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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stephanie's "Venetian Masquerade" Quinceanera

You know the popularity of Quinceanera has reached a new level when they are being featured on MTV's "My Super Sweet 16." Check out Stephanie Lopez's Quince. Here's the wrap up:
  • Location: Miami, FL
  • Theme: Venetian masquerade
  • Gift: Six Week study abroad in france
  • Performer: Little people
  • Attire: Venetian style gowns, tuxes, and masks
Stephanie is the ultimate perfectionist and everything in her life has to be EXACTLY how she wants it -- including her Quinceanera Dawning her $50,000 crown ornate Versace tiara made of 18k gold, diamonds, sapphires, and antique pearls, Stephanie proclaims herself the medieval queen of Miami with a "Hells yeah." Stephanie's thirst for having power is apparent when she says to her mother who bought the expensive Versace crown, "This is my Quince and you're just paying for it."

In traditional Quinceaneara fashion, Stephanie has a thirty-person court (15 girls and 15 boys) who will wear Venetian-style formal wear, specially ordered powdered wigs and custom-made dresses while they perform ballroom dances. In her backyard, Stephanie lists the strict rehearsal rules for her court dancers and warns, "If you wanna live, be there."

Next Stephanie and friends gather on her bed where they flip through the pages of a yearbook and discuss who's not invited like girls with pasty hair and big hoop earrings. Stephanie makes it clear that "no skanks are invited." Later, Stephanie has a professional video shoot on a white horse that she outfits to look like a unicorn. This footage will be played at her bash to create a mystical atmosphere.

Handing out invitations is Stephanie's next task, and she does it big. Stephanie arrives on a gondola through the lake to her backyard and walks on a red carpet to meet excited guests hoping to receive party invitations. During a family talk, Stephanie lets her parents know that she wants to go to school in England for a semester. Her parents worry that she's not mature enough. Stephanie fears that she won't get to go, but she's determined to push until she gets her way.

On the day of her Quince, Stephanie worries because she wants her party to be perfect, but her court performers are not yet organized and ready. "This is a total nightmare," she complains.

The nightmare doesn't last long. Although she's so stressed that her head hurts, Stephanie organizes her performers and yells out directions to them such as, "Get in your mother (blanking) lines." Woo. Stephanie says loves her court, but recognizes that she's "acting like a dictator."

The moment Stephanie has waited for arrives. She enters the party in her gown, escorted to the dance floor by her father where she dances with her court. Stephanie's guests are amused by the little person strip tease dancer. To top the party off, Stephanie's parents give her the gift that she wants: a card announcing that she's going to school in France. Stephanie's party guests are envious that she's going to France. The party costs around $300,000 total. An elated Stephanie dances and sings, "I'm going to France, bit**es!"

Monday, July 9, 2007

Tips For Taking A Great Quinceanera Photo

Some great tips here, courtesy of Latina Magazine, on taking the great photos at your Quinceanera.

In addition to lots of other things, being a quinceañera means taking LOTS of pictures! Professional photographer Michael Alvarado has been photographing Quinceaneras for over ten years. He offers these tips for taking a good photo:
  • Make sure you like your photographer, and that you get along with him or her. Your attitude toward the photographer will show up in the photos. Don't automatically go for the cheapest photographer. Pick the photographer whose photos most impress you and who you can afford.

  • Before you commit to a photographer, find out where he or she processes the film. There's a huge difference between a Wal-Mart and a professional photo processing shop when it comes to the quality of the final product.

  • Get your hair and makeup done by a professional. The camera doesn't lie—bad makeup or hair will look worse on film.

  • Make a list of all the people you want photographed: family, friends, etc., and designate a family member to point these people out to the photographer.

  • Work out a timeline, from when you plan to arrive at the church to when you plan to end the reception, so that the quince runs on a schedule. If the ceremony gets off to a late start, pictures will often get skipped, and opportunities for good shots will be missed.

  • SMILE! Tough girl looks and attitude may be what you do in self-defense, but it's not the image you most want to preserve during your quinceañera.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Interview With Jeanette Mata-Reynolds, Quinceañera planner

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share this interview with Jeanette Mata-Reynolds, by Latina Magazine. She's very well respected in the Quince community and I just love to share her perspectives. Below is a link to the entire interview:

Jeanette: Color schemes can get pretty wacky, and tacky. Families usually pick a theme, like Cinderella, but they go overboard with colors. It can get too loud and the
damas end up with dresses that they'll never wear again. Also, parents may rely too much on padrinos to help pay expenses, which creates a too-many-chefs-in-the-kitchen-and-no-cooks syndrome. You get bombarded with people offering advice, or worse, getting involved in the planning and decision-making. Some parents don't listen to their daughters. They sometimes have their own agenda, like impressing friends and relatives, and approach the event like a wedding. They'll choose music that's to their taste rather than their daughter's, for example. If your daughter doesn't want a Quinceañera, don't do it. Her lack of interest will reflect on the event. If she does want one, remember that this is her birthday—it needs to be a day that she'll remember and enjoy.

Latina: What is the most critical component of a great
Jeanette: The theme is critical. It sets the mood, and determines the decorations and entertainment. In the end, that's what people will remember most: how it looked, and if the music was good.

Latina: What are the keys to a successful
Jeanette: First, use the yellow pages—they're a fabulous resource when you're putting your budget together. Second, make sure that mom and daughter are on the same page. Third, put together a thorough itinerary to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This is where a good planner earns his or her fee. Finally, make sure this is what your daughter wants. An uninspired
Quinceañera will create an uninspired Quinceañera.

Latina: How soon should families start to plan?

Jeanette: They should start saving at least two years in advance, and begin planning one year ahead, so that they can do so with ease.

Latina: What advice do you give to families about putting a budget together?

Jeanette: I usually ask families to look at how much money they have saved—and how much they can afford to spend—and stick to that. Many times families get distracted by the spectacle of the
Quinceañera and go overboard. I assure them that we can still put together an elegant and memorable event, even on a modest budget.

Latina: What advice do you give moms and daughters about working together?
Jeanette: This is a great time for them to bond. They need to remember to have fun and to listen to each other's opinions. Dads will be excluded, and I think they're okay with that, but if there are sisters, it's nice to include them too.

Latina: Have you noticed any new trends when it comes to celebrating or planning quinces?

Jeanette: The newest trend I've seen is the non-denominational
Quinceañera, where families skip the church ceremony and just have the dance. They're nice, but they do lack the symbolism of the church ceremony, which, in my opinion, is what makes a Quinceañera special.

Latina: What should people be aware of as they begin to plan?

Jeanette: Families don't always realize how expensive a
Quinceañera can get. The average cost is between $7,000 and $15,000. There are a lot of details to pay for—the dress, the music, the crown, the food, the hall, the flowers, etc. It's like a wedding, except without the groom's family to help pay expenses!

Latina: Why do you think families opt to celebrate a
Quinceañera as opposed to a Sweet Sixteen? Jeanette: I think families see the Quinceañera as a chance to embrace our Latino culture. They may also see it as a preventive measure against too much acculturation. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, we're very close to Mexico, so traditions and concepts like becoming a señorita remain very strong.

Latina: Did you have a Quinceañera?
Jeanette: No, my parents asked me, but it just didn't appeal to me. I think it does tend to skip generations. I don't know why. I asked for new bedroom furniture instead to replace the little girl furniture I had. I really enjoyed it.
Jeanette Mata-Reynolds, 33, based in Edinburgh, Texas. She's the owner of Infiniti Ideas, an event planning company.

Interview here:

Thursday, July 5, 2007

What's New? Quinceanera Video Invitations

One of the hottest trends in Quinceanera videos starts long before the first "felicitaciones!" Video invitations are rapidly becoming all the rage. In lieu of a traditional paper invitation, guests receive a DVD in the mail which features a preview of the party -- often a photo slideshow of the Quince girl as she grows from babyhood to age 15, or a concept video (see more on those below) that hints at the theme of the party. The DVDs then give all the pertinent party information. In many cases, if you instruct guests to pop them in their computers, after the video plays, the DVD can actually display a link to a party website (great because you can update info on the site as needed!). Other options include a PDF document that guests can print out in case they want to hang on to the party info. In addition to using filmed footage for invitations, you can use videography to create a concept video for your daughter's Quinceanera. After guests are seated for the party, a screen (or screens) can emerge with a video that introduces the Quinceanera girl (and often her court) into the room. Themes can be a red-carpet Academy Awards arrival or a spoof on MTV's My Super Sweet 16. Though sometimes these are video slideshows that end with a formal introduction, many times concept videos are produced and shot beforehand with the full participation of the Quinceanera girl, family, and her court. Added benefits: Not only are these videos a great keepsake, but also because your daughter and others will be working with the videographer before the party, they'll be more comfortable with him at the party (a big plus if you're worried your girl might be a little camera shy).


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy sweet 16! ... Where's Beyonce?

Glorimer Ovalle of Bogota is hiding upstairs at the Venetian, nervously awaiting her cue. After weeks of practicing ballroom-dance routines with her attendants, months of planning the dresses, the hair, the shoes, the look, and years of dreaming about this sweet day, it has at last arrived. Heaven forbid her 200 guests -- some from as far away as the Dominican Republic -- should prematurely catch a glimpse of her Hollywood-star fabulousness. Eventually, Glorimer slips away, while her "court" -- a party of 20, not counting her parents, Maria and Carlos Ovalle -- gathers in the lobby of the palatial Garfield catering hall.

"Is this a wedding?" a man asks as he passes the procession, just before they enter the grand ballroom. "Attention, ladies and gentlemen," the emcee begins. Finally, it's time to cue the dimmer switch, smoke machine and spotlight: Men with cameras scramble like paparazzi to catch the moment, as Glorimer -- on an upstairs balcony, in sparkling tiara and hot-pink custom gown -- descends the "Princess stairway," to oohs and aahs.

Yes, turning 16 sure can be a super sweet affair these days. Once upon a time, this milestone celebration -- which symbolizes the passage from childhood to womanhood, as does the Latina equivalent for 15-year-olds known as the Quinceanera -- may have involved having a few friends over and getting a solid-gold charm from Mom and Dad.


Monday, July 2, 2007

A Quinceanera That Couldn't Wait

Hi everyone,

I was sent a video today that really touched my heart. If you take a look for yourself you'll see why. It's the Quince story of Julia Wagner. The eighth-grader wanted a Quinceanera, but osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, was moving in quick. It had claimed her right knee and part of her leg. Doctors weren’t sure how long she had to live.

“And no matter if you lose your battle or not you never technically lose it," Wagner said. "You fought it, and that’s what counts.”

The Make-A-Wish foundation made the Quinceanera possible.

Click here to check out the photos of the event: Photos

Thank you to Make-A-Wish for providing Julia with her special day.