San Miguel de Allende is the most amazing wedding destination right in our backyard. Of course, Americans love tying the knot in Mexico. Cabo, Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum all come to mind. Each one has its merits. But unlike these more well known locals, San Miguel has a uniqueness all it’s own. One of my favorite San Miguel wedding planners is Guadalupe Alvarez. She owns Penzi Weddings, well known for spectacular events around the area. I talked to Guadalupe about her work, San Miguel, and what makes this a special place for weddings.
“San Miguel is special because of its people.” says Guadalupe.
“They are so warm and loving. Everyone here wants you to be happy and know that you are special. We want to share our traditions, passion for fun, love of food, and beauty”.
San Miguel de Allende has long been an exclusive destination for those in the know. The city lies about as far from the oceanfront tourist hubs as you can get. That’s one of its biggest appeals. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s full of stunning Spanish baroque architecture. The stunning 17th century pink neo-gothic parish church is an icon of the city. It faces the French style Plaza Allende, a focal point for visitors and locals.
San Miguel is a rainbow of colors. Walls are painted in bright bold hues. Flowers bloom along the cobblestone streets. Sunsets here are something to behold, especially from a hillside perch. Everywhere you turn there are picture perfect scenes. San Miguel also has all the cultural perks of a worldly city. The region boast incredible food, historic sites, and high end hotels. It’s no wonder San Miguel was voted “favorite city in the world” by Travel + Leisure Magazine readers. All this also makes this an unforgettable wedding destination.
“San Miguel is small, yet big enough to have different kinds of hotels or houses to offer guests. There are many different types of restaurants, galleries, and shops too. The food here is both traditional and very modern depending on taste. The romantic streets are perfect for wedding parades with family and friends. Most important, the people and city are full of charm.”
Guadalupe is a local of San Miguel. Her grandfather arrived in the 1800’s and the family has called it home since. After studying in Mexico City, she moved back to San Miguel and has been here ever since. “I adore this city, the energy in the streets, the traditions, and the romance.” says Guadalupe. 16 years ago Penzi Weddings was born. “After all my traveling going to the USA and Europe I was ready to be local, not global. Planning weddings in San Miguel allowed me to show off what we have in this amazing world heritage city.”
San Miguel is for more than weddings. This romantic city is perfect for an adventurous engagement photo session. Engagements here are great whether your wedding is in Mexico or somewhere back home. If you are tying the knot in San Miguel, it’s the perfect chance to get scout out the city with your photographer. If not, you’ll have an amazing backdrop and adventure to share. Some couples even include the proposal and engagement in the same trip. This takes a little bit of sneakiness on the part of the one proposing. Though, in the end, it can work out to be an unforgettable story.
San Miguel has become a premiere destination wedding location. Its reputation has been fueled by breathtaking images in magazines and social media. Many viewers assume it’s Europe or South America they are seeing. That is, until they dig deeper and notice the location is only a few hours from the US. Many of the most remarkable events to take place here were from Penzi Weddings. “Our clients are of all nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations. Couples from 56 different nationalities have enjoyed our city and our people. They have traveled the world and know that San Miguel offers everything they could want.”
The main reason for a destination wedding is to create a unique experience. Part of that is weaving the local culture into your celebration. This is an easy proposition in San Miguel. The food, architecture, and people will set your event apart from anywhere else. Mixing the culture, location, and your own personalities together is what makes magic. This is what makes Guadalupe’s weddings stand out.
“We love to learn who our couples are. Why are they getting married in San Miguel? What do they love about the city? What are their favorite foods, music, activities? We want their personalities to be front and center. A beautiful but generic wedding is not good enough. They are the most important part of what we do.”
Much of what you’ll need to make your wedding vision come to life is already in San Miguel. The city has several hotels that can accommodate large parties of guests. There are wonderful restaurants and locations for hosting a rehearsal dinner. Activities for guests are also plentiful. Above all, Guadalupe advises couple to “do your homework. Check out different cities and decide where you want to celebrate. Research wedding planners in San Miguel and decide which fits you best. For us at Penzi, it’s all about commitment and a great team. We are a one stop shop. Our clients know that we will take care of everything. I have an amazing team that will do everything so we have relaxed, happy couples.”
Many of your vendors can be found locally, though there are exceptions. “For catering staff, waiters, etc. we work with locals. It’s important for us that the work stays in the city” explains Guadalupe. “Photography, video, music, and sometimes flowers is different. We work with outside vendors because they bring a new perspective to our work.”
Bringing a photographer with you is always beneficial. When you’ve already met and built up a raport, the images will be much better. I always want to learn about your relationship, friends, family, and vision ahead of our trip. That way you’ll feel like you are with a friend throughout the process. I’ll be able to capture your story in more of an authentic way that is true to you. This is a great way to reduce stress or awkwardness on your wedding day. It can also be nice to have a fresh perspective on the area your visiting says Guadalupe. “I love how photographers, who have never been here, fall in love with my city. They discover places that we have never seen.”
One of the most important aspects of any wedding is the venue. There are incredible wedding venues in San Miguel. “The wedding venues here are amazing!” says Guadalupe. “There are so many to choose from.”
A constant with all wedding venues here is an emphasis on celebrating San Miguel. If you are wanting a catholic church ceremony, there are some unbelievable options. Of course, a cathedral ceremony isn’t for everyone. There are great venues for both your ceremony and reception. Some couples even choose to spread their event out to various venues. This gives them and their guests a kind of tour of the city. You cant’t go wrong, as all the areas wedding venues exude the one of a kind San Miguel vibe. After all, the areas beauty and spirit is its biggest draw.
Here are a few of my favorite venues San Miguel de Allende have to offer:
One of the most popular venues for elegant weddings is the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. An added benefit of a hotel like this is that your guests can all stay in one place. It’s adept at hosting destination weddings for international guests. This luxurious property is stunning and features some of the best views in town. There is a rooftop area overlooking the city perfect more more intimate events. The main draw is the gorgeous lawn. It too overlooks the city and church. The area features native landscaping, can be tented, and has plenty of room for any event. The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende makes for an unforgettable destination wedding setting.
Located right across the street from Rosewood Hotel is Instituto Allende. This is one of Guadalupe’s favorite destination wedding venues. “It’s Iconic. A beautiful colonial hacienda turned art school and wedding venue.” The institute is home to a historic fine art program that has drawn in artists from around the world. This has contributed to San Miguel’s reputation and status as an art destination. Instituto Allende has a large central courtyard with fountain.
“Magnificent, intimate, and gorgeous!” is how Guadalupe describes Casa Carino. This extravagant mansion is set on the side of a hill with sweeping views of the city center. Built in a traditional style, Casa Carino is only a few years old. It has all the latest amenities without sacrificing style or character. It rises four stories and has seven bedrooms. The courtyard is an idyllic spot for a ceremony and reception. Casa Carino is perfect for smaller destination weddings with close friends and family.
Your San Miguel de Allende Wedding