15th Birthday Dreams: All About Quinceañeras and How to Plan Yours Perfectly!
When you hear the word “quinceañera,” do you picture a young woman or a big celebration? Both are correct! Roughly translated to the feminine form of “15 years,” this milestone is most important in a young lady’s life. Celebrated through Mexico, Latin America, and various communities through the US, the occasion often incorporates religious tradition with a fun, social reception – all centered around a beautiful girl who is now entering adulthood.
Similar to a Sweet Sixteen or a debutante ball, this type of birthday festivity is traditionally a very grand experience! To a young girl, this marks her coming of age. Donned with a full-length ball gown, matching bouquet, manicured nails, flawless makeup and hair, a young woman debuts.
Just as every girl is unique, so is each quinceañera celebration. Traditionally, the day will begin at church for the Mass. This is when she will receive her Holy Communion and gifts the Virgin Mary with flowers. The presiding priest will then bless the gifts the girl is given, such as her crown or jewelry. For this ceremony, she is accompanied by her parents, her godparents, and the close friends she’s chosen for her court. Her closest girlfriends are called her damas, or maids of honor, and their male partners are the chambelánes.
Once the church portion of the day concludes, we get to the party!
At the quinceañera reception, the birthday girl takes part in a series of dances. No two itineraries are the same but often, her first dance of the evening is a waltz with her father or parent. The family also tends to come up and dance with her, one by one, and give her well wishes. She will also dance with her chambelánes, as well as present a choreographed routine she’s worked on for months with her damas.
Many receptions will incorporate certain customs as they guide the girl’s transition into adulthood. The family will gift her with her first pair of high heels, even helping her remove the shoes she has on to replace them with the new ones. Her mother or parent will crown her, and the girl often times will also receive a doll who is dressed just like her.
Elements to a Dream Quince
So many elements go into planning an amazing quinceañera, especially one fit for your own princess. With such significance behind this tradition, every little detail and task is as imperative as the last.
As soon as parents decide they want to throw their growing girl a quinceañera, so many things will immediately come to mind!
- Where do we host it?
- What food should we serve?
- Where can we find a beautiful cake?
- Who should we get to DJ for the event?
- Do we know any photographers or videographers?
…And so many more elements!
As a parent, you’ll want to make your girl feel special with a one-of-a-kind, 15th birthday the whole family will remember. You’re also such an important part of the day, so you’ll want to enjoy the evening too!
A Venue Suited for a Princess
The first step you want to take when planning a quince is to book your venue. Depending on how far in advance you’ve begun to plan, you’ll want to secure your date while halls have the availability. Many factors go into choosing a ballroom for your daughter’s birthday blowout.
You’ve heard the quote, “Location, location, location!” Where you choose to go is important.
Sometimes a setting can make or break an event. When you pick the ballroom, you’re not just choosing a space for dancing. You’re choosing the views people get when they walk in for the first time and say, “Wow!” You’re choosing the atmosphere for your sit-down dinner, served with gourmet foods and fresh salads. You’re choosing the place where precious memories will be made, and that will live on forever in photographs. You want to love everything about this place because you love everything about your little girl, and you want her to be happy.
Something Tasty for Everyone
For her quinceañera, you’ll want to have the best food that suits everyone’s taste. The more people you invite, the wider the preferences range, and you want everyone’s tummies to be fulfilled. What’s a party without good food, right?
Your menu can consist of whatever you – or she – chooses. From fancy steaks to vegan cuisine, you’ll know how to please your guests and their palates. Because this party tradition stems from Latin cultures, so too does the menu often reflect that, but it’s not always the case. Every family, just like flavors, is different and the types of fare provided at these parties can range from all kinds of backgrounds and types.
The Sweetest Treat
One essential menu item though?
The quinceañera cake is a sight to see, especially when the young girl has something specific in mind. Perhaps she wants it to match her dress, or maybe she wants it sprinkled with crystal sugar and dripping chocolate – whatever, it is sure to be a spectacle.
We live in a day in age where our cameras eat first. That means before you dig into your pretty dish, you want to take a picture! Are we sure that’s not why Instagram was invented?
A girl’s quince cake is the most photogenic pastry you’ll ever see. Not only is a dessert the tastiest, but it can also be the most beautiful.
Your daughter has her own sense of style and you as a parent will want the best, most fabulous décor for her birthday banquet.
From the decked-out tables, lovely fabrics, and even the guestbook, all the details count in making the night extraordinary. When you choose your décor, you want it to radiate her personality – whether that’s with her favorite colors, styles, or all-out glittery-glam!
Remember The Moments in Photographs
Because you’re such an integral part of the day, it’s easy to miss things and get preoccupied with other tasks. Thanks to your photographers and videographers, you won’t have to miss one moment as they’ll capture it all for you!
The party may only be for one night, but the memories will last forever. When you go all out on a celebration like this, you’ll want to look back on how much fun you had and how much it was worth all the planning and anticipation.
Through photos, your memories continue to live on to each new generation. One day your daughter may have a daughter, and she will want to celebrate her just like you did. She will want to show her those photos from her 15th birthday. She will look back and smile at all you did for her.
We live on in photographs, and our memories never change in them. As your baby girl grows into an adult, the photos from her quince will always remind you of when that beautiful young woman was ready to take on the world!
It’s important to have a photographer you trust, who won’t miss a beat, and who will always be there for the best moments as well as the candid fun.
Create Your Rewatchable Movie Moments
Your videographer will make the night feel like it was made for a movie.
Similar to your photographer, you’ll want your videographer to capture every moment through the night. Re-watch her crowning ceremony, her waltz with Dad, her cake cutting and more with a video commemoration of it all.
And of course – you’re going to need music!
Hiring a DJ/Emcee for the night can be tricky. It’s not always as easy as putting your playlist on shuffle for all to hear.
A great DJ will take on the role of the host, and help move things along smoothly for the event. A great DJ will accept requests from you and your guests, so everyone hears their song. A great DJ will keep your crowd moving and grooving until they drop, and good times are had.
As quinceañeras tend to be a mix of family and friends from different places, you may prefer to have a bilingual DJ so everyone can communicate well.
Did you ask your DJ if they’ve got videos of themselves working at a previous event? It may help to see how they can vibe with a crowd, and how their playlist flows. You spent months planning everything out, you’ll want to dine, drink, and most of all dance the night away with the right DJ at the helm.
Style & Profile in Her Own Limo
One last thing that might make your girl extra happy is providing her a ride with style. If it’s your daughter’s 15th birthday, you’ll make her feel like a star in her very own limo! With enough room for her, her damas, and her chambelánes, your daughter and her friends can enjoy the lavish experience of riding in a limo of her own.
These are just some of the major things you’ll want to give lots of thought to as you plan a quinceañera. Your little girl will only turn 15 once, so you’ll want to make it memorable. Celebrate this next step of her life in the best way by throwing her the party of her dreams!