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REAL PARTIES: Fiesta 40 Birthday Party

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Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

LOVING this ultra-colorful “Fiesta 40” Birthday Party from Anneliese of Aesthetic Nest… what a fun way to celebrate your 40th! Added bonus for the rest of us: there are tons of great DIY projects and creative ideas to be found here to help inspire fiestas of all occasions. =)

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Read on for lots of pics and all the festive details, as told by Anneliese… 


Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We used my fortieth birthday as the excuse to host a party we’d been thinking about for a few years, with street taco vending, live Mexican music, good friends and family and lots of bright decorations.

Here is the report on my FIESTA FORTY! starting with a photo of my little Scarlett in her fiesta skirt and blouse and me in my maternity Mexican peasant blouse–hooray for variety in pregnancy wear! It was fun to dress the part for this party.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

As you can see, I jumped on the tissue paper pom-pom bandwagon for this party. Loved the idea of brightly colored clusters of these hanging from the trees. I used a mixture of rounded and pointed petal poms in bright pink, turquoise, yellow, white and orange.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We set up guest tables in our backyard topped with chartreuse green table covers, then yellow paper cloths hand-cut to resemble Papel Picado banners, then my oilcloth Fiesta Tablecloths, and finally the Fiesta Flower Bouquets I had been making in the wee hours these past weeks.

So fun to see these ideas come together! I typically don’t like using paper but it seemed the right thing for this casual fiesta–plus I love the Mexican paper crafting traditions of banners, flowers and tissue covered pinatas.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

The serving tables were set with yellow table skirts, white hand-cut paper tablecloths, and over sized yellow tissue Papel Picado banners. I wish I’d taken better photos of the banners because they turned out really fun and were a big part of the original concept for this party, including the invitations (pictured at top).

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

I used a different variety of paper flower bouquets on the serving tables. It was so much fun iterating on this theme! On one table I had over-sized arrangements with a mix of rounded and pointy “blooms” in 36″ tall vases. (See image #1 at the very top.) I used paper dinner napkins to make these blooms and long dowels purchased at a craft store.

On another serving table I made tight, low arrangements of pointy blooms in bright pink with one yellow accent flower. Had I not had a deadline it would have been fun to keep experimenting!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Other serving table details included delicious Jarritos sodas in lime, mandarin, mango, guava and mandarin. These are good and so sweet so one needs a party as an excuse to drink them!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We also served “Mexican Coke” (the stuff made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup–yum!) but the Jarritos were the first to go! I found some bright turquoise metal bottle openers at a local restaurant supply and tied them to the drink coolers.

We used tinfoil takeout containers lined with brightly color napkins, metal baskets lined with napkins for the utensils, and lucky me, IKEA had straws in all the right colors.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

But the food is the real story! It was the real deal: carnitas, carne asada and pollo street tacos with grilled onions and pico de gallo (catered by a great local authentic restaurant); chips, my husband’s guacamole and a variety of salsas; my Fiesta Salad; and churros made-to-order (the only way to eat them!) with chocolate or sweetened condensed milk to top.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

I loved the idea of the guests ordering just what they wanted and moving around from the taco tent to the serving tables while visiting with each other. It worked perfectly! So much fun!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

And, of course… the birthday cake! I made Tres Leches Cake, four of them actually (recipe here). I topped each with a bright pink flower and ten candles… a bit less overwhelming to spread them out in tens rather than have forty on one cake!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We had two guitarists playing Ranchero music. They were so great – played a good variety at the right volume and really added to the fiesta flavor!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

It wouldn’t have been a party without the people. I love the chance to bring together family and friends from different stages in my life. I was lucky to have friends at the party from high school in addition to those I’ve made more recently.

Can’t think of a better way to celebrate! And thank goodness I had some help blowing out the candles! (Wish you could hear our friend, Charlie, playing his guitar and singing ¡Feliz cumpleaños a tí!)”

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas


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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

35 responses to “REAL PARTIES: Fiesta 40 Birthday Party”

  1. Vicky says:

    Yay! Anneliese did such a lovely job with this party- so glad to see it featured:)

  2. AlysMama says:

    I love it! I just made a suggestion early this week about wanting ideas for a Fiesta!Great inspiration!

  3. Joyce says:

    Wow! I had fun just looking at the photos! Love the bright bold colors!

  4. The food looks amazing! I’m hungry.
    Love the colors.

  5. Elisha Akram says:

    love it nice and colorful!

  6. Jackie says:

    I really love this!! The poms are amazing – I love how they are put in vases as the centerpieces on the table…. and the food – I am drooling!

  7. I love all these colors!! Fiestas are always such fun themes :)

  8. Bird says:

    Love the colours! ;)

  9. The colors she used are so fun and vibrant…I LOVE them! The cut-out details on the tablecloths make a really fun touch, and I’m really digging the pom-pom centerpieces. What a great party! :)

  10. I love the bright colors and theme! Very nice, I love to see different adult party ideas. Wish there were more to see.

  11. Heidi says:

    Gorgeous! And yummy looking!

  12. I love the pom poms!!! wait.. I love it ALL!

  13. nicole says:

    AWESOME!! I’m doing an “Adios Dos” birthday party for my soon to be 3 year old.. can’t wait to use some of these ideas!

  14. Dio says:

    Everything looks beautiful and festive! Paper pom-poms are my favorite, they liven up any event.

  15. Kandice says:

    The food looks delicious! I also love the detail of using the aluminum “to go” tins as plates! What an easy idea (with quick clean-up).

  16. verenice says:


    I’m mexican and really know about our traditions and how we throw parties… and when I saw your photos… It makes me a big smile, really!!!
    everything looks so fresh and vibrant!!!

    best regards from MEXICO!!!

  17. Bettijo says:

    Genius to put the pom poms on the sticks — I was recently brainstorming for a way to use the tissue paper pom poms at a venue where we couldn’t hang anything. This is the perfect solution.

  18. lea says:

    I love this idea! ANyone have any idea where I can purchase those vases? The holes in the top are fantastic!

  19. Tonya says:

    Love the paper flowers!