Home » This Enchanted Garden Wedding Fused Mexican and Jewish Traditions

This Enchanted Garden Wedding Fused Mexican and Jewish Traditions

by Staff

Taylor Kugler and Eduardo Olmos’ romance was made for the stage—or, rather, made on the stage. “We met our freshman year of high school working on school plays together,” Taylor reminisces. “Eduardo was always the lead actor, while I would work behind the scenes on choreography or set painting.” They’ve been dating since junior year. 

After eight years together, Eduardo proposed on a weekend getaway at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. “On our second day there, he told me we were going on a tour of the hotel’s famed garden; looking back, I don’t even know if the hotel has a famed garden,” Taylor shares. “I completely believed it. Then suddenly I turned the corner and there was a candlelit path to the gazebo strewn with rose petals, and Eduardo got down on one knee.” 

They decided on Eduardo’s home country of Mexico for their destination nuptials—but choosing the specific venue and location proved challenging. “For a while, we couldn’t find anything that we loved, until we found San Miguel de Allende and, more specifically, the Rosewood hotel,” Taylor recalls. “It checked all the boxes, from the logistical demands of the wedding to the kind of experience we wanted to give our guests. It’s colorful, rich in history and cultural significance, and has incredible architecture.”

It would also serve as a beautiful backdrop for Taylor’s transformative vision. “Early on I decided that I wanted the ceremony and reception to have completely different color schemes; I wanted to play with the idea of creating an enchanted garden that takes you from day to night,” she says. “For our garden ceremony, the hotel’s background already provided a great deal of vibrancy, so we decided to go with only white flowers complemented by greenery. For the reception, we were able to build our space from the ground up and it was just an explosion of color.” 

The bride herself is an “extreme planner,” she says, so she knew she needed an incredibly detail-oriented wedding pro. She meshed perfectly with Karen Morlet, who helped the couple plan from afar—mostly over Zoom—during the pandemic. 

“Every detail in the wedding weekend was designed to reflect our personalities, as well as what our friends and family mean to us,” Taylor shares. “We really wanted each of our guests to feel taken care of, and make sure their effort to come celebrate with us really felt like a cultural experience. So we took great pains to consider what the food should be like, what flavors would be new, what drinks they would enjoy, what candy they could discover.” Just like the sweet beginnings of their relationship, the world was their stage. “We collaborated with Karen and her team to create a sense of theater that was almost like sharing in a dream with us,” Taylor says. “And, of course, we like to party, so we made sure to add plenty of that too!”

Keep scrolling to see how this wedding, planned by Karen Morlet Eventos and photographed by Olivia Rae James, came together on April 30, 2022.

Collaborating with her husband-to-be was the easiest part of wedding planning, Taylor says. “We were on the same page about what we wanted to provide to our guests, from the visuals down to the experience. We wanted guests to leave having felt like each day contained a new adventure for them.” And so the adventure began before the wedding, with a rehearsal dinner featuring several traditionally Mexican elements, including the cuisine. “Eduardo spent hours deciding what kind of food would best represent his country,” Taylor says, “and we pored over menus deciding what drinks would be new and exciting.” 

Taylor dressed the part for the rehearsal dinner in a vintage dress she found on eBay and a golden flower crown.

For the big day, Taylor went for a classic look with a lace Monique Lhuillier sweetheart ball gown with a scalloped lace hem and a matching jacket to wear over the top. “During the fitting process, we removed some of the boning built into the skirt and adjusted the jacket to sit further down on the shoulders,” she says. “We also added additional layers of white fabric beneath the skirt to brighten it. I loved working with the team at Monique to customize the gown and make it feel more unique.” Underneath, a pair of made-to-order Jimmy Choos had her wedding date engraved. 

Eduardo had a bespoke tuxedo made by Los Angeles tailor, High Society. “I wanted a tuxedo that was timeless, and felt at home in a town that holds on to traditions tightly,” he says. “Every detail was thought through, but of particular significance was the rust-colored lining, which I picked to match the color of the buildings in San Miguel.”

It was his decision to do a first look. “Eduardo was very concerned that he would be overwhelmed when seeing me in a wedding dress for the first time, and felt that a first look would be good to get it all out before the big moment,” Taylor shares. “I had told many of our friends that I did not think I was going to cry at the wedding, but at that moment all of the emotion set in and I broke down right alongside Eduardo.”

Bridesmaids wore rust gowns to play off the landscape and groomsmen donned black tuxedos. The bride’s two younger female cousins served as flower girl and an unconventional ring bearer. “We worked with a designer on Etsy to create a custom flower girl dress inspired by those worn at Prince William and Princess Kate’s wedding,” Taylor says. “For our ring bearer, she modified the sleeves and the length to create an adorable coordinating dress that was more age-appropriate.”

“I walked myself part of the way down the aisle,” Taylor shares. “It felt important to have part of the journey be by myself before having both of my parents walk me in the Jewish tradition.” She chose one of her favorite songs, “Holocene” by Bon Iver, for the momentous trek.

“It was very important to me to have a chuppah to honor my Jewish heritage, even though we had a non-denominational ceremony,” Taylor says. It was built to reflect Rosewood’s natural greenery and pop with all-white florals. Rustic elements like wooden chairs completed the serene setting. 

“We wrote our own vows and our ceremony was performed by our high school teacher whose class we were in the year we became close friends,” Taylor says. “She wrote the ceremony to include personal anecdotes and highlighted our years dating in high school.” After their first kiss as newlyweds, the couple’s recessional elicited laughs. “As a Swiftie, I snuck in ‘Love Story,’” Taylor says. “Eduardo had no idea I chose it until we were walking back up the aisle, and he started laughing when he heard it.”

For the cocktail reception, the couple enlisted Calavera Mexology to create unique craft cocktails that highlighted Mexican flavors for their 165 guests. “The drinks were excellent—some fruity, some spicy,” Taylor says. “Our favorite was their take on the famous Mexican carajillo, a coffee cocktail served on the rocks that no one could get enough of.”

The reception vision? “An enchanted garden, almost on the verge of overgrowth, beneath the stars,” Taylor says. They built the space from the ground up. “Our planner recommended using a black tent to help create the feeling of the night sky; and about a month before the ceremony I saw these incredible lights that created the appearance of stars and knew they would be a perfect addition to our hanging greenery and chandeliers.” They “used deeply colored florals native to Mexico and combined rustic furniture with over-the-top accents like silver candelabras and chargers, and deep red glassware. It was elegant, traditional, vibrant, lush,” she says.

“For dinner, we decided to go a more contemporary route, but still stayed true to the overarching flavors and ingredients in Mexican cuisine,” Taylor describes. The three-course meal included crackling chicharron veloute, a spinach and goat cheese salad from the hotel’s garden, filet with fig demi-glace, and smoked totoaba with a rum-roasted pineapple sauce. “Eduardo’s grandfather and uncle own a winery in northern Mexico, Cuatro Angeles, and graciously agreed to not only serve their wine the entire wedding weekend, but also provide each guest with a bottle to take home.”

“Since we did a lot with all of the decorations, we opted for a simple cake that utilized the florals already so central to our theme,” Taylor says. “Eduardo insisted almond is a classic, I needed to have vanilla, and my dad said chocolate was indispensable—so we had a multi-tier cake with all those flavors so everybody could be happy.”

Time felt slower in that moment; everyone was very emotional.

Their first dance culminated with a surprise fireworks show overlooking the city. “When our song ended, we ran down the steps to a huge open area with the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel in full view,” Taylor says. “We waved at our guests to follow us, and as they all leapt down the stairs and ran through the grass, the fireworks shot up and painted the cool night sky with light. Eduardo says that time felt slower in that moment. Everyone was very emotional.”

“Our planner suggested we do ‘tequila time’—and it’s exactly what it sounds like, a time of the night dedicated exclusively to tequila,” Taylor remembers. “The bride and groom stand on chairs and pour tequila into everyone’s mouths. We ran through many a bottle and no parent, uncle, aunt, cousin, or grandparent was spared. The Rosewood graced us with late-night chilaquiles, which was the perfect way to help soak up the wine, cocktails, and the fountains of Don Julio.” It was an epic cap to an experiential weekend.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff; it won’t matter in the end,” Taylor reflects. “Your guests are there to experience these precious moments with you. That’s what you’ll remember—and that’s what they’ll remember.”

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