Ximena and Alejandro in Los Cabos

An extraordinary wedding planned by Colin Cowie

Ximena Diez-Barroso and Alejandro Adrete's wedding was a family affair that would take place in her father's native Mexico. We quickly zeroed in on Los Cabos—its easy airport access would be convenient for our international travelers, and Los Cabos Marquis Hotel could accommodate all 450 guests. After a quiet civil ceremony Friday night, Ximena and Alejandro descended the steps to the poolside patio, where their guests and an exquisite feast awaited them. We made coral the central theme for our party, incorporating its vibrant color and sculptural quality into seating, tables, and centerpieces. The results were sexy, sleek and modern.

The next day, the religious ceremony was held in the main lobby, overlooking a reflecting pool and ocean beyond. We turned a square cement planter into a centerpiece of floating gardenias and candles, and over the stage we built a breathtaking arch of white roses. To overcome the sterile "ballroom" feel of the dinner venue, I constructed two risers to house tables at different levels. The bride and groom wanted to dance the night away in a fabulous, chic nightclub. Since the hotel didn’t have one, we put it together, with couches in turquoise silk and tiger-print skin, a gold leather bar, and apple green walls. A signature cocktail—two parts tequila, one part espresso, and a liberal sprinkling of Tia Maria—plus coffee, Bloody Marys, and breakfast sandwiches kept people partying until seven in the morning, when even the bride and groom had to admit it was time to call it a dazzling night. —Colin Cowie

Excerpted from Colin Cowie's Extraordinary Weddings. Copyright © 2007 by Colin Cowie. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.   Buy the book »

For more of Colin's extraordinary weddings, see the May/June issue of Brides magazine, on newsstands now.

The ballroom was constructed with an old-world European flair to contrast the contemporary Mexican theme. To create an intimate setting different sized tables were topped with combinations of gold damask, silk and beaded overlays in shades of green with brocade trim and scalloped edges, and were housed at different levels on risers enclosed by custom-made gilded railings. A variety of centerpieces used combinations of gold candelabras, crystal candelabras, small gold floral containers, votives finished off with luscious orchids, roses, magnolias, and tulips. Finally, caramel satin draping was draped toward the center of the room, anchored with a spectacular crystal chandelier, and tall mirrors situated at either end of the room reflect everything across the space.