One of the most important commemorations in the Latino community is the traditional Quinceañera – a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday and her transition into womanhood.
The tradition originated from the Aztec culture more than 2.500 years ago and continued to this day. Quinceañera celebrations differ from country to country. Some people favor more religiously oriented celebrations, while others prefer family-oriented festivities.
Girls dream of their Quinceañera and for them, it’s one of the best nights of their young lives. For parents, though even the planning stages are nerve-racking.
Parents have to think about every single detail; some parents even begin planning a year in advance. Nine times out of ten, Quinceañeras are celebrated with over-the-top decorations and themes.
I’ve put together a list of some of the most creative party ideas, just in case the date is coming, and you still haven’t picked a theme.
We should start the list off by talking about probably the most familiar theme. These parties are often modeled after real-life royalty. The details include luxurious ball gowns, royal scepters and horse and carriage centerpieces.
Some girls are obsessed with certain Disney movies, so as an alternative to a fairy tale Quinceañera, some families throw full-blown Disney parties. For example, a Beauty and the Beast-themed parties include the recreation of the famous ball scene and quite a few roses encased in glass.
The obvious thing here is to set up a “candy bar” with an abundance of candy choices; oversized lollipop centerpieces and candy bouquets are simply a must. Your daughter’s dress could be bubblegum pink with dama dresses in different Starburst colors.
Why not try to capture the spirit of the fifties through expert use of colors and decorations. Old 45’s and 78’s records from the era could be used as table decorations.
You don’t even have to hire a band or DJ; you could use an old jukebox or record player instead. Of course, your guests would have to be dressed in 50’s style attire to bring the theme to life.
Another favorite theme that seemly never goes out of style; black and white ornaments and decorations make any party look beautiful and sophisticated.
To change things up a bit, consider having a Zebra theme. You can pair the black and white stripes with African Safari decorations.
This theme is usually set indoors with a formal set dress code with unique masks worn for intrigue.
Some people add a little French theme to the mix, to make things more exciting, with old French-style costumes and decorations.
Classic Mexican Theme
If your family is of Mexican descent, why not keep things traditional. You can decorate everything using red, white and green as your colors.
Hire a mariachi band and serve traditional Mexican food, like birria or mole. Also, if you want to have some fun with your guests, name your tables after cities in your country of family heritage.
Just in case you don’t want an elaborate party, and you want to have a smaller get-together, consider having a tea party themed celebration. This theme allows you and your guests to have an enjoyable and intimate party experience.
The date you choose to celebrate the party may have an effect on your theme as well. For example, if you set the time in April, you should go for a spring theme because springtime symbolizes a period of new beginnings.
While smartphone cameras are getting better and better, your daughter will remember this day well into the future, so spend a couple of extra dollars and hire a professional photographer.
Also, your home has to be perfectly clean for the guests, so hire a steam cleaner for a one-off job to tidy your place up, at least a few days in advance.
Sweet 15 or Sweet 16?
Today, some families are merging their American and Hispanic heritages by hosting Sweet 16 parties with full-blown Quinceañera customs. If you’re a traditionalist, and your daughter doesn’t want an old-fashioned birthday party, talk to her about it.
Maybe she feels pressured by her friends to throw a Sweet 16 party. Puberty is the most awkward period in anybody’s life, so try to understand your daughter.
She’s probably afraid she’ll stick out like a sore thumb if she differentiates from her classmates. Perhaps, you should try to explain the importance of tradition and see if changes her mind.
Remember, family traditions like Quinceañeras are an excellent way for families to bond together, build memories, connect with their cultural heritage and pass down their family history.
Traditions come in all shapes and sizes. They can be large yearly parties to kick-off summer where a family recipe is always served or a weekly family game night.
Traditions are as unique as each family, but the common thread that runs through them is they repeat and foster a sense of “us.” Click here to learn how to get your kids excited about family traditions.