Day of The Dead or Cinco De Mayo Themed Wedding For The Off-Beat Bride

An Off-Beat Wedding For The Off-Beat Couple

Looking for something a little left of center for your wedding? Does the whole idea of white, white, everywhere at your wedding bore you to tears? Are you looking to have a wedding where your guests will have a blast and talk about it for years to come? Then definitely, I have the wedding theme for you that no one, believe me, no one at your wedding will ever forget! Non-traditional brides, gather near, I'm talking about a Day of The Dead or Cinco De Mayo themed wedding! And the best part about this wedding theme is it doesn't necessarily have to be held on October 31, November 1 or even May 5, for that matter. It would be a great theme for a spring or summer wedding or if you're brave enough to be married on Friday the 13th. It would be even better if you or your spouse were of Hispanic heritage, but totally not necessary. Great for tattoed brides, rock n' roll brides, or couple who just want something a little different from the average wedding. A Day of the Dead wedding would be the perfect bucking of the norm while still incorporating some fun, colorful (Hispanic!) wedding traditions into your special day.

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How To Tell The Parents/Others Who Might Care

Hopefully, your propensity to think a little out-of-the box has not just cropped up overnight and your family and friends had an inkling that if you ever did have a wedding, it might not be a traditional one. If not, it's probably not the time to spring this idea on them! Wedding planning is certainly stressful enough without having friends and family not being onboard and being non-supportive! However, if you and your groom are paying for your wedding yourselves, then by all means, go all-out for the wedding that you want. However, if your parents are helping you with the cost, you need to think about how to approach them with this idea without having them tell you you're completely whacked in the head and withdrawing their financial support. Ugh, that would not be good! Plot out your argument. Think of the reasons why the theme appeals to you. Gather attractive and reasonably conservative looking pictures to show the 'rents to give them an idea of what this theme will actually look like. Tell them than you really want to have a relaxed atmosphere where your guests can really have fun and enjoy themselves. Heck, tell them David Tutera did one on his show and he's one of the most fabulous wedding planners ever! If all else fails, tell them that family and friends can pull off a lot of the food and decorating themselves and save them a ton of money over a traditional wedding! Score! And as an aside and not in front of your mom, tell your dad, all the margaritas and Coronas he can drink...oh yes, he'll be eating out of your hand!

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Let's Plan A Wedding!

You finally convinced the family, so now what? Let's look at some budget friendly ways to pull off a Day of the Dead/Cinco de Mayo wedding that'll provoke extreme wedding ust among all your friends. If you're like most brides, the first thing you want to consider is the dress. Don't be afraid of a bright color for your dress, but be sure if you are using a vibrant color for your wedding dress, you are appropriately playing down the colors worn by the rest of the bridal party. How about a bright red or a dress in Pantone's color favorite, Tangerine Tango? That's sure to make all eyes focus on you. If you're not that brave, let your colors show in an awesome pair of killer pumps, Ed Hardy style. Then you could dress your bridesmaids in a rainbow of different colors and match the groomsmen' s ties accordingly. Or have your bridesmaids all in black with some brightly colored pumps and pashminas to match.

Day Of The Dead Cake Topper

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Skull And Tattoo Décor

If you're a skull or tattoo lover, you're in luck with this wedding theme, because bright tattoo colors and adorable Day of The Dead skulls can be incorporated just about everywhere. You can include skulls in your Save The Dates and invitations as well as in your favors. Sugar skulls are not hard to make and would be great fun for favors and to decorate at a pre-wedding gathering of your bridal party. There are molds you can buy online and the painting is done with simple Royal icing in as many bright colors as you care to mix. You can even create your own cake topper from air dry modeling clay if you or your groom are a little bit artistic or if not so handy, go shopping for adorable ones on Etsy. The tattoo/sugar skull theme can even be incorporated into your cake...no plain white cake for you...just make sure to check your lips in the mirror after that first taste, so you won't have weird colored lips or tongues in the wedding photos to follow!

Day Of The Dead Banners

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Day Of The Dead Ring Pillow

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Flowers For Your Day of the Dead Wedding

The excellent thing about this wedding theme is you really don't have to chunk down the equivalent of your first child's college tuition on flowers. Fun and inexpensive showy blooms are the way to go if you plan on using real flowers...flowers like zinnias, roses in shades of orange, hot pink and yellow, dahlias, large headed daisies and sunflowers would make an awesome Cinco de Mayo/Day of the Dead wedding bouquet. However, if you really want to go all out Hispanic theme, why not enlist the help of your bridesmaids to make paper flowers in vibrant colors and accent them with some skulls here and there? Paper flowers aren't hard to make and you can buy pre-cut tissue paper online that will save you the stress of having to cut it yourself.

Succulents are another great alternative for wedding bouquets that can also be used as centerpieces and even as wedding favors. You may have seen a succulent and not realized what it was, but there are any number of varieties of these plants. The cactus is actually a succulent, but don't worry, not all succulents come with spikey leaves! Their thick leaves and stems make them easy to identify and they are excellent at storing up water in their roots, making them a very easy plant to take care of for the not-so-careful gardener. Surprisingly enough, they have become extremely popular for weddings recently and can look beautiful in the right arrangement.

Tattooed Bride With Day Of Dead Bouquet

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More Day of The Dead/Cinco De Mayo Wedding Décor Ideas

Unless you live under a rock, you've probably eaten in at least one Mexican restaurant in your life. Chances are as part of their décor, they may have had colorful papel picado hanging from the ceiling and strung like bunting from wall to wall. Although recognized as a Mexican folk art, it actually dates back to 16th century China. Papel picado is sheets of colored paper that have been cut into designs and then strung on ribbon or string to create bunting. Although every color has a meaning, the colors most widely associated with Day of the Dead celebrations are pink, purple, and orange. This is definitely another DIY project that can have huge visual impact and you can use it anywhere from your head table to the cake table to the ceiling, even strung across your wedding arch.

When you're planning your décor and favors, don't forget the beauty of Mexican tile. They can be used for everything from table numbers to favors, again as a fun and easy DIY project. You'll need inexpensive white or off-white 4" x 4 " tiles from your local home improvement store and glass paints in a variety of colors. You'll also needs some fine line brushes, tracing paper, and possibly some good old-fashioned carbon paper if you plan on transferring any designs. Check out pictures of Mexican tiles online or look for painted Day of the Dead skulls and use the carbon paper to transfer the picture to the tile. You can use a copier to adjust the picture to the correct size to fit onto your tile. Then simply paint the design with your brushes in as many colors as you like. When dry, you can use a sealer to preserve the paint. If you're not that industrious or artistic, you can find some tattoo print scrapbook paper, (you may even find skulls!) and cut a square 1/4" smaller than your tile and adhere it with a decoupage glue like Modge Podge. Finish off with a coat or two of sealer. If you plan on using your tiles for table numbers, get some mailbox numbers and glue them on, buy an inexpensive easel for each table number at the dollar store, and another DIY project done!

Day of The Dead Wedding Cake

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What To Feed Your Day Of The Dead Wedding Guests

Food for this theme can be so much fun and casual, much more so than your average wedding. Think about setting up your food in stations, a create-your-own taco bar in one area, a killer nacho station in another. Add fillers like different cheeses, a variety of peppers and salsas, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, or anything else you can dream up! Be sure to end the meal with a Pan De Muerto, Bread of the Dead, which is basically a round of bread decorated with a set of bread crossbones and then topped with melted butter and sugar...yum!

The first toast...not champagne, but tequila shots, of course! Stock your drink station with brightly colored Mexican sodas and have as your signature drink a specially blended margarita picked out by the two of you. A margarita station would be another great stop in your wandering food bar set-up, although you may have to jump start your guests away from the bar with a little samba, tango, or salsa music to keep the party going! If it's cool weather, you could include some tiny cups of Mexican hot chocolate for the little ones.

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Some Hispanic Wedding Traditions

If you want to add a few meaningful Hispanic wedding touches, be sure to do something to honor the dead...after all this is a Day of the Dead wedding. Dia de los Muertes is just that, a day meant to honor the dead, so a small table or altar set up with pictures of family members who have passed away would be nice with lots of candles lit. Include the four elements: earth, wind, fire, and water by adding floating candles, and flower petals. Add small pots of marigolds, incense to welcome the spirits, as well as favorite foods or drinks of the lost loved ones.

Another very sweet Mexican wedding tradition is done during the First Dance. As the happy couple take their first dance together as man and wife, their guests encircle them in the shape of a heart. There is a less sentimental and a tad dangerous custom, "el muertito," where the male guests lift the groom over the heads of the wedding guests and toss him up and down a few times, . You might want to think harder about this one, unless your groom is the adventurous type with a good medical plan (and possibly, he has already put you in his will!)

A Day of The Dead wedding theme is non-traditional for sure, but if you and your groom love it, want it, need it to make your day memorable and complete, you should do it. Life is short and you don't want to feel like you slept through your wedding, due to leaving all the details in someone else's hands. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use a planner, (you do want to have time to enjoy your day!), but find one who's progressive enough to work with you on your theme, so you, your groom, your family and friends can enjoy all the fun little details that make this theme special!

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Comments 16 comments

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 4 years ago from South Carolina

You know I love it with my love of skulls, orange and other bright colors. I thought I would mention marigolds are the traditional Dia de lost Muertos flower and talk about inexpensive! They would be adorable in boutennaires and in table decorations. Once again anohter creative and interesting hub!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Tess,

Hey, thanks for reading. I actually did mention marigolds as altar décor, but not a big fan of them otherwisr


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Whoops, sorry, I-phone mishap! As I was saying, marigolds, although pretty are not my favs for bouquets and boutonierres because of their smell, even though you're right, they are the traditional flower.


Ashleymckinnon profile image

Ashleymckinnon 4 years ago from Coleman, WI

Love this. Super cute. I would have one criticism. Don't you think it would be more effective to put these in two blogs? The themes are so different that it's a little confusing. Both really adorable ideas though!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Ashley,

Thanks for the advice, but I considered them way two similar to put them in two separate articles (BTW, not blogs!) and would have felt that I was repeating myself. I really don't think the themes are that different as far as décor, traditions, or flowers go. Probably the only thing different is the addition of the skull theme. I added Cinco De Mayo, because I thought that many people might want to use a Day of the Dead theme if they were getting married in the May time frame. Cinco de Mayo is just a celebration of Mexican heritage (not Mexican Independence Day like most people think!) and Day of the Dead celebrations are certainly a part of that. It would be a little difficult to theme everything around a battle which is what Cinco De Mayo commemorates and not a really great way to start a marriage! :)


tylermckinnon 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

Well I never thought of it that way! Voted up nonetheless :) Also, not sure why I keep writing "blogs." Creature of habit I suppose!


Tess45 profile image

Tess45 4 years ago from South Carolina

Oops sorry, I should have read more carefully. I kind of like the way marigolds smell, but I am weird that way.

T.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Hey Tyler, are you Ashley's better half? Blogs vs. Hubs, big difference or there's supposed to be. Anyway, thanks for reading and voting up!


tylermckinnon 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

Yes! She must have written under my profile by accident! :)


b2b-sales-europe profile image

b2b-sales-europe 4 years ago from Berlin, Germany

Great, that's a wedding I would love to attend! I bet you can get a photographer for free offering him some rights for promotion ... having friends in the media business you could even end up in the news!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

B2B, you are so right. If I could find a bride in my area brave enough to do this theme, I'd do it without charging for my labor. The pictures would be worth it for my portfolio!


writeronline 4 years ago

Day of The Dead = Hub of The Day.

What a unique, eye-catching, groovy lil number this is.

Do you wanna tell the HP HOTD-seekers DIY, or shall I draw this to their attention?


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Oh WOL, by all means , knock yourself out although I really don't think it would do much good. I write what I like and lately Google has been liking it, too so that's good enough for me.


writeronline 4 years ago

Oh well, HOTD v Google ranking? No contest. Good on you, DIY!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Patti-you look radiant in your photo! About the hub: you are a fabulous writer. The idea of a 'Day of the Dead' wedding is so revolting to me and yet I can hardly wait to be invited to this gala affair! You really make it sound exciting and fun.

I sure have missed your wit and humor...where've I been all these months not showing up at your wedding parties!

Have a great year and I will be visiting much more often, I promise.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Denise!

So excited to see you, hear from you, whatever again. Thanks for the compliment on the pic, I was at a party having fun WITHOUT children for a change! The Day Of The Dead theme for a wedding is not something I would have thought of on my own, but I met a bride online who actually wanted this for her wedding and asked me for ideas, so I researched it for her. Sadly, she lives in California, so I can't plan it for her. Plus, I was born on November 1, All Saints Day, when most of the DoD celebrations take place, so I can have my friends use these ideas and turn them into a b-day party for me! Sneaky, huh? Thanks for stopping by, Denise, and don't be a stranger!

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