What to expect at a Quinceanera party

I am going to explain to you what to expect at a Quinceanera party!

If your Quinceanera is going to be the first one in your family or if this is the first time you were invited to a Quinceanera party, this blog post is for you.

Hello! My name is Paloma, I am a Quinceanera photographer welcome to my blog where you are going to learn everything about a Quinceanera and how to plan one!

I’m focusing mostly on the party part of the event. Usually, a quinceanera will have a ceremony and a photo shoot beforehand.

You will only have to do this if you are part of the court, if you are the Quinceanera, or if you are part of the very very close family.

3 Basic Concepts to Expect at a Quinceanera Party

If I had to describe a Quinceanera party with 3 basic concepts it would be:

1 A Quinceanera Party is Family Oriented

You are going to see the whole family at the Quinceanera party. All the aunts and uncles (tios), all the cousins (primos), grandparents (abuelitos), etcetera.

Everyone goes to the Quinceanera party and everyone is invited so you will see all age groups; from children to grandparents.

2 You will eat delicious food at a Quinceanera Party

There will be plenty, plenty of super delicious food. From appetizers, the cocktail hour, and the main dinner to desserts.

They will have dessert tables and candy bars specifically created according to the Quinceanera party theme.

3 You will dance and have a great time at a Quinceanera Party

After the Quinceanera finishes the whole protocol and all the dances. They will open the dance floor and you will be able to dance and have a good time!

Depending on the quinceanera they usually have all those kinds of super fun stuff on the dance floor, from stunt man to LED robots.

What to Expect at a Quinceanera Party

Think of a Quinceanera like a wedding, because the party will have very similar parts like the cocktail hour, the entrance, the dinner, and the protocol of the wedding.

We also have a protocol for the Quinceanera party and the dancing and having fun.

An important tip when attending a Quinceanera party

The first thing that I want to warn you about will be, if you are used to showing up on time you will be the first and only person at the Quinceanera party who arrives early.

Because at 99% of the Quinceaneras that I have photographed, at the very start of the party, only the tias are there. Sometimes not even the Quinceanera is there.

Plan on arriving there a little bit later, not just in time because nobody really ever shows up on time.

What happens at a Quinceanera Party

The party usually starts with a cocktail hour or appetizers. You will have some appetizers, you can have some drinks and this is just the start of the Quinceanera party.

Quinceanera Main Entrance

Usually after that, the Quinceanera will do her main entrance and she can be accompanied by the court meaning her Damas and Chambelanes or parents and Padrinos or however, the Quinceanera decides.

She will walk around the dance floor, say hi and walk to the main table.

Dinner time!

Yes, it’s time to indulge in this delicious food! Depending on the quinceanera they may serve traditional Mexican food or they may serve something different. It really depends on the Quinceanera and her family.

Whatever they decide to serve you can be sure it’s going to be delicious!

If by this time you have walked around the hall, you probably noticed a candy table or a candy bar.

Those are usually closed at this point so don’t start grabbing stuff just yet.

They usually open this later on, and there will be an announcement.

Quinceanera baby pictures slideshow

Either during dinner or right after dinner they play a baby pictures slideshow. It is created with pictures of the quinceanera since she was a little baby.

This is a super cute part of the Quinceanera party, you will see the parents and family all tearing down.

Quinceanera Party Protocol

At this point, the Quinceanera party protocol starts.

The main thing in a Quinceanera or like traditionally what it means is a right of passage from childhood to Womanhood so a lot of the Traditions that you will see will have meanings around that.

Not every quinceanera does every single one of those Traditions, none of those are mandatory, they are all optional so you might see something different at the Quinceanera party that you go to or you might decide to do something completely different at your own Quinceanera party.

Quinceanera Crowning Ceremony

It usually starts with the crowning of the Quinceanera which is the crowning ceremony which means they are crowning her as the Princess or Queen of the night.

Change of shoes

Then the change of shoes, usually dad or Padrinos will do this and this signifies the change from childhood to Womanhood.

She will go from flats or tennis shoes to high heels.

The last doll

The last doll can be given by Dad. If that’s the case Dad can dance a little Vals with the Quinceanera.

If it’s given to the quinceanera by a little sibling or a little cousin she’s going to hand her the doll.

This also signifies the change from childhood to Womanhood, because she is receiving the last toy she will get as a child.

Ring, pendant, and surprise gift

The Quinceanera may also receive a ring, a pendant, and a surprise gift. Once again everything is optional.

Traditional Quinceanera Dances

After this part usually, the dancing part of the Traditions starts which means all the waltzes that the quinceanera is going to dance.

Once again you might see something different at the Quinceanera party that you go to, you might decide to do something different at your own Quinceanera party.

Main Quinceanera Waltz

This part usually includes a main Waltz which is a dance that the Quinceanera is going to dance with the court; with her Damas with her Chambelanes.

Father-Daughter Dance

The Quinceanera will also dance with her dad, this is the father-daughter dance.

Dance with mom

It has become popular for the Quinceanera to dance with her mom too, they can do a short dance.

Dance with Padrino and Grandfather

Usually, she will have a dance with her dad, dance with Padrino, and dance with her grandparents. Those are the three main ones.

Family Vals

If the QuinceaƱera decides to have a family Vals. This will entitle Uncles (Tios), Cousins (Primos), etcetera. It might be a really, really long Vals and they will just mention their names and they will walk to the center of the dance floor and dance with the Quinceanera for a little bit.

Quinceanera Toast and Speeches

For the toast, the Quinceanera is going to stand at the front of the dance floor with her padrinos, her parents, and the court.

They will say some words, and the parents are going to talk. The padrinos are going to say some words and sometimes the Quinceanera also gives thanks to everyone for coming.

Quinceanera cake cutting

It is the cake-cutting time! YAY! Because you will get cake!

Usually, cakes are so, so yummylicious at quinceanera parties.

For this part the Quinceanera goes to the cake table with her parents and we will get some pictures. Sometimes they will play they Happy Birthday song or Las Mananitas which is like the Mexican version.

The Quinceanera is going to cut the cake and mom and dad will feed her a little piece of cake.

Important note here!

Do not push the Quinceanera’s face on the cake. No!

I usually do this in my own family, we are very used to smashing the person’s face on the cake. That’s like a tradition, quite a tradition if I may say so.

If you want to do it, it can be done at your very own private celebration.

Quinceanera surprise dance

Now on to the last part of the quinceanera dances and this will be the surprise dance.

The surprise dance is usually a very energized and super fun dance. It is usually a mix of different songs.

Here is a link to a video where you can watch a real surprise dance.

Usually, a the very end of the surprise dance the court walks to the guests and they bring them to the dance floor; which means the dance floor it’s officially open!

Now it is time for the most fun part of a Quinceanera party!

The partying, the dancing. Now all you have to do is have a good time! And I guarantee you are going to have a freaking amazing good time at a Quinceanera party!

Because, honestly; we Mexicans know how to party. We do.

I am going to leave a link to a video of a Quinceanera party right here. You should watch it and check out actually what happens at a real Quinceanera party.

I recommend you to read this blog post next: What is a Quinceanera Padrinos and what is their role.

Thank you so much for reading the blog and I hope you have a wonderful time at the Quinceanera party!

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