New Mexico History and Culture: Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple

Our state is filled with a rich history, and as New Mexicans, we are deeply rooted in its culture. Stories sweep across vast, mesmerizing landscapes– from the expansive White Sands in the South to the snow-capped mountains in the North. Often times, we are so immersed in the present that we forget to look back at what built us.

As wedding professionals who love our state, we want to help you find wedding vendors that love our state just as much. If you are planning a wedding that will not only take place in New Mexico, but also incorporates our beautiful culture and history, then you have come to the right place! What better place to start this series of New Mexican history and culture than at the heart of our state in the lovely city of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple, Jo Whaley

We loved every aspect of Scottish Rite for our wedding. Beginning with the gorgeous theater, grand piano and set choices for our ceremony, and ending with the spacious reception hall with Tiffany-style fixtures! You would be hard pressed to find a more classy, glamorous and special site for a Santa Fe wedding.

Rena and Daniel Simpson

With pink exteriors, a lush courtyard and Moorish architecture, the Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple has stood tall and proud for over a century. The architecture was inspired by that of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and it is most definitely reflected through the arches and accents of Spanish design. Since 1912, the temple has served many purposes, but was primarily built for use by the Freemasonry fraternity and is still considered the College of Freemasonry. Today, the temple is a place of gathering for plays, concerts, special events, and our favorite kind of eventweddings!

The Lobby, Jo Whaley

For any bride and groom, comfort and elegance are at the forefront of wedding planning, and this venue does not disappoint. Together let’s imagine that we are going on a tour of this lovely venue, taking a step back in time and indulging in the wonders of the past. When you first walk in, you can expect to see the first of many Gothic arches and other arch motifs that are scattered throughout the temple. If you continue walking, you will find yourself in the Dining Hall with it’s endless rows of windows looking out to the patio. This is makes our fairytale wedding day dreams come true! Just when you think it couldn’t get any more breathtaking than this, it does.

Dining Hall, Jo Whaley

As you continue walking we will see the kitchen, the classroom and the exuberant courtyard, but none of this could prepare you for what people call the “Heart and Soul” of the temple– the theatre. This is where you will complete your imaginary tour and let your minds be at ease. Your eyes can take in the rest! Words fail us when we try to describe the historical richness of the building, but these beautiful images capture it perfectly.

The Theatre, Jo Whaley

“Our experience with the Scottish Rite could not have been better! Dori was in contact with us for each and every step along the way, and the Scottish Rite Stewards couldn’t have been more helpful. Everything went so smoothly that once the event started, we were able to completely enjoy the experience with our family and friends. The Grand Ballroom was perfect for our needs and was the shining jewel of the event (next to the bride and groom, of course!) The Santa Fe Scottish Rite comes with my highest recommendations!

– Phil Shirey

If you’re looking for a wedding venue that is going to merge the past and the present and create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests, then this is the place for you! To learn more about the temple, you can contact them here.

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2019 Wedding Gallery Recap

It is hard to believe that there are only a few more months left in 2019 and suddenly preparations for all of next year’s weddings are in full swing. With so much to be done and seemingly so little time, finding time to explore your wedding vendor options can be a dreaded task. Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we understand the natural instinct to feel loads of stress and anxiety about wedding planning, but it really shouldn’t be stressful at all. In fact, we think it should be a blast, and that is why we have created a very special and elevated wedding show specifically for you– The Wedding Gallery!

Wedding Gallery is specially curated for our New Mexico wedding community and prides itself on its unique approach to conventional wedding shows. This year’s show was an absolute blast filled with an abundance of marvelous vendors to chat with, food stations with mouthwatering options, specialty drinks– including, because I just HAVE to mention it, Cotton Candy Champagne, a couture fashion show and giveaways galore! Now if that hasn’t sold you yet, just wait, there’s more.

Every year, we, your dedicated hosts, try to incorporate a theme for the show that will inspire our vendors and inspire you for your own wedding. This year’s theme was something more close to home, because we are basically in love with New Mexico and think it possesses beauty beyond compare. Any idea of what the theme could be?

That’s right, you guessed it… the Southwest! There were lovely Southwestern vibes coming from Darling Clementine Crafts through their adorable succulent decor, the jaw-dropping hair and makeup by Blo Blow Dry Bar and the stunning wardrobe designs brought to life by Suits Unlimited & Bridal Elegance by Darlene. The essence of the Southwest was taken straight out of our backyards and placed at the heart of the show. Cacti, flowers, and free-flowing hairstyles took center stage at the couture fashion show for everyone to see.

We need to talk about the fact that there were SO many talented people involved with Wedding Gallery this year– it was really an all-star cast. With over 40 different vendors present, it was amazing to see the connections and relationships between local couples and local wedding professionals.

Our sponsors made sure that the show was even more elegant than we could imagine it to be! There were beautiful floral arrangements from Bosque Flower Studio, music from Cello for Weddings and King Mobile Music, incredible photos from Photographic Perspectives, magical decor by Simply Décor & Events, and last but not least, an incredible venue hosted by Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa.

I know, I know. You’re really bummed out that you missed this year’s show, but there’s no need to worry because we always have next year! There isn’t a better way to take the stress out of wedding planning and put the excitement in… plus, who doesn’t love fashion shows, food, and giveaways?

We would like to give a big thank you to our sponsors for this event, as well as Photographic Perspectives for capturing every moment. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you! You can check them out below:

Bosque Flower Studio
Blo Blow Dry Bar
Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Cello for Weddings
Darling Clementine Crafts
Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa
King Mobile Music
Photographic Perspectives
Simply Décor & Events
Suits Unlimited
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White Sands Elopement with Matt Blasing Photography

While the white hot heat of a New Mexican summer might have some of your eyes trained on the impending autumn, we’re not quite finished with this season yet! With weddings every weekend, sunshine for days, and the occasional light afternoon rain, it’s no small wonder why summer weddings in New Mexico are such a hit — or why this is our favorite season at Perfect Wedding Guide.

So before we let the long days slip into fall, we have to pay homage to one of our state’s most famed landscapes. As certified New Mexico-obsessed residents, we can’t pick favorites, but we definitely were on the edge of our seats waiting for a White Sands wedding or styled shoot to get us through the rest of the year.

And, if you’ve been following along, you know we’ve had elopements on the brain more than usual. Who could we call on to fulfill our wishes, besides one of the most loved husband and wife duos in the wedding photographer community, Matt Blasing Photography?!

These guys are professionals. And they are pleasant, fun, and cool people to have along for the ride on a wedding day. I would hire them again and again except I only plan to get married once!

Sandy, newlywed

Joey and Sandy made the trek to New Mexico all the way from the pacific northwest for their elopement. And thank goodness they did! Sure there are beaches all across the coast, and sure most of them have vast expanses of sand. But none quite compare when it comes to the inexplicable electric energy of White Sands. For Joey and Sandy, this ethereal space perfectly paralleled the otherworldly foundation of friendship and love that unites them.

With not a soul around, save their photographers and officiant of course, Joey and Sandy commemorated their new chapter together with the desert sun above and their toes in the sand below. Matt Blasing Photography, a team of creatives renowned for their easygoing humor and disarming humbleness, captured all the smallest moments of magic as they mirrored the unending landscape around them.

Hammer & Johnson Wedding - Ceremony-4

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Hammer & Johnson Wedding - The Couple-57

The whole time shooting felt comfortable and easy. I am somebody who does not like taking photos – they always seem to turn out bad, so I did have some fears and really appreciated every bit of direction [Matt Blasing Photography] provided. I found myself totally letting go and being myself on my wedding day.

Sandy, newlywed

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3 Reasons the Wedding Gallery is Different from Other Wedding Shows in New Mexico

If you haven’t already noticed, weddings are kind of a big deal in our state. Which is lucky for us, whether we’re natives, transplants, or traveling from afar to have a destination wedding in New Mexico. With a venue to match every vibe, troves of dedicated local wedding professionals, and completely unparalleled landscapes to surround your ceremony, you really can’t go wrong with a southwestern wedding here.

But that can also make it bit harder to nail down the details. It’s much more difficult to choose between twenty talented and innovative local florists than it is to choose between five. Especially when almost all of planning a wedding happens online! You can always check the reviews a wedding professional has, but we don’t blame you if that’s not enough verification to book them. Plus, good photos can be deceiving and if you’re choosing between twenty florists, you don’t want to leave it up to a nice shot on Instagram.

Of course, when you find a local wedding professional, you can always sit down for a face to face consultation to really get to know their values and talents. For most of us though, trying to schedule meetings on top of our jobs, families, and other responsibilities isn’t a walk in the park.

You see where we’re going with this, right?

The obvious answer to the age-old dilemma is this: wedding shows! We’ve already discussed whether or not wedding shows are worth it (hint, they totally are), but with the Wedding Gallery show right around the corner on August 4th, the real question is — what makes this show different from the rest?

1. It’s curated.

Each year, we choose a super strong theme to be at the center of the Wedding Gallery show. Each wedding professional who chooses to be a part of the Wedding Gallery show brings their absolute A-game to showcase that theme. In doing so, engaged couples from all across the state can get lost in the collective cohesion from New Mexico’s best wedding businesses, check out what they’re truly capable of, and know that the professionals they book here will put just as much heart and soul into the them of their wedding.

 

2. There’s a couture fashion show.

Yes, it’s true, we also have a fashion show at the Diamond Dash wedding shows in the fall and spring. We love showcasing local bridal fashion, can you blame us?! At the Wedding Gallery show, however, the fashion show is couture and also, like the vendors and all other details of the show, highly curated. The fashion-forward, bold approaches to tradition that were previously reserved for coastal states and bustling cities is here, too.

3. And a VIP experience.

The couture fashion show isn’t just a free-for-all. Because the Wedding Gallery is catered to discerning, committed couples in the midst of wedding planning, each step of the way is created to mimic the high-end experience that New Mexico can offer. With swag bags upon entering, genuine attention and kindness from local wedding professionals throughout the morning, and front-row seats to the fashion show to round out the day, couples of New Mexico can expect to be pampered while they plan their wedding at the Wedding Gallery show.

 

VIP seats are limited, click here to reserve yours.

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First Day of Forever: New Mexico Love Story

As you probably well know by now, our Perfect Wedding Guide team is positioned between the local wedding professionals, and the engaged couples who work with them. So we’re often bouncing back and forth from brides to businesses — which, of course, we consider a lucky pendulum. But, every so often when the stars align, we’re lucky enough to have both our worlds collide!

Courtney is both one-half of a heartwarming love story — which we’ll get to, promise — and one of the lovely and dutiful members of the Nature Pointe team. For years now, we’ve had the opportunity to recommend and relish in the perfected beauty of the New Mexico wedding venue. So yeah, you could say we’re business buds!

Now, with something as delightful as a proposal, we’ve had the opportunity to interview Courtney as one of our featured love stories! Her other half, Joshua, planned a fantastic day that culminated with him popping the question, and we’re so happy to be able to share it here with you.

CourtneyandJosh

When did you and Joshua first meet?

“We met in middle school during the 7th grade!”

When and how did he propose to you?

“He proposed to me with a culmination of all the ways he asked me to dances in high school. (We started dating during the summer before our junior year.) There was a scavenger hunt, a dozen roses, a line of Hershey’s Kisses, and chocolate melted down into letters asking if I’d marry him. Here’s the story: When I drove into the parking lot, I noticed his car and knew something was up.

I entered the office, and he was nowhere to be found. Instead, when I sat at my desk there was a note, the beginning of a scavenger hunt, and a single rose. Funnily enough, the note teased me about getting the scavenger hunt right this time. (I already messed up one in high school). I read the note and was immediately confused. I thought to myself “I guess I’m bound to mess this up too lol.” Instead of finding the next clue, I found the last clue that directed me out of the office and to a line of Hershey’s Kisses leading me to him.

When I got there, I asked if I had missed something and was turned around to go find the other clues. Back in the office, I found the second clue, another rose, and a note saying one reason why he loved me. Then, I went onto find 3 more clues, roses, and lovely notes. Finally, I was sure I found all of the clues and excitedly went out to see him. When I got there, he was down on one knee.”

How did you react to his proposal? Were you expecting it?

“I can’t even remember what he said, but I immediately said yes and gave him a big smooch! When we walked back into the office all of my co-workers cheered and congratulated us.

I had expected the proposal the next day seeing as it was our 7th dating anniversary. Joshua said that he had to do it the day before so that I’d be at least a little surprised. I was super excited and shaky the whole time. Emotional overload!”

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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.

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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.

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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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Behind the Booth at Wedding Shows

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s several local wedding shows throughout the year, then you probably know they’re quite the production. Take our Diamond Dash show, for example, with it’s elaborate decor, fashion show, and signature cake-diving event. {Eep! The Diamond Dash on October 28th is right around the corner now, too!}

Our team can only take credit for a portion of the grandeur, because while it is a Perfect Wedding Guide event, the heart of the day comes from the local wedding professionals who fill up Hyatt Regency Albuquerque‘s ballroom with goodies, gifts, and great advice. Which isn’t always easy, and only comes to fruition with the hard work and dedication of these business owners. To make things a bit easier for our local wedding champions though, our team put together a few tips and tricks for local vendors to help their day run smoothly.

So hey there, wedding professionals, this one is for you! For our fellow wedding-lovers and engaged couples though, stick around and get a sneak peak into the love and determination from Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding experts have cultivated in order to be there, for you, on your special day. {Plus you can check out some of our favorite booths from past shows too — it’s some serious, real-life wedding inspo!}

30709080_10156428120149114_414624056717869056_oBooth from Shayla Edenfield Photography

Getting an edge on your next wedding show


 

  1. Arrive early.  Wedding shows are automatically one of the best places to rekindle old friendships, start new collaborations, grab breakfast together, and showcase your products/services to the active movers and shakers in the wedding community.  
  1. Stay late.  Some of the most serious brides/grooms will linger through to the end of the show (as well as stay after to chat it up with their fave connections).  Don’t pack up early! 
  1. Be the expert.  Don’t just showcase YOUR products and services but show that you’re well connected and knowledgeable by asking about the bride’s other chosen vendors, venue, and decisions about her wedding.  Comment, engage, and show your enthusiasm for her choices.

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39543483_10156761868899114_6295161865286713344_oBliss Salon and Spa
  1. Have a strategy.  Not only do you want to have a follow up strategy for AFTER the show, but you want to have a good strategy for obtaining “hot” leads DURING the show.  Are you taking notes?  Are they filling out a short form with you? Instead of mass “it was nice to meet you” emails, try to personalize your follow up with special details you’ve noted about their wedding.  
  1. Share away.  Be sure to announce in the weeks leading up to the show that you’ll be there (via emails to your brides, announce it on your website, and share on your social platforms).  It’s a great way to encourage couples to stop by your booth…especially for any potential clients that haven’t solidified their contract with you. And, what a great way to show your potential and current clients that you specialize in weddings and are well-connected amongst the wedding community. 
  1. Be interested.  Ask questions, be engaging, and create memorable conversations. 
27982749_10156221234314114_7243046454168666338_oCasi Sueno Weddings + Events
  1. Set the stage.  Don’t sit down….stand and engage with clients at eye level.  Don’t put your table at the front of your booth…put it behind you to create a more inviting experience and less of a barrier for conversation. 
  1. Do contests.  Create fun social media tagging contests for all guests (not just the bride) to engage in with universal gifts as the reward for the winner (such as a Target gift card).  What a great way to elevate your social media experience and magnify your exposure to not just the bride’s friends, but to the bride’s guest’s friends too!   
 39589181_10156761868524114_6922236238783053824_oWilliam Sonoma
25299069_10156054267149114_6931178646239364789_nCasa Rondena Winery
27629271_10156221231669114_7818767282779275304_oElla Blu Bridal
27797504_10156221231239114_946640457785056628_o.jpgBlack Swan Events

 

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