Zero-Waste Wedding: 5 Ways to Get There

If you know anything about your New Mexico Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we love two things. One, New Mexico; two, weddings. Which seems pretty obvious, but it really is as simple as that.

Only, our love for New Mexico transcends an affection for the rich cultures, venerable mesas and mountains, and traditional architecture that surrounds us. There’s a foundation of respect for our home that supports the love we feel for all of those beautiful and inspiring New Mexican features. So, in our small ways, we try very hard to preserve the perfection of our wild state.

Whether it be through recycling, supporting local, or educating our community, each little step culminates to make a powerful act of love for New Mexico. Though of course, we adore weddings as much as we do our state, so combining values to create a zero-waste wedding that uplifts our local community, creates a killer party, and offers some kindness back to the land — does it get much better than that?

Chances are, if you’re reading about how to incorporate zero-waste principles into your wedding, then you know it really doesn’t get better than that. Before we jump in though, give your self a little pat on the back for taking extra steps to support your community by booking local vendors and reducing the waste your wedding creates. Every little thing counts!

So — after consulting with the local wedding professionals who are experts in their respective crafts — we’ve pulled together 5 simple tips to reduce waste at your wedding in New Mexico! Because we all get to enjoy the landscapes around us, let’s do our best to make sure the generations after us get to enjoy them, too.

1. All reusable, all the time.

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Matt Blasing Photography

Whether you’re having a small, intimate elopement, or inviting every single cousin, people will come expecting to eat at your wedding. Eating as a group, as lovely and communal as it can be, also offers up a lot of waste if you use single-use materials.

Luckily, with local and environmentally-conscious catering companies like Cafe Venture or Blue Plate Catering, you can have all reusable serving ware! Think cloth napkins, silverware, ceramic plates, and the like. Not only will this give your wedding a higher-end vibe, but all these things can be washed and reused after your wedding, instead of sitting in a landfill for the next several hundred years.

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Matt Blasing Photography

If the local catering company you’re working with doesn’t offer reusable serving ware, linens, and china like these guys do, then don’t fret! Thrift stores can still be your best friend. Grab vintage, reusable silverware and dishes, and pull it all off with an eclectic, artistic vibe. Then afterwards, you can give away the thrifted materials, or just donate them right back!

If you go this route, be sure to communicate with your caterer ahead of time, so no wires get crossed on the day of your wedding.

2. Power in the Flowers

Tori Photography

When it comes to floral arrangements, the best advice we have is to go silk! Does that seem counterintuitive?

While its true that flowers are compostable, you’ll want to pause before tossing them in your garden or local composting center. A majority of live flowers are treated with preservatives to ensure their long-lasting scent and beauty makes it through your ceremony. So before you bury them, be sure your florist sources from an organic farm like Europa, otherwise all those preservatives end up in your soil and, subsequently, the groundwater.

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With silk arrangements — like the gorgeous, can’t-believe-it’s-not-alive bouquets from Charlotte’s Flowers — you have a bit more wiggle room for reusing. The immortal bouquets can be rearranged into home decor after the wedding, used in future craft projects, or gifted to a friend.

Whether you go with organic live flowers, or silk arrangements, or just a bundle of chamomile from Trader Joe’s, you can always reuse the flowers from your ceremony for your reception. Chances are you and your bridal party aren’t going to be carrying your bouquets all night long, so repurpose them! It’ll save you money and reduce your floral carbon footprint.

3. Something old, nothing new.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

It’s true — the thought of buying a wedding dress from a thrift store sounds a bit horrifying to some. After all, this is the gown you’ll be wearing in hundreds of photographs, videos, and memories, is it worth it to risk it?

Thankfully, we have amazing local wedding professionals who can make a less-new dress totally risk-free. With shops like Bridal Elegance by Darlene, you can buy a gown ‘off the rack.’ Which, for those who don’t live and breathe bridal, just means it’s a sample of the gown, not one that was ordered, manufactured, and shipped just for you. With in-store seamstresses available for your wildest alteration dreams, too, there’s hardly a worry about making sure it fits in all the right places.

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Coryn Kiefer Photography

Or you can opt for a second-hand gown from specialty shops like The Dressing Room West in Santa Fe. This local shop carries off the rack gowns as well, but they come as excess directly from designers who need to make space in their warehouses. Or sit down with Terese Rose Designs, a local custom bridal gown designer, and have a chat about sourcing fabrics and potential choices for your gown.

Last option, and a favorite for your wallet, is to haunt thrift stores and vintage shops. With seamstresses across the state, there’s some serious magic that can happen with a secondhand gown. It’s worth it to give new life to an old gown that might have just gone into the trash, if not for the power of a trained eye and tuned sewing machine.

4. Make things easy for your guests.

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Kayla Kitts Photography

As someone who personally composts, I’ll be honest: I don’t always compost when I’m out and about. Mostly because compost bins aren’t readily available around our state yet, and holding on to my food waste until I’m able to get home is smelly, messy, and not super convenient when I’m running around the town.

So you can expect a similar response at your wedding, even from your greenest of green friends. But luckily, you can mitigate this with a little bit of foresight during your wedding planning process.

Chat with your venue coordinator! When booking a venue, ask the coordinator ahead of time if they have enough trash cans to have one for landfill trash, recyclables, and compostables, all separated and labeled clearly. If not, bring your own!

Plus, if you’ve decided to book a local invitation and stationery company like Funky Olive Design or Pennysmith’s Paper, you can have your trash labels custom made. Then, there’s no sacrificing aesthetics for environmental-consciousness. Take it a step further by reusing the signs in your own home too, to make it easier for guests and kids that might be around to throw things away.

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5. Favors in your favor

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Chrisi K Photography

As much as your friends and family love you, they might not love your favors. Which is okay! A lot of personalities are coming together in one space to celebrate you and your partner, so trying to please all of them is virtually impossible.

Keep this in mind when choosing your favors. If 1, 10, or 100 guests don’t take home their favors, what will happen to them?

You can go with an adorable little plant like Aja and Johnny did for their wedding — so in the off chances these get tossed outside, at least they’ll compost. (Or root and grow right there!) Plus the metal tins are reusable in a million different ways, so if the succulent gets replanted, the tin hopefully won’t go to waste. And anyways, how cute are they?!

Or be like Lynsey and Kent, who had one of our very favorite apple orchard weddings.

Arielei Kinzer Photography

Their apple-themed favors were not only delicious and charming, but super earth-friendly! For those who opted not to take their little jars home, the couple got some extra homemade apple butter for their own family. For those who did decide to enjoy the treat, they got a reusable jar and a delectable spread to remember the wedding by.

So, whether it’s through your dress, venue, or favors — whatever steps you decide to take to preserve all the beauty of New Mexico, we thank you. We’d like to keep loving this state and the weddings in it for many more generations to come, and a few choices on your part help to ensure that’s possible.

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Emily + Luke’s Blue Hues

You’d think that after seeing and being a part of so many beautiful local weddings, we’d start to get used to all the raw love and emotion in the air around here. But, nope! Emily + Luke’s gorgeous wedding at Casas de Suenos brought happy tears to our eyes, even after all these years. It’s couples like these, Emily and Luke, that remind us of why we do what we do.

Captured by the always incredible Kayla Kitts Photography, it was the little details of this celebration that really plucked away at our heart strings. From the bride’s wide-as-the-Sandias grin, to the flowing, happy tears from the groom, every sentimental and exciting moment of this magnificent day was captured by Kayla’s lens and unique talent.

Blue hues, reminiscent of New Mexico‘s wide open skies, swirled around Emily and Luke’s ceremony, offering guests a hopeful sort of joy as they celebrated man and wife. Also present was their love for travel and adventure — which is almost as deep as their love for each other. From the little flags made of maps, to the suitcases full of goodies for attendees, the couple’s personality truly encompassed the day.

Scroll on to hear the couple’s love story, read a note from our darling Kayla Kitts, and to see for yourself just how inspiring this moment in time was.

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To say Emily + Luke’s wedding day was an epic celebration…well that would be putting it lightly.  You see, Emily and Luke are teachers that live in the Philippines.  But, it hasn’t always been that way – they met in Egypt, when Luke landed a job where Emily’s parents were his bosses!  He says he was excited about the new job, but even more excited about Emily.  If you ask him – he knew he’d marry her the moment he saw her.  He was head over heels for her, and I’d say that hasn’t changed a bit.  As time passed, they fell in love, and since then have continued their exploration of the world – but now, as they begin the school year in Manila, they’re officially Mr + Mrs!

Kayla, Kayla Kitts Photography

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A big thank you to the talented vendors who made this day possible for Emily + Luke.

Photography | Kayla Kitts Photography

Venue | Casas de Suenos 

Dress | Ann Cuantico

Shoes |  Ecco

Hair | Kayla Chory with Heart + Soul

Makeup  |  Nina Simbana

Florist  |  Ansely

Rings  |  Tiffanys + Jared Jewlers

Suit  |  Ann Cuantico

Officiant  |  Hany Salam

Cake  |  Laura Keen

DJ  |  TJ

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Trending: The Gift Lounge

Favors and gifts for guests are one of my favorite things about weddings. They give you the perfect opportunity to share your love and gratitude with all your friends and family. With so many options and ideas, however, it can be hard to narrow it down to one item. Thankfully, that’s where the gift lounge comes in! You no longer have to limit your gifts to one item. You can dedicate a whole area, or room (depending on your venue), to gifts for your guests. Best of all, they have the freedom to pick and choose the things they like most.

Similar to bars beyond cocktails, gift lounges are simply a “gift bar” — and the sky is the limit when it comes to assembling your perfect gift lounge. For instance, you can have gourmet sodas and candy, local goods, handmade or personalized items and even fresh local fruit. With so many local vendors in the area, planning a fun and gorgeous gift lounge couldn’t be easier. Some of our favorites include Chocolate Maven, Thirty-One Gifts, Pennysmiths Paper and American Pie Company, just to name a few.

Take a look at some of their amazing favors and treats!

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American Pie Bakery
Brandon Kidd Photography
Chocolate Maven, Photo by Alicia Lucia Photography

Gift lounges may sound extravagant and intimidating, but if you think about it, we’ve been doing gift lounges for years — with gift bags! Whether you would like the help of a local professional or a completely DIY gift lounge, you can keep it simple, affordable and best of all, creative. Simply allow your guests to assemble their own gift bag, and — voilà — you have a gift lounge!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Mary Kay To The Rescue!

Looking for the answer to all of your beauty and skincare needs leading up to your wedding day? Give Tammy Bone with Mary Kay a call! Tammy specializes in bridal looks, makeovers, finding the perfect foundation shade for you, color matching, skin care solutions, and makeup application. Mary Kay beauty products also make for luxurious bridesmaids gifts and favors.

Photo Credit: Mary Kay www.marykay.com
Photo Credit: Mary Kay http://www.marykay.com

“Mary Kay offers convenient home or office delivery, as well as additional services like personalized skin care consultation, customized makeovers, gift services, bridal support and more! As your independent beauty consultant I will be dedicated to providing you personalized service and support to meet your skin care, beauty and bridal needs. You can try products before you buy them and all products are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. With Mary Kay you’re in charge of your beauty experience, so you can shop online, by telephone, with a one-on-one appointment or at a beauty party. I am here to make sure your special day is flawless. Contact me today for more information!”Tammy Bone, Mary Kay Independent Senior Sales Director

Photo Credit: Mary Kay www.marykay.com
Photo Credit: Mary Kay http://www.marykay.com

Mary Kay, Tammy Bone

Albuquerque, NM

505-315-1600

For more wedding beauty and health inspiration, and for everything else you need to plan your wedding, please visit The Perfect Wedding Guide.

Wedding Favors: 5 Gift-Giving Ideas

Wedding favors are little tokens of thanks that many couples hand out at the end of their wedding or wedding reception. Finding wedding favors that add a unique and personal touch to your big day is one of the easier tasks on your wedding “to-do” list, considering the wide range of favors currently on the market to choose from. Here, we offer a list of wedding favors that are sure to put a smile on every face.

  1. Think EdiblyCandies, cookies and other sweet treats are always popular favors at wedding receptions across the country. To select a tasty and memorable favor, consult with a bakery, pastry chef or confectioner

    to create a mouth-watering treasure that will keep guests talking long after the wedding is over. Several vendors can create customizable candy wrappers or treats printed with your name, wedding date or simply your initials. And one of the best things about edible wedding favors-they’re less likely to be left the table at the end of the reception!

  2. Act PersonallySkip over those generic, impersonal wedding favors to find mementos that best represents your personality as a couple and your wedding theme. For example, if you’re a travel savvy bride and groom, luggage tags are a unique way to celebrate the big day while offering guests a wedding favor they can use over and over again. Or, set up an engagement photo shoot

    with your wedding photographer to take fun photos before the wedding day, and use the photos on magnets, post cards or coasters.

  3. Decorate AccordinglyUse your wedding colors and reception decor to coordinate the packaging of the wedding favors. These little coordinated gifts are a great way to welcome guests as they are seated at the reception.

To learn more gift giving ideas for wedding favors, visit PerfectWeddingGuide.com.

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