Bright Colors and Impeccable Food Left Guests in Awe at This Wedding in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
For Paige Chenault and Stephen Lohoefer, friendship laid the foundation for lifelong love. “We were friends for years first. True friends!” Paige laughs. As destiny would have it, Stephen, the pastor of Paige’s church, ran into Paige, the founder of The Birthday Party Project, on a walk around the neighborhood. The following day, they ran into each other again. “The next time, we decided to meet and walk the neighborhood together,” she continues. “Our short walks eventually turned into long walks, and the long walks into even longer ones, all searching for more reasons to spend time together.”
Of course, it was on one fateful walk that their story took a profound turn. “Then, on one walk, Stephen asked if he could cook me dinner.” Paige recollects. It was a night to remember, set against the backdrop of Stephen’s porch. As they savored the best steak of their lives, the air was thick with emotion as Stephen expressed his affection for Paige. Stephen made a slightly larger proclamation on that porch a year and a half later. “He proposed on that same back porch!” the bride reveals. “It was just as simple and perfect as our first meal together.”
The couple set about planning their nuptials around a central concept: making their cherished guests feel... cherished! With Stephen being a pastor, the pair prioritized their ceremony’s symbolism. Yet, they also wished to honor their diverse community of friends and family. “We wanted to serve communion to our guests and then have our friend offer a blessing over us in Hebrew,” Paige details.
After selecting a destination wedding in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, their priority upon their guests’ arrival was to gift them with items that encapsulated the beauty and significance of the area: the enchanting city’s spirit echoed in every detail. Their heartfelt welcome party introduced loved ones to local wonders, from handpicked artisanal gifts to a vibrant parade adorned with giant puppets. “Our Friday night welcome party started early with cocktails for our guests as they ‘shopped’ our Mercado,” the bride explains. “We hand-selected every item: from handmade soaps and hand-painted dishes to customizable hats, tequila, maracas and our favorite local snacks!” These elements transformed their celebration into a vivid fiesta, embracing the city’s essence.
Their wedding day unfolded like a dream. As guests gathered, Paige and her daughter, Lizzie, shared some much-needed moments. “The most special aspect was spending time with my daughter. Having time with her is a moment I will forever cherish. I had the chance to help her get dressed, lay on the bed and talk, hold her hand, and remind her that she will forever be my number one. I will never forget what it felt like to walk down the aisle holding her hand as she escorted me to Stephen.”
Their inner circle gathered in an open-air square facing a verdant floral arch overflowing with pink, red, orange, coral and white blossoms that allowed nature’s beauty to gently intermingle with their vows. The couple’s fashion choices mirrored their individuality. Stephen, guided by his keen style sense, donned a bespoke burgundy bamboo tuxedo. Paige’s non-traditional wedding dress, designed in collaboration with Patti Flowers, exuded whimsy. “We listed our family’s values on the front of our program, which include: We show up for people, We make time to play, We say the things, We choose experiences over stuff, We don’t sing-we perform, We gather at the table, We are always a team.” During the ceremony, the groom made additional promises to Lizzie. “I knew by marrying Paige, I was joining a family she and her daughter had already created in ways, so expressing my commitment to both of them was the most significant and meaningful part,” he says.”
The ensuing reception unfolded as a mosaic of eclectic and coordinating details. “Each table had different dinner plates, glassware and napkins. We wanted each table to be unique and yet to feel like our guests were gathered around our dinner table!” Paige relays. Delicious local cuisine made every table a cornucopia of color, and the drinks from the bar flowed. One hundred guests mingled and toasted throughout the space. A touch of magic concluded the weekend—a silent disco that allowed everyone to get down without creating too much noise for the neighborhood.
Paige and Stephen’s advice encapsulated the essence of their love journey: “Do the work individually and together to create a safe space where you can say all the things.” This love story, hinged on faith, authenticity and shared laughter, is a testament to the magnificent power of love.