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Accent Pieces

Tequila shooters liven things up, especially when served in waves of sand. Pour colored play sand into wavy stripes in a shallow glass dish and nestle etched-glass shot glasses in the sand. A whitewashed cathedral candle stand makes a Gothic backdrop; its bubble-glass votives in stained-glass hues recall quaint churches in a Mexican town square. Fashion: A gauzy white skirt is the epitome of breezy style, while a textured open-weave top adds waves of color.

Turn extra votive candles
into mood-enhancing place cards. Use a cookie cutter to cut colored paper into ovals. Write the guest’s name on the front and punch holes on both sides; thread a ribbon through the holes and around the votive, tying in the back.


A sombrero centerpiece puts dessert on a pedestal. Wrap a cake stand in an extra dishtowel (to match the napkins) and rest a green straw hat on top. Add a colorful plate of mini lime cheesecakes as the crowning touch.


A flowering cactus goes home with each guest. I found these cute ceramic cubes at a craft store and was delighted to find that a mini flowerpot slipped right inside the hole. Spray paint the terra-cotta pots and plant a cactus inside for a takeaway favor

Food and Drinks

Start the festivities with sparkling Cosmoritas and signal a grande finale with refreshing Petite Lime Cheesecakes that are pretty enough to stand in for a centerpiece. Toss some pillows on benches to bring in even more color—and entice guests to settle in and stay a while.

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