How to Throw a Modern Mexican Wedding

Ever dream of tying the knot with your toes between the sand? Followed swiftly by a margarita? For interior designer Sonya Manning, and contractor husband Mark, there was simply no other way. The two, native to San Francisco, knew family and friends needed to fly in from far reaches of the globe for their nuptials, so they decided to host them at their favorite destination: Sayulita, Mexico. Sonya's penchant for bold color and youthful design made the locale ideal. Here are a few of her tips for making the big day a festive fiesta.


Start by defining your color palette. Choose three to five colors that you love and don't be afraid to go bold and bright! Incorporating some gold accents will add sophistication and just enough sparkle. Local street vendors and artisan shops will have those accents to add authentic Mexican flair to the décor, such as piñatas and sparklers.

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Paper Fan Decorations, $28, Acme Party Box Company Sparklettes Brites, $14, Tops Malibu  Crystal Piñata, $140, Confetti System 


Hiring a local wedding planner is the best thing to do as it can be tricky to deal with vendors from afar.  A local planner can knock on the door of the DJ who won't call you back, or check in with the caterer to put your mind at ease.

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Paper Picado Wedding Banners, $20, Direct From Mexico   Gold Foil Table Numbers, $11, Target Stripey Straws, $6, Acme Party Box Company

_3 Plan at least one or two trips down to scout your venue, get to know your wedding planner, meet with your florist, shop for items you can get locally, and bring down decorations and party favors from the States so that you won't be packing too much when you fly there for the big day. Planning can be stressful, but getting a head start and taking the time to curate the décor makes the process much more enjoyable.

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 Deluxe Mini Bull, $4, Amols  Cotton Tablecloth, $18, H&M Home  Vintage Gold Plated Pineapple Candle Holders, $145, Etsy

_4 Since some of your guests may not have been to Mexico and some may be traveling long distances, you'll want to make sure that they feel comfortable.. Before the wedding, post safe travel tips, how to best exchange currency, and your favorite local attractions, restaurants, and shops. Have gift bags waiting for your guests in their hotels with items like sunscreen to protect them from the harsh Mexican rays, Evian spray to keep them cool, mini flashlights since there may not be ample lighting at night, mini tequila bottles with a lime to keep them refreshed, and a large bottle of water to hydrate them. You can also throw in earplugs for your older guests -- and ibuprofen for your groggy guests. Be sure to also include a copy of the itinerary for the wedding festivities and a map of the town, with points of interests clearly marked.

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Friday Mexican Market Bag, $17, Direct From Mexico   Thomas Eyck Rainbow Stripe Pillow, $375, ABC Carpet & Home  Wood Lantern, $60, Zara Home

For more of Sonya's design tips head over to Live(n)Color. And before you head South, make sure you read our Tequila 101 lesson (and prevent tomorrow's hangover). _sig