Vendor Spotlight: Ashleigh Olguin Ceremonies

It’s a beautiful Tuesday here in New Mexico – despite the moth apocalypse that’s nearly taken over the entire state. However, we’re loving the weather and all of the ways that the community continues to come together to create incredible things. We’re starting to finally see glimpses of upcoming intimate weddings and we couldn’t possibly be more excited.

Wedding Collective is so happy to have welcomed some fantastic new vendors over the past couple of months, including the lovely Ashleigh Olguin of Ashleigh Olguin Ceremonies! If there is one thing that EVERY wedding needs, it’s an officiant. If you’re in the beginning phases of planning your wedding, look no further, we’re about to make you fall in love with Ashleigh’s kind soul and bright spirit.

Ashleigh did such an amazing job! She wrote such a beautiful ceremony that fit us very well, even after just meeting us once. We did a unique whiskey unity pouring and once we told her about this she did a wonderful job of writing it up. She is so easy to work with, professional, and has a real knack for writing a ceremony that perfectly fits the couple. Thank you for everything!”

Mike & Courtney Bartholomew

How could you go wrong with an officiant whose slogan is “Ashleigh loves LOVE”? We LOVE that and kind of wish we could steal it for ourselves! With over 9 years of experience in officiating weddings, Ashleigh has all everything you need to have a jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, laughter-filled ceremony surrounded by family and friends.

We always encourage local couples to work with the wedding vendors that listen to their visions and treat you like both client and friend. Wedding vendors should be the guide that walks the wedding planning path alongside you, not ahead of you or shouting from the finish line. Ashleigh Olguin is the perfect example of a wedding vendor who values connection and understanding – ensuring that she is with you every step of the way.

Whether you’re planning a religious, non-religious, or non-traditional wedding, Ashleigh has her door open to a variety of services and ceremony types. Especially now, with all of the small, elopement style weddings being planned for the upcoming months, you can count on this officiant to be there to make your greatest memories happen!

If you’re looking for a wedding officiant, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Now is the perfect time to get in contact with your officiant to get to know each other and book for your wedding. If you think Ashleigh Olguin is your match, you can get in contact with her here to learn more and get planning!

Bride’s Night In: Meet Your Favorite Wedding Vendors

Now is the perfect time to be planning your wedding – the sun is shining, the air is warm with a slight breeze, and you’ve got some extra time on your hands! Finally, you get to plan the big day without distractions, except maybe the urge to brew yourself a nice cup of coffee or check your Instagram feed.

Every year, Wedding Collective hosts an exciting evening specifically for local brides (and the grooms, too) to get out, have a good time, and meet local wedding vendors – the Bride’s Night Out. This year, the event was supposed to be held in May, but with the recent events that have transpired, we want to keep our community safe and save the event for more ideal days.

However, this doesn’t mean we forgot about you or your amazing weddings. In fact, we’re bringing all of the vendors that were going to participate in the evening right to your computer screen. We’re calling this rendition “Bride’s Night In” – cheesy, I know. We encourage you to make a little snack, pour yourself a fancy drink, and throw on your bride-to-be attire, paired with some cute pajama bottoms, while you dive into this article.

Alright, lovelies. Let’s get your virtual meet-and-greet started! Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. Check out all of the vendors listed below
  2. Fall in love with one of them? Click on the link to their vendor profile.
  3. Learn a little more about them by perusing their photo gallery and their services.
  4. Send them a little “hello” letting them know that you like what you see and that you are interested in their services, even if you’re still on the hunt. Let them know you found them on Wedding Collective so they know who sent them.
  5. Ready to book already? Send them an inquiry or give them a call! They would love to hear from you while they have this extra time to chat!

— Ready, set, go! —

312 Mobile Bar & Liquor Service

312 is a Mobile Bar Service with over 20 years of experience crafting drinks + cocktails and making memories along the way. We’ve been growing at a rapid rate since inception, growing the number of our loyal clients and leading the beverages industry forward. It is our mission to provide you with top-notch service.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Celebrity China & Crystal

Handcrafted china, crystal cutlery, and tableware is what Celebrity China loves to do, and does best. Whether you’re engaged, happy newlyweds, or celebrating your 50th anniversary, Celebrity China’s multitude of offerings ensures there’s the perfect addition to your kitchen collection every time.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Cello for Weddings

With Cello for Weddings & Events, you will know you are working with a true professional who makes the entire process fun and simple, yet tailored to your particular style and vision! As a Classically-trained cellist, composer, and music producer, Ryan has a giant resume including performance in nearly all genres.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Courtney Faye’s Wedding & Event Planning

At Courtney Faye’s Wedding and Event Planning, everyone is family. With that in mind, it’s my mission to make sure that your special event is stunning, memorable, and, above all, stress-free.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Dinner4Two

Since 1959 Hy Cite Enterprises has been providing Newlyweds and the home cook with superior performance minimum moisture cookware and kitchen tools.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa

Our staff is well equipped and ready to guide you through every step, providing you with the ability to have a stress-free event. Our hotel is in a prime location, just minutes away from historic Old Town and centrally located between Albuquerque Convention Center and the University of New Mexico.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Enchanted Events Party Rentals

Tent rentals are great for any occasion when enjoying an outdoor event. Enchanted Events LLC is a new upcoming company with brand new equipment. It does not matter if your event is a small gathering to a large wedding we can handle it.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Glam by Jeet

Glam By Jeet specializes in on-location hair and makeup for weddings, special occasions, boudoir and editorial photo shoots in the greater Albuquerque area and beyond.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Hilton Garden Inn Rio Rancho

Hilton Garden Inn knows how important your big day is and we can help. From room blocks for your guests to on-site catering and space to hold your wedding, we are here to help ensure your biggest day is a successful one. Hilton Garden Inn Rio Rancho has everything you need for a successful wedding offering a ballroom at 1700 square feet.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Hotel Andaluz

With a passion for superior service and one breathtaking location, Hotel Andaluz is proud to be Albuquerque’s pinnacle of luxury. Proving exquisite ceremonies, majestic ballroom celebrations, and a stunning rooftop bar for all our couples and guests, we strive to make simply stepping foot in our historic venue a magnificent experience. 

VISIT THEM HERE!

Isleta Resort & Casino

Simply put, our team of wedding professionals are proudly dedicated to your special day. From the earliest planning stages, all the way through to your vows, you can rest assured that your wedding day will be just as you’ve imagined. From over-the-top, unforgettable extravaganzas to cherished, intimate gatherings with your loved ones, there is an accommodating space waiting for you here, at Isleta Resort.

VISIT THEM HERE!

King Mobile Music

At King Mobile Music, our wedding DJ services in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico are designed to provide you with enjoyable entertainment that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Mary Kay Cosmetics, Melissa Frei

I help women look their best by selling Mary Kay skin care and makeup.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Matt Blasing Photography

For me, photography is to see the world with brand new eyes every time I pick up my camera. Every couple is unique with a love story all their own, and our job is to tell your story the best way we know how.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Pennysmith’s Paper

At Pennysmiths Paper we also love to create custom invitations to reflect a bride’s personal style. We offer the full Envelopments line of papers and pockets and many other papers, ribbons and embellishments to create customer wedding invitations. We have also created our own line of Southwestern Wedding Invitations and have the ability to do completely custom designs.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Shutter Force Photography

By building strong relationships with our couples, we craft genuine and memorable images to best illustrate the heart and soul of your wedding day. There’s a magic that evolves from the combination of shared emotions, specific moments in time and beautiful custom details. 

VISIT THEM HERE!

Smallcakes A Cupcakery

A core value of Smallcakes is to make not only BEAUTIFUL looking cakes and cupcakes, but DELICIOUS tasting ones as well! With over 120 cake flavors to choose from, and award-winning decorators who can bring your ideas to life, the possibilities are endless! We even offer more than just cupcakes.

VISIT THEM HERE!

T. Rayne Photography

Freezing time and capturing life’s special moments. T. Rayne Photography is here to provide you with a fun and comfortable photography experience. With our natural style, we will have fun activities for all to capture the best smiles.

VISIT THEM HERE!

Vixen Lips by Vangie

Senegence is an amazing line that carries make-up, skin care, and hair care. The products are long lasting, smudge proof, water proof, kiss proof, and food proof. I also love the fact that they are chemical free. All products are Vegan, GMO free, Gluten free, wax free, lead free, made in the USA, and not tested on animals. 

VISIT THEM HERE!

We hope you made some great matches and are on your way to booking your next wedding vendor! Before you go, since you don’t get a physical swag bag, we’ve built a digital one for you here:

DIGITAL SWAG BAG

WEDDING COLLECTIVE THE MAGAZINE | FREE DIGITAL COPY

GET IT HERE

FREE WEDDING PLANNING COACHING SESSION

SIGN UP HERE

WEDDING PLANNING CHECKLIST | FREE DIGITAL LIST

CHECK IT OUT HERE

Be sure to grab a ticket for our Wedding Gallery show in August where you can meet some of these vendors + more in person! We hope you had fun and feel free to share with your friends, whether they’re getting married or not!

12 Months of Giveaways, Just For You

Hey you! We know that you love giveaways, because we do too – especially awesome wedding giveaways. You’ve worked tirelessly to plan your wedding, or maybe you’re just getting started, but either way you’re looking for ways to 1) save money 2) get the vendors you want and 3) execute the best wedding possible. Hint: we’re about to give you some special giveaway news that you might not know yet and you’re in for a treat!

You might have seen a spread in our adorable little guide that looks something like the image above, and you might have wondered, “what is this all about?” The “12 Months of Giveaways” is the wedding community’s way of saying thank you for being you and congratulations on your engagement all wrapped up in one pretty package of giveaway goodies! Each participating vendor chose something special that they thought local couples will fall in love with, and to make it even more exciting, each giveaway prize is valued at $300 or more. A lucky couple is chosen each and every month (from April 2020 to April 2021) to select a prize from the list. Yep, it’s happening all year long, and you get to choose your prize.

Here is a list of this years amazing giveaway prizes:

1. Designer’s Luxe bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere package that includes a 1 hour complimentary “Wedding Overview” one-on-one coordination session – valued at $375, courtesy of Bosque Flower Studio.

2. “Couples Spa Day Away” including a 90 minute couple’s massage with choice of shea butter or hot stone enhancement, spa lunch for two, and all day access to spa amenities – valued at $350, courtesy of The Remedy Day Spa.

3. A hard side luggage set to be delivered right to your doorstep – valued at $350, courtesy of Lucky n Love Travel.

4. Ten complimentary table linen runners – valued at $300, courtesy of Simply Decor & Events.

5. A bridal bouquet and matching boutonniere – valued at $300, courtesy of The Flower Company.

6. A complimentary engagement session and an 11×14 matted print – valued at $375, courtesy of Briana Nicole Photography.

7. A 5 hour rental of any flower wall available in the Albuquerque Area including delivery, setup, and breakdown – valued at $450, courtesy of Wall of Enchantment.

8. A $300 gift card good towards any wedding decor (bouquet, hair pieces, table swag, etc.) – valued at $300, courtesy of Simply Sola Decor.

9. Complimentary engagement session and a custom framed canvas – valued at $360, courtesy of Moon + Midnight Photo.

10. Two complimentary makeup applications – valued at $300, courtesy of Betty Rose by Alanna.

11. Lash application – Vixen Initial Application + two (2 week) touch ups – valued at $307, courtesy of The Lash Boutique.

12. “Invite and RSVP Coordination” which includes invitation selection, design, assembly, mailing, and RSVP tracking – valued at $360, courtesy of Wild in Wonder Events & Design.

Ready to enter to win? Here’s how you do it:

  1. Head over to https://www.weddingcollectivenm.com/deals-tips/12-months-giveaways
  2. Peruse all of your awesome options.
  3. Scroll down to enter to win!
  4. Boom! You’re all done!

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Hiring a Wedding Photographer: Guest Blog with T. Rayne Photography

These days it seems like everyone is a photographer with the rise of smartphone technology and social media. You might be questioning if you really even need a photographer for your wedding, and we’re going to stop you right there–because you definitely do. After all, you want your guests to be watching you say “I do” without distraction, and not from their iPhone screens.

In order to provide you with all of the reasons why it’s so important to hire a wedding photographer, we’ve asked an expert. Taylor of T. Rayne Photography went above and beyond to give you all the inside scoop, so sit back, sip on that soothing cup of coffee, and get ready to be on the search for your fave photographer.

Why should I book a local wedding photographer? Do I really need a wedding photographer?

Hiring local is key when planning your day. As a wedding community, we work together to make sure your day runs smoothly. We gather for events to learn and grow together and get to know each other. We also know the gorgeous New Mexico scenery best! Your wedding day is one of those BIG moments in your life and for most, only happens one time. You spend months gathering details and meeting with vendors to make your wedding your dream wedding. The day comes and goes so so quickly and soon all you will have left are the photos to remind you of the moments throughout your day. When you reach your 50th anniversary you will have a beautiful gallery to cherish…and when you are gone, your grandbabies will continue to cherish those memories and pass them down for generations to come. Hiring a photographer is a huge part of keeping the memory of your day alive and all of the stress and hard work that went into it worth it.

What should I keep in mind when hiring a wedding photographer?

What should I keep in mind when hiring a wedding photographer?
Each wedding photographer has their own style in editing, photographing and their own personalities. It’s important to make sure you are choosing someone who you work well with, who you get along with and have a good time with. Afterall, they spend the most time with you on your wedding day compared to any other vendor. You want to make sure they are someone you don’t mine spending the day with. It’s also important to choose a photographer whose style you are most attracted to. If you are looking for
moodier photographs, you should only be talking with photographer that have moodier galleries. We are each our own artist. We paint the photograph differently. The last big thing I think is important when choosing your photographer is deciding if you value formal photographs that are posed, or if you value more natural moments captured. Be
sure to notice patterns in each of our styles all around and choose the one that stands out to you the most!

What questions should I ask my wedding photographer?

I think this depends on what you value most as far as what you want photographed for your big day. Be vocal with your expectations and what you value hen meeting with photographers. We may not all be the right fit for you, but the more you tell us, we know the community best and can guide you to a photographer that is right for you. Your wedding is unique to you and your story, the more we know about your story and your vision for the day, the better! I love to get to know couples before I even begin talking about pricing and packages because I want them to feel comfortable with me as a person and friend.

Give us a rundown of what a typical wedding day looks like through the lens of a photographer.

What does a typical wedding day look like through my lens? Full of raw moments. From the time I arrive and begin testing lighting all the way through the end of the night, my focus is always to capture the wedding day as it was, the laughs, the tears, the embarrassing moments, all of it. By the time your wedding day arrives, I have been noting all of the most important parts of your day to you and your spouse and am constantly on the look out for them. If your grandparents play a huge role in your day, I am always on the look out for moments shared with them. If having a first touch is important to you, we will do everything to make sure it happens, even if that means gathering the groomsmen to build a secret service circle around you to get you to your groom without being seen by your guests who have begun arriving. During the ceremony we look out for the moments of emotion and laughter. We capture your day from every angle for you to experience and remember the day from different perspectives, perspectives that not a single other person in the room will every have without the photograph. Most importantly, on your wedding day you have a goofy
friend who is just excited to be freezing this day for you forever.

If you want to get in contact with T. Rayne Photography to book her for your next wedding, you can learn more here!

20 Must-Have Wedding Photos

Wedding Collective is all about community, and we are so fortunate to work with wedding vendors in all different specialties and interests. When we receive wedding photos from local couples and wedding experts, we celebrate, because photos are the magical little gift that allows us to see how all of the vendors and their work come together to create something incredible.

We know how important wedding photos are to you, too, which is why we’ve compiled a list of our must-have wedding photos. Sometimes during the wedding planning process, it gets crazy deciding on food, venues, and decor, and it’s easy to completely forget about working with your photographer on what you really want captured on your big day. We’ll expedite the process for you a little bit by providing you with 20 great photo ideas to ask your photographer for:

1. Getting Ready

These are some of our favorite kinds of photos because of the intimacy they reveal. Those small moments of excitement before putting on the dress and going out in front of beloved family and friends are the most raw–which is what makes them so beautiful.

2. Detail Shots

Even though everyone else will be able to stare in awe of your good looks on the day of the wedding, you might want to remember what you looked like as well. Sometimes the small details get buried in the chaos of the day, and having photos to look back on makes all the difference.

3. The Dress

The wedding dress is hand-picked by the bride herself, putting all of her personality, love, and care into the process. The dress is perfectly shaped to her form, creating the most lovely sight you’ll ever see–so a photo is essential!

4. First Look

The “first look” is a moment unlike any other, the moment when you first see each other and the first moment of the rest of your lives together. A photo beautifully captures the emotions and genuine love between two people.

5. Bridesmaids Celebrating

Grab your lady friends and celebrate! These fun photos always make great memories and take the stress out of the wedding day. Your girls will cherish these photos forever, too.

6. Groomsmen

Guys, don’t worry. We didn’t forget about you! Your dude group is just as good-looking as the bride tribe, so you will love to look back on these photos of you and the people who will always be on your side.

7. Invitations & Save the Dates

Just as we said before, the small details have so much thought put into them that it would be a shame if they weren’t captured! We love invites and Save the Dates because they’re all so unique.

8. The Groom’s Reaction

Haley Lupinski Photography

Similar to the “first look”, capturing the groom’s reaction as the bride walks down the aisle brings out that vulnerable and pure love that the couple feel for each other as they prepare to say “I do”. After all, the lovebirds are about to spend the rest of their lives together, and who wouldn’t shed happy tears?!

9. The Moment They Kiss

This one is a no-brainer, but we are putting it in our top 20 faves because, well, we love it so much. This celebratory moment has everyone clapping, tearing up, shouting, jumping for joy, and in some cases, throwing flower petals in the air.

10. The Ring

Oh, do we ADORE wedding rings! The gorgeous photos of the elegant details in a wedding ring are always a treasure. Accenting the photo by holding florals is just one way to capture this sentimental piece of jewelry.

11. The Bouquet

Brandon Harwell Photography

This is a wedding photo that has been trending lately, and we’re about it. Wedding flowers are an essential part of every wedding, and with their natural beauty, deserve every chance they can get to be photographed. Get the bridesmaids together and snap some photos of the bouquets together.

12. Decor + Tablescapes

The possibilities are endless when it comes to wedding decor. The colors, textures, and designs are all too magical to be seen only once. This is where photos come in! You’ll want to remember all of the beauty that surrounded you on your wedding day.

13. The Flower Girl

She’s adorable. ‘Nuff said.

14. Food

Catering, drinks, and baked goods always look like works of art. Food, in general, is a work of art, so a photo of the beautiful plates being served to your guests is always a good idea. Plus, unique ideas like the pie bar pictured above are fun to share with other couples looking for inspiration.

15. Time Alone Together

After all of the festivities of the ceremony have calmed down and the guests are heading to the reception, it’s always a good idea to sneak off and have some alone time together. It’s time to relax, have some fun, and get silly. The photographer is there to capture your intimate moments, whether they’re tears or smiles.

16. The Cake

Cakes are a big part of the wedding day and a lot of work goes into making them beautiful and uniquely yours. The gorgeous colors and embellishments make for the best photos.

17. The Bride

Beth Waldron Photography

The bride’s reactions and laughter are going to be the highlight of her day, and she will want to see how cute she looked later on. The makeup, the hair, the dress, and the love between the couple are all so deserving of great photographs.

18. The Dances

The first dance, the father-daughter dance, and so may others, are all tradition. These moments are emotional and entertaining for everyone to watch. The photographs of these special moments will be passed down for generations to come.

19. Bouquet/Garter Toss

The bride and groom don’t get to see the expressions on their guest’s faces as a bouquet or garter comes hurdling at them, and trust us, their priceless. This is a moment that you’ll love to look back on after the wedding day for a good laugh!

20. The Scenery

Last, but definitely not least, the ceremony and reception venues are always the perfect backdrop for couple’s photos. Whether you choose Los Poblanos’ lavender fields or the Sandia Mountains, the scenery will bring out the beauty of your wedding venue.

Unforgettable Proposals with Imyraly’s Proposal Planning

It’s an exciting time here at Perfect Wedding Guide because we have so much great news to share with all of you. Aside from the big surprises in the works and our first Diamond Dash Wedding Show of the year coming up, our own lovely office assistant, Imyraly, has just announced the launch of her very own proposal planning business! It’s always amazing to see creative people take the leap to start their own business, but it’s even more amazing when it happens to be someone you know.

Every love story is so different, and that’s why I want to tailor each proposal to fit your love story.

– Imyraly Corral

Imyraly’s vision for her proposal planning business stems from her passion for love stories and romance. It has been her dream ever since she was young to plan unforgettable proposals that would simply melt hearts. Thinking she was alone in this passion, Imyraly never pursued the business because she was worried that it wasn’t something that people would take interest in. This all changed as she decided to do some research and found other like-minded individuals that shared her passion–so she decided to take the leap of faith and go for it.

Although she hasn’t decided on an official name just yet, she is working with her first clients to put her dreams into action. If you’ve ever met Imyraly, you would know that she can brighten any room and shows a strong passion for love and weddings. Her bright and optimistic personality makes her the perfect proposal planner, and her passion for love radiates knowledge and kindness. Your proposal is a seriously big moment in your life, and you’re going to need someone who is not only guiding you, but also understanding you–and we know that Imyraly can do both.

In order to get her business started, Imyraly planned this GORGEOUS “Beauty & the Beast” themed proposal! Check out the gallery below.

Bosque Flower Studio | Black Bow Events | Rebel Girl Creative | My Beloved Vintage Rentals | Darling Details Rentals

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Flowers

With 2020 approaching and new wedding trends making their way into the spotlight, we are seeing a shift in traditions. More and more couples are choosing to find unconventional wedding venues, from coffee shops to their own backyards, and we dig it. The possibilities are truly endless! However, there are some wedding traditions that never seem to change, one of them being a fan favorite–wedding flowers.

Your wedding day is getting nearer and nearer and we get it, everything seems to be hitting you all at once. We’re here to help ease that tension and make wedding planning an enjoyable experience. When it comes to floral arrangements, planning is really easy. There are so many options for wedding flowers out there and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming–but it is actually a blessing in disguise. The Perfect Wedding Guide team has spent years working with the best florists in New Mexico, and in doing so, we’ve learned a lot of insider secrets to help out our local couples. Whether you are looking for a environmentally friendly option for your wedding day, or want to design your wedding venue to look like a floral wonderland, our local wedding florists can do it all.

We thought that we would give you a little guide to finding the right flower options for your wedding, because we are your guide to a perfect wedding after all. Plus, we have included some of our favorite local vendors for your convenience. Who knows, maybe today is the day that you book your new floral bestie!

Getting started + planning it all out

The first step in booking a florist is taking into consideration your color palette, the season, and the flower type. Here are some tips:

Colors | Think about your accessories and your bridesmaids! Are they wearing pastels? Or is it more of a moody wedding with maroons and navy blues? Choose colors that compliment your wardrobe and the decor, or choose colors that are complete opposite to create contrast. Be bold and have fun with this part!

A classic white rose bouquet to compliment the white gown. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Briana Nicole Photography
An elegant + moody rose and succulent arrangement. Bouquet by Arranged Elegance || Fender Photography
Vibrant jewel tones + pops of contrasting colors that look incredible together. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design

Season | There are some flowers that are only available seasonally, so you want to make sure that the flowers you have your eye on are going to work with your wedding date. It is possible, though, to find a flower out of season, it might take a little more effort as a result. We want to help you make picking out your flowers as smooth as possible, so we suggest you take into consideration all of the options available to you ahead of time. Choose colors that compliment the season, from springtime pinks to winter blues.

Lovely pastel + succulent arrangement for the warmer seasons. Bouquet by Albuquerque Florist || Lauren Cherie Photography
A stunning bouquet with a focus on seasonal sunflowers. Bouquet by Estella Floral Design || via Estella Floral Design
The most charming holiday floral arrangement with an ornament. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || via Bosque Flower Studio

Flower Type | We have a quite a few options now when it comes to preserving wedding day flowers. Everyone loves a good living flower that smells fresh and can be pressed and saved for years to come, but there is another option that we have been loving lately–silk flowers. We get to see plenty of real and artificial flowers in the wedding business and we’re gonna tell you a secret… we can’t tell the difference most of the time. They are all SO lovely.

Flawless silk floral arrangement with embellishments. Bouquet by Charlotte’s Flowers || T. Rayne Photography
A wide variety of gorgeous flowers. Arrangement by Flowers and Things || Via Flowers and Things
A centerpiece with just a pop of color and mostly focused on leaves and embellishments. Arrangement by Bosque Flower Studio || Kayla Kitts Photography

Perks of hiring a wedding florist

They are the experts. They have years of experience in this business and know just exactly what flowers compliment other flowers and embellishments. The styling and arranging is like second nature to these wedding professionals! When the big day comes, you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong because you chose someone who was dedicated specifically to making your perfect arrangements happen.

You can relax. All of the “doing” and “making” is done by the pros, so you get to focus on the other details of your wedding. Although it might be fun to gather up your gal and guy pals and create an assembly line of matching, cutting, and trimming, it’s not for everyone. Take some time for yourself and let a dedicated florist do what they do best. You won’t regret it!

You can be silly and make your wildest dreams come true. Like we said earlier, anything is possible. We mean it! The best thing about hiring a florist is that they are there to help you develop and carry out your vision–even if it means creating flower crowns for you, your bridesmaids, AND your furry friend.

A flower crown made specially for your best friend. Made by Charlotte’s Flowers || Maura Jane Photography

Want to see a list of our fave florists that take flower power to a whole new level? Check them out here!

2019 Vendor Appreciation Night Recap

If you didn’t know already, we, your Perfect Wedding Guide team, love to have fun. Both the team and our local wedding vendors work hard everyday to make sure that we are building the strongest and most stress-free bridges between couples and their perfect wedding. Even though we are extremely dedicated to our jobs and to our local wedding community, we definitely aren’t all work and no play. What is life without a little music, dancing, food, drinks, and great company? Psssst. The answer is boring!

Since we love our jobs, our wedding community, and a good party, we decided to create one very special night each year that celebrates our vendors and their hard work: the Vendor Appreciation Night! This exciting evening encourages wedding professionals from all around New Mexico to relax and engage in conversation with other like-minded individuals, all while enjoying some yummy food and drinks.

Did we mention that there is also a different theme every year? That’s right– we get to play dress up as adults, too! For this year’s Vendor Appreciation Night, the theme was “Siren’s Soiree & the Sailors Too”, fittingly hosted by the Albuquerque BioPark Aquarium and their Shark Reef Cafe. We cannot put into words how thrilled we were to see all of the sequins, sparkles, and sailor hats as they began to fill the halls and the dining room. Everyone really nailed it this year, it’s going to be hard to beat it next year! 

As our guests arrived at the entrance to the aquarium, they checked in and received a gift and then were free to experience the wonders of the underwater world. There were exciting options at every turn, from blue margaritas to seared ahi tuna on a bed of seaweed salad (it was amazing). Rockin’ Piano Party took requests for music and we jammed out all night long. The music didn’t stop until everyone was gone and we even started our own Perfect Wedding Guide Team karaoke session during clean-up!

It would behoove us to mention the incredible table decor from The Flower Co., the stunning cakes from Honey & Salt Cake Co., and the delicious seafood themed hors d’oeuvres from Taste Catering. We were so grateful to have Brad from King Mobile Music there to liven up the party and announce our Elite Award Winners, which you can read about here. T. Rayne Photography did us the honor of capturing the evening and we are absolutely in AWE of how the photos came out. Without these amazing vendors, the night would not have been as beautiful and well put together!

If you attended the evening or not, you’re in for a treat when you see the T. Rayne Photography‘s photo gallery from the evening. Check it out below and make sure to join us for next year’s event!

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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The 3 Main Benefits of Eloping

No, the New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide team has not been kidnapped. It’s still us, the same love-obsessed locals whose entire lives revolve around weddings! We bet you never thought we’d be advocating against having a wedding, right? We didn’t either.

When it comes down to it though, we’re not choosing elopements over weddings, and we’re not saying either is better than the other. Elopements and weddings are two sides of the same lovey-dovey, romantic coin and plus, we have some introverts on the team who would be happy to avoid the crowd a traditional wedding can draw.

It helped too, that just when our wedding brains were steering toward elopement territory, a gorgeous gallery from T. Rayne Photography happened to come into view. Marisol & Charles, newlyweds and best friends, eloped in Santa Fe this past July, and Taylor, of T. Rayne Photography, was there to catch every smile and scintillation during the wonderfully intimate and incredibly happy occasion.

Their elopement session, full of laughter and love, was just the thing we needed to really get on board the elopement train. It also happens to be the session that’s most emblematic of all the benefits of choosing to elope instead of having a full traditional wedding. Wanna know why? Let’s jump into the 3 main benefits of eloping, then!

1. Your love is at the forefront

While the beating heart of weddings is love, too, the hustle and bustle of planning a wedding can sometime elbow its way to the forefront of your celebration. With vendors to book, cousins to invite, venues to tour, groomsmen to wrangle, gowns to be fitted, and more, the reality of planning a wedding isn’t always as pretty as the aftermath.

If you and your partner are working full-time, having children or dogs, are building a home together, or working through any other sort of life-stuff, you might not have the time to plan a full wedding. So your options then become either hire a wedding planner, or have an elopement. Both options suit different needs and personalities, so it all depends on what your love looks like.

And no one said you had to miss out on the party! More and more, we’re seeing local engaged couples opt for elopement ceremonies so that more focus can be put on the reception. Whether your reception is right after your elopement, later in the year, or for your 5 years anniversary, you can always celebrate your union with the people you love. (And avoid hurting your in-laws’ feelings if they don’t get invited to the elopement!)

2. You get what you really, actually want

Because, maybe you actually do want your in-laws there for the ceremony. Or maybe you want to wear photorealistic dinosaur head masks for part of the ceremony, because it’s hilarious and also surprisingly adorable. Or maybe you want to run away to the woods with the love of your life and secretly bind your futures together in the company of Ponderosa pine trees.

Whatever you want, you can have it.

It’s an elopement, not a wedding. There are no guests lists to work around, no great-aunts to please, no dresses and suits to coordinate around everyone’s aesthetic preferences and personal styles, it’s just about you and your soon-to-be spouse.

So yeah, get those dino heads on, it’s your day.

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3. You save money

Yeah, yeah, we know. One of the first things people think of when they hear elopement is the money they’d save if they chose to do that instead of having a traditional wedding. And sure, that money can go toward a home, your honeymoon, or a myriad of other things.

Or, you could use the money you save on skirting the venue to focus on what is really important for you and your partner to have while you forge your new life together. For Marisol & Charles, it was important to have gorgeous, intimate photos to revisit for the rest of their lifetime together — that’s where T. Rayne Photography came in, of course!

For you and your partner, it might be something different. But with the money you save by eloping, you can choose to have the photographer, dress, location, or florist of your absolute dreams. All the rest of that stuff? Well, you can save it for your vow renewal or killer reception.

There is no wrong decision though. Whether you choose to weather the storm of planning a full, traditional wedding or go for something quieter, smaller, and more intimate like the Santa Fe elopement T. Rayne Photography captured — it’s all for the sake of love. (And for our sake too, because you know we live vicariously through the local weddings and elopements around us, so either way we’ll be swooning.)

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