A quinceanera is a popular tradition in many Latin American cultures celebrating the 15th birthday of a girl, similar to a “Sweet 16.” As with any large event, planning occurs up to a year in advance and involves both the quince girl and her parents. With the help of a venue coordinator, any quince girl can take the traditions her mother celebrated and help them fit into the modern quinceanera we know today.
The traditional quinceanera has gone through many changes through the years, but although the traditions have changed, they have not been completely forgotten. Here are the top five quinceanera traditions and the modern takes on them.
1. Quinceanera colors: Traditionally the colors or quinceanera dresses and quinceanera decorations are white and pink, with an abundance of pastels used to decorate the quinceanera venue. Today, quince girls combine tradition with modern style and choose bright colors for their special day. The most popular quinceanera colors for 2010 and 2011 are blue, turquoise and even lime green!
2. Quinceanera courts: The traditional quinceanera court consists of seven boys and seven girls on either side of the quince girl so that the whole court may add up to fifteen, however it is now okay to have both smaller and bigger courts, with the trend being towards smaller courts. It’s still important to note that an even number of boys and girls be present if you plan on having an elaborate dance though.
3. Quinceanera cakes: Much like the traditional quinceanera dress, the traditional quinceanera cake is often white or pink and includes the court lined up on a staircase, with the quince girl on top. Quinceanera cakes now-a-days are often as bright, bold, and creative as the quinceanera dress itself. Often similar in shape to the traditional three tiered wedding cake, quinceanera cakes sometimes even coincide with a theme.
4. Quinceanera dance: The special dance that all quince girls have traditionally danced to at their quinceanera is the vals, but now more and more quince girls are wanting to also have a surprise dance. Called a “baile de sopresa,” quince girls often change in to different costumes for this and the dance itself can be choreographed either by the quince girl or a professional choreographer.
5. Quinceanera guest list: Quinceanera has transitioned from an intimate ceremony for a small number of family and friends to more of a large social function, and the number of guests invited is a reflection of that. The guest lists for quinceaneras are getting bigger and bigger, with some quinceaneras even have guest lists up to 300 people! It’s important for any quince girl to remember that while this is her day, it is very important for her to also include her parents with any research she is doing with regards to her quinceanera – after all, their daughter only turns 15 once!