A Truly Special Occasion: How to Hold a Quinceañera

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A quinceañera is a proud occasion for any family, one that you’ll want everyone to be a part of. It is a valuable tradition that deserves to be celebrated properly. That is why it is important to book the right quinceañera space to accommodate all the needs of everyone in attendance. It is easy to become overwhelmed when trying to plan a special occasion such as this. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to holding a quinceañera so that you can make the most of the event. 

Two women standing under garden pergola 

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An important day: planning a quinceañera

A quinceañera is more than just an ordinary birthday celebration. It is a religious ceremony rooted in Latin American tradition. The quinceañera is an important part of a young girl’s life, as it traditionally marks the girl’s passage into womanhood. Planning for such an important day involves so much more than just picking a nice venue. If it’s your first time planning a quinceañera, here’s what you need to know.

Start planning early 

A quinceañera is a very formal occasion. To get it right, you’ll want to start putting all the necessary steps into motion. Start the planning process at least a few months out so that you can save enough money for the event and have all the little intricate details accounted for. 

The reason you want this much time is because you need to make sure that not just the guests, but any important family members, church officials, and others will be able to attend.

Plan the particulars 

Once you have the okay and are ready to plan the quinceañera, the first things to do are to lock in the guest list, along with the exact date and time of the event.

You want to have these parts figured out as soon as possible so that you have time to confer with the family and send out invites to attendees. Though it is technically a birthday celebration also, the formality means that guests will want time to prepare themselves, buy new clothes, fly in from out of town if needed, or take care of any other preparations. 

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You want to send out formal invitations too. While you may get away with an e-vite for some events, a quinceañera is not one of them. 

You should also figure out the members of the court, the escort for the woman of honor, and the event space. Although the quinceañera itself doesn’t have to be held in a church, the event always begins with a special morning Mass at the quinceañera’s church. Some churches require donations or community service as part of the event. Consult with the church as soon as possible to ensure you can fulfill any special requirements.

Picking the right dress 

Even more important than the attendees and the venue is the quinceañera dress. Picking the right dress can be a whole undertaking in itself. While there are no hard and fast rules on what the dress should look like or what color it should be, picking the right dress can take some time. 

It is generally considered good practice for the dress to be well-fitting and compliment the quince’s complexion. Traditionally, quinceañera dresses were white. Today, they come in a range of colors and styles. Most quinceañera dresses are one solid color, while some others have a color accident. Various shades of pink and blue are common.

Be sure to let your guests know what color the quinceañera’s dress is so they can avoid wearing it. They should also avoid wearing white.

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You’ll also need to buy two pairs of shoes to match the dress: a pair of flats and a pair of heels. The father of the birthday girl (or another trusted family member) will change the birthday girl’s shoes from flats to heels just before the quinceañera waltz. This symbolizes her coming of age.

Settle on the amenities 

Now that the guest list, the venue, the dress, and the shoes are all accounted for, the last things on the list are the extra amenities. This means picking place settings that match the setting, hiring a photographer, and settling on the food and the cake. 

These are lower on the list of priorities because the occasion itself is so important, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan everything out. You definitely want a photographer or videographer to professionally record the occasion. Beyond that, you want a catered menu and a cake. If you’re planning this for someone, then it’s important to get input from the family to choose the right cake. If it’s for your own family or daughter, then you probably already know what you want. 

Once you have all of these things taken care of, you can set about fixing minor little touches to the decor or the seating arrangements. The final important point is to try to make it a memorable occasion where everyone has fun. 

Flower arrangement in basket 

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Final thoughts 

Well, there you have it: our guide to planning a memorable quinceanera. This celebration is an important moment for the entire family, and you can be sure that if you take the time to plan it properly, it will be a magical time for everyone involved.