Inevitably, Cinco de Mayo and The Kentucky Derby fall within days of one another – and while both provide a great excuse to celebrate, prepping for two parties just isn’t go to happen. This year, the Derby is winning out (stay tuned for more on that!) And I live in Texas – we pretty much celebrate everything with Mexican food and margaritas – so given the choice, it’s hats and mint juleps for us this year.
But, incase you’re prepping for your own cinco celebration, I thought I would share some of my favorite fiesta themed ideas from Greg’s 40th Birthday last year.
Because Dallas is full of great Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurants, and Mexican food and margaritas are basically staples, I wanted to find a few unique ways to make our fiesta themed dinner special.
For me, it all starts with a great invitation. I use electronic evites all the time, but there really is something special about getting an actual invitation in the mail. It’s almost unexpected these days and it goes along way in setting tone of the event. The moment I saw these beautiful laser cut, Papel Picado inspired invites, I knew they were the perfect way to invite our friends and family to our fiesta.
Enter this wonder wonderful little Etsy store, Fiesta Fancies by Vintagebabydoll, that creates custom invitations, banners, flags tags and maracas. She was a pleasure to work with and helped get everything just right
We invited our friends to fun semi-authentic new restaurant Mesero – for those of you who love Mi Cocina, it’s owned by the same guys who started all the Mico restaurants – and it’s a nice change of pace. But because we were in a restaurant, I wanted to personalize the space with a few special additions, any of which could be used for a fiesta-inspired celebration.
Flowers always make an impact – I think any type of fresh flowers go a long way to creating a fun, festive environment. And it doesn’t have to be a fancy arrangement. Ordering arrangements can get expensive, so try doing it yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
In this case, I knew I wanted a jolt of color and I was lucky to spot some beauty bright orange and yellow roses, and randomly there were just a few big, beautiful, bright peonies available. We were seated at one long table so I created four centerpieces to anchor the table and filled in the spaces with candles and smaller votive. Need something fast – just go with candles and a few small votive style arrangements.
I was so in love with the Papel Picado invitations that I used those as a thread of continuity for the party. They can be customized in any way – I saw lots of wedding and bridal shower examples on Etsy, and it would make for a fun kid’s birthday, too.
I worked with another wonderful Etsy store, LulaFlora, to create custom flags that I put in the centerpieces and she even made a small banner with three flags that adorned the back of the birthday boy’s chair.
Something super easy that anyone can make, for any type of party, is a menu card. Because this was seated dinner, I included them at each seat. But, whenever I’m hosting a party at my house, I always frame menu and bar cards. Usually everyone knows what food is being served, so it’s not all that functional, but it’s a little extra detail that always gets noticed.
And perhaps my favorite detail…mini piñatas (also by LulaFlora). Have you seen mini piñata before? Generally a mini anything is cute and these guys are no expectation. They are hand-made and even open so you can stuff them with a few little surprises for your guests. I stuffed them with a few sweet treats, but their real purpose was as place cards. I added a tag, and asked a friend of mine to put her fancy handwriting to use. (Thank you, Abby!)
Of course we had a great food and free flowing drinks, too. But most importantly Greg was surrounded by an awesome group of friends and family, and as always that’s the most important detail of any party.