Meda Kessler 2017-07-15 04:59:50
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE Magic and love in Mexico While Rachel Navejar and Edward Phillips have deep roots in Fort Worth, the couple chose a destination wedding in San Miguel de Allende, the picturesque city in central Mexico. There, Casa Hyder — the colonial-style estate with 11 bedrooms, three kitchens, lush gardens and attentive staff — is a popular getaway year-round. Rachel saw an opening for late October 2016 and booked it even before she and Edward were officially engaged. Choosing the weekend of the Day of the Dead guaranteed an unforgettable experience, as the Mexican holiday is a colorful and festive occasion that honors the deceased. Rachel and Edward saw it as an opportunity to immerse themselves and their guests in local culture. “Edward’s mom passed away five years ago, so we wanted to honor her as well as celebrate our new lives together,” says Rachel. Planning an international wedding poses challenges, and neither Rachel nor Edward had been to San Miguel. But Rachel did her research, and choosing wedding planner Guadalupe Alvarez, founder of Penzi, was an easy decision. Alvarez, a native of San Miguel, has catered to clients from around the world and has been written up in Vogue for her event planning. “Our first visit to San Miguel was to meet with Guadalupe about eight months before the wedding,” says Edward. “I think Rachel fell in love with her immediately because of her pet dogs.” With Casa Hyder already secured for both the wedding and the reception, other details were nailed down: The couple wanted the traditional prewedding parade complete with mariachis, mojigangas — traditional dancing Mexican puppets — and a burro toting bottles of tequila for guests to sip along the way. The ceremony included the lasso ritual, where a “rope” of flowers is used to encircle the couple as a symbol of an enduring relationship. For the reception, which took place under the twinkling lights in Casa Hyder’s courtyard, they chose a dessert bar that included some traditional Mexican sweets instead of a wedding cake. To document the event, they booked international wedding and fashion photographer Charley Smith, a Brit with a charming accent and distinct style. Back home, Rachel and her mother, Rosa Navejar, shopped for a wedding dress together. “I originally just wanted a nice cocktail dress, but I somehow ended up with a custom dress from Olia Zavozina.” The designer’s personal appearance at the NorthPark Center Nordstrom and a dramatic removable tulle overskirt won over both mother and daughter. Rachel’s custom footwear included sparkly sandals from Stuart Weitzman and wedding cowboy boots from a San Miguel artisan. The Wedding Details Venue Casa Hyder, San Miguel de Allende, casaselegantes.com/casahyder.html Wedding planner Guadalupe Alvarez, Penzi, San Miguel de Allende, smapenzi.com Photographer Charley Smith Wedding Photography, London, charleysmithweddingphotography.com Bride’s attire Olia Zavozina gown from Nordstrom Wedding Suite, NorthPark Center, Dallas, nordstrom.com Groom’s attire Custom guayabera from Dos Carolinas (locations in Houston and San Antonio), doscarolinas.com Edward opted for a custom guayabera from Dos Carolinas in San Antonio, which necessitated a trip to the Alamo City for the fitting. While the couple chose not to have attendants, Edward’s father and his best friend also wore custom shirts. For Rachel’s wedding ring, Edward enlisted a family friend to make the sapphire and diamond design. Family and friends were strong threads that tied all the festivities together. Gayland Pool, a retired Episcopal priest who married Edward’s parents and has remained a family friend, made the trip to San Miguel — along with about 100 others — to perform the ceremony for the young couple. “Our wedding was very public in one sense. There were so many tourists out and about during the parade through the square, so they became part of it by accident. But then the wedding was so warm and personal and intimate,” says Edward. They remained in town for another week for the honeymoon. “San Miguel is magical,” says Rachel. “We’re already planning to go back.”
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