Ashley + Kris: Real Wedding at Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Ashley + Kris: Real Wedding at Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The goal for us on our wedding day was to make sure everything was very personal and that our guests had a fun and memorable time.

-Ashley, bride

Luckily for our darling local newlywed, Ashley, she and her now-husband, Kris, are not alone in that desire. With thousands of weddings happening in New Mexico alone every year, it becomes less and less about brands, colors, antiquated traditions, and more about love, community, and celebration. For the next few years, this trend is expected to continue, as engaged couples shoot less for the fairytale and more for the unforgettable experience that their guests can enjoy for every moment of the day.

With so much magic possible here in Albuquerque, too, it’s no small wonder that more couples are opting for staying in our home state as well. Our local wedding professionals prove again and again that they’re on parr with coastal trends and styles through their innovative work and collaborative approach to the wedding community. (Don’t believe us? Check out our last blog post — we rounded up a few of our favorite styled shoots and real weddings from the last year!)

Because we’re here, in the Land of Mañana, too, our wedding professionals have a certain special quality to them that you can’t find anywhere else: flexibility. For them — like Lauren with The Event Center at Sandia Golf — love really is at the center of all that they do. So it becomes imperative to work around the usual roadblocks, think outside the box, and do what they can to manifest that love in a way that truly reflects the people it belongs too: the couple!

For Ashley + Kris’s big day, they were able to do exactly that. The Event Center‘s sweeping views framed the all-night dancing of the couple and their guests, and the grandness of the day was complemented by refined details so unique to their love story, it couldn’t have been anyone else’s day but their own.

Finding a venue that offered both indoor and outdoor space, where our guests could play corn hole on the event lawn, visit the photo booth on the patio and enjoy dancing all night in the ballroom ticked every box for us; and the jaw-dropping views for our wedding photos didn’t hurt either. The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club is truly a hidden gem in Albuquerque!”
-Ashley, bride
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Upon meeting with Ashley and Kris, our team knew that if they picked the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club it would be the perfect fit. They were such a fun couple and you could immediately see how much they loved each other and that more than anything they wanted to make sure their wedding was one their guests would remember. They had so many personal touches that really showed who they were as a couple, especially how much they loved their pets and how much they loved the Aggies or Lobos depending on who you asked. Ashley and Kris found several ways to make sure their beloved pets presence was felt at the wedding.
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Venue: Event Center at Sandia Golf Club |  Photography: Play on Light Photography | Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci | Dress: M&J Bridal Boutique | Photo Booth: Snapshot Selfies | Photo Booth Videographer: Avista Video | Centerpieces: A Day to Remember  | DJ: DJ Halcyon
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2018 Four Seasons Connection Luncheon Recap

2018 Four Seasons Connection Luncheon Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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5 Rules For Choosing A Wedding Venue

5 Rules For Choosing A Wedding Venue

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we get to work one-on-one with Albuquerque’s best florists, officiants, photographers, and the like, every single day. So it’s safe to assume that we might know a bit more about weddings than your average Joe or Joanne. While we like to think that we’re somewhat of experts though, we always turn to our local vendors for the real knowledge. When you need to know who the best wedding professionals are — turn to us. For the nitty gritty wedding planning details — we turn to them.

Like when our local officiants dropped some serious education on us about why hiring a professional is so important for your wedding. Or when Gypsy Trail Hair + Makeup gave us some incredible tips for your wedding day hair care, and Beth Waldron Photography told us why your photographer thinks you should hire a wedding planner. There’s such a wealth of knowledge in the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding community, and we’re just here to harness it!

Which is why we’re so happy to have this super helpful info from the delightful Embassy Suites, on the whats, whys, and hows, of choosing a venue for your wedding day. Of all the wedding professionals you hire for your ceremony, your venue is going to be up there in the top three most important. Because, well, it’s going to set the tone for the whole day! So it pays to know how to choose the venue that’s right for you, your future spouse, and your budget.

Without further adieu, we’ll let Jonathon, with Embassy Suites, tell you how to do that — he’s the real expert. (Photos by Alicia Lucia Photography.)

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1 | BACKTRACK.

 

A lot of times, it’s good to start things “backwards,” if you will. Start by putting a rough budget together. Guestimate how many guests you think will attend. The number doesn’t have to be exact, and details may change throughout the duration of your planning. But it’s good to have some kind of  number in mind before you even walk into a venue for pricing.

2 | EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM.

If you can help it, try to start venue shopping at least a year out from your special day (or as early as you possibly can). Choosing a venue is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in planning a wedding. You want to give yourself enough time to explore your options and find the best fit for you.

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3 | ASK, ASK, ASK!

Any time a question pops into your head, ask away! Our motto here at Embassy is that it’s better to ask as many questions and obtain as many answers early on than to be stressed out and asking on your special day.

4 | KEEP IT IN WRITING.

Planning a wedding can be exciting, but it’s not without its difficulties. You’re going to have so many details in your head at any given time throughout the planning process that a detail may slip here or there. A best practice is to back up all your details in writing – either via e-mail, via handwritten notes, etc. Whenever you sit down with your coordinator in person, or even when you speak to him/her over the phone, have your notes in front of you.

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5 | LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

 

Always keep the location of your venue in mind – even more so if many of your guests will be travelling from out of town. How accessible is your venue? Is it easy to find? Also, if you will be hosting your ceremony and your reception in two separate venues, just make sure to factor travel time into the equation. For venues that are farther apart, always plan ahead for unexpected hiccups. An accident on the highway one hour before your reception may lead to your guests frustrated and sitting in traffic.

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The Most Blissful Bed+Breakfast: Hacienda Vargas

There’s a new theme emerging among all the incredible weddings of the world, especially here in New Mexico… Have you noticed it yet, brides and wedding lovers?

We’ve taken note, from our little perch between local wedding professionals and engaged couples, that brides and grooms are putting more and more emphasis on the cultural and historical beauty of their hometowns and states when planning their wedding. And we are so here for it!

So here’s a tip: Hacienda Vargas is the perfect wedding venue for engaged couples who are looking to incorporate some of New Mexico’s rich culture and history into their celebration. With traditional adobe structure to reflect New Mexico’s famous sunsets, walls covered in authentic local art, and vast, pristine land surrounding the inn, Hacienda Vargas emanates all the things that make our state so wonderful. Plus, The Land of Enchantment, aptly named, has enraptured so many of its inhabitants, it only makes sense to draw from the vibrant colors and unique history for some wedding inspo!

Tucked just between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the historical bed + breakfast has been welcoming weary travelers and locals in need of relaxation since the 17th century. Yes, you read that right! For four centuries, Hacienda Vargas has dazzled every guest who passes through with the inn’s traditional architecture, and the owner’s — Cynthia and Richard — delicious, homemade breakfast.

Wrapped in a familiar sort of comfort, the bed and breakfast invites engaged couples to an intimate, yet rural, space to celebrate their union. Hacienda Vargas is happy to hold up to 150 of you and your partner’s loved ones. So whether you two are looking for a small elopement or you’re planning to invite everyone you hold dear, the inn is here with open doors.

To book Hacienda Vargas for your wedding here in New Mexico, contact their team here!

In the meantime, come gawk at this gorgeous wedding at Hacienda Vargas that we still can’t get over! candlelight vows bride groom couple wedding planning bridal gown updo suit tux indoor ceremony traditional New Mexico southwestern sweetheart neckline strapless rose cathedral love romantic perfect wedding guide

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Photos by Britianie Tyler Photography.

More on the wedding featured above here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

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2018 Wedding Trend: Live Music

2018 Wedding Trend: Live Music

Have you heard, bride-to-be? Tides are shifting in the world of weddings! The budget-friendly option of preset playlists and iPods on shuffle for reception music were all the rage for a little while there, but it’s time to hang up the aux cord. Live, professional music is back in style! {Though in our opinion, it never really left.}

It’s no wonder either, especially here in New Mexico, where there are so many options for brides who want a genuine, authentic experience for their wedding day. Luckily too, the variety of choices available mean you don’t have to break the bank to switch out your brother-in-law’s Spotify playlist for the ever-romantic option of a live musician.

No need to feel overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of individuals that are here to make your celebration unforgettable this wedding season. We picked three amazing musicians that are local and ready for you to book for your wedding, because we love you.

From guitar, to harp, to full band, it’s hard to choose our favorite live musicians from Albuquerque + Santa Fe, but luckily we don’t have to. The reputation of these talented artists speaks for themselves. {It’s no surprise they all have 5-star reviews on Perfect Wedding Guide!}

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Ryan Smith, of Cello for Weddings

is the perfect fit if you’re looking to add an unparalleled touch of elegance to your ceremony or reception. Not only does he offer traditional wedding music, but also pop, rock, acoustic, soundtrack/classical, country, folk, motown, and oldies! Even custom arrangements, if your heart should so desire. Does it get better than that?

Book him here!

Absolute Entertainment

Absolute Entertainment‘s own band Soulstice,

has been voted as Santa Fe’s leading event band by brides. And of course they have! Graceful or groovy, the band plays everything from cross-generational classics to today’s hits. Whatever vibe {or vibes!} you choose, Soulstice delivers above and beyond expectations every time.

Book Soulstice here!

Last, but very certainly not least,

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Sandi Ludescher, Albuquerque’s favorite Harpist

has graced couples with her delightful music, and several of our events too, since 2005. With a broad range of available compositions, there’s a spot in every celebration for her harp! {Highly customizable as well, Sandi once played my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song for me on her harp — it was unforgettable!}

Book Sandi here!

 

Want more?

You can find local musicians, bands, and DJs available for your wedding here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

3 Days Left: PWG’s Front Cover Contest

3 Days Left: PWG’s Front Cover Contest

Calling all brides + local vendors!

Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, you know that our favorite thing to do is to shake things up + challenge the status quo. {Right behind featuring our local vendors, that is!} But if something works — it works. We had SUCH an incredible turnout for our Front Cover Contest last summer, that we’ve decided to do it again.

Yes, that means you have ANOTHER chance to have your photo/collaboration featured on the front cover of the 11,000 guides we print + distribute in Albuquerque/Santa Fe

{Cue a little happy dance}

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This time around, we want to feature an image that is not only ULTRA trendy + BEYOND inspirational for our sweet, sweet readers, but an image that is also unique. And not just in terms of the aesthetic, but unique to our magazine meaning that it has not been published yet. {But don’t worry if/when you win the contest you are free to submit for publishing via
other networks as of March 31, 2018}

Why participate you ask? The winner receives their image printed on 11,000 copies of the Perfect Wedding Guide, distributed amongst 500 locations between Albuquerque & Santa Fe over the next 6 months. And not to mention all the bragging rights and shine that come along with this amazing opportunity are yours for the taking!

Let’s get into the details shall we?

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RULES

Email jenna.wagner@pwg.com your most powerful (exclusive) image from the styled shoot or real wedding that you would like featured on our FRONT COVER (OMG– this is huge guys- just had to reiterate) by Friday, December 29th. Please keep in mind that because the winning image will be our front cover, there are a couple of stipulations. We do maintain the right to pull an image from the contest if:

1.) The image is not high enough resolution or you do not have the original, high resolution image on hand. (feel free to send us the web optimized + high resolution version/s or just the high resolution file and we are happy to resize for you.)

2.) The image/s do not have adequate space to include copy and our logo.

3.) The image/s are not exclusive to this contest and our issue.

4.) You do not have full rights to the image/s submitted.

5.) The image/s do not include proper photo credit.
 
Include a witty caption and instagram handles for all the participating professionals {if available}. Each professional is allowed to submit up to 4 images for consideration.

The editors of Perfect Wedding Guide will review all images and choose the top 3 submissions that are most inline with our desired aesthetic and the chosen three will be posted consecutively to Instagram, on Monday, January 8th. The image with the most likes on our Instagram account by the following Monday at 10am wins!

If one of your images gets picked as our top three, you’re absolutely welcome to hype up your submission by reposting to your page and instructing your followers to like the post on our page @perfectweddinguidenm…and voilá you are on your way to adorning our front cover with your magic!

Check out last year’s final round of submissions for inspiration! 

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Maura Jane Photography

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Table Occasions
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And from last year’s winner — The Flower Company!

 

We can’t wait to see what you send us!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico