ABQ BioPark: Outdoor Engagement Session in New Mexico

Because we, your entirely devoted Perfect Wedding Guide team in New Mexico, have uniquely positioned ourselves between the local wedding community, and Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s beautiful engaged couples, we kinda get the best of both worlds. We get to support small businesses, and keep the state’s eclectic market thriving through all our dutifully tended-to platforms. And, we get to offer relief, not resistance, for couples in the midst of wedding planning — humbly gifting them everything from online tools and contact info for local professionals, to extravagant, IRL (in real life) wedding shows, to our adorable, purse-sized print magazine.

Not gonna lie, we LOVE doing it, especially that last part. Our magazine, which we build by hand and print locally twice a year, is chock full of tips, tricks, coupons, goodies, and giveaways. The best part of all of it, though, are the love stories and inspiring photos that fill the pages with — yes, eye candy — but most importantly, local inspiration from real people.

And real couples like Meriah + Daniel! We’re eternally grateful that the local couple decided to go with Matt Blasing Photography for their engagement session, or we might not be here falling in love with their photos right now. Matt Blasing Photography has won our PWG Elite Award for Best Photographer for like, the last thousand years, and it’s no wonder why. Matt + Amy‘s vivid and authentic photography style never strays from excellence, and the warm hearts of the husband-wife duo win over everyone who meets them. (Just read their reviews, if you don’t believe us.)

Shooting at the ABQ BioPark, too, the forever adventurous and outdoorsy couple perfectly mirrored the natural vibes of the local treasure. Rugged, and intrinsically New Mexican, the couple’s personalities and love story emanate from their session, and we can’t get enough.

meriah & daniel engagement-63

meriah & daniel engagement-41

meriah & daniel engagement-47

meriah & daniel engagement-1

meriah & daniel engagement-15

meriah & daniel engagement-55

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

Casa Perea Art Space: Historic Adobe Abode Spotlight

Let’s take a moment on this lovely morning to stop, breathe, and flex our brain’s inherent storytelling abilities. You are hereby given permission to pause whatever work you’re doing to indulge in the following: Imagine your wedding guests, many of whom will have traveled far and wide for your celebration, being greeted by your venue with a bubbling fountain, the comforting sight of traditional adobe, and a luscious garden of fruit trees, sweet-smelling herbs, and wildflowers. Sounds lovely, right? It gets better.

Casa Perea Art Space, established in the 19th century by the Perea family, is so excellently preserved, the State Register of Cultural Properties describes the wedding venue as an apt example of New Mexico Territorial Architecture. Beyond its fountain and wrought iron gates lies a 100-foot-long pergola, crawling with trumpet vines, climbing roses, and the ever-fantastical wisteria.

Within the adobe abode, the Casa Perea team describes the space as “New Mexican and Spanish Colonial antiques that evoke historic New Mexico architecture and style.” Which, if you know anything about the Perfect Wedding Guide team, then you know we go absolutely nuts for everything traditional New Mexico. Casa Perea Art Space might be the most historical New Mexican venue too, considering the fact it served as the Sandoval County Courthouse following our home’s statehood in 1912. We only freaked out a little bit when we found that out. Or maybe a lot.

There’s nothing to fear for engaged couples though, the venue is used only for romantic courting now. With every inch of the space already carefully cultivated by hand, minimal additional decor is required, especially if your desires are centered around incorporating your home state’s rich cultural history into your celebration — which we highly recommend.

To book Casa Perea Art Space for your wedding celebration, you can contact their team here. In the meantime, feel free to extend the dream and swoon over this styled shoot from Tiffany Burke Events + Carissa and Ben Photography at the historical venue.

styledshoot-1027

styledshoot-1065

styledshoot-1265

styledshoot-1219

styledshoot-1055

styledshoot-1259

styledshoot-1163

styledshoot-1198

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

 

 

 

Alissa + Clint’s Splendid Celebration at the Four Seasons Santa Fe

Yes, it’s true, we did just feature the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in a post recently. But when there’s a wedding this stunning, this vivacious in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, we simply have to give our two cents. {Plus, there’s no such thing as too much love for the incredible New Mexican wedding venue.} The verdict on this delightfully bright celebration of love and marriage? Five stars! 10/10, would recommend you fawn over the deep colors and lighthearted jamboree for wedding inspiration and life goals.

It helps too, that Maura Jane Photography was there to capture the brilliance. Which, if you’re in New Mexico, you’ve probably heard of the famed local photographer and her wonderfully airy style — but she truly outdid herself this time. Collaborating with a few of our absolute favorite wedding professionals in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, Maura Jane Photography encapsulated the splendor of the day that was made possible by the hard work of incredible experts.

For their wedding, Alissa + Clint wanted bright beautiful colors that encompassed the diversity of their guests and matched the sunsets that Santa fe is known for. Rich deep pinks and bright vibrant oranges were used from their invitations to the shoes that Alissa wore on her feet. In lieu of a veil, Alissa wore a beautiful flowy Vivian Reed scarf that matched her personality perfectly.

Guests enjoyed a beautiful Santa fe sky during the ceremony that teased us with rain but quickly blew past resulting in a breathtaking sunset. They made their way to the outdoor cocktail hour on the Four Season‘s patio and sipped signature drinks that Alissa + Clint came up with themselves along with  a little help of a mixologist. Handblown glass vases graced the reception tables, a nod to Santa fe’s rich artistic culture.

-Maura, Maura Jane Photography

It’s no secret how deeply appreciative we are of New Mexico’s venerable history and landscapes. So a wedding, pouring over with bold colors and full-bellied laughter, that pays homage to our state’s culture, and was brought to life by the hardworking hands of dedicated local professionals? We’re starting to wonder if Alissa + Clint intentionally set out to have a wedding that would make our entire team cry. {Or we would be, if the unparalleled adoration and devotion between the couple weren’t so obvious. We can thank Maura Jane Photography again for catching those loving looks on camera so spectacularly.}

Congratulations on making us tear up from unbridled joy and admiration, Alissa + Clint! Oh, and on your newly-wed status, of course. Thank you to you both, as well as Maura Jane Photography, and all the extremely talented wedding professionals {listed below!} who made this day possible.

MJP_044

MJP_266

MJP_590

MJP_367

MJP_808

MJP_834

MJP_1025

MJP_1160

MJP_1181

MJP_1140

Photographer | Maura Jane Photography

Venue | Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

Planner + Designer | Maria Socha, Sealed With a Kiss 

Florist | Floral Fetish

Hair + MUA | Carmella Conway with Chrome

Shoes | Stuart Weitzman + Monolo Blahnik

Dress | Ann Matthews

Dress Designer | Da Vinci 

Tuxedos + Suits | Men’s Wearhouse

Cake + Desserts | Chocolate Maven

DJ | Paul Feathericci

Officiant | Dr. Paul Martinez with De Novo Pastoral Services 

Invitations | Funky Olive Design

 

 

Where Are They Now? Genevieve + Ricky’s Post-Wedding Perfection

Beginnings are always so beautiful, aren’t they? And what are weddings, except for a celebration of a new life beginning together? Yes, it’s easy to get lost in the tulle and sparkle of a wedding day, but in our opinion, what comes after is massively underrated. We’re not talking about the honeymoon, though those deserve more recognition too, but it’s the heart of true love that we really adore — the middle part that comes in between the sparkler send-off and the ’til death do us part.’

Which is why we’ve been catching up with some darling local couples whose weddings and relationships really touched our hearts. Genevieve + Ricky are one of those couples — their wedding was captured by one of our favorite photographers in Albuquerque + Santa Fe, Briana Nicole Photography, but we were already well acquainted with Genevieve before her gorgeous celebration came to fruition. {She was one of our 12 Months of Giveaways winners, and one of the engaged-experts on our Bridal Board!}

Genevieve was one of the loveliest brides we’ve had the chance to work with, so hearing about her wedding firsthand was such a treat. Though the day wasn’t without its hiccups, as one would expect, their love preserved and the clouds dissipated to reveal the sun — warm and familiar, like the love that emanates from this couple.  We simply had to share!

Genevieve + RIcky

We were married on September 23, 2017 at Paa-ko Ridge Golf Course. That morning was extremely emotional for me as I was watching a storm pass through a tiny window in my bridal suite. Chairs were flipping over, glasses were breaking and tablecloths were soaked – every bride’s nightmare. About 20 minutes before our ceremony was supposed to start the rain eased up, the clouds parted and the sun shined through.

21950067_1569651429763995_5978913135975251081_o

The amazing Paa-ko staff went into beast mode and had everything perfectly set up as guests were arriving. The rain held off through the bulk of our ceremony but started to lightly sprinkle as we kissed and made our way down the aisle as Mr. + Mrs. By the time our reception started, the sky was clear and weather was perfect. The weather certainly made for some amazing photos too! Our wedding day ended up perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing!

21768561_1569651503097321_1182874002393216126_o

We waited a couple of months to go on our honeymoon, but we spent a very relaxing weekend in Los Cabos. We rang in the New Year sipping margaritas on the beach and watching fireworks over the ocean. It was the perfect way to wrap up our wedding story. And now, we are anxiously awaiting our little honeymoon souvenir — due in October! It certainly has been a magical year for us.

Genevieve, bride

21768540_1569651646430640_122753731759353854_o

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

2018 Diamond Dash Wedding Show: Recap!

With so many wedding shows, bridal events, parties, and shindigs for engaged couples to go to, it can be hard to keep track of the myriad of pre-wedding fun. It might feel like once you’ve been to one wedding show, you’ve been to them all — save for the new local business owners at each one, of course. But there is one wedding show that always stands out: the Diamond Dash.

Not to toot our own horns, either. We love checking out, being a part of, and supporting all other wedding shows + events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. All we’re saying is: Have you been to another local wedding show where 5 brides-to-be dove into a wedding cake before?

Ah, yes, the famed diamond dash that happens at the end of every Diamond Dash Wedding Show. 5 local fiancés, darned in custom PWG aprons to protect their pretty clothes, dig around in a giant wedding cake courtesy of Cake Fetish, to find a diamond necklace that’s been baked inside the delicious cake.

But that’s not all that goes down at the Diamond Dash — especially not this time around at our March 2018 Diamond Dash, at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. On top of the cake dive, King Mobile Music spent the whole Sunday morning giving away prize after prize after prize, hosting dance competitions between brides and grooms, and keeping the energy amped.

They Hyatt Regency Albuquerque’s cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and gorgeous ballroom rounded out the day, and set the stage perfectly — and literally! — for the fashion show. Bridal Elegance by Darlene and Suits Unlimited, two of Albuquerque’s best businesses, showcased couture bridal fashion on gorgeous models with hair and makeup done by Bliss Salon and Spa. The best part? All local vendors = all the fashion, makeup, and inspo is at your fingertips.

Luckily, Photography Perspectives was there to capture the day, so you don’t have to take our word for it. You can see the hype through their team’s always-incredible photographic eye! Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to reminiscence too.

Grab tickets for the next Diamond Dash on Oct. 28th, 2018 HERE!

30714697_10156428118674114_7439441483377147904_o30739423_10156428119104114_3858273000075821056_o30725745_10156428121119114_7237122161226285056_o30726620_10156428111724114_216282286599962624_o30728936_10156428124184114_6393004398565392384_o30728973_10156428120879114_7119571792552787968_o30714921_10156428117834114_1131204423381417984_o30710111_10156428116564114_241388831461343232_o30712794_10156428119584114_8575950019570434048_o30714916_10156428123104114_1752743653480071168_o

For more photos from our March 2018 Diamond Dash Show, check them out here!

 

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

 

Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel

The place and atmosphere were pure fun and joy. I enjoyed every part of the place. I will definitely go back again and tell my family and friends of the place and what fun and joy. Thank you for such a great time.

– Terry, local to Albuquerque

It’s no secret to the locals that Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel lives to treat each and every one of their guests. But did you know that you can actually marry your sweetheart in their venue space too? We’re so excited to welcome Santa Ana Star on to the Perfect Wedding Guide team as our newest venue + member!

As long term fans of the space, we can’t help but be a little biased. It’s just that we always have such a wonderful time there, and now we get to direct our local brides there to celebrate their big day! I mean, the conference space + ballroom, which are flexible and accommodating, has over 30,000 square feet of space. Can you believe that?!

It’s not just for the bigger bridal parties either — “From 20 to 3,000 guests, our creative, knowledgeable and friendly staff will personalize YOUR event to perfection!” says their team, and we can attest to that.

Thank you, Santa Ana Star, for being a part of our family of Albuquerque + Santa Fe wedding professionals. We appreciate you!

For more information on booking the venue, chat with the Santa Ana Star team here!

Image 1 - Kissing Couple

 

Perfect Wedding Guide New Mexico

Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets

One of the most fabulous parts of working with incredible, local wedding vendors is having the inside scoop on all things wedding planning. The downside? No one on our team is currently engaged (yet!), so what can we do with all these amazing tips and tricks?

Well, share them with you, of course! Whether it’s local deals and promotions, wedding budget calculators, or upcoming wedding shows, we always try to pass on these goodies to all the lovely brides in our sphere and around the world.

{Some say we’re terrible at keeping secrets, but really we’re just wedding enthusiasts.}

This time around, we asked some of our favorite local vendors to divulge their best kept secrets of the industry. So read on, bride-to-be! Check out these four ways to make the most of your wedding day.

 

Photo + Gown: Maggie Sottero

Remember to keep an open mind in terms of designer and style. A dress always looks different on the body than it does on the rack! Choose your consultation party wisely. When deciding who to bring, limit it to those whose opinions matter the most. Make sure to start looking for and order a dress early on! It can take can up to 3-9 months, especially for big designers, for a dress customized to your specifications to come in. If you’re a bride on a budget, don’t hesitate to ask your dress shop for discontinued dresses. You will almost always receive a bargain on those kinds of gowns.

– Darlene, with Bridal Elegance by Darlene

 

 

 

 

One of the thriftiest wedding cake hacks out there and one that can give you the biggest bang for your buck is here!  Instead of creating one extravagant cake that can feed all of your guests, have your baker create a small cake, which is meant for the cake-cutting, pictures, & feeding a few guests. Then, have a simpler, easy to cut sheet cake that can be hidden in the kitchen and cut up afterwards for all your wedding guests to enjoy. You can also utilize a dummy tier out of foam. Many bakeries can help achieve the look of a multi-tiered wedding cake for less by substituting decorated foam tiers in between real tiers of cake. This will be a huge blessing to your bank account… trust us!”

Birdie, with The Cake Boutique

 

…the general advice you will get is to think about the basics:  the price and thecapacity. However, the process of selecting a venue can really make or break your planning experience. Once you have selected one, it should be a place that leaves you feeling completely confident about your big day, not frustrated or depleted. Once all of the planning is done, everything will come together and it will center around the venue,  so ask the tough questions and make sure that you trust the venue to execute your vision.

Lauren, The Event Center at Sandra Golf Club

 

 

 

 

Remember, this is the time in your life that you will be the most photographed.  Why not make the most of it and be camera ready at all times? When booking your wedding trial run with your hair and makeup artist, book your engagement pictures after. Or perhaps plan it to be done on the morning of your bridal shower, that way you can be camera ready for the shower.

Ric Kent, Hair and Makeup Artist

{Pssstt… Want more tips? Subscribe to our blog here for part two of this post!}