WEDDINGS IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
MY FIRST EVER WEDDING IN MEXICO
The first wedding I photographed in Mexico (eight years ago) was in San Miguel de Allende. The ceremony was held in the distinctive neo-gothic pink parish church (known as La Parroquia) and the reception was down the hill in the exquisite Casa Hyder. Central San Miguel is made up of steep, cobbled streets lined with old wooden doors that open to beautifully restored houses with courtyards, gardens, shady pools and terraces. Its churches, plazas, gardens and colonial houses are a delight to photograph in and its celebratory atmosphere is unique. I don’t think I will ever tire of working in San Miguel.
AN INTRODUCTION TO PAPEL PICADO AND WALL TO WALL BOUGAINVILLEA
This wedding was a gorgeous Cuban-American event held within the cobbled streets and ubiquitous bougainvillea of central San Miguel. During this wedding I bore witness to the beautifully kept up private houses close to El Jardín, their courtyards and terraces just could not be better for a unforgettable party. The pre-wedding portraits and the preparations for this wedding were all held one of these beautiful colonial houses, I cannot remember the name and cannot find it anywhere when I try to look it up. We shot the main formal shots up on the roof terrace amongst bright pink petals, nothing quirky, just classic timeless bridal portraits. The rehearsal dinner was held up the hill in Casa de la Cuesta and it was at this party that I first saw the gorgeous papel picado, a staple of Mexican wedding celebrations and of all my own parties ever since.
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE IS PARADISE FOR A WEDDING AND FOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS!
It was also at this wedding that I had my first glimpse of the now so familiar to me - Parroquia. Following the ceremony, we walked from the church to the superb Casa Hyder, where the reception was held. The procession through the cobbled streets was a classic San Miguel-style callejoneada, headed by mariachis and mojigangas (huge wooden puppets of the bride and groom) and fuelled by the customary mescal. The shots I took that day are still some of my favourite San Miguel wedding photographs, especially an image of the mariachis navigating a passageway along side the street as they tail a slightly out of focus bride and groom. Taken from above, this shot shows the mariachis’ hats in all their glory.
SAN MIGUEL HAS SO MANY BEAUTIFUL WEDDING VENUES TO CHOOSE FROM
Although, Casa Hyder and the Rosewood have provided the venues for most of the weddings I have photographed in San Miguel de Allende, I have recently been hearing more about Casa Tortugas, a private house near the centre. In November last year I shot a truly unforgettable wedding there. The bride was a very talented American artist and it was an immaculately planned and designed event, traditional, intimate and full of the loveliest of people. Even though I do enjoy photographing big Mexican weddings of five hundred or so guests, perhaps it is these smaller weddings in which people have come from afar and are all close family or friends, that I feel most akin to.