Throw the perfect Cuban-inspired wedding bash with these easy tips and must haves featuring Havana cigars, Señoritas and mojitos!
Mix vintage deco, retro and abundantly lush greenery together and your fantastic Cuban-inspired wedding theme is almost ready.
The renewed interest in Cuban culture, with its bright and tropical colors coupled with fluid flamenco-style bridal gowns, has become a trend in this year’s weddings. Their color palette of deep purples, turquoise, tangy mandarin, bright corals, sunny yellows, playful fuchsias and greenery (Pantone’s color of the year) has all the ingredients for a fun and carefree wedding. Complete the Cuban-inspired wedding theme with Latin food and drinks and delicious rum infused cocktails.
Cuban-Inspired Wedding Decor: The Kingdom of Art Deco
Cuba is an exotic place brimming with passion. A Cuban-inspired wedding will reflect the couple’s passionate love for each other. With a fusion of Spanish, African and Caribbean cultures, Cuba offers ample inspiration for the reception’s food, music and attire.
The wedding decor will be the final touch that will complete the illusion of a Cuban adventure for guests. One only has to imagine Havana in the twenties to paint the scene at the house of an “hacendado” on a tobacco or sugar plantation. Carved wood with floral motifs, voluptuous palm trees and ferns, broad cane chairs and a wedding palette with brushstrokes of brown, turquoise, orange, ivory and of course the Pantone color of the year, greenery in the centerpieces, and on the tableware and cushions.
Have some antiques handy? Decorate the room with them. Take advantage of old Cuban cigar boxes if you have any, or use rum bottles to save on creative centerpieces with tropical flowers such as heliconias, birds of paradise or orchids. Place a cigar with a personalized label as a wedding favor on each plate. Now we are getting fancy!
Accompany the Cuban-inspired wedding decor with an exotic menu and cocktails with a defined Cuban accent. So bring out the rum. It’s time to have fun in an elegant way!
Tropical Cuban-Inspired Weddings with Cuban “Sabor”: Eat, Drink and Be Merry!
Mojitos are the perfect cocktail for Cuban-inspired weddings. Accompany them with tempting meat pies or “empanadas” and crispy tostones. Among other drinks, you can serve Cuba Libre, which is a mixture of rum, Coca-Cola and lime juice, or mojitos with non-traditional flavors such as peach, cherry or pineapple. Do not forget to add some Cuban-inspired non-alcoholic beverages such as guava, coconut, or lime flavored water.
Here is a very ingenious idea for a mojito bar. Use fresh mint to make unique ice cubes. Take a little mint, put it in each of the ice tray spaces and then fill it with water. Let the water turn into ice and there you have it. Great idea for a summer wedding.
Cuba is famous for its meat dishes. Some of the main course choices for your party might be “Ropa Vieja”, “Masitas de Puerco” or marinated fried pork, oxtail stew or grilled ribs. For a lighter meal, you can offer “sandwich medianoche” that can be served either hot or cold, hence its name since you can eat them after a night of painting the town red. And where will you find more merriment than at a Cuban wedding? The midnight sandwich has grilled or fried pork slices with cheese pressed between toasted French bread slices with butter on both sides (and well pressed).
Add a fresh and colorful Cuban salad. You will only need tomatoes, onions and radish slices sprinkled with olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Or a chickpea salad with green and red peppers and sweet yellow onions with a dressing made from fresh lime juice, olive oil, and a pinch of cumin. Yummylicious!
It’s time for Desserts!
Pick some of these delicious temptations to complete your wedding menu. Flan served in individual cups and sprinkled with a little cinnamon or nutmeg, or “merenguitos” (mini meringues) made of egg whites beaten with sugar and then baked.
You also have arroz con leche topped with cinnamon and juicy raisins. Then, for some pastry or cake options, there are señoritas, pastelitos and capuchinos. Señoritas are confectionary made with layers of puff pastry filled with custard cream, served in a variety of vanilla or chocolate flavors. They are very similar to the Napoleon. Pastelitos are small pastry buns stuffed with guava, cream cheese, or shredded coconut drizzled with syrup. And the Cuban capuchinos and cabezotes are small cakes shaped like a yellow cone, soaked in a syrup made with cinnamon, orange and lemon peel, and anise. You will want to lick your fingers! (Just not at the wedding … do it in the kitchen) 😉
For the dessert table you may present sweet coconut candy, guava candy, more merenguitos or nougat.
Cuban-Inspired Wedding Photo Gallery
Cuban Wedding Traditions
Let’s take a look at a couple of Cuban wedding traditions and feel free to incorporate something beyond the Cuban decor to your wedding!
Money is Always Welcome at the Onset of a New Lifetime Adventure
The money dance is another very old tradition at Cuban weddings. Guests would dance with the bride and pin money on her dress to help the couple off to a great start.
Usually, the bride’s family pays for the wedding, and both the bride and groom’s parents give an important gift to the newlyweds, like money or a house. Nice tradition, right? 😉
Cuban Wedding Favors
Another Cuban tradition is for the couple to thank their guests by giving them a small handmade gift or some personalized ribbons with their names on them. If the wedding calls for it, the favor becomes a good Cuban cigar to celebrate the union.
Proper Cuban-Inspired Wedding Attire for The Couple and Guests
Cuban wedding dresses are stunningly beautiful and white (if the bride is a virgin). If she’s not, tradition dictates her dress should be red. Fortunately this tradition is almost gone and a bride can wear a red wedding dress just because she wants to!
With so much dancing, delicious food and drinks to look forward to, dressing comfortably and elegantly is a must. Ladies may wear summer cocktail dresses, while gentlemen can wear linen guayaberas, shirts with tropical motifs and elegant fedora hats. Everything should remind you of old Havana and a tropical paradise.
We hope these ideas will help you organize your Cuban-inspired wedding reception. Make sure to check more wedding inspiration ideas on our Pinterest boards!
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Photography credits: nousDECOR, Brit + Co, mydomaine, indulgy, popsugar, Style Me pretty.