In the central highlands of Mexico, above 6,000 feet elevation, lies a small colonial town called San Miguel de Allende. Known as much for its lively festivals, as for its Spanish Baroque architecture, it’s home to artisans, artists, and Texans looking for a vacation destination. I was invited to a destination wedding in April, during the height of Festival Season, and I celebrated with panache!
The first thing I found out about Festival Season is that sometimes, celebrating means the town starts shooting off fireworks at 5:30 in the morning and continues exploding them every ten minutes until mid-day. I actually thought they were gunshots when they first woke me up. I guess I’m a true Los Angeleno. Luckily, the celebrations the other days skipped this tradition.
San Miguel is lined with cobblestone streets meandering to a central square, where the magnificent pink neo-Gothic church, Parroquia de San Miquel Arcangel rises above shady El Jardin park. Each sidewalk is comprised of quaint shops and mysterious facades that open to courtyards of large mansions, many of which are available to rent. The villas come with cooks, housekeepers, and an occasional “house dog.” Several wedding guests pitched in to share rental estates.
We stayed at the newest luxury hotel in town, ROSEWOOD HOTEL SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE and it was divine. The rooftop bar/restaurant had a breathtaking view of the jacaranda blossoms in bloom throughout the city. The menu featured several kinds of tacos, salads, and unique tapas style appetizers. The hotel has its own lavender field, two pools, spa, and tequila bar.
The wedding couple, Lance and Matt, invited everyone to a welcome fiesta the first night. It was held in a lush garden courtyard of a small bed and breakfast, called Casa del Parque. I loved the homemade tortillas, pork tacos, burgers, and several varieties of dessert. We even had a choice of three different margaritas; traditional, mango, and tamarindo. The last two kinds had chili powder/salt rims.
The wedding and reception were held at Instituto Allende, a space that featured a colonial courtyard with center fountain, a connected outdoor terrace area for dining, and a large balcony with a view of the city which was used for the ceremony (and later for the dance floor.) It was utterly romantic, charming, and breathtaking all at once.
In between the ceremony and the reception, we were all given ceramic tequila cup necklaces, poured some tequila, and sent off on a Callejoneada parade through the town. A mariachi band and the two grooms led us through the winding streets to the local park. After some hilarious dancing, we all returned to the venue to begin the reception. Did I mention that the decorated donkey carried the tequila bottles along with us during the parade for people who wanted refills? We were also accompanied by two GIANT puppets, called mojigangas, which danced and spun their way through the parade crowd. They were made out of paper mache to look like the two grooms.
When I wasn’t celebrating with friends, I strolled the charming streets, shopped at artisan jewelry stores, art galleries, and clothing boutiques. I made one purchase, a lapis bracelet to go with my lapis earrings and necklace I purchased in Chile. I love weddings, and this one was especially joyous.