March 27, 2018 · Posted by Patricia Colomy

The Quinceanera, is no ordinary teenage birthday party with pizza and pedicures, oh no. On this special day, a young girl becomes a young woman and is celebrated as a princess!

If you’re looking to create a unique quinceanera that still holds tradition, even on a budget, here are some tips to make that easy for you.

It’s All About the Dress!

Although the location and size of quinceaneras vary greatly, there are two things a birthday girl can’t go without: her full ball gown and sparkling tiara! Make sure your princess’ dress represents her individuality on her radiant day. (Did you know you can use color choice to represent parts of your personality?)

Original traditions dictated that the dress was to be white, representing purity, but today a young woman picks any color dress she desires. Rich jeweled tones, soft pastels, bold patterns, and whimsical embellishments have all become options to represent a young girl’s flourishing personality.

Looking to save money on the gown of the evening? It’s not as hard as you may think. Discount bridal shops are a wonderful place for great deals on outfits for the entire Court.

You can also check your local area for a Goodwill that has a bridal section. These gems are hard to come by, but when you find them, are filled with never-been-worn dresses that have been donated by bridal shops.

If you want a one of a kind gown, and you need to keep it inexpensive, buy a plain, solid color dress and have a seamstress or friend who sews add embroidery or jeweled embellishments. Voila!

Outdoor Venues Help with Originality

Outdoor venues are a great alternative to a traditional hall or ballroom and can also be easier on the budget. Choosing to hold your quince at an outdoor venue almost ensures a unique celebration.

They provide beautiful, ever-changing backgrounds as day turns into evening. Having a quince outdoors will also help make the event more family-friendly. They usually have lots of open space for kiddos to run around. 

Just because the event is outdoors, it doesn't mean you're stuck with nothing but grass to walk down or sit on.

You can make your outdoor event feel elegant and organized by using artificial turf or outdoor carpet. The openness of the outdoors can often confuse guests when they’re not sure of the boundaries or appropriate places to mingle. So make it easy on them, and show them exactly where to go.

Using turf or carpet creates clearly defined areas for seating, walkways, etc.

If you're doing a bohemian theme, layer outdoor rugs in a few different colors for easy seating. (Maybe add a few oversized pillows, it's your call).

Outdoor carpet is particularly useful on soft surfaces - it's a little sturdier than artificial turf, so heels won't sink in or get caught. Outdoor carpet provides a more solid base for your guests’ feet and helps them feel comfortable. Artificial turf is best used a picnic blanket or rug to sit on.

Teenagers can already be nervous about dancing in public, so let's make it easy for them at this event.

After all, at a posh event full of teenage girls, you’ll surely find the latest dance moves and high heels. Have you ever tried boogying the night away on soft grass in high heels?

If you haven’t, I don’t recommend it. If you have, I don’t need to elaborate. 

Maybe grass isn’t a concern, but you can still consider placing carpet over concrete or other hard surfaces. With a wide variety of colors to choose from, you can use outdoor carpet to support your color scheme.

A red carpet runner will grab everyone's eyes on this terrace.

In case of unexpected rain or spilled drinks, it can also provide a slip-resistant environment. For added stability, you can use double-sided carpet tape to help hold the carpet in place.

Most importantly, outdoor turf and carpet will help keep the bottom of the birthday girl’s gown clean. And as we already discussed, it’s all about the dress!

Create a Grand Entrance

From horse-drawn carriage arrivals to red carpet glamour, there is never a shortage of splendor when the birthday girl makes her grand entrance! For a modern take, you can do a Hollywood theme and make a limo part of the grand entrance.

Whether you're planning an Enchanted Forest quince or bringing your guests to A Night in Paris, using a carpet runner is a simple way to create a dramatic entrance. You can line it with flowers, balloons, lights, really anything the birthday girl desires.

I’ve seen quinceanera themes range from masquerade balls to "pink ice attitude," which was basically cramming as much pink decor and rhinestones as possible under one roof. No matter the theme of the evening, one thing that remained the same was the anticipation of the birthday girl’s entrance.

Forget lining your grand entrance. What about installing decorations to hang above it?

Music is a subtle way to signal to everyone what's to come, and beyond that, it's a way for the entrance to have a soundtrack that reflects your personality. You could ask the guests to line the entrance with lit sparklers in hand, they could be tossing flower petals.

Whatever you decide, the entrance doesn't have to be extravagantly decorated for the moment to be special and significant.

Trends, Traditions, and Individuality

One of the most practiced traditions of the quince is the father-daughter dance. This is a time-honored tradition that brings everyone to sentimental tears.

For those who want a more modern spin, the dance can be shared between the mother and father to acknowledge both parents. I've also seen the birthday girl and her mother present and display a quilt they handmade together to symbolize their bond.

A separate rite of passage ceremony usually takes place during the quince, also. Traditionally, the birthday girl’s father removes her flat shoes and replaces them with high heels - symbolizing her transition from childhood to adulthood.

It's like a Cinderella moment, minus the evil step-sisters.

However, some girls want their quince to be more unique than traditional. (If you want to bring out the quirky parts of your personality, now is the time).

Let the theme of the quince guide its ceremonies. For instance, during the masquerade quince I attended, the birthday girl’s father removed the flowery mask she wore during her entrance and exchanged it for a more sophisticated one. The more specific it is to you, your family, and the special things about your personality, the more special it will feel.

Nothing like a Venetian mask to add a little grownup mystery to the quince outfit.

Again, the mother of the birthday girl can be the one to perform these ceremonies, if the situation calls for it. Perhaps switching out a rhinestone headband for a dazzling tiara.

Every quince is unique to the family who celebrates it. Ceremonies can and will be modified to fit trends, preferences and even personal passions.

Planning Ahead and More Ways To Save

If you’re planning a quinceanera, the cost can vary greatly and depends heavily on the number of guests and venue. Most parents begin saving for their daughter’s quince about a year before the event.

Luckily, there are many resources to help you plan, budget and keep track of spending while you design a unique quinceanera for the Queen of Fifteen!

If a formal dining experience is what you want to include, go for it.

If you’re looking to save money on catering expenses but want your guests to feel relaxed, have the Damas and Chambelanes serve food and drinks during dinner instead of hiring servers. This is an easy way to save money and a fun way for members of the court to mingle with the guests.

Members of the court are usually eager to help in any way they can! That being said, if you're going to have alcohol available at the quince, be sure to keep serving laws in consideration. This might be something guests have to get up for, or you hire only a few servers for.

If you have a larger invitation list than budget, you can also save money on the cake. Have a small, elaborate tiered cake made for display, but serve your guests from a sheet cake or cupcakes in the same decor and flavor.

Two flavors in one cupcake, what's not to love?

For more ideas on how to design a one of a kind celebration, try finding a quinceanera expo in your area! Expos offer information and great ways to save, fun giveaways, and connect you with lots of vendors all at once. You might even have your entire quince planned in one day! 

Every Birthday Girl Deserves Royal Treatment

A quinceanera is meant to be a glamorous event, no matter the location, season or budget. Thanks to creative DIY projects and second-hand stores, even the most money-conscious family can make a beautiful event possible.

P.S. Don't forget to relax and have fun!

With a little research and innovation, you can create a stunning once in a lifetime celebration for a beautiful young woman who merits a grand entrance!