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Quinceañera Checklist

The following suggestions can help you plan the perfect quinceañera party:

  1. Reception Hall - Church halls are a popular choice for many, but they are usually small in size. Hotel ballrooms are the best choice for larger receptions, along with private reception facilities. Ask a bridal consultant about reception facilities in the area.
  2. The Court of Honor - This court consists of 14 damas (female attendants) and 14 chambelanes (male attendants), one representing each year of her life. She is escorted by her father or another male relative.
  3. Color and Theme - The color and theme you choose should coordinate with every aspect of the quinceañera. Choose your color carefully to eliminate any problems later on.
  4. Invitations - Invitations should be mailed 4 to 5 weeks prior to the event.
  5. Dresses for Damas - You can choose to have your attendants buy a dress you have selected or make their own. If you decide for your attendants to make their dresses, you must select the pattern and the fabric.
  6. Tuxedos for Chambelanes - You are responsible for selecting the tuxedo style and registering male attendants at an Ascot Formal Wear dealer.
  7. Choosing the Quinceañera Gown - The traditional gown is white or pink, floor legth but trainless, snug on top but wide at bottom with a skirt shaped like a bell. A headpiece is worn and should include the theme color.
  8. Entertainment - In addition to a DJ and a band during the event, mariachis are sometimes chosen to perform before your reception.
  9. Photographer - To help capture every moment of the quinceañera, many people choose to hire both a photographer and a videographer.
  10. The Cake - This is the "big ticket" item and many bakeries specialize in making cakes for quinceañeras.
  11. Madrinas and Padrinos - Because quinceañera expenses are very costly, it is customary to ask for help. The madrinas and padrinos act as sponsors and usually choose an area they would like to help with, such as the entertainment or cake.

There are many ways to celebrate this ceremony. However, the most important thing to remember is that the quinceanera is a "teachable moment." Do not let the religious meaning get lost in the social aspect. This is a time to thank God for a young life growing within her Hispanic culture.

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