Romance in Full Bloom: A Real Wedding with Briana Nicole Photography

Our wedding day was quite literally, the perfect date (April 25th Miss Congeniality). We couldn’t have asked for a better day. All of our vendors were amazing, but we have to give a special shoutout to Briana and her magic behind the camera. Because of her, we get to relive our wedding day every time we look at our wedding album.

Katie, Bride

There is something so magical about weddings that take place during spring. The weather is perfect, the flowers start to bloom, and there is the fresh scent of rejuvenation lingering throughout the air. It’s no wonder so many local couples choose to have their weddings during some of our favorite warm weather months – April, May, and June! If you planned a springtime wedding, then your big day is just around the corner! And for those of you that postponed your April and May weddings till next year, not to worry, here’s to finding more inspiration to create your ideal wedding day.

Spring weddings are special because they can take on a number of different styles – from high-fashion elegance to farmhouse chic. For Katie + Andrew, their April wedding was a combination of both! The couple chose to have their wedding at the incredible Los Poblanos Historic Inn + Organic Farm, which always makes for the perfect setting. With the lavender beginning to bloom, cottonwood trees surrounding the property, and stunning florals sweeping the grounds, there couldn’t have been a more ideal time to celebrate the couple’s love. It was like something straight out of a dream!

“Andrew and I met 5 years ago through mutual family friends while at a party, started dating and then got engaged on Christmas 2017. It took us almost a year and a half to plan our wedding as we wanted it to be elegant and intimate while also being outdoors. Los Poblanos’s property is gorgeous, with the Sandias serving as a backdrop to their lavender fields and all of the giant cottonwoods lining the property.”

Katie, bride

We have to take a moment to tell you that we are completely obsessed with the color palette they chose – blues and greens that complimented the foliage and the wardrobe. Everything was so thoughtfully put together by the couple and the local wedding community. We always love to see the magic that comes from the collaboration between couples and the vendors that bring their visions to life.

When it came to style, there was no shortage of exquisiteness. Katie wore a jaw-dropping floor-length gown from Bridal Elegance by Darlene and Andrew chose a sharp suit from Men’s Wearhouse… cue the red-carpet paparazzi. Take a look at the gallery below, so wonderfully captured by Briana Nicole Photography, to get inspiration for your springtime wedding!

“Katie and Andrew’s wedding was a special one for me. It was the first time I got to shoot a wedding at Los Poblanos and it was during the best time, SPRING! All of the wisterias were in full bloom. Katie was such an easy-going bride which made the whole day flow perfectly. The details were simple and classic. I am so happy they chose me to be a part of their wedding day.” 

Briana, Briana Nicole Photography

Featured Photography: Briana Nicole Photography Venue: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm Hair: Bara and Sparrow Makeup Artist: Ashley of Betty Rose by Alanna Florals: Melba’s Flowers Bridal Gown: Bridal Elegance by Darlene Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Real Wedding at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

The venue had everything we were hoping for: gorgeous scenery (the best we saw and we looked at more than seven venues), a diverse menu to choose from, the perfect amount of privacy for our intimate evening, and the staff was untouchable when it came to accommodations and service. While searching for our venue we didn’t have any “must haves,” but the second we stepped foot inside The Event Center we both knew “this was the place!!” One of the most memorable parts of the evening was when the doors opened for me to walk down the aisle, seeing my soon-to-be husband’s face light up against the most breathtaking backdrop of the Sandia Mountains. It was a moment I had always dreamt of. Words cannot describe the feeling I had.

-Shelbi, Bride

We, as Perfect Wedding Guide, have a unique position in the wedding community here in Albuquerque + Santa Fe. Forging the bridge between local engaged couples and the small businesses who diligently serve them, we truly have the best of both worlds. We get to see the elbow grease and unparalleled passion of the wedding professionals, and the perpetually inspiring love stories from couples — how could we ask for anymore?!

So it’s easy to stay inspired in what we do, but hearing such happy, happy words from Shelbi, a New Mexican bride, truly makes our hearts soar. Because, well, we know The Event Center at Sandia Club is one of the best venues in our gorgeous states, but seeing its breathtaking landscape become the backdrop for a real, local couple’s love story? It doesn’t get much better than that.

Not to mention, this wedding in particular was perfectly paired with the couple’s venue choice. Punctuated by deep maroons, the delightfully rich vibes of Shelbi + Michael’s special day mirrored the mountainous view, with its red-tinted glow from which the Sandias are named. Plus, the happy couple’s faces are so aglow, they shine through the photos and rival the shimmering gold details of their decor.

Scroll on to get lost in their love story, just as we did, and read what Lauren, The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club‘s Director of Catering, had to say about Shelbi + Michael’s fun-filled, spectacular wedding day.

{Or get a free copy of our printed magazine to see the love in three dimensions!}

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It’s always such an honor to share in a couple’s wedding day and we were especially grateful when Shelbi and Michael selected The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club for their big day! When describing Shelbi and Michael’s wedding, the first word that comes to mind is fun! Shelbi and Michael are such a fun couple and you could see that in everything they were planning. If nothing else, they wanted to ensure their guests had a blast! Not only did they have all the typical elements to make for a fun wedding, but they added their own touch of an ice luge for shots, photo booth and yard games to really make it a unique and fun experience for their guests! There are definitely a lot of favorite moments from their wedding, but I have to say my favorite was seeing their love come full circle on that day with their sweet little boy standing by their side.

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

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Venue| The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

Photographer| Taken by Tamara

Officiant| Geoff Romero

Cake| Simply Sweet by Darci

Decor| Occasion Services and Events

Makeup| Katlin Green

Rick Saul Photography {Professional Spotlight}

We’re sure you’ve gleaned this from our endless scroll of real wedding and styled shoot content, but in case you haven’t: we. love. wedding. inspiration. But as far-reaching and all-encomapssing as our love is for heartwarming, tear-jerking love stories, our adoration for local wedding professionals is twice as intense. Why is it that so?

Because wedding experts are the ones who make the inspiration come to life. 

Might sound simple, but when you consider the years of training, amount of equipment, late nights and the blood, sweat, and tears that go into creating a small business from the ground up, it really is no small feat.  Which is why we’re endlessly impressed with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals. There’s a lot of hard work and community support needed to venture out into the business world, but key ingredient needed for a successful small business, especially a creative one like photography, is passion. 

Which, thankfully, Rick Saul Photography has plenty of. Rick, the creative behind the business name, first began dabbling in photography when he was 8 years old. Lucky for us wedding lovers in New Mexico, someone gifted Rick a box camera at the young age, and the curiosity and love for the craft continued with him throughout his life. 

Now, years after that first photo with his first box camera, Rick has bolstered his natural talent with a healthy knowledge of the creative pursuit that only comes with decades of practice. {He even took intel photographs while serving in the Navy, and crime scene photos while working with NCIS. Talk about a range of experience!}

Rick Saul Photography uses this unparalleled expertise to ensure every couple their team works with is not only comfortable and happy on their wedding day, but that they also have classic, tangible reminders of this happiness for lifetimes to come. By using two shooters, male and female, they avoid any discomfort and are able to capture special moments as the groom and bride get ready for their vows, as the photographic storytellers they are. With a documentary-style aesthetic approach that utilizes natural light, the Rick Saul Photography team captures moments that won’t reveal their age as the ephemeral trends of photography come and go. 

With all this in mind, we’re honored to have Rick Saul Photography here in New Mexico, serving well-deserved couples the best wedding photography this state has to offer. Simply put though, we love their team because they also create the wedding inspo that drives our work and warms our hearts. {Like the goodies below, courtesy of their team! Scroll on!}

To book Rick Saul Photography for your wedding, you can contact their team here. 

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Albuquerque’s Most Beloved Bakery: The Cake Boutique

Florists, officiants, and DJs, oh my! We say this a lot, but planning your wedding really is quite the task. You’ve got vendors to meet and book, aunts and uncles to invite (or not invite — we don’t judge), shoes to find, makeup trials, gowns to get fitted — and that’s not even the half of it all. So if you’re feeling inundated, we understand. And we’re here to offer you some relief, as there’s one delicious treat waiting for you in your near future: your wedding cake!

When you choose The Cake Boutique for your cake, the whole process is even sweeter, too. For over 5 years, The Cake Boutique has been serving Albuquerque + Santa Fe locals the most delectable confections for their special day, knowing full well that your wedding celebration is one of the most important moments of your life. Creating custom wedding cakes (or cupcakes and cookies!) is The Cake Boutique‘s speciality, and working with every couple’s budget is of the utmost importance to their team.

Which is why we value Birdie, a wedding cake expert from The Cake Boutique, and her advice so highly, and over the years, we’ve compiled some incredible tips and tricks from her. Luckily for you, we aren’t in the business of hoarding industry secrets. Remember when we said we understand what an incredible feat it is to plan your wedding? We truly meant it, so we’re here to share everything we’ve learned, with some gorgeous cake inspo to boot!Andaluz-16

The best advice I can give to those blushing brides is to prioritize where the wedding cake will fit into her perfect day. Hopefully she can then create a budget for what she would like to spend on the cake. For example, if flowers are not high on the list of where she wants to make the most lasting impression from her day, she can then allocate fewer funds towards the purchasing of flowers to allow her more design options for her wedding cake!

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Here’s one of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks ever:

Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake cutting, pictures, and feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all of your wedding guests to enjoy.

Alicia Lucia Photography

And another wallet-saving tip!

You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam! Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less, by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… Trust us!

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And some final words for all couples, regardless of cake preferences:

My words of wisdom for brides out there would be to just be a little bit selfish when planning her wedding. I’ve met with so many brides who get caught up in trying to please all of the different people in their lives. Trying to consider everyone else’s thoughts and opinions when it comes down to what will be right for them will only lead to undue stress.

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Casi Sueno: Elegance in Action

A lifetime of beautiful memories starts with a beautiful beginning.

When we first had the pleasure of working with Genevieve, of Casi Sueno Weddings + Events, it was at our 2017 Wedding Gallery wedding show. We had asked our participating business owners to style their booths and space with “greek chic” in mind, and, yes, everyone brought their A-game and we’re truly, eternally grateful… But Casi Sueno‘s takeover of one of Sandia Resort and Casino’s ballrooms had us floored.

Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to see the Casi Sueno team bring love to life for their couples all over Albuquerque. But honestly? I’m still not quite over their Wedding Gallery design.

Not only did they bring our wildest, greek-related fantasies to life, but their team far surpassed what we imagined possible for a wedding show here in New Mexico. {Because, as everyone knows, trends usually take a little longer to sweep the Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding world than in other places like New York, Denver, L.A., etc.}

Casi Sueno Weddings + Events, ever-devoted to creating unforgettable moments, did exactly that for our Perfect Wedding Guide team, and all the incredible local brides who attended the show. It was hard to not feel spoiled! But, not only are they committed to excellence, and proudly known for their service-oriented work — 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 Sueno team transforms your wedding day, only grateful.

From start to finish, Casi Sueno Weddings + Events ushers your perfect wedding into existence. To bring your dream to life, you can contact their team for packages + availability here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be reliving the Wedding Gallery show with the stunning photos from Casi Sueno Wedding + Events‘ design below.

{Shot by the ceaselessly talented Photographic Perspectives.}

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More photos from our 2017 Wedding Gallery wedding show here.

 

To grab tickets for our 2018 Wedding Gallery wedding show — click here!

 

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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!

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Whimsical Wedding from Lauren Cherie Photography’s Instagram Takeover

Did you know social media has actually been around for 40 years!? Whew, I didn’t. It seems like Facebook and Instagram just came out of nowhere and took the world by storm, like, a decade ago! Growing so fast, now it’s hard to imagine a life and even a world without social media.

And we’re glad for that! Aren’t you? Media platforms and profiles have totally opened up the way brides and grooms can communicate and connect with local vendors. Now, vendors also have an opportunity to showcase their personality along with their talent. Which means engaged couples have the opportunity to connect with vendors who will not only do a good job, but will get along with them personally and understand their vision while they do.

One of our very favorite ways to connect local, engaged couples with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s loveliest wedding professionals is through our own social media channels. From vendor highlights, videos, countdowns and giveaways, we’re basically always throwing something at the local wedding community. To take a break sometimes, we let some of our most exciting, endearing, and hardworking business owners {like Lauren Cherie Photography!} take over our Instagram and Snapchat.

Lauren, the creative heart and name behind Lauren Cherie Photography, has cultivated her love and penchant for visual storytelling since she was a little girl, and it shows. If you didn’t get the chance to watch her takeover this last month, then have no fear! You’ll still miss the behind-the-scenes thrill of being a wedding photographer, but we have eye candy from the breathtaking and whimsical wedding at Los Poblanos to make up for it. Don’t forget to check out the gorgeous wedding film included below too!

Congratulations to the stunning couple, Marisa + Caleb! It’s obvious how full of love your day was, and we wish you a lifetime of happy companionship.

{And thank you Lauren, for stealing our socials for a day, and for being a part of this big, beautiful, Perfect Wedding Guide family!}

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To book Lauren Cherie Photography for your wedding, you can contact her here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Real Moments with Jacqueline Vega Photography

Photography is the story I fail to put into words.

– Jacqueline Vega

Before we welcome a local wedding professional to the Perfect Wedding Guide team, we usually have the pleasure of meeting with them and getting to know their business practices first. Rather than vetting, it’s our way of building a personal relationship with the magnificent people who make up Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s community.

With Jacqueline Vega, or Jackie, it was no different. {Although, I’ll admit, I definitely stalked her Instagram account before we met because, well, it’s beautiful.} Jackie’s sweet and amicable demeanor made the connection with our team almost instant, and we already can’t imagine our PWG photographer family without her. Not only did she take our new team headshots (blog on those coming soon!), but she even took family portraits of our publisher’s beautiful family.

Jackie’s love for photography came at a young age, and her talent at capturing real, authentic moments has been cultivated ever since. This natural inclination paired with her devotion to storytelling emanates from each of her photos, reminding us that photography is an art, not just a business. Though if you ask her, she’ll just say she feels blessed to be living her dream.

And well, we feel blessed to have her on our team! Did that rhyme? Guess her wild + whimsical vibes has me feeling a little poetic today.

I think I’ve gushed about her enough for now, so I’ll let her photos do the rest of the talking. Contact Jackie for questions, booking, and even more eye-candy here.

DSC_6716DSC_1549DSC_1987DSC_1239-2Jacqueline Vega Photography

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

 

Wedding Photography Grant + Nicole Bradshaw Photography

As you must know by now, we’re a little bit obsessed with giveaways. What can we say? We love to spoil local brides (and even local vendors too!). From the 12 Months of Giveaways, to free copies of the guide, to our free engagement announcements… So when we heard that one of our favorite local wedding photographers had a gift of her own to pass on, we were ecstatic!

The darling Nicole Bradshaw, of Nicole Bradshaw Photography, is hosting a Wedding Photography Grant!

Here’s what that means: any lovely + local couple who has demonstrated a personal commitment to community service is invited to apply for the Wedding Photography Grant. In exchange for the efforts they’ve made to better the community we all live in, one couple will be awarded free wedding photography service, courtesy of Nicole Bradshaw.

{We’re so inspired by Nicole’s generosity, we wanted to jump in too! As an added little bonus, the winner of Nicole Bradshaw’s Wedding Photography Grant will also be awarded 3 free tickets to our March 4th Diamond Dash Wedding Show, and a free wifey tank top!}

Throughout the years, we’ve met many, many admirable brides and grooms, from school teachers, doctors, to volunteers — Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s best of the best. We’re so proud of Nicole Bradshaw Photography for generously donating her one-of-a-kind talent to give back to a local couple, and can’t wait to see the magic they create together.

{Details on applying + some of our favorite photos from Nicole below!}

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Nicole Bradshaw Photography

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For more information and to apply for the Wedding Photography Grant, click here!

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

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