Austin and Central Texas weddings keep all of our DJs busy, all year! However, we also stay very busy doing Quinceaneras, Sweet 16s, parties, and events, too! We've found that Quinceaneras and Sweet 16s are very similar to weddings. Planning these events requires just as much time and attention to detail as weddings. As you may have found out, Austin, San Antonio, and central Texas is a very popular place to have a wedding, quinceanera, party or event. Many of our clients are from other cities and states, and plan to have their wedding, or event in Austin. We know Austin is fabulous, so we can't blame them! :) So our advice is to start planning, early! This often means up to 1 year before your event. So let's get to the details.
1. Determine Your 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. The picture above, was from a Quinceanera we did on June 11. The family chose to have the event in June, so that people could travel and attend the party, kids were off from school, etc. So remember, having a flexible date can be an option!
2. Book a Venue
Right after you have your date planned, you should book your venue as soon as possible. Most people want to have a Saturday event, and therefore, many venues get booked up to a year or more, in advance, for Saturday events. If having your event on a different night is an option, consider this to have more venue options and even save a little money, since many venues will offer a better rate for a non-Saturday event!
3. Find a Caterer/Food
I'm sure you're surprised that we haven't said to book your DJ, yet, but we give our honest advice, and don't simply try to pitch our business. :) So now that you have your place, the next thing is to find a catering company or restaurant that will serve your food. We recommend this, early on, simply because the same rule that applies with venues, applies with catering and food. You'll need to find time to actually sample the food, so schedule a future date where you can take a weekend to try the different options. Even attending a Quinceanera or Sweet 16 expo is a good idea, since there are many caterers there, and you can sample their food on site.
4. Find Your 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!
5. Book Your DJ & Photo Booth
Okay, so here we are, finally on the list! Booking a DJ for your event is very crucial to the success of your event. Quinceaneras often require a DJ 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 that has lots of experience with Quinceaneras. Ask your DJ company what options they have, as well. You may want uplighting, a custom monogram, a photo booth, a projector to show a slideshow, etc. Any professional DJ will have these options. If they do not, find a DJ/company who does.
Additionally, consider adding more entertainment by booking a photo booth! Everyone loves to take selfies at the photo booth. The best part, you can add custom text onto each printout and your guests will have something to take home to remember the special day!
6. Book Mariachis
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!
7. Book a Photographer
Quinces and Sweet 16s are a milestone moment in a young woman's life, so capturing these memories is very important! 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!
Last, but not least, is the decor. This is the fun part! Think of the theme you'd like, first. Finding a theme helps you identify what decor to look for. A new trend with quinces that we've been doing, lately, is a Paris theme. Who doesn't love Paris? :) We traveled their in late 2015, and again in 2017, and it was absolutely amazing! Capturing the greatness of Paris is tough, but there are many decorations that you can find, that will do just this! Start on Pinterest for ideas!
We hope that these 8 tips have helped you start planning your event. This is not an all-inclusive list by any means, but a great place to start. We offer a very detailed Quinceanera planning document that helps you plan out the entire reception, from dinner, to the ceremonial moments, to the last dance! Be sure your DJ has a timeline of events, to help guide the night, if a day-of-coordinator is not available. As always, feel free to email us, if you have any questions, and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs Team
Wedding & Event Planning Tips - Written By Certified Wedding/Event Planners!
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!
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