5 Hidden Wedding Venue Gems in New Mexico

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.

Love in the Mountains: A Real Wedding with Coryn Kiefer Photography

Love in the Mountains: A Real Wedding with Coryn Kiefer Photography

From the get go David and I both talked about not stressing out about the minor things and always keeping in mind that planning a wedding shouldn’t be a stressful experience.

– Alexis, Bride

Girl, we couldn’t agree more. Wedding planning is supposed to be a blast, and with the help of our local wedding vendors, it can be a breeze, too. At Perfect Wedding Guide, our mission is to foster the connection between engaged couples and the local wedding community… all for the love. We want you to know that your love story is in good hands with the help of local wedding professionals who are passionate and overflowing with talent.

A wedding is an incredibly special moment in everyone’s lives, whether you’re the bride, the groom, or simply family and friends of the couple. This is why we think that you deserve to laugh and play a little before (and on) the big day, not just your guests. For Alexis and David, having fun was number one on the list of to-dos. From unconventional wedding traditions, like having flower men instead of little flower girls, to specially made socks with pictures of their dog’s face on them, their wedding day was filled to the brim with AWESOME.

Alexis and David chose to have their wedding at Nature Pointe in Tijeras, the perfect place for a breathtaking, New Mexican wedding. Not to mention, the couple wanted to find a venue that offered a scenic mountain environment that wasn’t too far from the city, and Nature Pointe was able to provide that and so much more.

If there is a way to capture the essence of elegance, fun, and pure joy, Coryn Kiefer Photography holds the key. She managed to capture the fun, loving spirits of the couple with such grace through her light and airy photographs. We can’t get over the way that Coryn took the small moments and turned them into dreamscapes that any bride and groom would adore, and this is why we know you will love them too!

Photographer: Coryn Kiefer Photography
Venue: Nature Pointe Weddings + Events
Flowers: Desert Flower Co.
Cake: Sweet Grace Cake Co.
Hair: Hair by Shirley
Ceremony + Cockatil Hour Music: Cello for Weddings
DJ: Gabriel Ortega
Catering: Chello Grill

7 Wedding Venues Outside the City

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

1145de_65cada9d88614cfcbf2f2e78cd29c49b~mv2_d_3500_2346_s_2
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

HDA-166
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

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

 

5 Venue Shopping Tips From a Venue {Guest Post}

5 Venue Shopping Tips From a Venue {Guest Post}

There’s always so much talk of venues in the wedding world, including here with Perfect Wedding Guide. But when it comes to your celebration of love, your venue really is one of the most important items on your planning list — without one, there’s no wedding! Which is why we have Courtney, with Nature Pointe, here to make your venue shopping experience as smooth as can be with some time-tested tips.


5 Venue Shopping Tips

MBPhotography7

Hi guys! I hope that you’re day so far has been wonderful. If we haven’t had the pleasure, my name is Courtney Brooks, and I’m the Venue Director at Nature Pointe Weddings and Events. It’s my job to make sure that your wedding planning process is as stress free as possible. 

image1-17
T. Rayne Photography

In my opinion, there’s nothing better at combating stress than knowledge. As a Venue Director, I’m here today to share my experiences with you and instill a sense of calm. Here are my 5 venue shopping tips:

1. Wedding Sales Representatives are Not Used Car Salesmen

Please do not let the sales portion of our title scare you. Every Wedding Sales Representative that I’ve worked with in New Mexico has the same goal, and guess what, that goal is not making a sale! Our goal is to make sure that you book the venue that best suits your vision and budget.

What does this mean for you? Be honest with us, talk about your budget, and ask questions even if you think they are silly. Yes, of course we’d love to work with you, but if we aren’t the venue for you, we’ll be honest too.

 

image2-19
Nicole Bradshaw Photography

2. Bring a Camera

Most likely you’ll be touring many different wedding venues over several days or even weeks. After all is said and done, it can be hard to recall which venue featured what services. Bringing along a camera will be a tremendous help in recalling the finer details.

 

image3-21

3. If Possible, Ask to Walk Around the Venue On Your Own

The first time you walk through a venue it will often be a guided tour. During this time, certain features will be pointed out and you’ll be encouraged to see the building in a particular light. Walking around again gives you the chance to see it for yourself. Ask yourself, “is this where I see myself getting married?”

 

image4-23
Matt Blasing Photography

4. Bring Along Your Inspiration

If you have a Pinterest page, saved Google images, or cutouts in bridal magazines bring them along for the tour. Many venues, like Nature Pointe Weddings and Events, can provide or rent centerpieces and décor. Having your inspiration there allows you to ask the representative if they have similar décor on hand and if you can see it.

 

image5-25
Nicole Bradshaw Photography

5. Follow Up

This is true of any wedding vendor that you contact. Follow up with them and let them know where you are in the decision making process. We hate to be annoying, but truly don’t know if you are receiving our correspondences and so we reach out several times out of necessity.

 

image6-27

Thanks for lending your ear (or in this case your eye) to me for a moment. Keep these tips in mind while shopping around and save yourself some stress!

 

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

First Day of Forever: New Mexico Love Story

First Day of Forever: New Mexico Love Story

As you probably well know by now, our Perfect Wedding Guide team is positioned between the local wedding professionals, and the engaged couples who work with them. So we’re often bouncing back and forth from brides to businesses — which, of course, we consider a lucky pendulum. But, every so often when the stars align, we’re lucky enough to have both our worlds collide!

Courtney is both one-half of a heartwarming love story — which we’ll get to, promise — and one of the lovely and dutiful members of the Nature Pointe team. For years now, we’ve had the opportunity to recommend and relish in the perfected beauty of the New Mexico wedding venue. So yeah, you could say we’re business buds!

Now, with something as delightful as a proposal, we’ve had the opportunity to interview Courtney as one of our featured love stories! Her other half, Joshua, planned a fantastic day that culminated with him popping the question, and we’re so happy to be able to share it here with you.

CourtneyandJosh

When did you and Joshua first meet?

“We met in middle school during the 7th grade!”

When and how did he propose to you?

“He proposed to me with a culmination of all the ways he asked me to dances in high school. (We started dating during the summer before our junior year.) There was a scavenger hunt, a dozen roses, a line of Hershey’s Kisses, and chocolate melted down into letters asking if I’d marry him. Here’s the story: When I drove into the parking lot, I noticed his car and knew something was up.

I entered the office, and he was nowhere to be found. Instead, when I sat at my desk there was a note, the beginning of a scavenger hunt, and a single rose. Funnily enough, the note teased me about getting the scavenger hunt right this time. (I already messed up one in high school). I read the note and was immediately confused. I thought to myself “I guess I’m bound to mess this up too lol.” Instead of finding the next clue, I found the last clue that directed me out of the office and to a line of Hershey’s Kisses leading me to him.

When I got there, I asked if I had missed something and was turned around to go find the other clues. Back in the office, I found the second clue, another rose, and a note saying one reason why he loved me. Then, I went onto find 3 more clues, roses, and lovely notes. Finally, I was sure I found all of the clues and excitedly went out to see him. When I got there, he was down on one knee.”

How did you react to his proposal? Were you expecting it?

“I can’t even remember what he said, but I immediately said yes and gave him a big smooch! When we walked back into the office all of my co-workers cheered and congratulated us.

I had expected the proposal the next day seeing as it was our 7th dating anniversary. Joshua said that he had to do it the day before so that I’d be at least a little surprised. I was super excited and shaky the whole time. Emotional overload!”

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

 

 

The Perfect Venue to Say, I Do: Nature Pointe

With beautiful sunsets, mild weather and picturesque landscapes, New Mexico is often a top choice for destination weddings. Whether you’re a local or visitor, however, Nature Pointe is a hidden gem in Tijeras, New Mexico, about a 15-minute drive east of Albuquerque, where traditional, southwest style weddings are their specialty.

Combined with the natural elements of the New Mexico desert, Nature Pointe offers a unique setting that makes for a smooth transition from an outdoor ceremony to an indoor reception. The manicured outdoor landscape blends effortlessly with surrounding piñon trees, Rocky Mountain junipers, and wildflowers that fade into the background.

Besides the natural beauty of Nature Pointe, it is also a good option for anyone looking for all-inclusive wedding packages. By providing tables, chairs and linens — just to name a few of Nature Pointe’s many perks — you can relax and focus on your wedding, rather than the preparations. I don’t know about you, but that would be a major plus for me!

Not to mention, the southwest architecture and interior design blended with their luxury amenities, makes Nature Pointe an option needing little effort to make your wedding picture perfect and your guests feel right at home. Check out these pics to get a glimpse into the splendor that makes Nature Pointe so enticing.

Jasmine Nicole PhotographyJasmine Nicole PhotographyJasmine Nicole PhotographyJasmine Nicole Photography

Jasmine Nicole Photography
Photos Via: Jasmine Nicole Photography

If you’re planning a wedding in New Mexico, join the many couples who have made Nature Pointe their choice for the perfect venue to say, “I Do.”

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

{Wedding Venue Spotlight} Nature Pointe

Surround Your Wedding With Beauty at Nature Pointe 

Nature Pointe's Anasazi Hall.  Photo Credit: Falling Star Photography
Nature Pointe’s Anasazi Hall.
Photo Credit: Falling Star Photography

Nature Pointe is the ideal wedding venue for couples who are looking to get away from the city and surround themselves with the natural beauty of the New Mexican landscape. Nature Pointe is located just 15 minutes east of Albuquerque at 7,000 ft elevation surrounded by the Ponderosa and Pinon Forest.  The venue boasts the best 180 degree panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains and glorious sunsets.

Nature Pointe's stone fountain ceremony backdrop.  Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe’s stone fountain ceremony backdrop.
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Nature Pointe boasts perfect 180 degree views of the Sandia Mountains. Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe boasts perfect 180 degree views of the Sandia Mountains.
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Nature Pointe strives to provide their beautiful buildings and professional wedding services to assist you in creating a unique and personal experience for your wedding day. One way they achieve this is by reserving the facility only to you the day your event; allowing you to take advantage of any of their unique ceremony sites which include manicured lawns, stone fountains, portals overlooking ponds filled with water lilies and koi, and grand fireplace hearths.

Nature Pointe Clubhouse Entry Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe Clubhouse Entry
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Nature Pointe Outdoor Ceremony. Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe Outdoor Ceremony.
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Nature Pointe Lawn Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe Lawn
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Following the exchange of your vows, at Nature Pointe you may greet your guests invite them to enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres in the relaxing and intimate Grand Hall. There they will find welcoming nooks and alcoves that inspire intimate conversations, as well as many one-of-a-kind New Mexican touches from handcrafted furnishings, enormous vigas reclaimed from a fire in the Gila National Forest, an antique billiards table, to an inviting stone fireplace. Set the mood by having a musician play the grand piano on the patio or choose the perfect satellite radio station to serenade your guests indoors.

Nature Pointe's Grand Hall.  Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe’s Grand Hall.
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Nature Pointe's Grand Hall. Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe’s Grand Hall.
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

At Nature Pointe your guests are welcome to mingle and explore the 18,000 square foot Clubhouse and surrounding grounds, while you and your bridal party step away to find a unique spot for your photographer to capture a few special photos. With the limitless variety of scenery, photo opportunities are everywhere you look. 

The 3,000 square foot Anasazi Hall Ballroom, with wraparound patios, romantic lighting and New Mexican architecture, can set the stage for your dinner and reception.

Nature Pointe offers a full caterer’s kitchen for use by the caterer of your choice, affording you the luxury of creating a menu that truly reflects your personality and tastes. 

Nature Pointe's Anasazi Ballroom. Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Nature Pointe’s Anasazi Ballroom.
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

Photo Credit: Nature Pointe
Photo Credit: Nature Pointe

 Nature Pointe

(505) 286-4971

30 Nature Pointe, Tijeras, NM 87059

For more information about wedding venues in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area, and for everything else you need to plan your wedding, please visit The Perfect Wedding Guide. While you are there, don’t forget to order your FREE issue of our new Spring/Summer Guide!