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Cinco De Mayo Party Ideas for a Fiesta-style Engagement Party

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Cinco de Mayo engagement party

Mark your engagement with the verve of a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Think vibrant table settings decked out in the most colorful Mexican decorations from sombreros to piñatas. For party fare, set up a self-serve taco bar filled with fresh ingredients and grilled meats; and for beverages, serve traditional drinks as well as chic Mexican-style cocktails infused with tequila. End the party with gracious favors for the guests and special gifts for the mothers—great ways of saying “muchisimas gracias!

Colorful crepe paper balls for a Mexican fiesta party.

Go all-out with a bright and bold color palette. Now’s your chance to combine yellow, blue, pink, orange, and green all in one setting! Plus, let a dash of red permeate the table display for that distinctive “salsa kick”. This actually makes for an easy approach to decorating since, color-wise, virtually anything goes!

Fiesta-style tablescape for a Cinco de Mayo.

What says Mexican? Why, sombreros and piñatas, of course! Use these to create table centerpieces that instantly say fiesta fun. Simply set down a large sombrero at each table end, group piñata-inspired crepe paper balls between them, and scatter colorful streamers everywhere. For a break from all that color, use simple square plates and fabric napkins in crisp white for the place settings. You may allow colorful touches to sneak in, though, with hand-painted floral chargers and beaded napkin rings.

Chips and dips for a party.

Set up a fun and interactive taco bar. Lay out terra cotta trays holding plates of sliced avocados, spicy salsa, shredded lettuce (you can also substitute red and green cabbage), black or pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, and onion garnish. Serve up an assortment of grilled meats such as carne asada (beef), carnitas (pork), and shrimp—with sprigs of cilantro on the side to add a nice dash of green. And of course, have bowls of tortilla chips everywhere with dips in red, green (salsa verde), and orange. Even the food is colorful!

Tequila shots for a fiesta style party.

While Coronas and Margaritas are typical drinks, try something different. Why not give the party a fun twist by serving up chic Cinco de Mayo cocktails infused with tequila? Consider Mexican martinis, the Paloma, and Tequila Sunrise (see the link below for their recipes). You can also include colorful and fruity Mexican sodas in flavors such as guava, pineapple, and strawberry.

Play up the maracas at a Cinco de Mayo engagement party.

What would a fiesta be without music? For authentic Mexican entertainment, consider hiring a mariachi band! Or for an equally festive Latin rhythm, play some salsa music and get the guests dancing at the party.

Colorful and festive fiesta party favors for a Cinco de Mayo.

What to give as guest favors? Definitely, Mexican wedding cookies! Known for their buttery flavor and texture, these oh-so delicious treats topped with a sprinkling of powdered sugar are sure to delight your guests. Present them in heart-shaped cookie boxes encased in shimmering organza fabric in bright fuchsia. Another scrumptious choice would be Mexican sugar cookies known as polvorones or some freshly-made, crunchy churros. Yum!

Favor pouches filled with Mexican candies.

Handpainted sachets filled with Mexican candies make gracious thank-you gifts for the ladies in the party, including the mothers of the brides and groom. The sachets can later be used as potpourri holders in their dresser drawers, or as stylish makeup or trinket pouches to fit in a purse or overnight bag.

Your Cinco De Mayo Fiesta Planning Checklist:

1. The Colors – Let colors come alive with a vibrant palette that combines hues of yellow, red, blue, pink, orange, and green. Think bold and bright!

2. The Table Décor and Centerpieces – Infuse some fiesta fun into the table décor by using real sombreros and piñatas. Simply set down a large sombrero at each table end, group piñata-inspired crepe paper balls between them, and scatter colorful streamers everywhere, including the guest chairs.

3. The Food – Make the food just as festive as the décor by having a taco bar with a generous array of terra cotta trays holding plates of sliced avocados, spicy salsa, shredded lettuce (you can also substitute red and green cabbage), black or pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, and onion garnish. Serve up an assortment of grilled meats such as carne asada (beef), carnitas (pork), and camarones (shrimp.) Don’t forget to serve heaping bowls of crispy tortillas and tangy salsa dips!

4. The Drinks – Consider fun Cinco de Mayo cocktails infused with tequila such Margaritas, Mexican martinis, the Paloma, and Tequila Sunrise. A tray of glasses filled with refreshing Mojitos is also a wonderful addition! For non-alcoholic beverages, be sure to include colorful and fruity Mexican sodas in flavors such as guava, pineapple, and strawberry served up in tall glasses of ice garnished with a sprig of mint.

5. The Entertainment – Next to having a live mariachi band, consider playing some salsa music at the party. For an added element of surprise, hire a salsa dance instructor to get guests dancing at the party.

6. The Favors – As a savory treat to enjoy after the party, consider edible favors such as Mexican wedding cookies, polvorones (Mexican sugar cookies), or churros presented in organza-wrapped heart shaped boxes. To add a pop of color at the table, try using wrap colors in fuchsia, red, and burnt orange. This easy yet effective approach allows you to save on purchasing additional table decorations.

7. The Special Gifts – As thank-you gifts for the mothers of the bride and groom, including aunts and godmothers, consider giving them specially handpainted sachets filled with some sweet Mexican candies. The pouches can later be used to hold coins or trinkets.

 

12 comments

  1. victoria ndemuti

    i think this is a very festive , yet elegant way to celebrate cinco de mayo. Even though the colors are really bright , they somehow play off each other and really make dramatic statement.

    The colors also remind me of my hometown in Kenya. Fabulous!

  2. Any ideas for flower centerpieces? We have a small budget but still want to have flowers on our guest tables. Thank you for your help. I like the idea of using sombreros, too.

  3. If you want to have flowers but are running on a low budget, then you can try using carnations. They are actually quite beautiful when you arrange them in pretty vases tied with a band of colorful ribbons. Consider using a combination of carnations in white, pink, and red for an attractive centerpiece.

    For something truly off the wall, you can also try paper flowers (also known as Mexican paper flowers) made of colorful wrapping tissue. These can be extremely beautiful and you can actually make them yourself. You can even use tissue paper that matches with your color scheme! How great is that!

  4. Lara Sarmiento

    Hi. I just wanted to say that the colors here are fabulous! I am having a wedding inspired by Mexico in the summer. So what kind of colors do you recommend? Thanks.

  5. I love the colors! Did you make or buy those crepe paper balls??

  6. To make those crepe paper balls, simply get some Styrofoam balls (the sizes may vary) from a store like Michael’s. Then, obtain streamers of crepe paper, which are usually available in different colors from party store shops. Measure the strips according to the size of your balls, and then before you paste them onto the balls, cut the paper strips into half “slits” using a scissor. Lastly, attach them to the balls using glue. Viola! It’s that easy!

  7. I just recently held a fiesta engagement party for my daughter and her fiancée .I had each table covered with a different bright colored table cover-red, blue, lime green. yellow and purple. Plates and napkins were solid colors also. For table centerpieces I made Mexican paper flowers out of bright colored tissue paper . I place 3-4 in a circle on each table and place a small candle in the middle of the circle. I had sombreros (large and small) on the walls. I hung fiesta flags(purchased at party supply stores). For the menu I served mexican rice, beans, steak and chicken fajitas (purchased from a local restaurant-saved me much stress), a taco bar, chips and salsa, and 7 layer dip. For drinks I had beer, sangria punch, and margaritas (frozen and on the rocks). I played Mexican music. I also made Mexican wedding cookies and placed 4-5 in a clear bag, tied it with ribbons of the above colors and tied a tag saying “Wedding cookies instead of cake to help you remember this important date–Bride and groom’s name and wedding date”. This was placed on a large sombrero and was a favor to take home. I enjoyed preparing for the party and everyone had a good time. My guests were impressed

  8. where can i purchase the pinata-inspired crepe paper balls?

  9. Please refer to the previous comment dated March 22nd, 2010 4:06 pm. These were not store-bought. We made them using crepe paper.

  10. Great ideas!! LOVE the slides! :)

  11. Hello there, Bird! Coming from you, we’re really flattered. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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