Friday, August 3, 2007

The Latest Trend - Destination Quinces

Tere Figueras Negrete
Jul 31, 2007 (The Miami Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX)

In planning her quince celebration, Nicole Lora of Pembroke Pines pictured herself joining her father for the requisite formal dance in a traditional quinceanera ball gown.

Then Nicole discovered a relatively new trend in the centuries-old tradition of celebrating a young Latin girl's coming of age: the destination quince.

Now, Nicole -- along with parents, cousins and an entourage of about 20 people -- will mark her 15th birthday with a weeklong cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas, tiara and tulle gown in tow.

The destination quince, similar to its bridal counterpart the destination wedding, is part of a burgeoning market aimed at the increasingly affluent quinceanera -- or, more accurately, parents of quinceaneras.

Disney World began this spring offering quinces packages, the priciest of which can exceed $20,000.

Southwest Airlines has signed on as a corporate sponsor of a national quince expo that travels to major Hispanic markets, including Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago.

And travel agencies and cruise lines are fine-tuning their offerings for a modern quinceanera reluctant to confine her birthday bash to a hotel ballroom or strip-mall salon. Cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean, complete with such quinces-themed activities as fashion shows, slumber parties and beachside barbecues, are popular packages.

One Hialeah travel agency, Viajes Principal, offers a 17-day, $5,000-a-person tour of Europe for quinceaneras and their families, culminating with a formal dinner atop the Eiffel Tower and boat tour down the Seine, the girls decked out in their quince regalia.


There are even double-quinces, which include a stateside celebration as well as an equally elaborate fete in the family's homeland.

It's a sign not only of the blinged-out party aesthetic embraced by teens weaned on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 -- which has featured several quinces episodes -- but of the growing economic clout of U.S. Hispanics.

The buying power of Hispanics in the United States is about $838 billion and is expected to reach more than $1.3 trillion by 2011, according to a May report by the investment banking firm The Mercanti Group. The report singles out the rising cost of quinces as a significant benchmark.

The national average for a quince is between $5,000 and $10,000, with a guest list of about 200 -- although South Florida festivities are often more expensive and more lavish, said Will Cain, publisher of Quince Girl magazine, which launched last year.

"Miami is a market where people are willing to spend more, and that goes hand-in-hand with the quinceanera trends we're seeing," said Cain, noting the popularity of stretch Hummers, A-list DJs and other stylistic fillips more associated with, say, a hip-hop video than a teenage girl's birthday party.

"Paying $25,000 or more for a quince is not out of the question," he said.

For Nicole Lora's parents, opting for a destination quince seemed less daunting than orchestrating a landlocked celebration.

"She wanted to go all out with a party, like they do on My Super Sweet 16," said Beth Lora, who works part time as a teacher's aide and whose husband, Jose, owns a transportation and logistics company.

"This is so much easier," she said.

The family's trip aboard the Liberty of the Seas costs about $1,000 a person and was organized by West Miami-Dade's Happy Holidays Travel. Relatives are flying in from Michigan, as are friends from Jose Lora's native Puerto Rico, to join the cruise.

"I could have had just the regular party, but it would be over in four hours," said Nicole, who is starting 10th grade at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

"This would be seven days to spend with my friends and family," she said.

She and two dozen other quinceaneras left Saturday from the Port of Miami, following a final, last-minute rehearsal of the elaborately choreographed dance performance -- a staple of traditional quinces. Some modern touches appear on the itinerary as well, such as a party on a Mexican beach, a tropical luau and a professionally made video of the girls frolicking aboard the Liberty of the Seas' various attractions, such as the wave pool and ice-skating rink.

"We're seeing a huge trend in travel right now," said Cindy Benavides, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based Strategic Events, which partners with Quince Girl to organize quinceanera expos.

Disney is also wooing quinceaneras.

The Orlando theme park's push to attract young Latin girls is a natural fit, said Mari Santana, a Disney World public relations manager.

'The message of a quince is, 'You are our princess, and we expect the best from you,' " Santana said. "And this is, of course, the land of the fantasy princess."

Packages start at $1,800 for a small dessert reception for 25 people ensconced on a private island to watch the nightly lakeside fireworks display at Epcot.

The priciest is the aptly named "Belle of the Ball," which starts at $20,000 and includes a full reception for 100 people.

The quince-as-branding-opportunity has crossed over to mainstream products: Mattell debuted its Quinceanera Barbie in 2001; JCPenney is marketing itself as a one-stop-shop for all things quinces, including shoes and personalized portraits; David's Bridal, the nation's largest bridal retailer, now showcases quinceanera gowns alongside wedding dresses.

Miami-based Royal Caribbean has embraced the quince market as part of a larger push to appeal to U.S. Hispanics, said Rebecca Barba, manager of multicultural marketing for the cruise line.


The cruise line has also nurtured its international quince market, which, like its American counterparts, feature a mix of modern and traditional elements.

"This is not a spring-breaker crowd," said Sofia Cejas, regional director for international sales and marketing for Royal Caribbean. "They are very ladylike."

And they don't travel light, either.

"Some even pay to bring their own hair and makeup people aboard, or videographers. The possibilities are endless," Cejas said.

For those unable, or perhaps unwilling, to travel abroad for a destination quince, there is yet another way to ensure the birthday girl can include far-flung relatives in the festivities: webcasting.

Such companies as the Dallas-based Blue Juice Media offer live, streaming video of quinces from about $750 for a simple connection to their broadband network to several thousand dollars -- not including travel expenses -- to bring a team of videographers to the event, president A.T. Holt said.

"This is the next big craze," Holt said.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Quinceanera Party Ideas

Check out this post from one of our readers:

A little over a year ago my younger cousin had her Sweet 16,she's Puerto Rican so her birthday was celebrated with the Hispanic tradition of the
Quinceanera. She had 7 girls (including myself),7 guys, 14 people plus her Escort of honor which made 15 (representing the first 15 years of her life).My cousin represented her 16th year. She went to the church for the Thanksgiving Mass. Since we live here in California the traditions of the Quinceanera are somewhat different. Traditionally the father of the birthday girl changes the girls shoes and dances the first dance with her which is a representation of him accepting the b-day girl becoming a women but my cousin had one of the dammas be the girl of honor and represent her womanhood and change her shoes from flats to hills which meant her transition from a child to an adult. My cousin also had the tradition of the doll.

Now, usually the b-day girl gives the doll to a younger sister or girl cousin which means she leaving her childhood to her younger sibling. My cousin on the other hand had the doll given to her. She said that particular way means that it was the last doll she would receive as child. I think these particular ways that my cousin had chosen are mainly celebrated in the Bay area here in Northern California because most
Quineanera I've heard about the father of the b-day girl changes her shoes and she gives the doll to her younger sister or girl cousin.

Now, back at the church I got to be one of the girls of honor(along with our other cousin who changed her shoes)and gave her 16 roses for 16 years of her life). A couples of other Bay Area traditions she had was her mother giving her the a fancy bible with a satin and lace cover and her brother giving her a special bracelet and necklace, but then again I think those last 2 traditions might be part of any
Quinceanera in general.

Well it turned out to be a beautiful celebration. I'm thinking about doing a similar thing like this for my 21st birthday since I didn't get a sweet 16 and besides 15 & 18, 21 is the only other important age in young person's life. It's when you become fully legal instead of semi-legal when you turn 18. So I guess you can say I might have a sweet 21 or "Venteunanera".

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Quinceañera invitation set can be purchased like most other party invitations. The only difference is that Quinceañera invitation sets may not be available for purchase in all retail stores. Since not all individuals celebrate Quinceañera, not all retail stores carry the supplies. Many individuals who need to get a set of Quinceañera invitations end up making their own or ordering them from a professional invitation designer.

Professionally designed Quinceañera invitation sets are the most preferred type of invitation. This is because the invitations are usually more elegant than the ones that are made at home. Homemade invitations are fairly easy to make and afford, but supplies will still need to be obtained. Instead of purchasing invitation supplies, many individuals put the money towards professional Quinceañera sets.

Professionally designed Quinceañera invitation sets can be found online or locally. If you live in a large city, it is likely that you may a local individual or company who specializes in making Quinceañera invitations. Either way is a great way to obtain Quinceañera invitations, but ordering them online is usually the most used method. This is because there are a large number of individuals and companies who design and make the invitations. Shopping on a national level may provide you with a large selection of invitations and lower prices.

Professional designed Quinceañera invitation sets are also important because they can be saved and cherished as an important memory. Most families document a Quinceañera with a large number of pictures or a scrapbook. An elegant looking Quinceañera invitation will look absolutely beautiful in a scrapbook or other family project.

As with all other party invitations, if you are in need of Quinceañera invitations, you are encouraged to order them well in advance. Placing your order ahead of time will ensure that the invitations arrive on time. If you are a parent, celebrate your daughter Quinceañera with an elegant, custom made Quinceañera invitation.

Daisy Quinceanera

I've been following the comments on YouTube for this beauty's Quinceanera and people just love her. I'll share the video below and give you some Quinceanera advice on how you can become a Quinceanera celebrity like her.

Here's a link to a page with some tiaras just like the one she is wearing: Tiara

You can also check out these Quinceanera Scepters as well: Scepters

Let's see the video clip and I'll chat about it below:

Very nice. All that makeup was a bit much on her but a photographer explained to me how necessary that it. The girl is a beautiful child and doesn't need make up but in the pictures, with the make up, her skin looks flawless and even. Flash photography will show every crack and crease and possibly give unflattering shadows if she didn't have it on. She's definitely a beauty.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Audrey's "Haute Couture" Quince

Meet Audrey Reyes. The little, Cuban princess who drives her mom crazy. Audrey’s crying in the picture because her mother gave her a $67,000 convertable Lexus before her party instead of after like Audrey wanted. When Audrey’s not choking on her snot, she does have an appreciative side. She totally feels so lucky to live in Miami because her hobbies include going tanning and going to the beach. Audrey had her Quinceanera, or quince as Audrey and her mom call it, featured on My Super Sweet 16. Point of interest: Wikipedia says using the term “quince” for Quinceanera began with the lower classes of Cuba. I, for one, am happy that MTV chose to show the world that not all Latin people are poor, ignorant burdens on society. Some of us are nouveau riche, ignorant burdens on society. All we want is for you to see we’re like everybody else, America.
  • Location: Miami, FL
  • Theme: Haute Couture
  • Gift: Lexus SC430 & Infiniti
  • Performer: Los Primeros
  • Attire: Venetian style gowns, tuxes, and masks
Audrey starts to prepare for her Quince by giving out invitations and hiring a band. When her custom-made dresses arrive Audrey hates them and fights with her mom over getting new ones.

Audrey is overly critical of her royal court during their dress fittings. And Audrey clashes with her mother some more when they go shopping for Audrey's first car. On Audrey's birthday her mom surprises her with a brand new Lexus convertible but Audrey loses it and calls off the party because she wanted to get the car at her party.

Audrey has a few more meltdowns when things don't go exactly her way but she makes it to her quince and has the haute couture party she has always wanted.

The Audrey episode contains the usual extravagant party-planning scene, (Haute Couture themed), invitation list-writing scene, (“She’s ugly. Her gums show. She’s not invited.”) And our personal favorite feature: the male
dancer audition scene. (“When I call your name, take your shirt off and dance for us.”) But what’s most remarkable to us is how such a nasty little girl is tolerated by everyone around her, presumably for her parent’s money. But they can’t be THAT generous. On the day of her court’s dress fittings, she tells one girl that she needs to lose some pounds and another to get some work done on her back fat. Of course this sends the poor thing off in tears to which Audrey replies, “I really don’t care.” In the words of one of Audrey’s best friends.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quinceanera Invitation Tips

Quinceanera parties are many times as large and as formal as wedding parties. For these reasons, it is important to give your guest invitations to announce the upcoming event.

Choosing the Quinceanera Invitations
The quinceanera invitation sets the tone for the Quinceanera party. It should reflect the colors or theme of the party. For example if the quinceanera’s dress will be pink, then it would be nice for the invitation to have a hint of pink. If the Quinceanera party will be wrapped around a Cinderella theme, you may want to choose a Cinderella invitation or one that has a castle or coach.

Another popular alternative is to order invitations with a picture of the Quinceanera girl. Sometimes these can include a current picture as well as her baby picture.

Choosing the Quinceanera Invitations Ensemble
The invitation ensemble should at least include the outer envelope, the invitation, and respond card (or enclosure). The respond card envelopes can be printed with the return address, thus saving you time. You can request to have both outer and inner envelopes lined in the color of your choice.

You may also consider inner envelopes and reception cards if you are planning to invite people to the ceremony only.

Ordering the Quinceanera Invitations
Quinceanera invitations should be ordered as soon as the date, time, and place have been confirmed. This should be at least three months in advance before the party. This leaves room for any reprinting that may be necessary as well as allows the person addressing them plenty of time.

Calculating How Many Quinceanera Invitations
In determining how many to order you must count one invitation per household (parents and children under 18), 1 per couple, and 1 per each single person 18 years or older. It is a good idea to order a few extras for those last minute guests and for keepsakes. It is always cheaper to order these extras at the time of the initial purchase than to place another order later on.

Addressing and Mailing the Quinceanera Invitations
The invitations can be addressed by hand or by the help of a computer printer. However, choosing a professional calligrapher to address the invitations is preferable since it gives them an added touch of elegance.

It is a good idea to mail the quinceanera invitations approximately six weeks before the party. This gives your guest enough time to respond and you enough time to tally who will be attending. These numbers will be very important when calculating the amount of food, the number of tables, chairs, place sets and favors.

Wording the Quinceanera Invitations
Traditionally, the parents invite in honor of their daughter. However, it is also acceptable for the quinceanera girl to do the inviting and give her thanks to her parents. Many times the godparents’ names are included as well as a list of the quinceanera’s court (the names of the 15 couples).

The language in which to write them depends mainly on the guests. If the majority of the guests speak only Spanish, it would be a good idea to print the invitations in Spanish. Some quinceaneras choose to print the invitations in a combination of both the English and Spanish languages.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Quinceanera Party Games

Quinceanera Party Games are almost as important as that first boy/girl slow dance for your young daughter’s big 15th birthday party. So here are a couple of Quinceanera party games that out to keep the guests laughing.

The first game is called ‘Rhyme Round’. It’s a good Quinceanera party game to play with the adults who may be tired out after a long day of celebrations. It’s a rhyming round of conversation to keep the small talk at the party fun. Have everyone sitting at a table play.

You can start this Quinceanera game by turning to the person to your left and asking them a silly question. Then this person turns to the person to their left and asks another silly question, but the first word of their silly question must rhyme with the last word of your silly question and so on. For example; you ask ‘How’s the duck dance going pal?’ and that person says ‘Sal, we duck’s don’t dance, haven’t they got two left feet?” to the person to their left. This style of rhyming continues around the party table. If anyone falters or messes up a rhyme they have to drop out of the game. Be sure to give a Quinceanera party prize to the last person talking.

The second game is called, ‘Ping Pong Blow’ and it’s a test of everyone’s lungs at the Quinceanera party. For it you’ll need two ping pong balls, a couple of baskets and a long table. The players will start with their balls set on one end of the table and try to get them to the other side of the table and into the baskets on the floor by only using their breath. This can be a crazy game because the ping pong balls tend to go any which way they want. The first to get their ping pong ball into the basket is the winner. If the ping pong ball falls off the table at any time and not into the basket you will place at the end of the table, the player owning the ball has to start from the beginning of the table again.