A Fabulous Latin Garden Party...

Happy July 4th! Hope you're surviving this torturous heat wave. I've been desperately trying not to think about it but in trying not to, I'm doing just that! There are BBQs, pool parties and firework shows being served on a platter today but I won't think about being outside for any of it, I just won't do it. So I'm going to sit here and reminisce about cooler days gone by, ice cold sangria and breezy garden parties, and I just may forget that it is 90 degrees out there. Ooof! Brutal...

So last month my girlfriend Dee graduated from Law School (Yay Dee! *clapping*) She wanted to have a "Latin Garden Party" themed graduation celebration and well, that is exactly what we gave her. For our latest event planning extravaganza we aimed for a nice outdoor Latin dinner party with a zest of sophistication and a fun evening of happy drunken dancing.

We got to planning and with most of the funds going towards food, rental furniture and other basic necessities, we had to keep the decor simple and decided the color scheme would be light and airy with pops of Citrus colors placed around the yard by flowers, lizards, candles and lanterns! Which worked out well because Modern Latino was the relaxed vibe we were going for anyhow! (snapping fingers in Z formation!) Ha! Yes I'm aware that I can only get away with doing that virtually...

So as you may know, Latinos take their food and dining experiences very seriously and I wanted to make sure the dynamic textures and color of this culinary feast (ordered from Don Coqui in New Rochelle) were captured against the beautiful sea of white table cloths. And along with the catered delights came a few delicious homemade dishes created by Momma D herself and let us not forget she concocted a blood orange Sangria that was to die for!

So we rented a 15' dance floor, two tent canopies to protect us and our food from the elements, 2 bar tables, 8 dining tables and a million chairs from ABC Fabulous Events in Nyack, NY. And while it did rain twice, once the sun came back out we got back into the swing of things without missing a beat.

Check it out...

These cute little solar Lotus flowers floating around the pool made lovely accents by day and brought a sultry twinkle into the night.

Sunflowers, orange gerbera daisies with green and white daisies were from Costco at $8 a bunch and adorned an extra large stemless Bordeaux Wine Glass that held a large floating tea light. I used pieces of Burlap to ground each centerpiece. What's a garden party without burlap?!

We purchased these beautiful vibrant 16 inch hand painted lizards for $5 each at Christmas Tree Shops and hung them along the fence.

These bar height tables were floating around a large maple tree where guests gathered to chat and sip on Sangria. Yum!

This beautiful garden was made and nurtured by Poppa D!I love his style and think the Lighthouse adds an element of intrigue and imagination.

There must have been 15 trays of food with traditional Latin dishes like Grilled Wild Salmon, Pernil with Yuca (Roasted Pork), Arroz con Habichuela (Rice and Beans), Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef), Plantains, Salad, Avocado, etc.. etc... Drool!

We raised our glasses, cried, laughed and toasted with our guest of honor for her all of her amazing accomplishments.

And then we ate this huge 3 tier pineapple and guava Dominican cake! There is no such thing as a Latin party without Dominican cake (especially in NY) so don't let anyone tell you differently!

I made these whimsical lanterns out of balloons wrapped with yarn that I dipped in a ton of glue. I found the recipe for it at Ruffled. The lanterns hung from the canopy ceiling, quietly tucked away until guests began to notice them after dark when the tent lights went on. They looked so lovely!

Quite frankly I think the Garden Party looked absolutely beautiful at night with all the string lights, citronella torches and floating candles. Then again, I'm a sucker for dark moody spaces...

It's pretty unfortunate that these photos were taken out of focus (by yours truly of course.) I guess it just goes to show you how the rest of my night at The Latin Garden Graduation Party became a euphorically fuzzy blur. :)

Until next time,