by Party Stylist Patty Smith of Sweet Treat Stands
My MOM + Beach Town + Spain + Orange Bikini + her birthday = Inspiration for this Spanish Beach Party!
My Mom was born and raised in a Spanish beach town and I LOVE hearing all of her stories and looking at all her photos from when she was growing up. When we were making plans to go back home to Texas to visit close to the time of her birthday I knew I needed to plan a surprise birthday party for her. It was a milestone birthday too. I had started to think of birthday party themes and had thought of how my Mom grew up in a beach town. Then one weekend my Mom went with my sister and her family to the coast. My Mom told me how it reminded her of when she lived in Spain and how her and her family used to go the beach. That was it! I decided for sure on a Spanish Beach Party for my Mom.
This party was planned a lil’ different than usual in the sense that I planned it 1300 miles away from the party location and transported all of the party décor on our road trip to Texas.
Like usual I did a lot of research for the party. I contacted one of my cousins in Spain to ask questions, get online video of vintage products, popular food, drinks, etc. Even though I didn’t use everything from my research it still helped me get a better feel for my Mom’s time in Spain at the beach as a teenager in the 1960’s.
It isn’t unusual for me to ask my Mom lots of questions about Spain, our family, etc. So asking her questions to help me with the party wasn’t out of the ordinary. Growing up and even now I love looking at all her photos from when she was younger. There are some photos where she’s wearing an orange bikini. She really liked it and says that she had the matching dress, sandals and hat. So I decided on orange and teal as the main colors for the party décor with accents of yellow.
EVERY single detail just about was picked very carefully. I made the white tablecloth with sheer fabric ruffles. The sheer ruffles reminded me and were symbolic of the ocean’s waves and the ruffles of a flamenco dress.
The national flower of Spain is the red carnation. However, I used orange and teal colored carnations in the décor from the cookies to the tissue paper carnations on the wooden spoons.
The cake, now the cake was a different recipe. The Tarta de Santiago cake recipe, a Spanish Almond cake is the recipe I selected. This cake has a lot of history and is very popular in the region that my Mom is from too. Perfect cake choice! This cake is made from almonds, lemon and orange zest and a few other ingredients. It’s simple and rustic. No icing, just a cross stenciled in powdered sugar on top of the cake. However, for the party I did decide to go with a decorative fondant cake. The cake was delicious!
The fondant and white chocolate cupcake toppers were gorgeous! They ranged from ruffles and flowers with pearls to Spanish fans and embossed bases to white chocolate seashells with pearl dust and “sand”. They were not only delicious but the seashells looked so realistic.
The sugar cookie designs ranged from seashells, starfish, Spanish fans, starfish, etc. They were beautiful and tasted very good!
Spanish Saffron Peach marshmallows with almond cookie crust were perfect for the theme! Saffron or “azafran” is an essential ingredient in Spanish food and almonds are used a lot in different ways in Spanish cooking. These were really different. I loved these marshmallows. The texture and taste were great!
The décor was gorgeous! The raffia and seashell tablecloth sash/swag and the raffia and seashell cake plate décor with coordinating colored ribbon were designed exactly, if not better, than I had envisioned. Beautiful!
The ribbon chandelier was SO pretty! The fabric rosettes matched the fabric on the bunting tablecloth I made and again was very pretty and well made. I loved it!
The wooden forks were stamped with seashells and the wooden spoons were stamped with the letter “L” for my Mom’s name “Lolita” in a combination of orange and teal colors. The spoons were adorned with the prettiest tissue paper carnations in matching colors and ribbon. Retro paper straws in orange and teal complimented the utensils and décor.
Cute paper fans with ribbon and “Feliz Cumpleanos” tags and pinwheels accented the table and were great take home favors. The children especially loved these.
Did you see the light bulbs with wire handles? They have sand, seashells and a message as in a message in a bottle. Each bottle has a different charm. They are rustic looking and of course matched the beach theme very well. There were also the cutest seashell toothpicks and antique finished metal buckets that rounded out the beach theme. I loved that this set of décor had a rustic and antique look to them. They went really well with the banner I handcrafted.
The banner I made was embellished with mason jar lids and rings on each pennant. We hung my Mom’s vintage photos in between each pennant with painted wooden clothespins that were decorated with seashells.
The invitations were perfect! We used one of the best quality photos of my Mom that I had available for the invitation. It wasn’t the one where she’s wearing the orange bikini. But that’s okay! The invitation looks like a postcard. A real postcard. The matching food tent cards were great too.
We had lots and lots of delicious food. Many of the dishes are favorites of my Mom. We did display for the party photos some “Spanish” dishes that my Mom actually made not knowing they were going to be for her own surprise birthday party. She made Spanish Seafood and Chicken Paella and Spanish Tortilla and my sister made red and white sangrias.
Did I mention that it rained almost every afternoon during our week stay in Texas and it rained the day of the party while we were setting up for our “outdoor “ surprise party for my Mom? Prior to the photographer arriving we started setting up the table and ribbon chandelier outside. Then it started raining so we brought everything back inside. When the photographer arrived it had stopped raining so we took everything back out again. We were slowly taking out the desserts for display on the dessert table in case it started to rain. But as we were setting up part of the table it started raining again. We tried using a big umbrella to cover the table and to help the photographer. But the tablecloths were getting wet and luckily the food was only partially displayed. So we took everything back in again as quickly as we could. Lol! It was all good. Everything was beautiful! Most importantly we celebrated my Mom’s birthday with family and friends. We had a great turnout! We even had family (not from Spain, too bad) we hadn’t seen in many years and it was a great family reunion as well.
Thank you to ALL of my vendors! You guys rock!
A special thanks to my family who helped out with so many of the details, coordination and set up before, during and after the party! You were a great help! I love you guys. I really appreciate it.
*Sugar Cookies (White Sand Dollars with White Pearl Centers, Teal Starfish with White Details, Orange Flowers with Teal Centers,White Shells with Coral Details): Katrin Battaglia with Say it with Heart, www.sayitwithheart.etsy.com
*Sugar Cookies (Orange Starfish, Tiffany Blue Flowers, Light Yellow and Cream Seashells, Happy Birthday Cookies written in Spanish “Feliz Cumpleanos” and Spanish Fans): Shelia Lundgren with Couture Confections, www.coutureconfectionsfl.etsy.com, www.Facebook.com/CoutureConfectionsMiami