A Destination Wedding in San Miguel De Allende

A jewelry designer and her beau headed south of the border for an intimate celebration

Updated 12/18/18

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Charlie Williamson has his sister Alex to thank for her serious matchmaking talents. Back in 2012, Alex walked up to a stranger, Myriah Shaw, at a lunch in Dallas and said, “Are you single? You’re perfect for my brother!” At the time, Myriah laughed and said she wasn’t. But nevertheless, Alex—who happens to be the chief brand officer at Bumble, the dating-app company based in Austin, Texas—was right. Charlie and Myriah went on their first date to an Eagles concert a year later, and as Myriah says, “hit it off like I never imagined we would.”

In fact, it’s surprising they matched at all. “We’re an unlikely couple,” she explains. She’s from Idaho, he’s from Alabama; she’s five feet tall, he’s six-foot-two; she owns a jewelry line, Opal Milk, and he works in construction management. Yet after Charlie proposed, renting out a space at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in April 2017 to make the moment truly special, they agreed on one thing: a small, destination wedding with 74 of their closest friends and family on September 8, 2018.

The location? San Miguel de Allende, a place that came highly recommended by the bride’s mother, who said it reminded her of Myriah. “I have always had a soft spot for Mexican culture, and it’s a city full of artists like myself,” Myriah explains. The couple flew down for a visit to make sure Mom was right. (She was!)

Keep reading to see more of this creative couple's fun-filled celebration in San Miguel de Allende, as captured by Laurken Kendall.

venue

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Charlie and Myriah call Dallas home but decided to say “I do” in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial city in Mexico’s highlands.

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The bride set the tone for the wedding by introducing their "bohemian-meets-minimalist" vision in the invitation suite. To do that, she used a custom font and unique textures such as leather, which she also carried through to the day-of decor. "I incorporated concrete, leather, wood, fringe, terra cotta, vintage rugs, sheep skins, disco ball mirrors, and every messy woven fabric I could get my paws on," she says. "We made all the fun happen with textural elements."

parade

Photo by Laurken Kendall

donkey

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Myriah and Charlie opted to do the callejoneada, a wedding parade that’s customary in San Miguel, before their rehearsal dinner. “We thought it would be a great way to introduce everyone, after they had already taken tequila shots and hung out with donkeys and a mariachi band,” she says.

bride's rehearsal dinner

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The bride wore a sheer Cleobella dress and did her hair in a Frida Kahlo–style updo (complete with fresh orchids!) for the first day of events.

bride getting ready

Photo by Laurken Kendall

On the big day itself, the bride spent the morning with just her photographer, whom she now calls a friend, as she posed for portraits around the hacienda where she was staying.

bride

Photo by Laurken Kendall

After dress shopping and admittedly trying on "close to 50 dresses," Myriah spotted her dream gown online. "I knew it was perfect the second I took it out of the box," she says. "It spoke to me for reasons I'll never understand." But looking back, she says she particularly loved the Rue De Seine style's taupe undertone and intricate crochet material. "My dress felt like the prefect blend of 'Spanish' influence, and had an romantic almost vintage feel," she adds.

bouquet

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The bride grew up gardening and admits to sending her florist a very detailed list. On it were leafy greens (eucalyptus and olive branches), calla lilies, blushing brides, and rust-colored orchids. The finishing touch: a leather wrap inscribed with Walt Whitman’s “We were together, I forget the rest.”

bride in car

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The bride says her ride to the ceremony—in a pale yellow VW convertible—was one of her favorite parts of the day.

bridesmaids

Photo by Laurken Kendall

flowers

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Myriah, in a crocheted Rue de Seine gown, and her bridesmaids, in terra-cotta frocks by Lulu’s, hit the city’s cobblestone paths for group pics.

groomsmen

Photo by Laurken Kendall

groomsmen

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Charlie’s groomsmen (right) did the same to show off their Otomi-embroidered bow ties.

wedding party

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The wedding party consisted of eleven bridesmaids (with three maids of honor!) and nine groomsmen.

bride with mom

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The bride's mother, Ami Montague, walked her down the aisle as a Spanish guitarist played “And I Love Her” by The Beatles. "She had me when she was just a kid herself and we have truly grown up together," Myriah says. "It was so important and symbolic for me that she held my hand down the aisle and gave me away to Charlie."

ceremony

Photo by Laurken Kendall

bride and groom

Photo by Laurken Kendall

But first: Myriah asked Charlie if he’d be game to do their first look and exchange vows in private prior to the ceremony. “I thought it was bad luck to see the bride before she walked down the aisle,” he says with a laugh. “But I’m so glad we did because I cried more than I had planned!”

vow exchange

Photo by Laurken Kendall

fist kiss

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Afterward, they did share promises publicly, on the covered pool top at a hacienda, as their loved ones looked on. “Charlie promised if I tripped and fell, he’d jump in after me,” she says. The bride gave their officiant, Tova Sido, rave reviews, calling her "the most incredible woman on the planet."

ceremony exit

Photo by Laurken Kendall

It was the groom’s idea to cover the hacienda’s pool but leave the sides open to show off the tiles. They did just that, marrying between two potted cacti and atop a Turkish rug they now call "the vows rug."

bride and groom

Photo by Laurken Kendall

couple

Photo by Laurken Kendall

After the ceremony, the couple went on a photo-filled adventure through the streets of San Miguel while their guests explored the historic hacienda venue.

escort card display

Photo by Laurken Kendall

escort cards

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The reception followed in a lush garden, where revelers signed a “pin the tail on the donkey” guest book and dined on tacos before a “disco donkey”–themed dance session.

honor family members

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Charlie and Myriah made sure to celebrate passed family members who were "celebrating in spirit"—pets included!

reception

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Dinner was set between the palms, which worked to further illustrate the event's natural, effortless look.

sweetheart table

Photo by Laurken Kendall

table setting

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The bride says she set out with a house-party vision, filling the hacienda’s outdoor space with living room furniture and farm tables topped with eucalyptus, wooden candlesticks, and tiny donkey figurines. To accomplish “cozy lighting” at dinner, the couple used only candles on tables.

couple at table

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Myriah says she and Charlie eat tacos together several days a week so they decided to serve just that at their wedding. "We didn’t care if the food was 'fancy.' We just wanted it to be hot—and good," she says. (They also found that tacos were conveniently customizable for guests with special dietary needs.)

cake

Photo by Laurken Kendall

Also a must for Charlie and Myriah? A simple vanilla cake as they are both "vanilla over chocolate any day."

first dance

Photo by Laurken Kendall

couple dancing

Photo by Laurken Kendall

For their first dance, the newlyweds selected “Always, Forever” by “Cults," a song that had special meaning. "Charlie sent it to me while I was away on a road trip with a message that said 'every time I hear this song I picture you as my bride,'" Myriah recalls. "There was no question what our first dance song would be when the time came."

pinata

Photo by Laurken Kendall

pinata

Photo by Laurken Kendall

The bride hit a five-foot-tall disco ball piñata before her groom pulled her onstage for her favorite Ludacris song. “He knew I’d want to show off my rapping skills,” she says. “That’s my husband!”

couple exit

Photo by Laurken Kendall

At the end of the party, the DJ played one of the couple’s favorites, “Southern Sun” by Boy & Bear, for their send-off. “It was the perfect exit song,” says Myriah (in Stone Cold Fox).

Venue: Casa Chorro || Wedding Planner: Dahlia Bastien of Eventia || Bride's Dress: Rue de Seine || Bride's Jumpsuit: Stone Cold Fox || Bride's Accessories: Opal Milk || Groom's Attire: J. Hilburn Studio || Stationery: Wye-Hunter Design || Floral Design & Catering: Maye Cordova Events || Favors: Willow House; Home & Harvest || Entertainment: Brigham Golden of BGolden Productions || Photography: Laurken Kendall || Videography: Simone Luca

This story originally appeared in the February/March 2019 issue of Brides, on stands starting December 18.

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