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Quinceañeras : Checklist

PLANNING YOUR PARTY: HOW TO PREPARE Given the rich history, numerous traditions, and great importance of quinceanera celebrations, planning every element of your party, including what to wear, is an exciting process. The below general timeline puts you on the right track to plan a memorable day for your quinceanera.

MONTHS BEFORE YOUR QUINCEANERA Although starting to plan more than a year out may feel unnecessary to some, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time for the planning process. This time is crucial to cover some of the basics. Planning them now allows you to move forward efficiently in the coming months.

  • Budget and designate sponsors: Quinceanera costs ultimately range from family to family, depending on your celebration wishes. In some cases, padrinos and madrinas — the godparents — will help. Godparents are usually members of the quinceanera’s family, close friends of the family or even church members, and they will sometimes sponsor specific items or elements of the celebration, such as the dress or venue rental.

  • Set the date: Picking the party date early helps guests make sure there won’t be any scheduling conflicts. The earlier you know, the better.

  • Book your venues: There are two main parts of the quinceanera celebration — the ceremony, usually held at a church, and the reception. Just like planning a wedding, you might want to book a church and a reception venue early to ensure your party has a place to be.

  • Decide on transportation: Depending on your budget, you may want your quinceanera to travel in style on her big day. If so, be sure to book transportation — such as a limo — from the church to the reception.

  • Book entertainment and vendors: One year out is also an excellent time to start looking into and booking a DJ or band and a photographer and videographer if your budget allows.

  • Think about party theme and colors: Before purchasing any dresses or decorations, the quinceanera celebration needs to have a central theme and color scheme established. With a theme and color scheme, you can be sure things will match since you would already have an expectation and visualization for how things will look.

  • Research cakes for your party: A quinceanera’s cake could be like a wedding cake. Research the bakeries in your area and compare costs for a cake to serve on the day of the event.

  • Start planning your court: Just as brides appoint bridesmaids, quinceaneras create their court. While a quinceanera might traditionally have seven damas and seven chambelanes, there is no specific number of each she must have — it’s up to her.

  • Start the search for the perfect dress and accessories: Finding a dress you’re absolutely in love with can take some time, so start shopping months in advance. Having a list of styles and colors you like can help you narrow down what you’re looking for, and find something you genuinely feel comfortable and confident in.

  • Notify the court and escort of honor: After selecting the court and escort of honor, notify them so you can confirm everyone can participate in the big day.

  • Order dresses and formal wear for damas and chambelanes: Just like bridesmaids in a wedding, damas wear the same dresses and chambelanes wear the same formal wear. Often, a quinceanera celebration’s budget will include the cost of the court’s outfits, but sometimes the court may be asked to order and contribute to them. This responsibility must be communicated and established between the quinceanera and her court.

  • Practice your waltz: The waltz is an iconic part of any quinceanera celebration. Since the quinceanera and her court perform the waltz, practice so everyone can step to the same beat.

  • Make an invitation list: Making a numerical list can help you plan for the number of people you want to have and make sure you account for all your guests.

  • Order decorations and party favors: Since your celebration already has a theme and color scheme, decorations and favors can complement your event space.

  • Design and purchase invitations: If it’s in your budget, you may opt to design and personalize invitations to the party. Six months out is an ideal time to get invitations purchased to prepare for sending.

  • Create an outline for the ceremony and reception: Make sure the locations and vendors all understand what is needed on the day of the even. Communicate the order of the day and what your ceremonial events will involve with these stakeholders in writing and confirm any parts those vendors will be responsible for. This planning lessens the chance of something major going awry on the day of the party.

  • Make sure your outfit is ready to go: By now, the quinceanera should have her dress and accessories picked out and be ready to stun her guests.

  • Send out invites: Make sure you give guests enough notice to RSVP.

  • Practice your hair and makeup or book appointments to get them done professionally: Since the event signifies the big transition into womanhood, the guest of honor should feel like her best, confident self. Practicing her hair and makeup is a great way to get ready for the event so everything goes perfectly the day of. If your budget allows, a professional hairstylist and makeup artist could be an option.

  • Finalize guest count and reach out to those who haven’t RSVP’d: Get the final headcount to adjust any arrangements, such as food and seating charts.

  • Get professional photos taken in your dress: Getting professional photos taken of the guest of honor in her dress commemorates the occasion and celebrates her by putting them on display at her reception.

  • Buy gifts for your court: To thank your court for being part of the celebration, a quinceanera could purchase presents for them to give out on the day of the event.

  • Decorate: Put the finishing touches on everything.

  • Organize the things you need for your ceremony and reception: Avoid scrambling around the house on the day of the party. Prepare your necessities and have them ready to take with you.

  • Rest up: Get a good night’s sleep to enjoy the day ahead.

  • Celebrate! Have fun and party! READY FOR YOUR QUINCEANERA? FIND YOUR VENUE If you’re looking for the perfect venue for your special day, visit The West Venue and tour our venue today today. We offer options in the hall, setup and vendors to make your special day great


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