LaCalle and Michel wed in traditional Mexican wedding ceremony

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, UNESCO designated world heritage city, served as the romantic setting for the destination wedding of Allison LaCalle and Travis Michel.

The traditional Mexican ceremony took place at five o’clock on the afternoon of November 23, 2012, at the historic Hacienda Las Trancas near San Miguel de Allende.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Davis LaCalle Sr. of Eunice, Louisiana. Allison is the granddaughter of Mrs. Claire Smith and the late Harry Alvin Smith Sr. of Eunice, Louisiana. Her paternal grandparents were the late Mr. and Mrs. Lester LaCalle Sr. also of Eunice.

The groom is the son of Mr. Michael Michel of Franklin, Louisiana and Ms. Phyllis Michel of Lafayette, Louisiana. Travis is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Dalton C. Michel of Charenton, Louisiana. His maternal grandparents were the late Mr. and Mrs. Kearney Boudreaux of Baldwin, Louisiana.

Upon arrival in charming San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, family and guests of the couple were treated to a week of pre-wedding celebrations and excursions. Hosting and arranging the week’s events and wedding ceremony were brother and sister-in-law of the bride, William and Aimee LaCalle, who have resided part time in San Miguel de Allende for the past ten years.

Arrival day included an open house and welcome reception at the colonial Mexican home of William and Aimee LaCalle. The flavorful menu of local dishes was specially prepared by a now retired chef of one of the most recognized restaurants in the city. An informal walking tour by William LaCalle to the city’s main square was offered to guests following the meal.

The following morning, family and friends attended Catholic mass at La Parroquia, the parish church of San Miguel and most photographed church in Mexico, located in the center of the town. Following mass, an exclusive buffet breakfast was served in the picturesque courtyard of a local hotel where many of the guests were being housed. The afternoon’s activities offered options of a tour of local homes, a demonstration of tamale making by San Miguel friends, and the opportunity to be a spectator of a traditional bullfight at the local bull ring. Guests congregated again at the end of the day to enjoy the selection of freshly prepared tamales for dinner. The evening was spent enjoying the lively closing performance of the annual San Miguel Jazz and Blues Festival at the notable Angela Peralta theatre. This evening, the children were treated to a private double feature movie presentation at a nearby art house.

Adult guests participated in a three-hour informative walking tour of the city’s historical center and town square the following morning, while the children were entertained in an art workshop prepared by a local folk artist. Guests were treated to a delightful lunch of burritos and salads, catered by a local friend’s restaurant. Lunch was served in the scenic courtyard of William and Aimee LaCalle’s home. The afternoon was spent sightseeing, shopping and swimming. This evening, guests attended a cocktail hour and formal seated dinner in one of San Miguel’s most elegant restaurants. Guests were served seasonal organic cuisine in an eighteenth century Moroccan courtyard.

The following morning, guests enjoyed a trip to the vibrant “Tuesday Market” followed by free time for additional exploration of the city. A selection of brick oven pizzas were enjoyed by guests for lunch before the group headed out for a visit to the authentic Rancho Xotolar, located in the stunning countryside of San Miguel. Activities at the ranch included an afternoon sunset horseback ride, an exhibition of roping and riding by resident ranchers, festive live music and a home cooked meal prepared over an open fire. The celebration was completed with the breaking of a colorful piñata filled with local candies, especially delighting the children.

The following morning, the group participated in an excursion to a nearby village where the locals specialize in creating colorful handcrafted pottery. This evening, guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails and Spanish tapas on the beautiful Rosewood Hotel terrace, which provides the best panoramic view of the city. All enjoyed a magnificent sunset followed by live music under the star-studded skies of San Miguel. Guests participated in a traditional procession led by local musicians through the cobblestone streets back to the home of William and Aimee LaCalle, where festivities continued into the night.

On the morning before the wedding, guests were transported to a local hot spring to unwind in the relaxing thermal waters of San Miguel de Allende. Following this excursion, tasty hamburgers prepared outdoors over mesquite wood were served to guests at a countryside café. This evening, wedding guests enjoyed a traditional American Thanksgiving meal at the home of William and Aimee LaCalle. Many local friends were invited to share in this American tradition.

On the morning of the wedding, many guests had the exciting opportunity to tour the city and surroundings by all-terrain vehicles, while members of the wedding party enjoyed hair, makeup and nail treatments, provided by a group of local professionals. Later that day, suitcases were packed and guests bid their farewells to enchanting San Miguel de Allende as they were whisked away to the countryside once again. As the vehicles turned off the highway and into a small village with one earthen road, guests would get their first glimpse of the once grand hacienda concealed at the end of the path behind the village, which would be the setting of the traditional Mexican ceremony that would unite Miss Allison LaCalle and Mr. Travis Michel in holy matrimony.

Champagne and lemonade were served upon arrival and live music played softly in the background as guests spent the hour before the ceremony wandering the manicured grounds of the hacienda. Live turkeys walked liberally about the surroundings and local children laughed and played as they scurried freely throughout the small village while last minute preparations were being tended.

Guests were called to the exquisitely adorned, intimate Templo de Loreto church in the heart of the village just before five o’clock in the afternoon, as the time approached for the ceremony to commence. Pews decorated with fresh rose pomanders, soft hues of blush and ivory fresh flowers ornamenting the altar, white candles glimmering in translucent votives and a center aisle covered with a white runner and plentiful soft shaded rose petals welcomed the attendees. Monsignor José Asunción Briones Barrientos, a bilingual priest from the diocese of nearby Celeya, Mexico, officiated the ceremony.

Traditional Mexican wedding customs were observed during the ceremony. Travis presented Allison with a box containing thirteen gold coins pledging that he placed all of his earthly goods into her care and safekeeping. Allison accepted this symbol of Travis’ unquestionable trust and confidence with a commitment of her total dedication and prudence.

The matron of honor placed a long loop of antique crystal rosary beads, called a lasso, in a figure eight over Allison and Travis after their wedding vows were exchanged. The couple wore the lasso throughout the remainder of the service. The lasso is symbolic of their love bonding them together every day as they equally share the responsibility of marriage for the rest of their lives. The lasso was removed at the end of the ceremony and handed to Allison as a memento of her becoming the mistress of the groom’s heart and home.

Ensemble Quartet, a group of gifted musicians from San Miguel de Allende, performed the classical wedding music. The quartet consisted of the violin, oboe, piano and bass. Cherished friends of the family in the quartet were bass player, Antonio Lozoya and his wife, Teresa Urtusistegui Fernandez, on the oboe. Mr. Lozoya has provided guitar instruction for the nephews of the bride, Will and Jack LaCalle throughout their childhood years. Accompanying the quartet for select musical pieces during the wedding ceremony as a sign of their adoration for their aunt were Allison’s nephews, Will and Jack LaCalle.

Escorted by her proud father, William LaCalle Sr., down the elaborately decorated aisle, Miss Allison Adele LaCalle was remarkable in an ivory embroidered full-length lace gown designed by Watters. The exquisite strapless gown, lined in blush, concluded in a sweep train. Her fingertip veil was designed with silk illusion trimmed in scalloped lace. Allison carried a stunning bouquet of fragrant ivory and blush hued fresh roses.

Allison also honored customary traditions by assimilating into her bouquet a sapphire and diamond necklace of her sister, Mary, for something old. Allison wore her new wedding gifts from the groom, a light grey pearl necklace clasped with an Italian gold medal and a matching set of delicate pearl earrings. The antique crystal rosary lasso used in the wedding ceremony was borrowed from Allison’s sister-in-law, Aimee DeVillier LaCalle, which was subsequently gifted to Allison as a memento of this significant occasion. Aimee also had a custom raw silk purse lined in light blue silk made for the bride for use on her wedding day and provided the “something blue” element of the tradition.

Complementing the bride’s wedding gown, the groom wore a charcoal grey tuxedo designed by Vera Wang. His ensemble featured a modern fit, via a slightly shorter coat length and narrow lapel, providing a sophisticated look. Lightweight fabrication allowed for a superior drape. He wore a simple, sophisticated rose boutonniere in a blush hue.

Mary LaCalle Burke of Lubbock, Texas, served as matron of honor to her younger sister, Allison. Mary was exceedingly graceful in an Amsale crinkle chiffon strapless gown. The full-length blush gown featured a ruched bodice.

The flower girl, Miss Vivienne Rose Burke, daughter of the matron of honor and niece of the bride, looked adorable in a satin full-length gown in pearl. The sleeveless gown featured a pleated bodice and bubble skirt cinched at the waist with a shirred waistband.

The matron of honor and flower girl carried complementary bouquets of fresh roses in shades of blush and ivory.

Trent Michel of Baton Rouge, Louisiana served his younger brother, Travis, as best man. Trevor Burke, son of the matron of honor and nephew of the bride served as the ring bearer. Alex LaCalle, brother of the bride and resident of New York City, as well as Will and Jack LaCalle, nephews of the bride and sons of William and Aimee LaCalle, served as the ushers.

Trent Michel, Alex LaCalle, Will LaCalle, Jack LaCalle, and Trevor Burke all wore charcoal grey tuxedos designed by Vera Wang to complement the groom. The men also wore blush rose boutonnieres.

Mother of the bride, Evelyn Smith LaCalle, was elegant in a hyacinth silk dupioni two-piece ensemble. The splendid quarter-length sleeved jacket with ruffled V-neck stylishly draped to one side where it clasped with crystal button closures and overlaid the floor-length A-line skirt.

Ms. Phyllis Michel, mother of the groom, looked particularly impressive in her tastefully selected attire. She chose a stylish, sleeveless full-length delicate lace design. A sheer taupe organdy and lace jacket was secured at her waistline with a subtle textile enclosed button.

The mothers of the bride and groom wore wrist corsages fashioned of fresh miniature roses in soft blush and ivory hues.

Contributing in the celebration by presenting the selected readings during the ceremony were William and Alex LaCalle, brothers of the bride, and Aimee DeVillier LaCalle, sister-in-law of the bride.

Guests showered the cheerful newlyweds with ivory and blush colored rose petals as they left the church. Festive mariachis dressed in white and playing traditional celebratory music led the wedding procession from the entrance of the church through the walls of the rustic hacienda to commence the festivities.

Mariachis played as hor d’oeuvres and cocktails were served for the hour immediately following the ceremony. Guests mingled as photographs of the newlyweds and their family members were taken during cocktail hour.

Round tables, swathed in romantic white linens and ornamented with arrangements of fresh flowers in soft ivory and blush, were set under a white gathered fabric tent. The dreamy sanctuary was illuminated with delicate clear lights. A Mexican string trio stood in the courtyard in front of the massive stone fountain, filled with rose petals and encircled in glimmering candlelight, and played softly as the guests enjoyed the traditional Mexican dinner prepared just yards away in the authentic hacienda kitchen.

The bride and groom ensued with the cake cutting tradition following the meal. Positioned on an ornate silver pedestal, the wedding cake was a delectable almond flavor with almond buttercream frosting, amaretto filling, and embellished with ivory buttercream miniature roses. A lavish arrangement of fresh flowers in subtle shades of ivory and blush cascaded down the confection.

The triple-layer chocolate groom’s cake was frosted with chocolate buttercream and filled with tasty raspberry preserve. Dark chocolate buttercream polka dots were used to decorate the facade of this delightful dessert.

Pink champagne, at the request of the bride, was served to guests for toasting following the cake cutting tradition.

Decorated favor bags of traditional Mexican candies were handed out allowing guests to sample local delights.

The godparents of the groom and honored guests, Terry Boudreaux and Vickie Boudreaux Chauvin, also participated in the festivities by tending the presentation of the wedding cake at the reception.

Following the cake and toasting ritual, giant “mojigangas”, dancing ten-foot tall puppet figurines, dressed as a bride and groom joined the reception festivities to the sheer delight and joy of the guests. These extraordinary puppets are an essential part of San Miguel fiestas.

Celebratory mariachis and a charming donkey wearing a wreath of paper flowers and baskets bearing tequila accompanied the giant puppets. Tequila was cheerfully served in souvenir ceramic shot glasses, which were tied to a ribbon and could be worn around the neck and refilled upon request.

Guests were presented mementos of native folk art, papier-mâché shakers in vibrantly painted animal and bird shapes to take home as souvenirs.

Next, wedding guests were treated to an energetic performance of a “Ballet Folklorico”, traditional Mexican folk dancing carefully preserved and passed down from generation to generation. The dancers, in their magnificent costumes, provided an artistic expression for all ages.

Guests were treated to a breathtaking fireworks display following the lively folk dancing performance. Designed by local craftsmen to celebrate the marriage, a customized firework “castillo” a sculpture-like construction featuring spinning fire wheels, screaming sounds and lots of smoke and sparks was presented to the crowd. The newlywed’s initials, along with a befittingly chosen heart encircled by Mexican wedding birds, burned brilliant pink at the end of the show.

Following the thrilling display of the Mexican contribution to the art of pyrotechnics, a late night wedding picnic of street tacos and churros, pastries deep-fried and rolled in sugar and cinnamon, were served to agreeable guests.

Honoring true Mexican fashion, guests continued to partake in dancing and libations into the early morning hours.

Mr. and Mrs. Michel, along with their wedding guests, remained at the hacienda through the relaxing weekend following the wedding. All enjoyed activities such as horseback riding, spa treatments, family meals, football games and napping in the hammocks before returning to their respective homes in the Unites States.

The newlywed couple will be celebrating their honeymoon in the captivating Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador later this year.

A festive cocktail party hosted by family and friends was held in honor of the newlyweds, Allison and Travis, on the evening of December 22, 2012, at the elegant home of Allison’s godparents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Feucht in Eunice, Louisiana. The exquisitely appointed interior and exterior grounds were ornamented for the holiday season. All enjoyed cocktails, as well as a buffet of appetizing selections.

A party in the couple’s honor was held on July 12, 2013, in Austin, Texas, at the beautiful home of Dr. and Mrs. Carl Bischoff. Mrs. Emily Fontenot Bischoff is a first cousin of the bride. Allison’s wedding dress was on display for viewing in the Bischoff home for those unable to attend the destination wedding held in Mexico. A framed portrait of the bride was also placed prominently near the guest registry. Cocktails and savory hors d’oeuvres were served to attendees. The home was romantically filled with shimmering candles and freshly cut flowers. Luminaries welcomed arriving guests at the entrance of the home and led them to the attractive pool area at the rear of the home.

Mr. and Mrs. Michel are currently residing happily in Austin, Texas where Mr. Travis Michel is employed as a civil engineer and Mrs. Allison Michel is working as a clinical audiologist.

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