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Casa Rondeña Winery Venue Interview

In thinking of someone to interview that works at a venue I instantly thought of April, who was the event manager for Casa Rondena Winery. While she has actually moved on to another job, she still participated in this interview. In a way I am sharing this to help you give an idea of some good tips from an actual venue planner. April has a natural knack for planning and is very talented at it. I wish I knew her for my own wedding!
If you are an Albuquerque bride this winery is gorgeous  and know that I do still photograph Albuquerque weddings, but am based out of Denver 100% now. 🙂


I hope you find this helpful!

Since I haven’t worked with Casa Rondena Winery before, or wasn’t able to photograph it since it is in Albuquerque, I’m going to share this photo of April and I from a close friend’s wedding we share. haha…silly I know.



And for April’s answers to my little questionnaire.

Can you tell me what your job title is and what that means to brides?

My job title is Event & Marketing Manager at Casa Rondena Winery. I am responsible for managing a wedding & private event venue. For my brides this means that I make sure their event space is logistically planned and managed on the day of their wedding.

What makes a good event manager in your opinion?

In my opinion a good event manager is detail oriented, thinks logistically, and has great time management skills.
What is one thing that separates your business from other similar businesses?

In Albuquerque there are only a handful of outdoor venues for brides to choose from. Casa Rondena has three beautiful indoor and outdoor venues on property for both ceremonies and receptions. The enchanting architecture nestled in the cottonwoods of the north valley makes you feel like you are somewhere far away from New Mexico. The natural beauty of Casa Rondena Winery makes it so that our brides wouldn’t have to decorate at all if they didn’t want to and they would still have a gorgeous atmosphere.

 What is your favorite part about being a event manager?

My favorite part about being an event manager is being able to take some burden off of the bride, groom, and their families on the day of the wedding. I take care of details that pop up as the event is going on and try to make the day go as smooth as possible in accordance to how the bride and groom planned it. 

What is the most common mistakes most brides make in planning their wedding?

Brides spend a lot of time and energy planning their wedding, so obviously they are very invested in its outcome. One of the biggest mistakes I see is when a bride doesn’t hand over the reins to a wedding planner, friend, or family member to make decisions and handle anything unexpected on the day of the wedding. Not doing this can give the bride extra stress and anxiety.

Is there one aspect of the actual wedding day that could go smoother? If so, how would you suggest changing the traditional format?
In my experience brides often create unrealistic expectations for their wedding day. In a lot of instances the bride has been planning her wedding in her head for several years even before the right man came along. It is great to know what you want, however it can sometimes snowball into unrealistic expectations which can then leave the bride disappointed with aspects of the wedding. The bride needs to know that most likely everything won’t turn out exactly as they envision it. They need to have an open mind when making decisions and keep in mind what the real meaning of the day is all about. I think changing the societal pressures associated with weddings can help alleviate this problem. 

What’s your best advice for brides working with a tight budget?

Budgets are one of the hardest aspects to nail down about a wedding. For budget conscious brides I would suggest being creative with your décor. At Casa Rondena Winery we will recycle wine bottles and corks by saving them for the brides to use for centerpieces and other decorations. Brides should also take a closer look at their venue. Sometimes the venue has items that you can rearrange and incorporate into your décor and layout. For example, in one of our event spaces we have old wine barrels around the room that some brides will use for their cake table, as cocktail tables, and for food stations. These wine bottles, corks, and barrels are at no additional cost to our brides and grooms!

In finding a venue,what are three things brides should look for?
The three things brides should ask about a potential venue are:

  1. Is it a space that promotes the personality and style of your wedding? Do you envision an outdoor venue or an indoor venue? You don’t want the theme of the wedding to compete with the permanent décor and setup of the room. You also want you and your guests to be comfortable in the space. All of these aspects should mesh well and not be forced. 
  2. What are their rules and regulations while your guests are on their property? Do those regulations fit your ideal wedding specifications? Again you want to make sure that what you want for the day of your wedding is allowed in that space.
  3. Is the venue within your budget? You do not want to fall in love with an event space that is out of your price range because usually in your mind the venues in your price range will never compare. 

If you could give one piece of advice to every bride what would that be?

My advice to brides is to do as much detail planning as possible in advance. A lot of brides make the mistake of pushing off planning aspects of their wedding and they end up having to deal with it last minute. When you are proactive early in the process you have a greater chance of being able to relax and enjoy the days leading up to the wedding.

Any thing else you’d like to add?

It is really important to find wedding vendors that mesh well and understand your vision because those are the people who will come together and make everything happen on your special day. Meet with you vendors often to ensure everyone is on the same page. You are paying a lot of money to hire them, so make sure you are getting the best quality for your budget.

We’d love to work with you as your Albquerque new Mexico elopement photographer and guide!


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Hey, we’re Lumalia (Emmy) and Sam, the leading voices behind Celebrate Again (Lumalia) and our sister elopement company The Dropped Pin (Sam and her husband Kyle). Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle.

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