Once they were engaged, Holly Prentice and Robert Stavert knew immediately that they’d say "I do" in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Robert is half Mexican and grew up traveling to the city. In fact, he's such a fan that he even talked about it on the couple’s first date. “It is easily one of his favorite places in the world,” Holly says. “When we first traveled there together, I fell in love with it as well.”
The couple worked with local planner Guadalupe Alvarez of Penzi Weddings to create the destination wedding of their dreams: a Catholic ceremony in an 18th-century church, followed by an alfresco dinner in a private hacienda. The celebration honored the romantic vibes of the city as well as its ability to “throw a good party,” which translated to mariachi music, tequila, tacos, and even a donkey at the reception! The couple's ultimate goal? To have their nearly 70 guests leave in love with the city, too.
Keep reading for all the details on their destination wedding, planned by Penzi Weddings and photographed by Erich McVey.
The couple’s invitation suite featured cacti illustrations that alluded to their destination wedding location, San Miguel de Allende.
“We loved the idea of a private hacienda and had explored many, but the second we entered Casa Hyder, we both looked at each other and immediately knew this was it,” Holly says of deciding on their venue. The Spanish Colonial hacienda features a manicured garden of succulents and cacti.
“We recognized that opportunities to gather together in celebration are rare,” Holly says of their destination wedding. “We really looked forward to making the most out of our time with each of our guests.” The bride kept her look modern and chic for the rehearsal dinner, sporting a halter-neck LWD.
On the wedding day, Robert wore a classic Ralph Lauren tuxedo, which he accessorized with a bow tie, pocket square, and cufflinks.
Since the Catholic ceremony guidelines prevented the couple from exchanging personalized vows, Holly and Robert decided to write handwritten notes to one another prior to the wedding. The letters included their “vows” to one another and were hand-delivered on the big day.
Holly’s Vera Wang gown featured a delicate macramé lace that she says “perfectly reflected the colonial town of San Miguel.” She paired the lightweight gown—”Very important for a wedding in Mexico!” she adds—with a Vera Wang veil, Alexis Bittar earrings, and M. Gemi shoes.
One of Holly’s favorite moments during the ceremony was being escorted down the aisle by her father. “Before we walked, I made sure to tell him that the man standing at the altar with me was there because he had many of the same great attributes as my dad did,” she adds.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds hosted a callejoneada, a walking serenade that’s a tradition in the Guanajuato province of Mexico. Sort of like a second line, this tradition includes a parade through the streets with a mariachi band, donkey, and “lots of tequila.”
Upon arrival at Casa Hyder, guests were treated to guacamole, mini chicken tacos, shrimp a la plancha, and a margarita bar.
“Remind yourselves of what is ultimately most important: your love for one another and how truly blessed you are to have so many family and friends who are excited to celebrate this love with you,” Holly says of taking a couple’s moment during the wedding.
Inspired by the surrounding gardens, the reception decor featured warm shades of peach, coral, and watermelon against romantic neutrals and greenery. The space was filled with a hanging canopy of florals and lanterns, plus tabletop candles to kept the mood intimate for the couple’s dinner party.
Food is one of the things Holly and Robert adore about San Miguel de Allende, so they focused on an innovative menu full of locally sourced ingredients. Dishes included grilled octopus with a citrus vinaigrette, papaya and avocado salad with roasted hazelnuts, and a guajillo chili butter grilled rib eye. The couple skipped a cake in favor of late-night churros and cajeta.
Holly described the florals as “enchanting” and the light hues of the blooms did just that.
Robert, a music lover, collaborated on the playlist with their DJ to keep the party going at the hacienda.
After the wedding, the couple jetted to Rosewood Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya for what Holly thought was a mini-moon. What she didn’t know was that Robert has actually planned an entire surprise honeymoon to South America. The couple spent a few days on the beach in Mexico, then hiked the Atacama Desert in Chile, and relaxed with wine at the Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza, Argentina.
Ceremony Venue: Templo de San Francisco
Reception Venue: Premier San Miguel House Rental & Concierge
Planner: Penzi Weddings
Officiant: Father Felipe Necco
Bride's Dress & Veil: Vera Wang
Jewelry: Alexis Bittar
Hair & Makeup: Kacee Geoffroy Hair & Makeup
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale
Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren
Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux
Rings: Joseph Gann Jewelers
Flowers & Favors: Penzi Weddings
Stationery & Paper Goods: PS Paper
Music: DJ Omar Colunga
Catering: The Restaurant
Accommodations: Premier San Miguel House Rental & Concierge
Photographer: Erich McVey