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  • Writer's pictureJanet G.

What happens on the day of the quinceañera? (Amariz's Quinceañera)

Before I start laying out what happens on the day of the quinceañera, scroll down the blog post and tap on the heart if you are currently planning your quince. Seriously, go.

How is it planning your quince? Exciting? Nervous? Anxious? Don't know what you're doing? Well, I'm here to help and ease up the tension. As you probably already know, I'm a quinceañera portrait photographer. I've seen how families planned and celebrated their quinceañeras. Every family celebrates this amazing tradition differently, but it's planned very similarly. Go grab your notebook or sticky notes, a pen, and sit down. Today, you are going to learn what happens on the day of the quinceañera.

The timeline of a quinceañera.

The timeline I'm going to lay out is for what happens ALL DAY on the quinceañera. I'm going to layout a quinceañera that would have a court of honor (chambelanes and damas), hired a party bus, hire a photographer and videographer, have a service/church ceremony in place, booked a reception hall, have dances choreograph and hired a DJ.

The morning of. The day of the quinceañera starts at 6 am. Not joking. Quinceañera must have a good breakfast before getting her hair and make-up done. That takes between 2-4 hours for both. It all depends on the kind of hairstyle and make-up the quinceañera is getting. Plus, Mom, Grandma, sisters, cousins, damas, and tías are also taking this time to get their own hair and make-up done. This is why the day starts as early as possible.

Between 10 am-12 pm. The court of honor is arriving at the quinceañera's house between 10 am - 11 am. Tías are double-checking that the chambelanes and damas are looking sharp. The photographer and videographer are arriving during this time as well. They take this time to capture photos and video of the quinceañera finishing up her hair and make-up, detials of her wardrobe. After the quinceañera has her hair and make-up done, it's time to put on the dress.

Mom, grandma and/or tía help the quinceañera with the dress. This is also the time when the court of the honor and quinceañera are having a small snack or a quick lunch. The party bus arrives around noon. Time to go.

Noon - 3pm. The afternoon is reserved for pictures at a local park and for a fun drive on the party bus. The photographer and videographer have about an hour with the quinceañera and the court of honor to capture photos and the chemistry between them. After the photoshoot, the quinceañera and her court of honor go for a fun drive on the party bus. This is when they might go to McDonald's for a snack. Their time on the party bus ends at the reception hall, where they can continue celebrating the quinceañera with the rest of the family.

The timeline at the reception

3pm-4pm. Guests will start arriving at the reception hall for the ceremony service. This is also when the quinceañera and the court of honor take a break from being outside. They eat a snack and touch up their outfits and make-up.

Church service usually starts at 4 pm. It lasts about 30mins to an hour. The majority of the quinceañeras now have their ceremony service at the reception hall.

After the service, 5 pm-7:30 pm. The guest continues to arrive. Dinner is being served and the snack bar is open. The quinceañera and court of honor are eating their dinner. Everyone is chatting, eating, and having a great time. This is also the time when the photographer is taking pictures of the quinceañera with family after she is done eating her dinner. The videographer is capturing details of the reception, as well.

Timeline for the traditional quinceañera events

At 7:30pm-9pm. The traditional quinceañera events start. This is when all the choreographic dances take place, from the introduction of the quinceañera to the surprise dance. The time it takes to get through the whole traditional quinceañera events depends on how long the dances are and how the families planned the events. Below is the order in which these events are mostly organized. The significance of each tradition is included.

  1. Baile de entrada - This dance is introducing the quinceañera, la festejada.

  2. Cambio de zapatillas - Mom or Dad join the quinceañera at the center of the dance floor and switch the quinceañera's shoes. The quinceañera wears sneakers or flats during the day, and when this event is up, heels are put on the quinceañera. It symbolizes that the quinceañera is entering adulthood, her journey into womanhood.

  3. La Coronación - Mom, sister or cousin crowns the quinceañera. This symbolizes that the quinceañera is a queen in God's eyes.

  4. La Ultima Muñeca - This one is done in two different ways. The quinceañera gives her last doll to her younger sister or cousin. Or, the youngest sister or cousin gifts the quinceañera her last doll. This symbolizes that the quinceañera is leaving her childhood behind.

  5. Baile con el papá - Before the daughter dances with the court of honor, the quinceañera first waltzes with her father. "The first dance of the quinceañera"

  6. Baile con la mamá - Mother dances with her daughter. It gives an opportunity for Mom and the quinceañera to share a dance.

  7. Baile con los Padrinos - The quinceañera dances with family who helped planned and finance her dream quinceañera. A way to show appreciation towards the family.

  8. Baile el Valz - Time to show off the dance moves. This is the waltz that the court of honor and quinceañera has practiced for months. This was part of an old tradition that meant how grace and well-performed the quinceañera would be in society. This waltz would be the first presentation of the quinceañera publicly dancing. Again, old tradition. Overall, the traditional events of the quinceanera originated symbolize that a family is presenting their daughter's purity and is ready for marriage. I'm stating this again, an old tradition. Now, quinceañeras have been modernized to celebrate the quinceañera's journey into womanhood. She's is growing up, entering adulthood, and becoming a queen in God's eyes. She is entering into a new chapter publicly with her family and celebrating her birthday.

  9. Brindis - After the quinceañera waltz with her court of honor, a toast is made. Thanking God, family, friends, and guests for joining the celebration of the quienceañera.

  10. Baile Sopresa/Mordena - A surprise dance is performed. Quinceañera dances with the court of honor, siblings, cousins, parents, with anyone they decide. It's a fun way to break tradition. The dance hip hop, cumbias, banda, quebradita, reggaeton, tiktok trendy dances. Basically, anything they want.

At 9 pm. What's a birthday party without cake? After the quinceañera changes back into her quince dress, it's time to cut the cake. And after that, the DJ takes over.

9:30 pm- 12 am. Everyone is on the dance floor until the lights go off, or are turned back on.

Your turn. Go plan your quinceañera

Does this help you? Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about the timeline. Keep in mind, that this is an example. Plan your quince the way you can and want it. This timeline is to give you an idea of how to layout the events and time everything.

Your quinceañera is going to be amazing! Just you wait.

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