Plan the perfect Quinceanera! As certified wedding/event planners, and owners of Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths, Jason and his wife, Diana, help many people plan their weddings and Quinceaneras in the Austin and central Texas area, every year. Today, we’re writing to discuss a few great tips to plan the perfect quinceanera!
First, let’s discuss the prominence of Quinces in the US. In the United States, the Latino population grew about 57% between 2000 and 2017 (according to the Pew Research Center). About 17% of teens are of Hispanic origin, today. This means about 1 in 6 teens will be turning 15, and many will be celebrating their Quinceanera, in 2019! Wow, that’s a lot of teens!
Planning a Quinceanera, today is very much like planning a wedding! There are so many details to consider, and the average Quinceanera is planned about 12-18 months before the actual date! Let’s discuss a few great tips, and how you can plan the perfect Quinceanera!
1. Determine Your Quince Date
First and foremost, determine the date of your event. If you’re having a quinceanera or sweet 16, this will most likely be on a date, very close to the actual birthday. However, we’ve seen many people plan to have their event on a different date that works best for their family and friends.
Keep in mind that Saturday event dates are the most expensive. Also, there is a peak season and an off-peak season in central Texas. If you want to save money, consider having your quinceanera during the winter or summer (both are off-peak seasons).
This, of course, is if the actual birthday is the same day or month and if it matters to you and your family. If you want to plan the perfect quinceanera and really go all out, you should certainly consider an off-peak event date, and maybe even a non-Saturday. This will save you a lot of money!
2. Determine Your Quinceanera Budget
As we mentioned before, Quinceaneras are a BIG DEAL! They take so much time to plan and there are so many details involved. There are numerous things to consider. The very first thing to consider before everything else is your budget. How much will you spend, total, to plan the perfect Quince?
If you’re looking for great ways to save, check out the Quinceanera.com Quince on a Budget page, for lots of great budgeting tips! They have tons of ways to help you save money and to help you in the planning process.
If you need an easy template to help you get organized, feel free to download our Quinceanera Budget template, and simply input the items and costs for your quince. We’ve done the hard work for you! Just email us and we’ll be happy to send you our quince budget template! This will help you plan the perfect quinceanera, easily!
3. Choose Your Perfect Quinceanera Venue
After you’ve determined your budget, the next step is to choose the right venue for your Quince. You’ll have to decide on how many guests you’re inviting, before choosing your venue. Many quinces have well over 100 people. We’ve often seen 200 – 300 guests at some of the quinces we’ve done.
How big you want your quince depends on your budget. Remember, the larger the venue, the more expensive it is, usually. You also have to consider feeding all of your guests. So inviting your tio’s neighbor’s neighbor, may not be the best idea. 🙂
If you want to invite everyone, but can’t afford to feed everyone, consider scaling down your list. How? A basic rule of thumb that we tell our wedding and quince clients is this: If you haven’t actually spoken to the person in any meaningful way in over a year, you can probably take them off of your list.
4. Find a Great Quinceanera Catering Company
We stated great quinceanera catering, but honestly, any catering company can be hired, so long as they provide the food you’re looking for. Now that you’ve determined your budget and booked your venue, it’s time to take care of the food!
Do you want to serve appetizers? Do you want to serve a plated dinner, family-style dinner, or a buffet? Buffet style is the cheapest option to feed a lot of people. Generally, your venue and food will usually take up most of your quince budget.
Always get 3-5 quotes for everything you need. Food, music, decor, etc. After you’ve received your quotes, find out what the food options are. If you really want to save money, consider getting food from a local restaurant, versus a catering company. Just be sure to ask if they offer catering.
Be aware, that local restaurants will not always offer service staff, so you and your family/friends will have to all come together to help out with dinner if you choose to hire a local restaurant.
If you want to save even more money, ask your family to help with the food and bring a dish. This is an easy way to save if you need to. Be sure to check out the “Mi Padrino” site for a few helpful articles on how to save on catering costs. Booking great catering is also a big part of being able to plan the perfect quinceanera!
5. Find Your Quince Dress
This is also one of the most important of our Quinceanera planning tips. What’s a quince without the amazing quince dress? Quinceanera and Sweet 16 dresses are not everyday clothing, so these dresses are limited to very exclusive clothing retailers.
With so many people in Austin and central Texas, your options are limited, so it’s best to find these retailers and check out their options. A good time-saver is to go online, to see if they have their clothing online. This will save you some time! Trust us, part of being able to plan the perfect quinceanera also comes down to choosing the perfect dress!
6. Book Your Quinceanera Entertainment
The next important step to think about is your Quinceanera entertainment. You certainly cannot plan the perfect Quinceanera, without the best entertainment! The entertainment is very important. Decide if you want to hire a band or a DJ? Generally, bands cost more and they do take breaks, understandably. Bands won’t always MC your quince ceremonies, either, but some do.
Book the Right DJ/Band
Quinceaneras often require a DJ/MC who is versatile and can play a variety of genres of music. The DJ should also be familiar with all the ceremonial traditions of the Quinceanera, such as the changing of the shoes, jewelry/crown presentation, the last doll, court waltz, surprise dance, etc.
All of these traditions are a very important part of this special day, so be sure to hire a DJ/band that has lots of experience with Quinceaneras. Ask your DJ company (or band) what options they have, as well. You may want uplighting, a custom monogram, a photo booth, a projector to show a slideshow, large marquee lettersm etc. Any professional DJ will have these options. If they do not, find a DJ/company that does.
As we stated above, be sure to get 3-5 quotes and find out what’s included with the price. Many companies will offer a low introductory price but have nothing included with the package, making you spend more to get things you may want, like dance floor lighting, uplighting, etc. By the way, we know some awesome Austin/San Antonio Quinceanera DJs, if you need a DJ! 🙂
Many people book Mariachis for the dinner portion of their Quinceanera, or Sweet 16. This is optional, but always nice. Having live entertainment is a nice touch. We recommend booking your Mariachis early, since there are not a whole lot of options, so they get booked up pretty early!
Other Entertainment Options
Next, think about what other entertainment you’d like to offer. Many quinces are now adding a photo booth rental as part of their entertainment. Everyone loves taking selfies! Additionally, you can ask for social media uploading from your photo booth provider, and this will be great! Just ask everyone to use your hashtag, or location, for your Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat.
7. Book a Quince Photographer
Quinces and Sweet 16s are a milestone moment in a young woman’s life, so capturing these memories is very important! Being able to plan the perfect quinceanera also includes booking the best photographer. Be sure to meet with a few photographers and view their portfolios, to be sure their work is great!
Memories are priceless, so be sure to get great pictures and video, if you prefer, of the entire event! This is one of the most important Quinceanera planning tips, so start looking early! Check out our quinceanera photographer article, for a great photographer/videographer that we work with.
8. Choose a Quinceanera Theme
Now you’ve done the hard work to plan the perfect Quinceanera, or at least your venue and some important vendors booked. It’s now time to focus on one of the best parts, choosing a great Quinceanera theme! What theme are you looking for?
A Disney theme has been very popular for 2019 and the upcoming 2020 Quinceaneras. We’ve seen “Beauty and the Beast” Quinces, “The Little Mermaid” Quinces, “Frozen” Quinces, and many others! You don’t have to have a theme, of course, but many love the idea!
Choosing a theme comes before choosing your Quinceanera dress because you’ll need to choose a color that goes with it. There are plenty of great places to choose a quinceanera dress. In California, one of the most popular places is Moda 2000. They have an online shop with tons of colors and styles to choose from. Looking online helps you save time since you can narrow down your favorite styles and colors, before going to the shop.
In Texas, you can simply visit Mary’s Bridal Store, for tons of great Quinceanera dress options, as well. Though they’re located in the Houston, Texas area (Stafford, TX), you simply have to enter your zip code on their store locator site, to find stores closer to your area. There are many stores for you to be able to try on your dress.
After you select the perfect dress, you can then focus on decor. You can choose your matching colors for the table linen, add centerpieces, add uplighting, perhaps add a custom-made monogram with your name or quince logo, and much more!
Need Help to Plan the Perfect Quinceanera?
Overall, these are the top 8 tips to help you get started & to help you plan the perfect Quinceanera! Of course, there is a lot more to do in the months before your Quince, but these are the 5 things to do to ensure your Quince goes just the way you want it to.
If you’re too busy to plan the perfect quinceanera, consider hiring an event planner to help you along the way. Planners can be very helpful and take on all of the stress of planning, while you just give input when needed. Your job will simply be to show up and have fun!
If you’re curious about new quince trends, check out our article, 2020 Quinceanera Trends, for lots of great info on the latest trends, new dress styles, and colors, and more!
Attend the Quince Expo
Also, an easy way to plan the perfect quinceanera is to talk to all of your vendors for your quince, at once. To do this, you just have to attend the Austin/San Antonio Quince Expo, this March 2020. The link says 2022, but clearly this is a typo. Simply click the link for more details.
A great thing about attending these expos is that vendors really want to book as many events as possible, that day, so you’ll often be able to get great discounts!
Once the planning is out of the way, now it’s time to enjoy a great time and invite your friends and family! If you’re a guest, and not sure what to wear, we’ve got a great article for this, too! 🙂 Check out “what to wear to a quinceanera” for tips! As always, contact us if you need any info and we’ll be happy to help you plan the perfect quinceanera!
– Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths