Bombshell Fitness: Where Your Bachelorette Party Needs To Be

Ain’t no party like a Bombshell Fitness party, ’cause a Bombshell Fitness party…accepts all bodies and bridal parties as beautiful and bountiful! And it doesn’t stop, either. (Not as catchy as the original phrase, sure, but it’s totally true, and that’s what matters.)

This past week, our amazing Social Media Maven, Keara, sat down with Jamie from Bombshell Fitness here in Albuquerque, New Mexico to chat bachelorette parties with the experts of fun and dancing. As with most local wedding professionals who serve bridal parties for their actual parties, Bombshell Fitness is high energy, maximum entertainment, and catered to YOU. (Proverbial you being our local engaged couples + brides-to-be, of course.)

In reality though, Bombshell Fitness is so much more than just being a killer spot for your bachelorette party. Which, we could have guessed, based on our many interactions with their perpetually kind team, but Jamie brought a whole new level of self-love and importance to the table.

Keara: The time before a wedding can be really hard on brides and their self esteem, do you think Bombshell can help brides with their confidence? 

Jamie: Absolutely! Bombshell Fitness is totally a judgement-free zone. We encourage all shapes, all sizes, all genders, all ages of women to come — and men too, of course. It helps everybody tap into that confidence deep down inside of you that’s just waiting for someone to help open it up, and allow for it to be acceptable.

Especially when we’re told we’re not meant to be sexy or desired — we’re trying to stay lowkey and stay away from the limelight. But this is what pole dancing is all about: putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, and accepting who you truly are.


Keara: So, Bombshell Fitness won our 2018 PWG Elite Award for Best Unique Service — what is it that makes Bombshell unique? 

Jamie: So I think definitely our environment is what makes Bombshell a unique spot for brides, you know? We allow for bridal parties to explore a fun, sexy side; they get to learn new skills that they can use here or possibly take home for further use.

And then that gets them more excited to learn about body movement! Which means learning to be engaged with yourself, and loving yourself for whatever you have. Whether it’s a stretch mark, a roll, or something you’re not comfortable with, it’s about learning to be comfortable with what you have and understanding that people love you for what you have.


Keara: What’s your favorite part about working with bridal parties in particular, then? 

Jamie: So, the thing that I really enjoy about our bridal parties is that we get a lot of excited people, right? From the moment they walk in the door, they’re ready and already in party-mode. They’re always giving the bride lots of love and attention, making sure anything she needs is taken care of.

I think that is super exciting to see how friends really come together to make sure the bride feels special. It’s hard for people sometimes! To really take the attention off of themselves and make it all about one person. So that’s really what I enjoy to see, is when friends can not be all about themselves, and just be all about the bride.

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You can contact Jamie with Bombshell Fitness for your super-fun, super-accepting, all-about-self-love, confidence-boosting bachelorette party here.


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Wedding Videography: New Mexico’s Best

Everyone knows the importance of wedding photography. Because, well, of course you need a professional there whose only mission is to capture the intimacy and love of your big day. But wedding videography is often still looked at as an “add – on” to your services, and not as the highly important and wonderfully magical essential piece that it is for your wedding day. Luckily, a few of New Mexico’s very best photographers + filmmakers are changing that connotation, and showing brides just how very special the medium is.

Take Glory Ranch Films, for example. Husband and wife filmmakers, Tom and Jenny Ragan have dedicated their lives to storytelling, and it shows in their work. More than just documenting the event, their wedding videography always encapsulates each couple’s unique sort of devotion. Precise camera work and high quality equipment make a big difference in film, it’s true, but the fondness they feel for each union is what truly cements their talent. They offer couples a chance to not only look back on their wedding day, but to truly relive it, to be completely immersed in its memory.

We showcased Glory Ranch Films not too long ago here, but just to make sure you can really see what kind of talent we’re talking about, check out Tom Ragan’s updated reel below. You won’t regret it.

The best part about the upward trend of wedding videography too, is that with more talented filmmakers offering their talent to engaged couples, there are more styles for you to choose from. It’s just like choosing a photographer — you want someone whose style is similar to your own. You definitely can’t go wrong with any Albuquerque + Santa Fe videographers (it must be something in the air here), but each couple now has the opportunity to work with someone who shares the same visions as them.

Maybe you’ll connect with the ever-talented Brad Tillotson of Southwest Wedding Films, whose 4k coverage of weddings always leaves us breathless…


Or maybe you’ll opt for the magnificent team over at Photographic Perspectives, who always manage to capture our events perfectly, and for that, we trust + recommend them endlessly…


Or Briana Nicole Photography — we were SO excited when we found out that not only is Briana going to continue offering her natural talent + sunny disposition to local couples, but also wedding videography too!










Though, of course, no wedding would be complete without Complete Weddings + Events. (See what we did there?) To be frank, Complete has it all. We’re focusing on wedding videography, yes, but with Complete you also get to supplement the film with photos, a photo booth, lighting and DJ services. Need we say more?

We could go on bragging about our local vendors forever, but we’ll end it here with a cherry on top. Or cherie, actually — Lauren Cherie Photography! Lauren’s work is incredible, that’s for sure, but her pure and unbridled love for weddings is what truly makes her stand out as a photographer + videographer.


Want more? Check out more Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding videographers here! We’re going to go binge-watching their reels too, so don’t feel guilty if you spend a couple hours doing the same.

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico


Registry or Money Tree? The Pros + Cons

As you plan your wedding, you may be wondering whether you should create a registry or ask for money. While both options are beneficial in their own way, the benefits of one far outweigh the other. In fact, in my own experience, the registry proved to be a waste. To help you figure out which option is best for you, we’ve come up with a few pros and cons of registries and money trees. At the end of the day, however, it all comes down to what you really want.


  • Con: You may not know what style of décor you want for your house, so registering for random stuff can make your new home together feel cluttered. *Tip for New Wives: Remember, your new home also belongs to your husband so you want to make sure to choose things you both agree on and that he would feel comfortable living with. Some men may not care, but most aren’t going to feel comfortable with pink and white shabby chic everything.
  • Con: Chances are, you will register for a bunch of trendy items that in a few years will make your house look outdated. *Tip: If you decide to go with a registry, make sure to register for classic, timeless items that will go with any décor and will never go out of style. As your style evolves as a new couple, the items you registered for will blend right in.
  • Con: To add to the first two, if you don’t know exactly what you want or need, a registry may prove to be a waste of time and money.
  • Con: You may not have a home together, so if you register for items without knowing what your future home will look like, this could be a problem.
  • Con: Not to mention, items may look a lot different in the store or on the internet than they do in your house or in person.
  • Pro: If there are specific essentials you know you will both need for your new home and new life together a registry can be a life saver.


  • Pro: Instead of just putting “money tree” on your invitation, you can get specific and ask your guests to contribute to one big purchase. For instance, you can ask your guests to contribute to your honeymoon, a down payment on a new home or even a charity. For example, a friend of mine asked guests to contribute to their honeymoon to Scotland. When I received my “thank you” in the mail, she included a picture of her and her new hubby on their honeymoon in Scotland.
  • Pro: Asking guests to contribute to a money tree for a specific purpose, can help eliminate the chance of receiving an expired basket of sausage and cheese from old aunt Liz.
  • Pro: If you’re not sure what you want, you can save the money until you both figure out how you want to decorate your new home together. Instead of having random stuff (that looks a lot different in your house than it did in the store or on the internet), later on, you will have a nice stash to purchase the things you really want when you’re ready.
  • Pro: Not only will you save yourself time, but you will also save your guests time and money, from having to go out and purchase your registered gift or buying online and paying for shipping.
Photos by Arielei Kinzer Photography

What are your thoughts on creating registries or asking for money? Personally, I can’t think of any cons for a money tree, can you?

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Find Your Dream Dress in Your Size

Have you ever found a beautiful dress online, only to order the dress and be completely disappointed in how it fits or looks in person? I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me many times. Unfortunately, the same is true of wedding dresses, so don’t make the mistake of falling in love with a dress you see in a magazine or online before you have tried it on.

To help you make the right decision from the get go, I had the pleasure of meeting with Darlene of Bridal Elegance by Darlene to give us insight on some of your most pressing questions about wedding dresses. Particularly, how do you find the right style of dress? and, how do you find the right size?

Darlene had some great tips to help all you brides-to-be find the perfect dress for your big day. With over 35 years of experience, well over 500 styles of wedding gowns and over 200 bridesmaids dresses to choose from in her local bridal boutique, you may want to pay attention to Darlene’s advice — I have a good feeling she knows a thing or two about this topic!

Number One: Keep An Open Mind

Usually, brides look on Pinterest or see a picture of a model in a dress and get locked into that idea and imagine that they will look the same way. Only to get to the bridal boutique and find out it isn’t the right style or fit for their body type. Ladies, if this happens to you don’t feel bad — you’re not alone.

Darlene explained that this is very typical and that is why it is so important to keep an open mind. Besides, after trying on a few dresses at Bridal Elegance by Darlene, she is usually able to help brides find the perfect dress that turns out to be even better than the original gown they had in mind.

Maura Jane Photography
Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Two: Trying On vs. Fitting

Many brides are concerned about their dress fitting them perfectly so they put off trying on dresses until the last minute, hoping this will ensure the most accurate size for the wedding. However, you don’t want to put it off. To have a dress that fits you perfectly, you should definitely start trying on dresses 10 months to a year out from your wedding.

Doing so will ensure enough time for placing the order, processing, shipping and alterations. Once the dress is in you will have an official fitting with all your undergarments four weeks from your wedding date. Once the initial alterations are made, you’ll have another fitting two weeks before to fine tune your dress, make any additional changes and make sure it’s just right!

Photo by Roxana Albusel Photography

Number Three: Wear Your Shoes

If you already have the shoes you’re going to wear or know the height of the shoes you want, it would be a really good idea to take them or another pair of the same height on your search for the perfect dress. Oftentimes, this detail is overlooked and the dress isn’t the right length come the wedding day. You don’t want it to be too short or too long that your tripping over it as you walk down the aisle.

And if you shop for your dress early enough, you can order your dress in the perfect length and save money on alterations later. For more on being prepared for your visit to the bridal boutique, take a look at our post: How to Survive Your First Bridal Appointment.

Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Four: What About Bridesmaids?

The same advice applies to bridesmaids, if not more so. You don’t want to get locked into a certain style with bridesmaids dresses because, as Darlene mentions, “You have to fit five different body shapes into one style.” You want your entourage to feel just as beautiful and comfortable, so be sure to keep each lady in mind as you dream about the perfect look for your bridesmaids.

Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Five (Advice Mine): When in Doubt, Don’t

If you’re not absolutely in love with a dress, don’t settle. You will end up wasting money on something you don’t really like and regret your decision in the long run. Be patient. When the right dress comes around you will know it!

And whatever you do, don’t settle on a dress because someone else thinks it’s beautiful. Choose a dress that you love and that you feel comfortable in. After all, it’s your wedding and you only get one shot to look and feel your best on your big day.

Ladies, lets not decide on this bridesmaid’s dress straight away. Let’s let our bodies decide, try some things on, and have some fun.

— Helen, Bridesmaids

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Mountainside Elopements: Nature’s Sanctuary

One of the many things I love about New Mexico are the varying landscapes within its borders. As you travel along the highway, you can pass through everything from deserts, farmland and open meadows of the Valles Caldera to majestic mountain peaks of the Sandias and Sangre de Cristos, all within a matter of hours. With such beautiful scenery across our diverse state, there is ample opportunity for romantic elopements.

If you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget (or not) and would rather bypass all the stress of a large wedding anyway, a whimsical outdoor elopement is perfect for you! Mountainside elopements are one of the hottest trends on the wedding scene — and for good reason. Not only are they naturally beautiful and fun, they are completely budget friendly. And with a wide variety of climates and landscapes to choose from in our gorgeous state, you don’t have to be limited to mountainsides.

First off, you still get to plan all the fun stuff like a wedding dress, bridal bouquet, photographer and wedding cake to complete your epic celebration. Lucky for you, New Mexico is home to amazing photographers and officiants who live for adventurous moments like this. Secondly, you get to save a ton of money on decorations because nature provides the best and most beautiful decor (no setup necessary). More importantly, your venue will cost so much as a day pass, if anything at all!

Another cool thing is that you get to share this special occasion with your closest family and friends — if, that is, you decide to include others. With a mountainside elopement, the pressure is off and you are free to plan and execute your wedding however you see fit! Check out this amazing mountainside elopement captured by Matt & Tish Photography at the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Photos by Matt & Tish Photography

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Six Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Officiant

Recently, the team at Perfect Wedding Guide met with a group of local wedding professionals in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The meeting turned out to be quite fruitful and one of the topics that came from the meeting was the importance of hiring a professional officiant.

Unfortunately, the officiant isn’t always a big deal to the bride and groom so this very essential part of the wedding is often overlooked. After discussing this important topic, however, this inspiring group came up with a list of major reasons you definitely want to hire a professional.

De Novo Pastoral Services, Photo by Think Harris Photography

Six Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Officiant

  1. Hiring a professional officiant to create a ceremony for you, as opposed to asking your uncle Jim (who just got his reverend certificate on the internet), will prove to be a good investment. Professionals offer a guiding hand through this transitional time in your life. Essentially, they are the compass at the start of your new journey together.
  2. If you wouldn’t want uncle Jim holding your hand while you give birth to Junior (or some other significant life event), you probably don’t want him to officiate the wedding because this event is just as important.
  3. Almost every wedding officiant is going to be over the moon to create a custom ceremony for you and your fiancé. Incorporating pieces of your love story, sense of humor, religion and personalities into a beautiful ceremony is what they do best.
  4. The officiant’s energy sets the tone for the entire ceremony and you want one who makes your guests feel inspired and full of joy — sans awkward moments and embarrassing stories from uncle Jim.
  5. Most officiants will want to meet with you a handful of times before the wedding in order to craft the perfect ceremony. Establishing a relationship of trust and friendship with your officiant ensures that you will be comfortable for your wedding. Not to mention, many offer premarital counseling including De Novo Pastoral Services, to ensure you get off on the right start.
  6. Professional officiants not only know how to coordinate the ceremony but also to collaborate with photographers and wedding planners to ensure every moment is smooth and perfect.
Awakening JOY Ministries

Professional officiants know to step away when the big kiss happens so they don’t accidentally photobomb the special moment.

— Arielei, Arielei Kinzer Photography

De Novo Pastoral Services, Photo by Maura Jane Photography

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Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer: Their Questions, Your Perspective!

We recently had our annual Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer and it was a huge success! While we enjoyed gourmet cuisine from Isleta Resort & Casino, local brides, grooms and newlyweds sat on our panel to answer some tough questions from local wedding professionals.

Whether you’re a wedding professional or planning your own wedding, however, we gathered lots of good info and we’d love to share it with you! As you plan your wedding, we thought you may want to get a perspective on the experience of other brides and grooms in town.

Take a look at the Q&A from the Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer!

  1. What is the most important thing you are looking for when hiring a wedding professional? Brides and grooms want to be able to trust the vendor and to feel important. We want you to make everything all about us. Show up to appointments on time and respond in a timely manner. We want you to take our ideas seriously and to know that you’re genuinely interested and care about us.
  2. What turns you off about wedding professionals you interview? Not replying to inquiries. Getting our name wrong. Errors on your website. If you don’t represent yourselves well and have no confidence in your work. We don’t like when you’re scripted. It comes across disingenuous. And we certainly don’t like receiving automated email after we’re already married, so make sure you know who you’re sending correspondence. We don’t like to be looked at like we’re too young or for you to force your own ideas on us. And it’s a big turn off when you bash the competition.
  3. What are things a wedding professional did or can do to exceed your expectations? Demonstrate a lot of examples of work, specifically, unique work. Offer affordable prices. Take time to find out our journey and what we want. Be available. The more you communicate the better. Pay attention and be personal. We want to set our expectations high. Doing the little things will stand out.
  4. What are your preferred methods of communication, i.e. offers, coupons, promotions, etc.? Email. We don’t like to receive a lot of calls. Text messages are fine. But make sure to ask what we prefer.
  5. How important is food and what price? Food is extremely important to today’s brides and grooms. We are foodies and love experiences with food. We like food trucks, variety and flexibility. Couples will eliminate entire venues or caterers if we don’t like the menu.
  6. Is there something a wedding professional did or can do to inspire you to go another direction? Styled photo shoots. They help us see the possibilities.
  7. What are price expectations for officiants? We think it’s strange that prices range from 150-500. Officiants should have a fair and consistent price.
  8. What do you use to find vendors? Word of mouth, bridal shows and Perfect Wedding Guide.  And no, we didn’t encourage them to say this (lol) – but of course, it made us giddy inside to hear them have great experiences with our wedding community.
  9. How much does social media influence your planning? A lot. It’s quick and easy. And we love Pinterest!

What’s your perspective on these topics? We would love to hear from you! Leave your comments be…

Photos by Nicole Bradshaw Photography

A special thanks to our sponsors for being so generous with your products and services, making our Bridal Board + Vendor Mixer a huge success! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Isleta Resort & Casino | De Novo Pastoral Services | Albuquerque Florist | Occasion Services & Events | Differently Designed | Nicole Bradshaw Photography | Ya Gotta Have Harp

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The Dark & Moody Color Palette

Dark, moody color palettes are not something we’re used to, but darker shades are becoming more and more popular among brides and grooms, and it’s easy to see why! As the desire to have a unique wedding becomes a vital component of the planning process, the unusual, out of the ordinary details are sure to make yours standout from the rest.

I don’t know if it’s the mysterious undertones that have us hooked or if we are just sick of rustic, but I must say this is by far one of my favorite wedding trends. As Caroline Bingley said in Pride and Prejudice, “It’s positively medieval” — in a good way! Looking at the pictures, you can see that the details appear to be straight from the pages of a 15th century fairytale.

Perhaps we can credit my mom with the moody wedding, who boldly walked down the aisle in a flowing, black gown almost 30 years ago. Regardless of the originator, however, the brave brides and grooms who take a stand against the conventional wedding most certainly set the tone for trends we can’t get enough of, and the moody palette is no exception — thanks mom!

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She’s Making a List, and Checking It Twice

Perfect Wedding Guide’s Perfect Planning Tools

You said, “I do,” now what? With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, planning a wedding can be overwhelming — especially during the holidays. But we’re here to help! All you newly engaged and soon to be engaged brides can relax.

In case you didn’t know, Perfect Wedding Guide has free planning tools just for you! It’s fun, easy to use and takes all the guess work out of planning your perfect day.

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You can create a wedding budget, plan your seating chart, keep track of your guests, and even create a website. Did I mention it’s all free!? Best of all, you’ll have all the top, local wedding professionals at your fingertips!

Here’s a list we compiled, highlighting some of the tools available for you:

  1. Guest List – perfect for keeping track of all your guests and their RSVP’s.
  2. Seating Chart – giving you a clear picture of your reception layout.
  3. Checklist – to stay on top of all the details and to-dos.
  4. Budget Calculator – to help you keep your funds in check.
  5. Bookmarks – to track vendors, wedding songs and more.
  6. Inspiration Boards – to keep all your ideas in one place.
  7. Website – perfect for keeping your guests in the know and showing off your big day!

And FYI, a honeymoon planner and calendar will soon be added to this list of wedding planning tools!

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To start planning your wedding, just go to the Perfect Wedding Guide website and click on the “Tools” tab, or click here.

Once there, simply create an account and you’re in!

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Give Thanks

As many of you know, weddings take months of planning, hard work and yes, lots of resources. With so many things going on, it’s easy to get lost in the details and forget about all the people it takes to pull it off. To help you keep things in perspective, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you show gratitude before, during and after your wedding.

Parents and Family

Most often, parents and other family members give the time and resources to make your dream wedding a reality. Before the big day, take a moment to acknowledge their generosity and thank them in a special way. Perhaps you can take a break from all the preparations and treat the folks to a nice dinner.

Photo Via:, Elmer Escobar Photography
Photo Via:, Elmer Escobar Photography

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Amidst the organized chaos of wedding day preparations, put down the curling irons and shaving cream to surprise your bridesmaids and groomsmen with a special gift. Not only will you be glad you did it, but your entourage will appreciate the recognition!

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Make a Toast

It’s customary for the best man and maid of honor to give a toast, but it’s also a good time for the bride and groom to take a moment to thank all their guests for attending and being a part of their special day.

Photo Via:, Ned Jackson Photography
Photo Via:, Ned Jackson Photography

Wedding Favors for Guests

Wedding favors have come a long way since their days of Jordan Eggs and Buttermints, so don’t hold back! They are a unique way to treat your guests to a little something and keep them reminiscing long after your wedding has come and gone.

Photo Via:, Stephanie A. Smith Photography 
Photo Via:, Stephanie A. Smith Photography

Thank You Cards for Gifts

When guests shower you with gifts for your new life together, surely a thank you card is in order. Not many people take the time to do thank you cards these days, so this would be a good opportunity to show your gratitude with special touches like personalized thank you cards and hand written notes.

Thank You Cards for Vendors

Wedding professionals want nothing more than to make your big day a dream come true, so take the time to show your gratitude — a simple thank you goes a long way!

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Your New Spouse

Maybe your hubby did something to make your day extra special, or maybe your bride covered all the details for your fairytale wedding. Whatever the case may be, research has shown that gratitude makes you happier and healthier, so it is no surprise that it also benefits your marriage. Start your new life off right and find something to be thankful for!

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From all of us at Perfect Wedding Guide, Happy Thanksgiving!

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