A quinceañeara makes prom look like a casual date


Belen Romero

Part of the ceremony is a ball gown that can cost as much as $700 or more.

by Belen Romero, Reporter

Prom is May 7. Plenty of girls have been planning to buy dresses, rent limousines, take elaborate photos and more.

Did you know a quinceañeara is an even bigger event that also involves dancing?

A quinceañeara is a big celebration representing a young girl turning 15 and entering into her womanhood. According to Metropol  “Rooted in Latin culture, quince celebrations are still different depending on the location and era you might have lived in. From traditional Mexican history to United States creativity, quinceañearas are performed all over the world.”

In English, quince means fifteen.

The event marks a young woman moving from childhood to adulthood.  It’s somewhat similar to other cultures with Confirmation (Catholic) or Bar Mitzvah/ Bat Mitzvah for Jewish children. It often includes the Mass of Thanksgiving. 

This is much bigger than Sweet Sixteen parties. 

Similar to a wedding, what to wear as a guest to a quince depends where the event is going to take place. If it’s taking place at home, then guests can dress more casual like a nice pair of jeans, heels and a nice top or a simple dress. If it is taking place in a reception hall, a nice dress is appropriate to wear. Boys should wear a sport coat, dress pants and dress shoes. 

According to Villa Russo, a wedding venue in New York “a quinceañeara is a birthday party, not a nightclub event.  Showing off your legs is appropriate, but baring your midriff and cleavage is inappropriate.”

The typical cost of a quinceanera is $5,000-$20,000. The cost is according to the number of guests, the venue, food and drinks, decorations, a DJ, if the girl is going to want her makeup and hair done, professional photographer and, most importantly, the dress. The dress typically costs $250-$1,000. For a designer dress the cost is sometimes more than $700.00. The cost of the dress is a lot due to the size, material that is used, the design.

One of the most famous on December 26, 2016 when Rubi Ibarra Garcia’s parents made a video on December 16, 2016 inviting people to his daughter’s quinceañeara, but instead of making the video private, he accidentally made it public. The video first went viral on YouTube and then on other platforms. People even made memes and video parodies. 

More then 20,000 people attended Rubi’s quince. Some of the guests traveled to the ranch where the celebration was taking place from across Mexico and even from the United States. There was a woman who drove five days with her mother from Arizona to attend the quinceanera. 

Deja Vu boutique is a shop where quinceanera dresses can be bought.

Quince dresses are floor length formal dresses. “These quinceañera dresses generally feature a ball gown silhouette that highlights the wearer’s figure. The style ranges from strapless, corset back, beaded V neck, or traditional full ball gown with long sleeves, cap sleeves, or off the shoulder. Quince dresses are traditionally decorated with appliques and lace.”

Before the fun starts, everyone goes to Mass. For this ceremony, her family, godparents and her “chambelanes” and “damas” attend. The ceremony is for blessings and faith and the honoree chooses and reads special readings.  

After the ceremony is over, the guests head to where the celebration is taking place. When all of the guests are present the DJ introduces the girl’s parents, god parents, the quinceañeara court and then the quinceanera and her chambelan. After the introduction the toast and the food is distributed. At some point the quinceañeara, damas and chambelanes get ready to do a waltz group dance.

After this dance, the father and daughter dance and, then, there is often a surprise dance choreographed by the court.

After those three dances are performed it’s now time for everyone who’s there to dance and have fun.   

Usually, there is a fancy cake.   Of course, there are plenty of presents–especially money.

If you are lucky, you will be invited to one of these super parties some time in your life.  Don’t miss it!