To Boudoir or To Not Boudoir? 5 Reasons Every Bride Should Have A Shoot

Not every wedding trend is going to be your jam, obviously. Maybe you opted for deep, jewel tones instead of the traditional muted hues and pastels. Maybe you went totally 1940’s classic chic as opposed to the rustic, burlap-and-lace vibe. Or maybe you threw out the whole wedding, and instead had a styled elopement! {Like this — totally one of our favorites.} Isn’t that the great part of weddings? How truly collaborative and customizable the whole experience is?

Okay but wait, before we get carried away talking about how much we love weddings, there’s one wedding trend that truly transcends all personal aesthetic choices: boudoir photography. It’s a bit controversial, sure, but regardless of your style, there’s space in your wedding planning for a boudoir shoot. We promise.

Though not every bride-to-be is sold on the idea of getting super vulnerable in front of the lens. {Which, as a fellow shy person, I understand and couldn’t imagine doing it myself.} But when we sat down with one of our favorite photographers, Shannon MacLean from Chandelier Studio, to chat about boudoir photography — her speciality — it totally changed the way we think of the art form.

My absolute favorite part of each shoot is the reveal, because as fun as it is to create ‘pretty pictures,’ creating lasting love for who she is as a woman is far more rewarding.

Shannon, Chandelier Studio

So we asked Shannon to come up with her top 5 reasons why every bride should do a boudoir shoot. Scroll on, friend! You can book Chandelier Studio for your personalized shoot here.

{Not sold yet? Don’t worry, you will be by the reason #5 and can book using the link at the end.}

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1. Get comfortable in front of the camera. Because let’s face it, most brides are regular human people, and many of us human people feel uncomfortable having our photo taken. Don’t wait until your wedding to try and rectify this anxiety — get cozy with a Canon before your big day and have one less thing to worry about.

2. It’s the perfect wedding day gift. Stuck trying to figure out something meaningful to pass on to your soon-to-be spouse? Not anymore!

3. Capture your ‘wedding bod’ while it’s extra fabulous. Disclaimer: all bodies are beautiful, and your body will be beautiful on your wedding day and on your 40th anniversary. But if you’ve been putting in some extra work to feel particularly perfect on your big day well then, hello! Let’s celebrate that!

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4. Learn posture and posing techniques to look great in your wedding photos. ‘Cause again, there are going to be a lot of cameras trained on you for your big day. We all know our best angles when it’s just us alone in the mirror, of course, but with a boudoir shoot as a practice round, you can learn to manifest those killer poses even outside of your bathroom.

5. The first wedding anniversary theme is paper — gift your spouse with an album! Already got the perfect, meaningful gift for your wedding day? Not a problem. Have your gorgeous photos made into an album or print, and ta-da! You’ve got the first anniversary covered ahead of time.

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Book Chandelier Studio for your wedding + boudoir shoot here!

 

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Chrisi K Photography {Vendor Spotlight + Real Wedding}

By now you might have noticed that we kind of have a thing for local photographers. It’s not that we don’t love every wedding professional equally {we do!}, it’s just that photographers give us the chance to live vicariously through their lens. We might be here, in the Perfect Wedding Guide office, or out and around Albuquerque + Santa Fe, but with photographers like Chrisi K Photography, we get to secretly attend every awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, heart-warming wedding in our stunning state.

{And yes, you’re our plus one. Always.}

Even with so much wedding experience under our belts though, we still can’t pick weddings because, well, how could we? What I can say, with absolute confidence though is: Josh + Victoria, your wedding day makes our top 10. So many thanks, Chrisi K Photography, we owe you our hearts for letting us in on this celebration of love.

The ceremony, which was shaped by magnificently opulent trees in the outdoor space at El Monte Sagrado, was matched in grandeur only by the looks of love shared between Victoria + Josh. Captured devotedly by Chrisi K Photography, of course, the most minsicule of details paired with these moments between the newly-weds is how we’re able to feel like we’re really there, cheering on the new couple.

Dashes of jewel tones bookmark certain moments in their day: magenta pokes out from Victoria’s bouquet of greenery, royal blue bridesmaids gowns frame the couple sharing their vows, and of course, the familiar depth of red wine as Victoria + Josh join their lives together in ritual.

After being behind the lens since middle school, Chrisi K Photography’s respect for the camera and her craft is elucidated in this wedding, and in every photo. Thank you for being a part of the Perfect Wedding Guide family, Chrisi! We’re so happy to have you here, in New Mexico, pushing our community to do its best to keep up with you.

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Sacred Wedding Celebrations with Sacred Life Photography

Aside from deciding who you’re going to marry and what you’ll wear, there is one more extremely important decision you’ll make for your wedding: Who will be your photographer? The decor, venue, reception, and all else are temporary, but photos are what make the memories last a lifetime. So choosing a photographer to integrate into your wedding day, to capture candid moments hidden in the day, and to encapsulate your love into visual, tangible photos, is no easy feat.
 
Which is why we’re so happy to feature local photographers, like Sacred Life Photography, here! We have the honor and pleasure of working with Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s finest wedding professionals, and connecting them with local engaged couples is what we love to do.
 
Emma, of Sacred Life Photography, is a candid photo expert. She knows that on your big day, the details, schedule, and excitement can swallow you up. With her though, the one thing you don’t have to worry about is missing all the tiny, special moments that pass by in a dreamy haze as you celebrate your love. Imagine her as a fly on the wall, who happens to have a wonderful photographic eye and dedication to your wedding day.  She lovingly documents — her words, not ours! — all of these ephemeral, once-in-a-lifetime moments, so that you can revisit them time and time again.
 
But don’t take our word for it — revisit with us just a few of the many weddings Sacred Life Photography has cemented in memory.

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These photos are from an elopement at Hacienda Vargas — I just love the smile on the groom’s face as he looks at his bride. This was one of her favorite photos from the set, she jokingly refers to it as “Ben, and my hair.” In addition to the beautiful outdoor setting all around the grounds, the ceremony itself was magical, held in an old chapel, lit by candlelight.

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This bride was such a fun lady to work with! She definitely was not nervous on her big day (or at least she didn’t show it!). She and many of her guests all worked together at a salon, so they did all the makeup and hair themselves – it was amazing!! This is her, showing off her great sense of humor, as she puts the finishing touches on her daughter/flower girl’s hair. Taken at the ever elegant Casa Rondena Winery.

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The themes for this backyard wedding was “fairytale” and “sustainability.” It was incredible! They built as huge structure out of branches to be married under, and hung a swing from one of the trees for some of their post-wedding shots. So pretty, and so much love went into the whole event. Friends and family from all over came together to make it happen. Very sweet!
To book Sacred Life Photography for your wedding day, contact the team here!
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Real, Regal Wedding at the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

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There’s a distinctly magical quality about the Sandia Mountains here in New Mexico. Not fairytale-Disneyland type of magic, per se, but something like no other. If you live here, or have ever traveled through, you probably know what we’re talking about. {They don’t call it the Land of Enchantment for no reason!}

So it’s never really a surprise when an engaged couple, filled to the brim with love and excitement, wants to incorporate some of New Mexico’s scenery into their day of celebration. What better way to solidify your vows, than with the ever-regal, perpetually devoted Sandia Mountains as your backdrop?

And unless you want to hike up to the crest, the best place to get that scenic view is at the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club. {Which, let’s be real, mountain-top weddings are gorgeous, but how is your great Aunt Betty going to make that hike?!}

When Alyssa and Porfirio decided to take the leap, to spend the rest of their time on earth together, it was the easiest decision of their lives. Right behind that though, the second easiest choice was their venue — the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club.

It was clear to us why we would choose the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club as our reception venue. The view of the Sandia mountains and the view of the NM sunset is breathtaking. A lover of sunsets, I knew this venue was a “must-have.”

Alyssa, Bride

A lover of sunsets and a lover of love — the local vendors Alyssa and Porfirio chose to work with for their wedding day made sure that the only thing on their minds was sunsets, love, and each other.

We put our trust into the experts and they transformed our vision into a reality. From the candles and candelabras to the orchids and chiavari chairs, from the up-lighting and selfie mirror photobooth to the iridescent cake and bride/groom M&M’s, from the significance of the memory table to the significance of the ring-bearers pillow, it’s apparent that we not only incorporated meaningful symbolism within the smallest of details but ensured that the details also reflected “us.”

Alyssa, Bride

Their marriage began as anyone would hope, surrounded by beauty, family, friends, and dedicated local businesses, working behind the scenes. It never ceases to amaze us at how these intensely collaborative, uniquely special days come together so flawlessly — but we’re constantly grateful for weddings like these, to remind us why we do what we do.

Special thank you to the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club for providing a space for love to bloom, and for every magnificent vendor {listed below!} who helped manifest Alyssa and Porfirio’s dreams.

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Reception Venue: Event Center at Sandia Golf Club

{Coordination by Lauren Danielle Landavazo | IG: @sandia_golf_club}

Photography: Talitha Tarro Photography | IG: @talithatarro

DJ: Cutmaster Music | IG: @cutmastermusic

Decor: Occasion Services & Events | IG: @ose_events

Florist: Diamante Floral and Gifts

Cake: Simply Sweet By Darci

Video: Southwest Wedding Films | IG: @southwestweddingfilms

Wedding Party Formalwear: Forever Yours Bridal | IG: @foreveryoursbridalnm

Bride’s Dress: Ann Matthews Bridal | IG: @annmatthewsbridal

Ceremony: Church of the Incarnation, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

A Love That Feels Like Home: Celeste + Brandon’s Real Wedding

Maybe it’s the precious details of Celeste + Brandon’s elegant wedding day, maybe it’s the simple way spring ushers all things out of dormancy, or maybe a combination of both. I’m not quite sure, but something about this specific union of love, of all the beautiful and awe-inspiring weddings we’ve seen through Perfect Wedding Guide, has me in tearing up. {Seriously.}

Revisiting this incredible day vicariously through Kayla Kitts Photography‘s lens and highly trained eye, especially during this time of year, is an absolute treat. The delicate vibrancy of Celeste’s wedding gown is reminiscent of new spring blossoms, and yet there is a familiarity surrounding Celeste + Brandon’s devotion to each that comforts one as does the end of winter.

I’m not alone in my adoration of this particular wedding, either. Kayla, despite her years of experience with so many beautiful couples, was choked up during their ceremony as well.

Time has passed, but I can still hear Celeste saying in her vows, “This may seem like the start of a new journey, but to me…it feels like coming home.”  My heart almost burst, and the lump came to my throat quickly as I held back tears.  When you’re marrying your soul mate, your best friend, it’s home.  She couldn’t have said it better.

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

 

And then, of course, Hotel Albuquerque lent itself to the day so well. Delightful pops of turquoise and lavender framed Celeste + Brandon as they celebrated the beginning of the rest of their lives together in one of Albuquerque’s most wonderful and accommodating venues, and in the company of their loved ones and the local vendors they collaborated with.

Words can only go so far as to describe their celebration though, so we’re eternally grateful to Kayla for sharing this wedding with us. Her photography always encapsulates invaluable moments so well, and this wedding was no exception.

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Venue  |  Hotel Albuquerque
Coordinator  |  Found Hearts Event Planning
Dress  |  Melissa Sweet by David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  C. Johnson Makeup
Florist  |  Eco Flower
Shoes  |  Blue by Betsey Johnson
Rings  |  Zales
Suit  |  Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Kelly Atkin with Amor Ceremonies
Cake  |  Cake Fetish
DJ  |  Too Hot to Stop

 

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