When I first got married six years ago, it was very important for me to have a piece of my Latin culture incorporated into my wedding. From Latin-inspired appetizers such as croquetas to Latin music, Cumbia, to keep us dancing the entire night, we had the best time! If you’re looking to infuse a piece of your own Latin traditions and heritage into your wedding, here a few simple tips to host a wedding with Latin Flair and make your fiesta one you’ll never forget.
Adding Latin Flair to your Wedding 1 of 17
Scroll through to check out these tips for hosting a wedding with Latin Flair!
1. Pick a Venue with Latin Flair 2 of 17
We got married at this Spanish mansion called The Deering Estate in Miami, Florida that really helped bring together the overall Latin theme of our wedding. This website here is a great source for finding Spanish mansions and all types of venues (it's how I found this one!).
Venue: Spanish Monastery or Hacienda 3 of 17
You can also look for other venues that have Latin-American significance, such as a church, a hacienda, or a Spanish monastery.
Photo: Ancient Spanish Monastery
Venue: Garden 4 of 17
A lush tropical garden is also reminiscent of many Latin countries and the perfect backdrop for your wedding. You'll also save money on the flowers!
Decor: Flowers 5 of 17
Don't forget about the decorations — try to find tropical flowers that typically grow in Latin America for your centerpieces, or perhaps some with bold bright colors.
Decor: Table Cards 6 of 17
How adorable is this idea from bride Diana? One of her family's favorite games to play on the holidays is the Mexican version of bingo that uses images instead of numbers. The table names and images all came from the cards in the game.
Photo: Volatile Photography
Decor: Spanish Fans 7 of 17
No, I'm not talking about the Spanish fans you'd find at a futbol stadium. These flamenco-inspired hand fans would be perfect to pass out to guests. Especially if you're getting married in the summer when it's hot.
Photo: Saddleworthshindings via Flikcr
Decor: Maracas 8 of 17
And how cute are these maracas? They'll definitely add tons of Latin flair to your wedding.
Photo: the nichols
Latin-Inspired Drinks 9 of 17
You can have so much fun getting creative with the drinks that are served at your wedding. For Latin-inspired drinks, try serving sangria to your guests. Sangria is a wine punch typical of Spain, Portugal, and Argentina and normally consists of wine and chopped fruit. It can be served in a bowl, making it easy for your guests to help themselves.
Photo: teamdishcrawl via Flickr
Latin Inspired Cocktails 10 of 17
For Latin-inspired cocktails, I love mojitos, which are typical of Cuba. You can also serve Latin American sodas. For example, in Colombia we have sodas called Colombianas and Manzana Postobon, which are amazing!
Photo: theculinarygeek via Flicker
Serve Latin-Inspired Food 11 of 17
Try looking for a caterer that specializes in Latin food, or ask your favorite Latin restaurant if they cater. Appetizers such as empanadas are always a favorite, and many countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Spain, and places in the Caribbean have their own variations.
Photo: newrebozo via Flickr
Tapas Make Great Appetizers 12 of 17
Tapas are also a favorite for appetizers; they include cold and hot snacks such as mixed olives, cheese, prosciutto, fried squid, and sausages. This is actually a plate of tapas I had while visiting Barcelona two years ago.
Photo: Viva Fashion
The Ceremony 13 of 17
Consider including a Latin tradition during your ceremony. For example, in Mexico and Guatemala there is a tradition called "el ate de nudo," where a rope is placed around the couple during the ceremony. In Latin America and the Philippines, some couples also opt for having godparents, "el padrino y madrina," accompany the couple during the ceremony.
photo: vicenzomaggi via Flickr
The Ceremony: Blending of Sands 14 of 17
The blending of sands is also pretty popular in Latin customs. Similar to the unity candle, the bride and groom each have a vase filled with sand of a different color, which are combined into one vase. This symbolizes unity and eternity, since the sand grains can never be separated. My husband and I actually incorporated this custom in our own wedding, and we still have our vase tucked away in a special place in our home!
Latin Chic: Mantilla 15 of 17
The mantilla is a gorgeous veil with lace edging that can add instant Latin flair to any wedding dress. It originated in Spain toward the end of the 16th century and is one of my favorites.
Don’t Forget the Musica! 16 of 17
A Latin-inspired party would not be a fiesta without the music! When you meet with your DJ, consider bringing him a list of artists or music that you would like to be played at your wedding. Try having a good mix for your guests, from salsa, merengue, and bachata to rhythmic hip-shaking rumba. Here's a picture of my own family getting down on our wedding day!
Turn it Up! 17 of 17
Also, depending on your background, you might want to include the genre of music that is typical to your country. For example, Dominicans have Bachata, Colombians have Cumbia, and Spain has Flamenco.
Overall, just remember to have a great time. Salud!
Read more of Carmen’s writing on her fashion blog, Viva Fashion.