Great Party Planning Tips for a Quinceañera Party
La Quinceañera, often misspelled as quincenera, is a tradition observed by people of Spanish descent. It is a coming out party for a young woman turning fifteen. The party has all the elements to symbolize the beginning of womanhood as the celebrant says sweet good-byes to the little girl that she was, including parting with her dolls and a dance with her daddy. The celebration traditionally starts with a church service with the birthday girl arriving in a limo ride wearing a formal gown and a tiara.
For Spanish and Latinos, a Quinceañera party is a big family event next to a wedding. Its history dates back to the Aztec times when fifteen was considered the right marrying age for girls. The tradition was carried on in Hispanic culture incorporating more rituals to signify womanhood and to introduce the girl into society as a young lady.
Ideally, a full-blown Quinceañera takes a year to plan. One of the initial steps is to reserve and arrange schedule with the church and reception hall to make sure there is a venue for the event. The popularity of Quinceañera parties requires planners to be smart in reserving these two important venues early on. At the most, you need to book a year in advance because of their high demand especially in areas largely populated by Hispanics.
Family and friends traditionally plan a Quinceañera party. However, at times, a professional party planner is contracted out to take charge of the entire event to spare you from all the stress attached to it. Nevertheless, as the celebrant, you have every reason to make calls and decide how you want your special day to turn out. Although there are valuable advices from loved ones, it is your ideas that count most to prove that you’re a grown-up woman who can make your own decisions. In this Internet-age, it would be easy to search for information about the nitty-gritty details on how to plan parties, including a Quinceañera event. If you prefer to take the DIY route, you’ll find that it is convenient to deal with an online shop with wide range of party products to celebrate birthday parties from one to 100 years old.
After the initial stage, it’s time to begin planning for the other details of the party. Choose a theme to help you harmonize all the colors and decorations to be set up. Consider popular theme ideas in which you can get all the supplies you need from your favorite one-stop online shop, such as Hollywood and movie awards night, Hawaiian Luau, Winter Wonderland, or a pale pink party.
For a formal occasion like Quinceañera, invitations are needed to be professionally printed and sent out six to eight weeks prior to the date of the party. It goes without saying that a caterer is needed to be hired to prepare your approved menu for the number of invited guests. A florist is also needed to take care of the flowers for the church, party venue, and for your personal use.
The Order of Events in a Quinceañera Party
Regardless of theme and other preferences, the formal event always starts with a celebration of the Holy Mass or equivalent religious ceremony for thanksgiving. The dancing and feast follow at the reception hall. In many cases, the program of activities is printed on elegant paper and distributed to guests so they can follow the schedule.
The success of a Quinceañera event is based on the coordinated action of the event coordinator, emcee, DJ, and caterer. Once the guests start to arrive, there must be light appetizers and beverages to welcome them while the emcee or event coordinator directs them to their respective seats. When everyone has settled, the DJ plays the music to signal the entrance of the entourage with the following sequence: parents, padrinos, and finally the birthday celebrant and the escort. The group proceeds to their seats without sitting down to wait for the next segment – The Toast.
The parents and padrinos, who offer words of gratitude or appreciation to the guests, make the Toast. It is also an act to introduce the next course of events, including:
- Handing down a porcelain doll to a younger sister to symbolize the Quinceañera’s transition from childhood to womanhood
- Changing from flat pumps to high-heeled shoes
- Sentimental first dance with the father
The dinner follows the series of these symbolic episodes. If you prefer a sit-down dinner, the waiters will make rounds to serve the guests on their table. If it’s a buffet setup, the emcee will call the guests, one table at a time, to queue in orderly manner as they wait in line to get food and drinks.
The cutting of the cake takes place an hour before the party ends. It’s one of the highlights of the night, when all your loved ones surround you at the table for cake cutting. Then everyone can go back to the festivities while enjoying a slice of the cake.
Finally, the time has come to play the last song you picked for the night. As the Quinceañera, the limelight is on you as you dance with the important people in your life – parents, padrinos, relatives, or friends, so choose a song that has a special meaning to you.