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September 7, 2024
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Brandi & Connor

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    You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

The Wedding Website of Brandi Cormier and Connor Chamberlain
Please ask us anything! We want to make sure this process is as smooth as possible for you. Brandi: 504.228.9713 Connor: 504.756.2453
Question

What are Our Top Tips?

Answer

The most important thing to bring is your passport! Please ensure it is updated (safest bet: it doesn't expire within 6 months of the wedding date). San Miguel is in the desert, offering gorgeous days and cool nights. For your stay, consider bringing: (1) Comfortable walking shoes; the streets are cobblestone. Avoid heels and flip-flops. Wedges or block heels are recommended for easy navigation. (2) Sunscreen, as the sun is 3x stronger due to the thin air and high altitudes. (3) A sweater/jacket for potentially cool mornings and evenings. The exchange rate is ±21 pesos/$1.00 USD. To estimate in US dollars, divide the pesos amount by 20. Mexico uses the $ symbol, so don't panic if prices seem high—it's in pesos. Credit cards are widely accepted, and for currency exchange, ATMs at Santander, #4 Calle Portal de Guadalupe, HSBC #31 San Francisco, & Bancomer #11 Juarez offer the best value. Ensure your cell phone data plan is set up for international travel. Most providers offer unlimited data plans if purchased ahead of time. Making calls to the U.S.: Dial the number as usual or dial +1 area code – number. Dialing locally in San Miguel: Dial the local 7-digit number or dial +52-415 and then the local 7-digit number. Altitude: San Miguel sits at 6,400 ft above sea level. If you feel the effects of altitude sickness (nausea, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, headache), the best remedy is lots of water, rest, and Tylenol. Taxis: Green & White Cabs on the street are safe. They don't use meters, and if hailed, fares should be between 30-40 pesos ($3-4). If you phone a taxi, the fare will be 50 pesos. Fares double after 10:00 p.m. A tip is not expected unless the driver helps with suitcases (10 pesos per parcel recommended). Tips at bars/restaurants are typically 15%. Plugs are the same as in the US.

Question

When should we plan to arrive and depart San Miguel?

Answer

Short answer: Wednesday, September 4th - Sunday, September 8th. We’d love to have you at all the festivities! However, we'll be in San Miguel the weekend before the wedding, indulging in all the fun activities. Feel free to join whenever you can! The "official" kick-off is the Welcome Fiesta on Wednesday, September 4th. Ideally, plan to arrive in San Miguel by the afternoon on the 4th (considering the 1-1.5 hour ride from the airport). Thursday: Brandi and Connor hope to corral folks for a city walking/tequila tour during the day. There's so much to take in, and walking tours are the perfect way to explore the nooks and crannies. Thursday night is the rehearsal. Only the wedding party will actually “rehearse” at the church, but all are invited to the rehearsal dinner afterward. Friday: Explore the city in the morning and join us for a casual pool party in the afternoon. There will be drinks and snacks. Feel free to come and go as you please. Saturday: We do the damn thing! A friendly note that receptions in Mexico tend to go a liiiittle bit later. Ours will end in the wee hours on Sunday morning. Thus, it's not the beeeessst idea to book a flight home early Sunday morning. For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to book a flight out Sunday afternoon/evening! Sunday: For those who heeded our warning and booked a flight back home Sunday evening, we hope to have an informal/casual brunch around 11 am before everyone departs to cure the case of the hangover.

Question

San Miguel de Allende - Is it Safe?

Answer

A "Pueblo Magico," San Miguel de Allende (SMA for the lazy [us]) is extremely safe with high volumes of tourists and expats from America, Canada, and Europe who have retired or are living out their artist Plan B. SMA is known for being completely walkable and safe at night, where you won't want to miss the churches and buildings lit up in the pedestrian-friendly city center. The U.S. State Department has no restrictions on travel to SMA. The city also was endorsed with the World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) "Safe Travels" seal of approval recognizing the implementation of global standardized health and hygiene protocols in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, as with even your perfect suburb, exercise common sense and don't be dumb.

Question

What should I pack? Weather?

Answer

Pack for the best weather ever – mildly cool with a gentle breeze, similar to California: not too hot, not too cold, and zero humidity – you're good to go. Some average September stats: Daily highs hover in the mid-70s. Nightly lows, mainly experienced after sunset, settle in the mid-50s. At an altitude of ~6,400 feet, consider hats and sunscreen during the day, and layers for the cool nights. So, what to wear? For non-wedding activities: Opt for fun, bright, bold, and colorful dresses, skirts, light tops, and fun pants. San Miguel adores fashionable hats, and if you fear missing out (FOMO), worry not; there are plenty of inexpensive, cute options available. Pack light layers for the nighttime. For wedding activities: Refer to the Schedule page for attire preferences. Comfortable shoes are recommended for exploring the city – think flats or sneakers that complement a sundress and hat. The city's hilly cobblestone streets make high heels a bit tricky – because beauty is pain? Nah, let's not test it. And please, leave the flip-flops out of the equation unless you fancy a trippy stroll around town. Bringing jewelry? No worries! We've never felt uncomfortable bringing the pieces we wanted to wear, and we wouldn't skip bringing a cherished piece to San Miguel that we'd take to any American city. Don't forget your UPDATED PASSPORT!

Question

How do I get around this place?

Answer

Walking. Full Stop. The city is extremely walkable and it is safe at night. Uber. Uber in SMA works great and there's no need to exchange cash. Taxis. Official green taxis in SMA are very safe and cash only. Flagging one down on the street is typically very easy. Super inexpensive: about $50-$90 pesos. If you'd like to call a taxi to your home/hotel, or in the event of rain, call 152-5993 or 152-4579. If you call for a pickup the price is usually double. See additional details on our Travel page! Don't. Rent. A. Car. (Unless you are traveling out of the city.)

Question

Pesos? U.S. Dollars? Credit Cards?

Answer

At the time of writing, our handy rule of thumb for calculating the exchange rate on the fly is to take off 1 zero and divide by 2. So, $5,000 pesos is $250 USD. We usually take out a few thousand pesos on arrival at the airport ATM. But there is no need for large amounts of U.S. dollars or pesos in SMA. Most (if not all but the corner taco stand) restaurants, bars, and hotels will accept U.S. credit card. And ATM machines are readily available throughout the city. Some smaller denominations of U.S. dollars and/or pesos are helpful for tipping, the artisanal markets (e.g., Mercado de Artesanías), and buying souvenirs, snacks, or water along the way.

Question

Will there be transportation provided to and from the church and venue?

Answer

The wedding and all pre-wedding festivities are all in Centro and are easily walkable from hotels and homes. So at present, there are no plans for shuttles. However, if you don’t want to walk taxis and Ubers are your friends. See the Travel tab for more information.

Question

What about the water sitch? Can I drink it?

Answer

San Miguel is a gourmet foodie's paradise, but you should still keep a few basic precautions in mind: 1. When in doubt, drink bottled water. Most of the moderate to high-end hotels and rental homes/Airbnbs have water purification systems (as has been the case everywhere we've stayed), but check with management just in case. 2. Note a street food vendor without many customers. While we are loathe to dissuade you from street tacos in any situation, crowds usually indicate a popular, vetted vendor. Probably avoid pre-made juices, cold unsealed drinks, ice, and any fresh cut fruit or vegetable on the street (these are all okay in restaurants).

Question

I DON'T SPEAK SPANISH. IS THAT A PROBLEMO?

Answer

No! Nearly everyone in San Miguel speaks some English. As expats make up almost 20% of the city's population, it should be easy to find an English-speaker nearby, if desparate. The only time Mike hasn't been able to communicate in English has been with the green taxi drivers, but even then they know enough to get ya where you wanna go.

Question

Recommendations in SMA?

Answer

We summarize a few of our recommendations here. There are also other details in other pages on this website. DO + SEE: Doce 18 Core Meson Hidalgo Nudo Galeria Atotonilco Church Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel Instituto Allende de Arte Kanjada de la Virgen Coyote Canyon Adventures Historical Walking Tour of Downtown/Churches (options with tequila or food tours) Cooking Classes Tequila Tastings at La Casa Dragones or at the Dragones Tasting Room WATER + PAMPER: La Gruta Spa and Hot Springs The Mayan Baths Escondida Hot Springs Sense Spa at the Rosewood Hotel Matilda Hotel Spa MARKETS + SHOPPING: Mixta Fábrica la Aurora Condigo Postal Design Mercado Ignacio Ignacio Rameriz Market Casa R Concept Store Galeria Atotonilco VINEYARDS: Santísima Trinidad Vineyard Vinedo dos Buhos GOLFING: Ventanas de San Miguel Malanquín EAT - BREAKFAST/OTHER: Lavanda Cafe Inside Cafe (Mike+Katie Favorite) Ki' Bok Coffee Shop Margarita's Churros Garrafa Ice Cream Parlor Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel (happy hour, Sunday brunch) EAT - LUNCH/DINNER: Atrio (dinner) Bovine Rustica Aperi (fine dining/dinner) Quince La Unica (lunch, dinner, drinks, late night) The Restaurant (dinner) Moxi at Matilda Hotel (dinner) Fatima La Dona Cumpanio Trazo 1810 La Posadita DRINK: Hank's (New Orleans themed bar) Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel (happy hour, Sunday brunch) Mamma Mia (drinks/late night) Bekeb (drinks) The Blue Bar at Belmond Sierra Nevada Quince La Unica La Azotea San Mezcal

Question

Gimme Some History About SMA?

Answer

Ok. Located at the far edges of Guanajuato in Mexico's highlands is the stunning colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. Just 274 km (170 miles) from Mexico City, this seemingly unassuming town played a major role in the Chichimeca war where the Spanish empire was defeated by the Chichimeca confederation. It's a UNESCO heritage site and its quiet beauty continues to draw visitors from all over the world year-round. After nearly being wiped out by an epidemic in the early 20th century, the town had life breathed back into it by artists who moved to the town thanks to its many neoclassical and baroque style buildings. A man from Chicago visited and advertised it so well back home that he drew Americans from all over—now, the town is full of American, Canadian, and European expats and lots of retirees. Most of the beautiful architecture in SMA was constructed in the mid-18th century around the time that the transition between neoclassical and baroque architecture was at its peak, which is evidenced in most of the buildings still standing to this day. The town boasts of art schools, boutique hotels, and a tranquillity that has attracted tons of foreigners to settle here such that it has a richly diverse culture that continues to flourish. We highly recommend getting a city tour by a local guide! We are happy to recommend some.

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