Spain, one of Europe’s most intriguing countries, is known for its vibrant and festive culture–providing the perfect inspiration for an engagement party that will certainly enthrall one’s guests. Lying at the southwestern tip of Europe, Spain spans more than a dozen regions, each with a distinct identity. As a nation, however, Spain’s culture and history are a confluence of Iberian and Latin origins with Catholic and Moorish underpinnings. Blessed with the sun and sea of the Mediterranean, its people are warm, passionate, and outgoing; lovers of music and dance. This passion extends to their penchant for feasts and partying, as reflected in their dining habits. For many Spaniards, for instance, lunch is a two- to three-hour event savored with family and friends. Then dinner normally starts at 9 or 10 p.m., with the feasting often lasting well into the wee hours of the morning with “tapas crawling” or going from bar to bar serving the famed Spanish appetizers called tapas.
Capture the Castillian Passion
Let Spain’s romantic ambiance and rich culture set the stage for a celebration imbued with that distinctive Castillian flair. With the sources of inspiration seemingly endless, a practical approach is to simply highlight the most notable features of Spanish culture–their beautiful works of art, their distinctive flamenco music and dance, their flavorful cuisine, their eye-catching decorations, and their delicious treats. Used creatively, these elements immediately evoke a Spanish air for that special occasion–beginning with invitations with a “Spanish accent”.
Invite with Spanish Art
Entice guests with invitations featuring the works of Spanish artists such as Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Salvador Dali, Diego Velasquez, Goya, or Joan Miro. Many of these are featured on decorative items such as plates, postcards, place mats, and linens, as well as stationery, guest invitations, and thank-you cards. They may be found in specialty shops at museums, bookstores, or art galleries. There are also numerous online boutiques that offer specialty stationery by popular artists, including these Spanish masters.
Unique and original invitations can also be created using such works of art. Images of paintings can simply be printed out on elegant stationery or card stock bearing an invitation note. Alternatively, invitations may be decorated with the colors and patterns of the brilliant Moorish tiles that Spain is known for. Another option with that Spanish feel would be invitations on abanicos (i.e., ladies’ fans) embellished with delicate lace and intricate floral designs.
Guests will certainly look forward to a gathering introduced by such invitations, promising the sights and sounds of Spain. Imagine their delight upon arriving at the event, greeted by the strumming of a Spanish guitar.
Play Sensuous Flamenco Guitar Music
The distinctive Spanish music known as flamenco is popularly associated with the city of Seville, in the southern region of Spain known as Andalusia. Flamenco music and dance is at the heart of Spanish culture, playing a prominent role in many Spanish celebrations. The music is known for its complex and mysterious melodies tinged with Moorish tones, while the dance form is famed for its percussive footwork accompanied by hand clapping. Both are wonderful ways to set the ambiance for a Castillian-inspired party.
Take on a guitarist to perform live, bringing authenticity and class to the occasion. A more affordable option would be to have a selection of recordings by flamenco artists, such as Carlos Montoya or Paco de Lucia, playing in the background.
Providing flamenco music to dance to, rather than merely listen to, transforms the mood of the evening. This not only gives the engaged couple an opportunity to showcase their dancing skills, but it also captures the festive mood of a true Spanish celebration. An added treat would be to hire a flamenco dance instructor, allowing everyone to participate in the action on the dance floor.
Beyond the music and dance, however, what would a Spanish feast be without food? When planning a menu with a Spanish theme, keep in mind that Castillian warmth and hospitality dictate that the array of rich and flavorful dishes must be a delight to the eye and the nose, as well as the palate.