love for celebration and design. Being motivated by a pure passion for what they do, there’s no need to feel spoiled when the Casi Sueño team transforms your wedding day, only grateful.

4. NJR Event Planning

For nearly 3 decades, Naomi — the creative powerhouse behind NJR Event Planning — has been taking the inklings of dreams, and turning them into realities for New Mexico engaged couples. Her design expertise has weathered the storm through many a trend: cupcake-ballgowns, burlap + lace, bolero tops (Google it), puffed sleeves, etc…. Classic and modern though, the inherent talent of the NJR Event Planning team continues to evolve, meeting the needs of our generations respective trends like it’s second nature.

5. Black Swan Events

I cannot say enough positive things about this company. Joann and Brian were incredibly attentive, responsive, professional, and talented at what they do! They provided all of our floral decorations, lights, set our place settings, and everything was incredible! I was very thankful that when they gave us our quote, which included everything we initially wanted, they gave us multiple price points and allowed us to pick and choose. They communicated directly with our venue for set up, measuring, and other details and it made our wedding day beautiful and stress free. I hope to work with Black Swan again on future events!

– Bailey, Local Bride

Header photo: Maura Jane Photography

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.

Announcing the 2019 PWG Elite Award Winners!

Sadly, the evening of our 2019 Vendor Appreciation Party has come and gone and we are left with remnants of glitter on our faces as we sit here thinking about the fun that we had hoped would never end. The evening was filled with the most wonderful surprises around every corner, from ocean water blue cocktails to seafood themed hors d’oeuvres and goodies! All of the sea creatures seemed to be enjoying all of the attention and excitement, too.

The night would not have been possible if it weren’t for our amazing venue, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium and the mouth-watering goodness provided by Taste Catering. We are so grateful to have such incredible sponsors for the event that provided the most stunning “under the sea” themed elements that simply brought the party to life, starting with our invitations by Funky Olive that made a splash! We adored the creative centerpieces by The Flower Co. and the beach-y tunes provided by King Mobile Music and Rockin’ Piano Party. We can’t forget to mention those phenomenal cakes from Honey & Salt Cake Co. because we all know we were dying to taste when we saw them placed on display.

These local wedding professionals, from wedding coordinators to wedding travel agencies, show exemplary performance in helping local brides and grooms make their wedding day dreams come true. Since we think that all of our vendors are shining stars every day, we ask locals to vote for their favorites to help make the process easier and more exciting. Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, and the moment we can’t wait to share with all of you, the winners of the PWG 2019 Elite Awards!

Drum roll please…

Coordinator | Black Bow Events
Bridal Beauty Expert | Vixen Looks by Vangie
Best Place to Order Wedding Cake/Dessert | The Cake Boutique
Best Catering or Restaurant | Eloisa Catering
Bachelorette/Bachelor Party | Bombshell Fitness
Reception | The View Event Center by Simply Décor & Events
Ceremony Location | Sandia Resort & Casino
Officiant | De Novo Concierge Pastors
Floral Designer | Desert Flowers Co.
Event Décor | My Beloved Vintage Rentals
Rental Company | Simply Décor Tents & Events
Bridal Gown Shop | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Men’s Formalwear | Suits Unlimited
Invitations | Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery
Disc Jockey | Cutmaster Music
Ceremony Musician | Cello for Weddings
Photographer | Maura Jane Photography
Cinematographer | Photographic Perspectives
Photo Booth Rental | Complete Weddings + Events
Unique Wedding Service | Urban Balloons by Dawn
Best Hotel Accommodations | Sheraton Uptown Hotel
Best Travel Agency | Connect Thru Travel

A big and super special thank you to the lovely T. Rayne Photography for capturing the evening and also having a blast with us while doing it. We can’t wait to share the night with everyone through her lens!

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