I was out on a girls night not too long ago at a Cuban restaurant with the most delicious food and amazing atmosphere. Everything was vintage and eclectic which fits my personal decorating style perfectly. I was talking with my friend Carmen about her birthday that was the following month. I suggested we put together a dinner party to celebrate and base it off the amazing restaurant we were in. She suggested a "Havana Nights" theme and we were hooked! Carmen is originally from New York where her love for Cuban food originated, so she was more than happy to help plan the menu. I spent the next month or so scouring for vintage pieces to incorporate with the theme. I pulled my color palette straight from the restaurant that night with deep shades of green, light pink, coral and touches of black and white. I used tons of wood accents and brass throughout the party as well. When I teamed up with Shindigz for the theme, I was automatically drawn to their Party Like a Pineapple theme. It doesn’t quite scream Havana Nights but that’s what I loved about it. I knew by pairing it with all the other touches it would work perfectly, and it did! I planned the party into two portions. Part one: dinner. A beautiful tablescape was used to welcome guests. Wicker chargers with light pink plates and dark green napkins to contrast at each setting. I found perfect wood grain napkins holders to tie it all together. Gold silverware and custom coasters were great accents to bring in other color elements. Vintage candlesticks and white orchids made up the simple yet elegant centerpiece to tie it all together with that tropical vibe. We served traditional Cuban food like Mojo chicken, empanadas, plantains alongside some black beans and rice. It was all so delicious and beautiful. The second portion of the party was all about the dancing. I wanted it to feel like a night club you might go out to after having a nice dinner while in Cuba - so I named it Club Carmen. The photo booth backdrop was a huge hit and definitely a statement piece. I love that they are so large and cover a wide area. Plus, you can squeeze quite a few people in front of them. We gathered all the girls in front of the backdrop and let Carmen pop some champagne to kick off the Club. There were so many personalized items I was able to brand with the Club Carmen logo to help bring it all together. All the guests loved the custom coasters, wine bottle labels and wine topper, even down to the plates and mint tins for guests to take home with them. I put together three signature drinks. The biggest hit was the Carmenito, also known as a mojito. I used a vintage furniture piece to display the rocks glasses and pitcher along with fresh limes and mint. I displayed the Sunset Sangria on a separate table to give the drink its own tropical vibe. I used palm leaves to decorate the table and the crystal elegance flute glasses made us feel so fancy while drinking the sangrias. The last of the signature drinks, and my personal favorite, was the Havana Loco. It's best served in a drink dispenser alongside gold metallic trim tumblers, since I knew it would be a popular choice. We finished the night by enjoying some traditional Cuban paradise cake and other individual treats that fit the theme. It was a party to remember and definitely felt like one hot Havana night.
How to Plan a Havana Nights Party
- by Jamie Forsythe
- July 17, 2019
- 3 min read