Religious Celebration: During the quinceanera religious celebration, the quinceanera is walked down the aisle accompanied by her parents and her godparents. The Quinceanera is presented to the center of the alter for the mass. After the quinceanera mass, the quinceanera can choose to do the crowing, changing of shoes, and the doll presentation. However, it is customary to do these quinceanera traditions at the reception.
Quinceanera Reception: After the religious ceremony, the festivities can begin with lots of food, drinks, and music. These quinceanera parties are usually arranged around a particular theme. For ideas on many great quinceanera themes, see our Quinceanera Themes idea page!
Every quinceanera reception usually includes the following:
The Introduction of the Court of Honor: To begin the festivities, the court of honor is first presented prior to the quinceanera. Each name of the court of honor is announced as they enter. This announcement is usually done with background quinceanera music. For a list of popular quinceanera music, see our quinceanera songs suggestion page.
The Presentation of the Quinceanera: After the presentation of the court of honor, the quinceanera is finally introduced. A quinceanera may choose to walk in on the arm of her escort. A special song is also played for her entrance.
Crowing of the Quinceanera: the mother of the quinceanera traditionally does the crowning of the quinceanera. The headpiece worn by the Quinceanera is to be replaced with a quinceanera tiara or crown. A scepter can also be presented to the quinceanera at the same time. For more details on the significance of this quinceanera tradition, see the Crowing of the Quinceanera
Presentation of the Last Doll: The last doll serves as a symbol that a quinceanera is no longer a child but a young woman. It serves as a symbol of maturity and it represents the last doll the young woman will receive. Traditionally, the parents or godparents are chosen to give this important gift.
Changing of the Shoes: Prior to the day of the quinceanera, it is expected that the quinceanera has not been able to wear heel shoes. Therefore, during the church ceremony, the quinceanera traditionally wears flat shoes without any heels symbolizing her child status. The flat shoes are then changed for heeled shoes or zapatillas at the reception during a special presentation. The changing of shoes is usually done following the presentation of the last doll and the shoes are changed either by the father or older brother of the Quinceanera. After the shoes are changed, the Quinceanera is now ready to take the first dance of the evening as a young lady. This special tradition of changing the Quinceanera’s shoes to her zapatillas is another important part of the quinceanera celebration and other way to show that the Quinceanera is no longer a girl but a young woman.
The Quinceanera Waltz: The main highlight of the Quinceanera is the waltz or el bals. Months of practice are spent for this special dance prior to the day of the Quinceanera. In most cultures, the quinceanera first dances with her father during a special quinceanera song. The quinceanera can then dance with her honor escort and finally the quinceanera court of honor can join in.
The Toast: The father usually leads the toast for the quinceanera. The master or mistress of ceremony, bandleader, or even the honor escort can also do the toast.
The Thank You: The parents of the Quinceanera give thanks to the quinceanera for turning out so beautifully and also thank God for bringing her to them. The parents of the quinceanera also give thanks to God for seeing her through every day up to her quinceanera. The quinceanera then gives thanks to her parents for everything they do as well as giving her the party. The quinceanera also gives thanks to the sponsors for their contributions and to the guest for coming.
Significance of Other Important Quinceanera Accessories:
- The Quinceanera ‘s Tiara - Denotes a “princess” before God and the world. Also signifies a triumph over childhood and the ability to face the challenges ahead.
- The Quinceanera ‘s Scepter - An symbol of authority and responsibility now being given to the Quinceanera.
- The Quinceanera ‘s Bracelet or Ring - Represents the never-ending circle of life. It symbolizes the unending stage of womanhood and the quinceanera’s abilities and future contributions.
- The Quinceanera ‘s Earrings - A reminder to listen to the word of God and the world and to always hear and respond to the world around her.
- The Quinceanera ‘s Cross or Medal - Signifies faith in God, in herself, and in the world.
- The Quinceanera ‘s Bible - Important resources to keep the word of God in the life of the Quinceanera.