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!

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2019 Wedding Gallery Recap

It is hard to believe that there are only a few more months left in 2019 and suddenly preparations for all of next year’s weddings are in full swing. With so much to be done and seemingly so little time, finding time to explore your wedding vendor options can be a dreaded task. Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we understand the natural instinct to feel loads of stress and anxiety about wedding planning, but it really shouldn’t be stressful at all. In fact, we think it should be a blast, and that is why we have created a very special and elevated wedding show specifically for you– The Wedding Gallery!

Wedding Gallery is specially curated for our New Mexico wedding community and prides itself on its unique approach to conventional wedding shows. This year’s show was an absolute blast filled with an abundance of marvelous vendors to chat with, food stations with mouthwatering options, specialty drinks– including, because I just HAVE to mention it, Cotton Candy Champagne, a couture fashion show and giveaways galore! Now if that hasn’t sold you yet, just wait, there’s more.

Every year, we, your dedicated hosts, try to incorporate a theme for the show that will inspire our vendors and inspire you for your own wedding. This year’s theme was something more close to home, because we are basically in love with New Mexico and think it possesses beauty beyond compare. Any idea of what the theme could be?

That’s right, you guessed it… the Southwest! There were lovely Southwestern vibes coming from Darling Clementine Crafts through their adorable succulent decor, the jaw-dropping hair and makeup by Blo Blow Dry Bar and the stunning wardrobe designs brought to life by Suits Unlimited & Bridal Elegance by Darlene. The essence of the Southwest was taken straight out of our backyards and placed at the heart of the show. Cacti, flowers, and free-flowing hairstyles took center stage at the couture fashion show for everyone to see.

We need to talk about the fact that there were SO many talented people involved with Wedding Gallery this year– it was really an all-star cast. With over 40 different vendors present, it was amazing to see the connections and relationships between local couples and local wedding professionals.

Our sponsors made sure that the show was even more elegant than we could imagine it to be! There were beautiful floral arrangements from Bosque Flower Studio, music from Cello for Weddings and King Mobile Music, incredible photos from Photographic Perspectives, magical decor by Simply Décor & Events, and last but not least, an incredible venue hosted by Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa.

I know, I know. You’re really bummed out that you missed this year’s show, but there’s no need to worry because we always have next year! There isn’t a better way to take the stress out of wedding planning and put the excitement in… plus, who doesn’t love fashion shows, food, and giveaways?

We would like to give a big thank you to our sponsors for this event, as well as Photographic Perspectives for capturing every moment. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you! You can check them out below:

Bosque Flower Studio
Blo Blow Dry Bar
Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Cello for Weddings
Darling Clementine Crafts
Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa
King Mobile Music
Photographic Perspectives
Simply Décor & Events
Suits Unlimited
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3 Reasons the Wedding Gallery is Different from Other Wedding Shows in New Mexico

If you haven’t already noticed, weddings are kind of a big deal in our state. Which is lucky for us, whether we’re natives, transplants, or traveling from afar to have a destination wedding in New Mexico. With a venue to match every vibe, troves of dedicated local wedding professionals, and completely unparalleled landscapes to surround your ceremony, you really can’t go wrong with a southwestern wedding here.

But that can also make it bit harder to nail down the details. It’s much more difficult to choose between twenty talented and innovative local florists than it is to choose between five. Especially when almost all of planning a wedding happens online! You can always check the reviews a wedding professional has, but we don’t blame you if that’s not enough verification to book them. Plus, good photos can be deceiving and if you’re choosing between twenty florists, you don’t want to leave it up to a nice shot on Instagram.

Of course, when you find a local wedding professional, you can always sit down for a face to face consultation to really get to know their values and talents. For most of us though, trying to schedule meetings on top of our jobs, families, and other responsibilities isn’t a walk in the park.

You see where we’re going with this, right?

The obvious answer to the age-old dilemma is this: wedding shows! We’ve already discussed whether or not wedding shows are worth it (hint, they totally are), but with the Wedding Gallery show right around the corner on August 4th, the real question is — what makes this show different from the rest?

1. It’s curated.

Each year, we choose a super strong theme to be at the center of the Wedding Gallery show. Each wedding professional who chooses to be a part of the Wedding Gallery show brings their absolute A-game to showcase that theme. In doing so, engaged couples from all across the state can get lost in the collective cohesion from New Mexico’s best wedding businesses, check out what they’re truly capable of, and know that the professionals they book here will put just as much heart and soul into the them of their wedding.

 

2. There’s a couture fashion show.

Yes, it’s true, we also have a fashion show at the Diamond Dash wedding shows in the fall and spring. We love showcasing local bridal fashion, can you blame us?! At the Wedding Gallery show, however, the fashion show is couture and also, like the vendors and all other details of the show, highly curated. The fashion-forward, bold approaches to tradition that were previously reserved for coastal states and bustling cities is here, too.

3. And a VIP experience.

The couture fashion show isn’t just a free-for-all. Because the Wedding Gallery is catered to discerning, committed couples in the midst of wedding planning, each step of the way is created to mimic the high-end experience that New Mexico can offer. With swag bags upon entering, genuine attention and kindness from local wedding professionals throughout the morning, and front-row seats to the fashion show to round out the day, couples of New Mexico can expect to be pampered while they plan their wedding at the Wedding Gallery show.

 

VIP seats are limited, click here to reserve yours.

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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.


 

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New Mexico’s Most Loved Bridal Gown Shop

From my first visit, Darlene and her team have been absolutely amazing when it came to helping my find the perfect wedding dress. Not only are they incredibly professional, but they genuinely care about helping you find your dream dress. This has been an amazing experience and I recommend everyone come here, you won’t be disappointed! 

Britney, local bride

Now, despite the fact we, the Perfect Wedding Guide team here in New Mexico, have been working with local engaged couples and the wedding professionals in our state for a long time now, it’s still quite the assumptive leap for us to claim one bridal gown shop as New Mexico’s most loved. Or at least it would be, if we weren’t talking about Bridal Elegance by Darlene. See, with over 30 years of experience, Darlene and her team have the miles of positive reviews, community love, and name recognition needed to qualify as New Mexico’s most loved. It’s really no wonder that they do, either.

Rather than it being a fluke, or stroke of luck, or popularity contest, Bridal Elegance by Darlene has won over the hearts of brides and bridesmaids alike by being exceedingly kind and qualified, and having impeccable gowns. It really is that simple! Because, despite what the fairytales and Hollywood movies might have whispered in your prepubescent ears, choosing a wedding gown isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There’s sizing charts, measurements, fingers getting caught in zippers, giant mirrors for meticulous examinations, sequins in — ahem — interesting places, and more we don’t need to mention because you get the picture, right?

With all that confusion, the kind of people you want by your side teaching you how to bustle and tying up your corset back are the kind of people who really get it. And at Bridal Elegance, they get it. They know the wedding industry, they know their gowns, and they know the process of making this big decision can be overwhelming. With attention and care, the team at Bridal Elegance by Darlene act from this place of knowing, and create an environment for their brides that is so calm and conducive, you do actually get a bit of that fairytale magic. Especially when you find the one.

So yes, these masters of tulle, taffeta, and human kindness have made so many brides, so many bridesmaids, and so many flower girls feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin that they have been granted the title of New Mexico’s most loved. To commemorate this and the fact we’ve been working with Bridal Elegance by Darlene for over 15 years now — holy moly! — we’ve recapped some of our favorite styled shoots and weddings featuring their gowns below.

Once you’ve been swept up in this local wedding magic, you’ll have no trouble loving Bridal Elegance by Darlene as much as we, and all these local photographers, wedding planners, and decor specialists, do too. You can contact the Bridal Elegance team here to get started on finding your perfect gown.

Picante Passion: A {Super Local} Styled Shoot

Tiffany Burke Events + Tori Photography

Sweet Summer Wedding with Kayla Kitts Photography

Kayla Kitts Photography

Bridal elegance by Darlene is by far the best place to find your dreams dress. They’re super professional, they listen to what you’re looking for and find you the most beautiful dress that you can imagine. Every single member of this shop is Extremely knowledgeable and just make it happen for you.

Guadalupe, local bride


Romantic Desert Wedding Inspiration

Briana Nicole Photography

A Styled Spring Shoot

Maura Jane Photography

Darlene at Bridal Elegance is the best person to see if you want to look and feel your best in your wedding gown. She gives you that personal touch that you won’t get at a chain store. With something for every budget. She listens to what you are imagining for your big day and makes it come to life. Plus, she’s locally owned which is amazing!

Racheal, local bride


Red: A Storybook Styled Shoot

Maura Jane Photography

Dramatic New Mexican Skies with Local Wedding Professionals

Photographic Perspectives
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Wedding Venue Hot Spots in New Mexico {Part Three!}

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If you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for part three, then please, feel free to sit back and relax because it’s here! We started out spring with a feature on New Mexico’s favorite wedding venues, simply because our whole reason for being is to reinvigorate our state, and show local engaged couples the magic that is possible here in the Land of Enchantment. Because we’re not biased either, we’re covering everything from crisp spaces with modern cityscape backdrops, to rolling green hills with luxurious greenery to frame the ceremony.

The one thing all these venues, in their varied vibes and values, have in common is their respective teams. All included local wedding venues have dedicated staff members who have gone above and beyond to prove to us, Perfect Wedding Guide, and our local community that they’re committed to their couples and weddings. So, without further adieu, let’s jump right back in to our running list of New Mexico’s best wedding venues!

(Pssst… You can check out Part One here, and Part Two here!)


Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort + Spa

Hyatt Tamaya Venue Wedding Maura Jane Photography Hot Spot

Nestled between the Sandia Mountains and the legendary Rio Grande River on the sacred lands of the Santa Ana Pueblo, Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa is an extraordinary southwest jewel steep in centuries of rich history and culture. Stunning outdoor venues feature breathtaking mountain, sunset, and mesa views. At Tamaya you can arrive at your ceremony in a horse drawn carriage from our on-site stables. And your guests will find relaxation and entertainment at our spa, championship golf course, and one-of-a-kind cultural activities. 

Inn + Spa at Loretto

Loretto Inn and Spa Venue Tony Gambino Photography Wedding Bride Flower Girl
Tony Gambino Photography

Located next door to the historic Loretto Chapel, the landmark Inn and Spa at Loretto is the ideal location for a wedding reception. For a truly extraordinary event, The Grand Zuni Ballroom can host up to 200 guests while the more intimateTesuque Ballroom includes a fireplace, stage and canaccommodate receptions of up to 150 guests. The Sculpture Garden, with its curated collection of Santa Fe artists, can be reserved for ceremonies and receptions. The Penthouse Suite,offering five terraces with outstanding views, is the premierlocation for a truly memorable and intimate event of 10 to 75 guests. The Inn and Spa at Loretto is well known for hosting unforgettable Santa Fe weddings.

Isleta Resort + Casino

Isleta Resort Venue Wedding Couple Newlyweds Bride Groom Hot Spot
Photographic Perspectives

Isleta Resort & Casino now features more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space, designed to accommodate groups of all sizes. The resort features 201 hotel rooms, including a posh Governor’s suite to celebrate the most romantic of wedding nights. Pamper your bridal party at The Spa at Isleta, indulging in the outdoor rain waterfall and luxurious pre and post wedding day treatments. Isleta Resort & Casino features a variety of entertainment for out of town guests, including a country western bar,
fine dining, a 27 hole golf course, three natural lakes for fishing, and muchmore. Award winning sales and banquet partners help customize every detail of your day, as part of our unwavering dedication to turn your dream into a reality.

La Fonda on the Plaza

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Blue Rose Photography

 

A wedding at La Fonda on the Plaza is steeped in tradition and timeless, romantic ambiance, marrying the elegance and style of yesteryear with contemporary luxury and the convenience of today. Our elegant architecture, authentic, hand-crafted interiors and original artwork will create an air of romance that will make your dream wedding a heartfelt occasion. With over 95+ years of experience hosting weddings, you can relax and enjoy your day, knowing that our wedding planners will guide and assist inevery detail to ensure a flawless day from start to finish. And withmultiple event rooms, we can host weddings of all sizes, each offering your guests a unique Southwestern experience.

La Mesita Ranch Estate

La Mesita Ranch Estate Wedding Venue Reception Setup Beautiful Gorgoues Hot Spot

An exclusive estate located just 17 minutes north of downtown Santa Fe, sitting amidst 140 acres of Native land, La Mesita can accommodate up to 22 guests in its five sophisticated, and beautifully appointed homes and host weddings of up to 500 guests. This gracious estate was recently featured on KOB news as “The Hidden Gem of New Mexico” for places to be married in New Mexico! Centered around a European fountain, a world class Equestrian center provides the backdrop for a wedding experience unparalleled by any other New Mexico location. If it’s magic you are looking for, call Deborah Newman to chat about “Everything La Mesita”!

 

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2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show Recap

Did you hear about the absolutely magical, high-energy, fun-filled, spectacular something that happened this past October? We hope you did, or even better, we hope you were one of the hundreds of local, engaged couples and wedding professionals who joined us for our 2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show!

Every year, we have the opportunity to host what is essentially a giant party, here in Albuquerque, for all our local engaged couples who are in the throes of wedding planning. And yes, we host lots of parties and wedding shows, but this one is the Diamond Dash, which makes it inherently special. See, if you don’t already know, this particular wedding show gets its name from the culminating moment of the show.

After engaged couples spend the day in the Hyatt Regency Downtown‘s vast and beautifully curated ballroom, chatting with local wedding professionals, winning prizes and coupons off services, watching a couture bridal fashion show, and spending their $500 in PWG Bucks, then comes the actual dash for diamonds.

This year, we invited 5 brides-to-be from the crowd of hundreds to come and don the signature aprons and tiaras required to jump into the baked goodness. Kindly made by Cake Fetish, the glamorously towering black wedding cake had, of course, diamond jewelry (valued at over $1,000) along with four other prizes hidden inside.

With their cake-diving gear on and ready to go, and the rest of the crowd anxiously awaiting the victory, the five awesome ladies tore into the beautiful cake and one by one, pulled out their prizes. We love the competitive spirit that comes out when diamond jewelry is involved, so when this year’s festivities resulted in some harmless catfighting, we were thrilled.

Check out all the incredible details from every vendor through the lens of Photographic Perspectives below, and take a peek at the live action with the incredible recap video from Glory Ranch Films! To register for the next Diamond Dash Wedding Show, click here!

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