A quinceañera is a special moment for a girl as it represents the transition of a young lady into a woman. As such, it’s important to get it right which means, unfortunately, lots and lots of planning. Luckily, you have this guide to help you every step along the way. A quinceañera is meant to be a fun, exciting, and festive party for you and your entire family, but, just like a wedding, planning for it can be a pain and, if you’re not careful, expenses can get out of control. Just make sure you go slowly, leave yourself plenty of time, and try to have fun! We suggest you start planning roughly 10 – 12 months before the party date.
First things first – you need a budget. Here’s another guide to help you build an effective event budget.
Talking to your Padrinos
Traditionally, Padrinos or sponsors (usually Godparents, relatives, grandparents, etc) are asked to provide financial assistance for the party. Typically there are only two padrinos who are recognized at the party, but, since families are getting larger, it is not uncommon for multiple family members to chip in. Remember to remain polite and thankful towards all your Padrinos, Parents, family members, and any person who loves you enough to help pay for your special event, for without them there is no quinceañera! Now that you have a budget in mind, make sure you STICK to it. Every decision you make from this point will be influenced by your budget so always keep it in mind! Now, on to the fun stuff we go.
Choosing your Quince court
Your quinceañera court should consist of no more than seven couples (seven boys and seven girls) of your close friends and relatives. Now traditionally, seven couples are chosen, however, it’s completely up to you how many people you invite. These days it’s not necessary to have a giant court and sometimes small courts are preferred. Just make sure you invite people who have positively influenced your life and who you share a positive connection with, after all, you’re going to be dancing with them and you want them to want to be good!
Choosing a Venue for Your Reception / A Church for Mass
For most quinceañeras, a visit to church for mass precedes the reception and if you don’t already have a church in mind, we suggest calling ahead months in advance in order to ensure there’s an opening date you can plan your reception around. As for venues, look for something that is affordable and in-line with your budget, but most of all, make sure they are available for the date you’ve selected! You should also look for a ballroom that has a large dance floor and enough space to hold all of your guests. Obviously, we recommend Eden Events quinceañera hall in Houston because of its over-sized dance floor and space for 250 guests, but there are several wonderful ballrooms in the Houston area. You’ll also need to figure out what you’re going to provide for food and drinks for your guests. Using catering and drink services provided by the ballroom is the suggested route because it’s more affordable and you’ll have their staff present at your quinceañera to ensure things go as planned, however, if you have the budget to recruit an outside caterer that you really crave, by all means, do so (make sure the venues allow for outside caterers/drink service). Above all, remember to stick to your budget and don’t go overboard, there are still lots of items you have to account for!
If you’re looking for a great deal on invitations the internet is the place to go. There are plenty of great sites that offer quality invitations at an incredibly low price. You can also go to a local print shop with a design of your own and get the exact invitations you want but at a more expensive price. I highly recommend using a website to make your invitations and while you’re there, you can make your thank you notes as well. You’ll save money and you won’t be sacrificing quality. Don’t forget to leave room in your budget for stamps!
Deciding on a Dress
When deciding on a dress for your quinceañera there are several rules. Rule #1: Don’t overspend. Make sure the dress you decide on is completely within the budget; DO NOT splurge just because you love it! The world might work that way for some people, but not for you, you’re responsible! Rule #2: Make sure you love it! You’re going to be taking hundreds of pictures with family and friends and you want to look great – not to mention you have to wear the thing all day! Keep in mind that you’ll need to get refitted for the gown about a month before the date of your quinceañera just to ensure it fits.
Planning Your Dance
Traditionally there are several dances that are performed throughout the evening. After your quinceañera court is presented and seated, you will be presented, there will be a toast, and then you will perform a classic dance (usually a Waltz) with your father. There are several other dances throughout the night including a family dance and plenty of opportunities for the entire party to dance, but as of late, quinceañeras have been planning a surprise dance that is choreographed to a modern song of your choice. Here are some examples to give you a few ideas of modern dances (note: choreographing a dance is not required, but it does look really fun):
When choosing a photographer, make sure you shop around and find the best deal. Not necessarily the cheapest, but someone who has experience photographing quinceañeras, particularly, someone who is professional and charges a reasonable rate. We recommend 713 photography, they have done many of our quinces in the past and always provide quality work at an affordable price. It’s up to you to do your research and find the photographer that’s right for you.
This is a birthday party at the root of it and what’s a birthday party without cake. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or layered like a wedding cake, just a cake big enough to let everyone try a slice. Eden Events offers a cake option for an extra price, but there are also plenty of places you can get an affordable cake from. Local grocery stores offer cheap prices on cakes and there are bakeries that can provide affordable cakes as well.
How it all comes together
You’ve made it! You’ve ordered everything and scheduled everything else and the day has finally arrived. Here’s what you can expect. Your day will probably start with going to mass with your family and friends. After mass, you head to the reception while making sure to take tons of pictures along the way. Maybe choose a scenic place to stop and take pictures with your family and quince court. At the reception, you’ll be introduced last and your family will toast to your future and usually, someone will say a few words about you. You’ll then have a dance with your father followed by dinner for you and your guests. Then you’ll spend the rest of the evening dancing and then dancing some more. Don’t forget to fit your surprise dance in there somewhere. As the evening winds down you will be presented with your last doll that you can keep and pass down to your children or give to a young girl in attendance, you’ll eat your cake and blow out your candles, and you’ll have your last dance. You might also be presented with some high heels to wear as some cultures will prefer you wear flats up until that point. Then you get to go home, relax, and congratulate yourself and everyone who helped make your event a fabulous success. Don’t forget to send your thank you cards to everyone that attended because they are the ones who truly made your event special and they deserve thanks. Congrats! You’ve made it to the end of the guide! Please pass this guide along to anyone who may need help.