Sometimes a chatty passenger on a plane is the last thing anyone wants; however, Mimi Corwin’s seat neighbor on a flight from Nashville to North Carolina was her now husband’s business partner, Land. The set and jewelry designer behind Minnie Lane was talked into meeting real estate developer Johnson Phillips under the guise of redecorating his office lobby. “That meeting in the office led to lunch, where sparks flew—under the watchful eye of our chaperone, Land, of course. Afterward, I asked her out on a date, and I guess she liked me because now we’re married. And the remodeled office looks great!” says Johnson. Three years later, he proposed in Tucson while on a morning hike.
Mimi and Johnson wanted to get married somewhere that was relatively easy to travel to and fun to experience. They ultimately decided on San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a place they’d both visited several times before. “We chose venues that displayed the ubiquitous art, the old world architecture, and vibrant colors of San Miguel de Allende. All the food was from the region and delicious. It’s a place that lends itself to wandering the narrow streets, losing track of time, and making interesting and weird discoveries around every corner,” says Mimi.
The wedding and reception were both held at Casa Cien, a boutique hotel in the center of town. To help plan, Mimi hired Alicia Vilar of San Miguel Weddings, who coordinated and executed the couple’s vision perfectly. One of Mimi’s closest friends from high school, Virginia Lucas Hart, designed the beautiful invitation suite, menus, and thank you notes, and another of their friends, Scarlett Baily, painted the couple’s caricature for welcome bags and matches, which were passed out to all guests. And last, but not least, their friend Caroline Petters was the photographer. The wedding truly was a group collaboration!
The ex-New York-er decided to go back to the city to find her wedding dress with her mother, sisters, and father. She had a Carolyn Bessette-type dress in mind but ended up falling in love with a Liz Martinez gown with a sheer bodice encrusted with shell flowers, at Spina Bride. She paired the dress with Jennifer Behr mother of pearl statement earrings and blush velvet heels. “I planned to wear a slip skirt under my dress, to conceal my legs until the reception began, but ended up ditching it within five minutes of putting it on,” Mimi says.
The groom wore a custom suit from Stitch-It & Co. in Nashville with their wedding date embroidered under the collar. “He looked dashing,” Mimi adds.
The weekend kicked off festively with a callejoneada, a traditional wedding parade, led by a mariachi band through the streets of San Miguel to their rehearsal party. The pre-wedding events were complete with lawn games, taco and ice cream stations, and a great band called The Mavericks.
For the ceremony the next day, guests passed through the Casa Cien door on a nondescript, narrow, cobblestone street into a lush secret garden. They enjoyed champagne on the terrace before moving to the garden and sitting in a circle, awaiting the bride and groom. Mimi and her father walked down a staircase and then down the aisle to a guitar duo playing “Me & Magdalena,” by The Monkees. “I was so happy—couldn’t stop smiling and squeezing Johnson’s hand with both of mine,” she says. Johnson’s brother-in-law opened with a prayer and then Mimi’s father recited a sweet blessing that he always said to his children as they left the house growing up. Johnson’s best friend, Reynolds, officiated the marriage. Mimi made Johnson a gold band and used her grandmother’s ring for her wedding band. “It’s an incredible feeling to be surrounded by your family and close friends, whom you’ve known throughout the different stages of your life, gathered for such a joyous occasion,” says the groom.
After their first kiss as husband and wife, everyone gathered back on the terrace, where cocktails were served. Then guests migrated to the lawn, where long farm tables and round copper tables were filled with garlands, flowers, and candles for the feast. “We used the same green velvet ribbon to tie around the napkins that we had used on our formal invitations (and a thicker version was tied on my bouquet),” explains Mimi. There was also a cigar roller and mezcal station for people to make good use of throughout the night.
Before dinner started, Mimi’s parents toasted the happy couple and everyone for coming to celebrate. Then the four course dinner began, which included smoked salmon wrapped mango, roasted yellow bell pepper and tomato soup with Serrano cream, beef tenderloin in Mexican mushroom sauce, skewers of garlic shrimp, toasted chayotes, and a duo of green pea and sweet potato purees. For dessert, seasonal fruit beggars purses in banana leaves were served with vanilla ice cream, and the wedding cake was almond with cream cheese icing.
Johnson’s 12-year-old daughter, Susannah, serenaded guests with an original song after their meal, and the newlyweds had their first dance to a live version of Sam Cooke’s “Nothing Can Change This Love.” “Within 30 seconds we were unexpectedly joined by Susannah and Johnson’s 13-year-old son, Harry, for a group dance,” remembers Mimi. The wedding band, The Rabeats, kept the dance floor packed for hours. “Johnson’s only requests were that there be no wedding hashtag and that the band could not play YMCA or Mustang Sally,” the bride says.
At midnight, a second dinner of churros and chilaquiles was served before guests dispersed to bed or to the all night discos in the area. Immediately following the wedding, the new Mr. and Mrs. Phillips headed to Holbox Island to unwind, and a month later they took off to Tanzania and an island in Zanzibar for their official honeymoon.