If you and your fiancé(e) have a penchant for toasting your everlasting love with shots of Tequila instead of flutes of Champagne, you can hold your wedding in the place where the spirit flows like water.
Weddings happen every weekend in the Mexican town of Tequila, with some spirited gatherings lasting three days. Engaged couples who really love Margaritas, Palomas and neat pours of the stuff can plan a ceremony and reception at Hacienda el Centenario at José Cuervo’s Mundo Cuervo that’s filled with colourful backgrounds, vibrant music and dance, traditional food, and plenty of agave cocktails, then stay and play for an extended Tequila-soaked weekend.
“Tequila offers all that a wedding should offer: A unique and authentic history, incredible outdoor and indoor venues, centric location with a full range of high-level services, and numerous experiences before, during and after the big day,’ says Genoveva García García, director of marketing and communication for Mundo Cuervo.
On Friday, guests arrive and check-in either at the Hotel Solar de las Animas, a 93-room Relais & Chateaux property based on a Creole colonial house that has three restaurants and bars, two pools, a spa and a gym, or the Hotel Villa Tequila, an old farmhouse with an nineteenth-century design, two bars, a restaurant and a pool. Once settled in they are off to visit La Rojeña, the oldest distillery in Latin America, where they see the Tequila-making process in person and sample Reserva de la Familia, José Cuervo’s most exclusive offering. Guests are also invited to select from the different agave varietals to create their own spirit blend, which is bottled, wax-sealed, and affixed with a personalized label. That evening is the rehearsal dinner, known as the rompehielos (or “ice-breaker”) held at La Antigua Casona; drinks at the Sky Bar cap off the night, a spot which offers views of the volcano and the town plaza below.
The big day starts with an adventure aboard the José Cuervo Express, a restored antique train with three types of wagons; group festivities include all-you-can-drink Tequila tastings, cocktails, and botanas, or bite-sized foods. Afterwards is a tour of the agave fields with an authentic jimador, who demonstrates how the pineapple-shaped core of the mature agave plant, called the piña, is revealed with an expertly-placed few slices of the coa de jima, a flat-bladed knife at the end of a long hoe-like pol. A mid-day siesta gets everyone rested for the wedding, which starts at 7pm at either the church of Santiago Apostol – St. James the Apostle – in the heart of town, or at the Hacienda el Centenario. A festive parade from the ceremony to the reception is led by Mariachis while the couple rides in a classic horse-drawn carriage. Everyone is treated to an exhibition of charrería, a rodeo-like sport, during the cocktail hour, and dinner is served under the stars or in salons at the Hacienda el Centenario, with dancing, drinks, and games lasting until 3am. At the end of the night, as traditional locals distribute sandals made of agave fibre to all of the women guests, they can change out of their painful stilettos after a long night of hitting the dance floor.
Since a little recovery may be needed on Sunday, the day starts with a massage and spa session, followed by an after-wedding brunch, a final send-off and chance for the newly betrothed couple to thank each of their guests individually for sharing in this unique event. As the poet Saru Singhal wisely said, “love is like Tequila shots, not the quantity but strength matters.”
A Tequila wedding at José Cuervo starts at $17,500 for 100-guests, which includes the venue, dinner, open bar, late-night dancing, entertaining, makeup and the rehearsal dinner and after-party. Rooms at the two hotels start at $175-$230 per night and the Cuervo Express starts at $119 per person.