Why Your Photographer Thinks You Should Hire a Wedding Planner {Guest Post!}

A very special thank you to Beth Waldron Photography, a New Mexico photographer based in Corrales, for sharing her wedding expertise with us + allowing us to pass it on to our local engaged couples in this guest post!

unnamed-4

4 Reasons to Hire a Planner — from a Photographer’s Perspective

Planning your wedding can be really fun. It can also be a source of stress in what should otherwise be a joyful time. If you have room in your budget for a wedding planner, then here are four reasons to hire one, from a photographer’s perspective. 

1.

Your decor – This might be the first thing you think of when you hear “wedding planner.” A well dressed person running around with material swatches and flower arrangements.

They do so much more than this, but the gorgeous decor part is definitely true.

When you want your wedding decorations to be on point and everything to look amazing, hiring a planner is a great way to do that. They’ll get to know you and take everything you hope and dream about your wedding and make magic with your ideas to turn them into reality. It’s what they do. Especially if you have a vision of a wedding that is uniquely you. They work tirelessly behind the scenes and at all hours…building and crafting and designing and ironing. They create magic.

Truthfully, all weddings can be photographed beautifully. But if you read wedding magazines and blogs and you love how beautiful and styled everything is in the articles, and want your wedding to be like that … that wedding styling is generally the genius of a wedding planner. They make everything, including photographers, look good.

unnamed-7

2.

Your timeline – Your wedding day needs a timeline. And your wedding planning needs a timeline too. The reasons for this could fill another blog post. There are a lot of details to get done for your day to happen and run smoothly. Wedding planners know when things have to happen in order to get everything done in time for your wedding day. When do you need to have all of your ideas finalized so everything can be ordered or made in time? When do you need to order everything? When do you start making decor items you can’t buy somewhere? Anyone can be organized, so while the organization is great, it’s the experience and knowledge of a planner that makes them worth the expense.
A planner will help you build a realistic timeline for your wedding day. How much time do you need for getting ready? How much time will your wedding party need? Will you really have enough time to get from location A to location B? What will your guests do while you’re taking portraits with the photographer? Who will decide when to do toasts and cake cutting?

It’s true that your vendors can help you with your timeline. Your photographer can suggest you pad certain areas with more time and estimate how much time you’ll need for portraits. Your DJ can suggest when to have your toasts and when to cut the cake. Your hair and makeup team can estimate how long it will take to get everyone ready. But a wedding planner will have a vision for the day, pull all of the pieces together, and keep everyone to it as well as they can, while also handling any crisis that comes their way.

If you contract a wedding planner for day of services, then they’ll be there setting things up and keeping things running all day and you get to relax and be present. And then they clean up, which is awesome. Some wedding planners have a day of only service as well.

unnamed-2

3.

Your budget – Your planner will keep you on budget. A good planner evaluates what details  are most meaningful to you in your ideas. They’ll see where you can spend and where you should think about being more thrifty. And they keep you on track in your contracts and payments with vendors.

Your planner will have the hard discussions with you and manage your expectations. If your dreams don’t align with your budget, then your planner can help you find areas to spend less for more or where things can be made instead of purchased.

Wedding planners keep everything in one place. There’s a list of vendors working on the wedding with a timeline for when they get payment for their services.

unnamed-3

4.

Your vendors – Planners can recommend vendors to work with, which is a great thing. But even when you choose your own vendors, a planner keeps them informed about everything. Who’s doing what? Where do they go? When are they supposed to be there? What’s happening when? Who to talk to about what details? Are they delivering what they promised? Are they where they’re supposed to be? They might feel like they herd cats.

A planner is also a single point of contact for all of your vendors, and they defuse any situations that may arise, vendor and personal. And for any of you thinking, “It’s a wedding, what situations could there be?” Oh, it happens. It could be anything from “the bus arrived late to get the bride from the cabin where she’s getting ready with her bridesmaids and the bride will be at least 45 minutes late to the ceremony” (yes…this one is real) to a disagreement between vendors or an overly rowdy guest/family member.

As a vendor, it’s very helpful to have a point of contact for the entire wedding. Planners keep you informed and send you information you don’t even know you need until you need it. Amazing. If you want this level of detail, definitely hire a wedding planner and let your friends and family relax with you on your wedding day while someone else takes care of everything.

unnamed-5

If you’ve ever had the thought, “Do I really need a wedding planner? What do they do anyway?” or wished that someone who isn’t a wedding planner give you some real talk for why you should spend your money on a wedding planner, there it is. A good wedding planner is going to make sure your wedding is gorgeous and everything goes smoothly for you and your wedding vendors. Worth every penny.

unnamed

 

The Sweetest Day: Dennis + Michelle’s Real Wedding

Just a few months ago, as spring was beginning it’s transition into yet another sunny New Mexican summer, a parallel transition was happening at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Albuquerque. Michelle + Dennis, whose love began a long time ago, ushered in the evolution of their relationship from fiancées to newlyweds, while framed by the pristine, white chapel at the Hyatt Regency.

There to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment was Albuquerque’s very own, Bryan’s Photography, and we’re so glad. Michelle + Dennis have a love story that matches their wedding — timeless, exuberant, elegantly celebratory — and with Bryan’s Photography there to preserve each special moment in time, we’re able to relive the joyous occasion as if we were there with the couple.

Though the details of the wedding — splashes of gold, luxurious white bouquets, full-bellied laughter, undeniable fun — jump out from the photos, perhaps the most endearing and inspiring part of Dennis + Michelle’s story is exactly that: their story. Which, luckily for us, Michelle wrote about for our Fall/Winter edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine, and now, we get to share with you!

Scroll on to read about how Dennis + Michelle came to be husband and wife {spoiler, it’s incredible} and to contact the local wedding professionals who made their celebration possible. {Spoiler, they’re also incredible.}

Bryans_095

Bryans_022

Dennis and I dated 14 years ago, and when we realized that fate had brought us back together after a long journey of searching for that happiness that people so rarely find, we knew it had to be special. We wanted to host an evening of fun and elegance for our friends and family to celebrate our reunion and our love. The Hyatt Regency Downtown was the perfect venue for our ceremony and reception, providing a backdrop of modern elegance. Nothing spoke to our dream wedding more than the classics like the black tux with bow tie and stunning décor. We kept it modern and trendy by incorporating items like ahi poke (a tribute to our favorite place Kauai), champagne Jello squares studded with flecks of 14k gold and a casino night, making the evening uniquely us! It was very important to me to bring on my very own “dream team” of wedding professionals that I have had the pleasure of working with for several years. The evening was exactly how I imagined, it was full of love, laughter and the beginning of my life with the man that I know I am meant to be with.

-Michelle, Bride

Bryans_387

Bryans_371

Bryans_461

Bryans_336

Venue: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque

Photographer: Bryan’s Photography

Bridal Gown: Suzanne’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Men’s Attire: Mr. Tux Formalwear

Jewelry: Shelton Jewelers

Flowers: Something Special with Flowers

Décor: Occasion Services and Events

Wedding Cake: Casey Trent

DJ: Complete Weddings + Events

Photobooth: ABQ Amusements

Lighting: Heritage Audio Visual

Casino Night Vendor: On the Go Casino

Reception Place Cards: Differently Designed

 

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

Turquoise Tenderness: Southwestern Styled Shoot

Turquoise, ristras, and adobe — does it get any more New Mexican than that!? We’ve been sending so much love to our home place recently, what with the venue features and      wedding spotlights. But it seems like we aren’t the only ones who have caught the bug and are showing more and more appreciation to this beautiful state! Briana Nicole Photography, one of Albuquerque’s finest wedding professionals, channeled her inherent creativity into a gorgeous, Southwestern-vibe styled shoot that we are absolutely swooning over.

Yes, we would have adored this shoot because of its New Mexican vibes and the heart behind the process, but what makes is it that makes this shoot so special to us? Briana Nicole Photography collaborated entirely with local, wedding experts to bring this styled shoot to life. Each facet of the shoot was cultivated lovingly by our local pros, and that reveals something very special about New Mexico, besides the turquoise, ristras, and adobe: community.

It’s not the first Southwestern-inspired work of art to exist, and it surely won’t be the last, but Briana Nicole Photography and her team of hardworking, dedicated vendors made something new and beautiful from the vein of inspiration that has been touching hearts for centuries. So, if you want to pay homage to our stunning landscapes and rich culture, these are the wedding professionals to call! You can rest assured in their ability to incorporate New Mexican style into your wedding in new, fresh, and deeply appreciative ways.

Scroll on to contact these vendors, get lost in some incredible Southwestern wedding inspo, and hear what Briana Nicole has to say about the shoot.

BNP_0425BNP_0460BNP_0496BNP_0571

I love this beautiful state we live in — we have some of the most spectacular views and amazing culture surrounding us daily. With this shoot we really wanted a Southwestern vibe, but more importantly a New Mexico vibe, too. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya was a perfect location because their resort has an amazing view of our Sandia Mountains and their entire resort is covered in Navajo art and pottery. Black Bow Events styled our tables with chile ristras and turquoise accents, and Maggie’s Wedding Cakes provided a perfect tribal designed cake that tied the whole look together. Our beautiful bride wore handmade turquoise jewelry from Larry Martinez Jeweler, and we took their portraits with the open desert as our background. I’m so thankful for the amazing team of vendors who contributed!

Briana Nicole Photography

BNP_0385-EditBNP_0501BNP_0607BNP_0679BNP_0750BNP_0867

Planner | Black Bow Events
Photographer | Briana Nicole Photography
Linens | Simply Decor + Events
Venue | Hyatt Regency Tamaya 
Cake | Maggie’s Wedding Cakes
MUA + Hairstylist | C. Johnson Makeup
Dress | Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Tuxedo | Suits Unlimited
Bride | @__katrina__anne
Jewelry | Larry Martinez Jewelry

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

Coffee Culture for ABQ Brides

What does coffee have to do with wedding planning, you ask? Well, actually, it’s an integral part of the entire process. First, coffee calls us all into the living world. No great wedding was ever planned without some sort of caffeine to boost motivation and research skills. {Don’t fact check us on that one.}

Then there’s the meetings. Meetings with florists, officiants, DJs, oh my! Sure a lot of wedding professionals will have brick and mortar offices for you to come explore their services or products — a gown shop, for example — but many vendors operate on the fly, like some freelance makeup artists. What better place to meet and chat than one of Albuquerque’s several darling coffee shops?

{Not to mention, both local coffee shops below carry the Perfect Wedding Guide magazine. So, really, you can do all your wedding planning in one spot!}

And just to make things a little easier for you — ’cause wedding planning is genuinely hard work — we decided to visit a coffee shop or two and give you our honest opinion. Because we love our local engaged couples, and because we love coffee, of course. So stay tuned for more ratings and ravings on coffee and tea, and check out our critique of Breve and Trifecta Coffee below!

COFFEE5.jpg

Breve

I was instantly drawn to the fact that Breve had doddle notebooks and chalk on their tables for guests to use while they enjoyed their delicious coffee or crepes. The manager was super friendly and accommodating to my preference in iced chai tea, although it was not on the menu. It was the perfect space to gather for any planning, hang outs or to work on some homework. I will definitely be back!
Imyraly

Breve has a welcoming and open environment full of creative spaces such as doodle pads open to anyone. I enjoyed a Thai Tea, something that was new to me. This was a wonderful blend of spices and sweetness that did not disappoint!
Bellah

Teddy (the manager) took great care of us with quickly capturing our orders without affecting the quality…and my Vietnamese Coffee (coffee made with sweetened condensed milk poured over with ice) was the best way to start the day!  It’s rich, cold, sweet goodness didn’t need any added cream or sugar….was perfect the way it was.

Shauna


Breve has been set up for distribution for a while and are always so accommodating, friendly and kind! They just switched to a wire rack for distribution because they are such a popular place to pick up a guide. When we went there for coffee, I had the white mocha with coconut milk and no whip and it was amazing!!

Jennifer

COFFEE3.jpg

 Trifecta Coffee

I got their hot version of the White Cin. It was warm and delicious with the perfect touch of sweetness from the cinnamon! I never knew I loved cinnamon in my coffee so much until I had this coffee!

Jenna


Trifecta coffee served a delicious “White Cin” coffee — sweet, but not too sweet. The space was decorated with super cool paintings of all of the countries where there coffee beans were from; it was a great unique touch! The baristas there were nothing but sweet and welcoming!

Bellah


From the moment I walked into the coffee shop, I was warmly greeted and immediately noticed the yummy array of baked goods. One of the employees noticed me eyeing the scones and told me that all their baked goods were baked fresh daily. Of course, I was sold once she mentioned that! I had the lemon cake which was super moist! The icing had a strong lemony zest to it. I also ordered The White Cin, which you can order hot or cold. I ordered mine cold. It contained two shots of espresso, white mocha, milk and is topped with cinnamon. If you love strong coffee, this is your place! I was also able to try, The Reload which is blended with ice and hot, provided by the local personal trainers, espresso, coconut milk, banana, cocoa powder, egg white protein and vanilla. I will definitely be back for that one! I love supporting local shops because they are always so happy to greet their customers!
Imyraly
GIRL3.jpg
So pick up a copy of the guide, grab a White Cin or iced chai, and get to wedding planning! Breve + Trifecta Coffee will both welcome you with open arms.
Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

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.

SacredLife5SacredLife6

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.

SacredLife8SacredLife7

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.

SacredLife1SacredLife2
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!
Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

Funky Olive: Bespoke Pieces for Trendy Couples

Modern | Bespoke | Custom

If you live in New Mexico — or really anywhere in the Southwest for that matter — and haven’t heard of Funky Olive Design: Invitations + Stationery, you’ve been missing out. But that’s okay! Because that means we, Perfect Wedding Guide, get to introduce you to one of Albuquerque’s most talented wedding professionals. {Which is our favorite thing to do, if you haven’t noticed.}
 
For years now, Funky Olive Design has been gracing the local community with the trendiest, most on-point wedding stationery — specifically for the trendiest, most on-point engaged couples. Their team of 3 incredible ladies hand-crafts custom designs with each duo’s personal style at the forefront. Collaborating with their team is like working with your best friend — that is, if your best friend is a creative genius who’s perpetually on top of current trends, and can transmute them into a one of a kind design for you and no one else.
 
One thing unifies every unique design, though: they’re all mind-blowing. From the table signs, to the invitations, menus, engagement announcements, and supplemental signage, no detail goes unnoticed by Funky Olive Design.
 
Don’t believe it? We know, it sounds too good to be true. If you need some evidence, you can scroll — try not to drool when you do — through photos of the previous designs they cultivated from local couple‘s wildest dreams. Or even better, book a consultation with their team to get the ball rolling, and they’ll share their design portfolio with you. {It’s a dream, but you’ll just have to see for yourself.}
 
So yes, if you’re modern, hip, and ready to tie the knot, Funk Olive Design: Invitations + Stationery is the place for you. Get ready for bewildering bespoke-ness, you bold bride-to-be.
20819314_1842718232425435_8169454751023159119_o26757930_2027114727319117_1027760356954384725_o27798314_2055241647839758_2891387667924362904_o
27709778_2052740061423250_2768905969871009031_o27982614_2055241657839757_3288465879948488063_o30415681_2122533354443920_8909357533211131904_o30740851_2135256879838234_5713626192511238144_o
Photo Courtesy of: Maura Jane Photography
30741448_2135257719838150_3142493735007289344_o
Photo Courtesy of: Maura Jane Photography
30741539_2135257709838151_1665403994572324864_o
 Photo Courtesy of: Maura Jane Photography 
Perfect Wedding Guide wedding planning design inspiration budget floral bouquet arrangement New Mexico Albuquerque greenery Santa Fe flowers natural organic local

PWG Elite Awards: Vote Now!

While it’s true that we, the Perfect Wedding Guide team, do have some authority when it comes to showcasing Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s local wedding professionals, we fully admit to not knowing everything. To stay humble, each year we reach out to hundreds of local engaged — or recently married couples — to get the full scoop on what it’s like to work with vendors like Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, or Prairie Star.

{Because, if we could get to see these professionals in action by having a wedding every weekend, we totally would. Unfortunately, half our team is already married.}

Then we take all this incredible info from real couples, and we bestow the Perfect Wedding Guide Elite Awards to the hardest working, kindest, and most deserving wedding vendors! And guess what?

Voting for 2018 is open NOW!

Here’s your chance to, with a few clicks, pass on all you learned while planning your own wedding, to other engaged couples! Your vote is essentially your recommendation to all the amazing love-birds of Albuquerque + Santa Fe. So if you really vibed with or were impressed by a wedding professional who worked to make your day special, here’s a super simple way to pass back some of the love they showed you!

{Not married yet? That’s alright too — feel free to vote for any vendors who have made your planning process a little more enjoyable, because that’s just as important too.}

You can vote for your favorite business owners HERE

Then, keep an eye peeled for the winners who will be announced later this year, and see if your fave team made the cut!

Oh yeah, and those amazing vendors we mentioned at the beginning of this post? {Matt Blasing Photography, Amor Ceremonies, and Prairie Star} They’re just a few of last year’s venerable winners. You can check out the rest of 2017’s PWG Elite Award Winners here, and follow the links included to book them for your wedding, too!

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now outdoor marriage engagement

Matt Blasing Photography

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now venue marriage Prairie Star ceremony

Prairie Star by Maura Jane Photography

Perfect Wedding Guide local vendors Albuquerque Santa Fe New Mexico planning inspo inspiration ceremony tips real wedding couple photography PWG Elite Awards contest competition vote now officiant ceremony local award winner

Kelly Atkin, of Amor Ceremonies

 

header-artwork

 

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