The Ultimate Guide on How to Plan a Quinceanera

The Ultimate Guide on How to Plan a Quinceanera

December 23, 2022
By The Queenly Team (via Mi Padrino)

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You’re probably going to start reading this and think “why on earth did I decide to plan a quinceanera?!”, but don’t worry! It’s really not as hard as it seems

This is our go-to list of how to plan a quinceanera, which should help you stay on top of everything before, during, and even after your quince planning process!

Believe it or not, planning is actually part of what makes the quince journey such a once in a lifetime experience, so use our quinceanera checklist and timeline to make sure you have the least stressful time possible!

And if you're planning in less than 12 months -- don't worry! -- just make sure you read through all the first steps and start getting them done asap!

12+ Months Before

One thing is for sure -- it’s never too early to start planning your quince!

As a general rule of thumb, we think 12 months is a good amount of time to get everything in order without feeling too stressed, but plenty of people have started 2 and even 3 years in advance (and others have done it in as little as 4 months)!

No matter how far in advance you are, here are the main steps for where to start planning your quinceanera:

Set your budget - Before you start thinking of potential vendors, make sure you know how much you’ll be willing to spend. The budget is going to help determine pretty much everything else during the quince planning process.

Pick an event date - Once you set an event date, things will really start to get set in motion. Not only that, but it will be the first thing vendors and guests will ask about. If you have your eyes on a specific venue, this might affect the date you choose, since some dates may not be available.

Create a guest list - Your guest list will help you consider budget and certain aspects regarding vendors (e.g. venue capacity). Start creating your guest list as soon as possible, but don't worry -- nothing is set in stone until you send out invitations or save the dates.

Begin to look for venue and other main vendors - If you’re thinking you’ll have a lot of different vendors, this will be a big factor in your overall cost too, but there is at least some flexibility in your options. Here are the main type of vendors to start thinking about:

• Ceremony Venue - check out these quinceanera ceremony venue questions!
• Catering - word of mouth will be your best friend!
• Music- do you want a mariachi? Banda? Grupo?
• Photographer/Videographer - book save the date/invitation photos.
• Event Planners - they will make planning so much easier!

Gather information from your guests - Start gathering guest emails and mailing addresses.

Think about padrinos - If you decide to have padrinos for your event, make a list of your possible padrinos de honor.

Think about your quince court - Make a list of potential people you want on your court (damas, chambelanes, or both)

Start getting ideas and inspiration - Think about colors, styles, quinceanera themes, if you know what kind of look and feel you want. Check out our Pinterest board for ideas on everything!

Quinceanera Dresses - Let's be honest -- you've probably already started looking through quinceanera dresses...

You can also check out some real quinceaneras to see what they did. This is definitely the best part of the planning!

9-12 Months Before

These next couple months may be a bit stressful, but it’ll all be worth it!

Save the dates - Set up a Save the Date photoshoot with your photographer. (optional) Order/Send Save the Dates so all your friends and family can mark off your big day on their calendars!

Dress shopping! - Believe it or not, it’s actually best to really start shopping for 9+ months in advance. Getting it shipped, delivered, and altered can take a long time, so it's always best to start early! Get tips on how to choose a quinceanera dress -- trying them on is the best part.

Choose your court - Check out this guide on how to pick your damas and chambelanes. Get some ideas for quinceaneras court proposals!

Book other vendors
• Caterers if you haven’t already!
• Entertainment - Mariachi Bands, DJs, Choreographers - start looking at choreography ideas online!
• Decorators - create a board on Pinterest and show potential decorators some ideas.
• Florists
• Cake - Here are some good questions for your quinceanera cake baker!

Accommodations - Research hotels and Airbnb for out of town relatives and other guests!

Rehearsals - Start scheduling out rehearsals with your court (up to your quince date!) Start thinking about dance routines

6-9 Months Before

It still seems like a long way away, but 6 months can go really quickly!

Confirm guest info - Double check with any of your guests who you don't yet have addresses for. You want to make sure everyone receives the invite!

Order quinceanera invitations - Shop through tons of options and find the perfect design for you.

Choreography - Start planning court rehearsals. Make sure to practice with your petticoat on if you're going to have one!

Choose/Order your quinceanera cake. Here are some tips if you're looking to cut costs!

And most importantly but not let's not forget: Buy your quinceañera dress, if you haven't already!
We're almost halfway done with planning! Finalize anything from before, if you haven’t done it already -- it’s okay, everyone can get behind with planning.
Don’t worry if you don't have everything done yet. Take this time to outline and finalize anything outstanding!

3-6 Months Before

We're getting closerrrr!!!

Choose your chambelan attire - Check out the hottest trends for chambelanes!

Send out your invitations - It’s official, official!
Follow up with padrinos

Design/Order/Make decor - The earlier you start, the more time you have to make everything. Decide if you're going to DIY or start finalizing ideas if you're going to buy!

Book more vendors
• Transportation - do you want a Limo? Carriage? Party Bus?
• Hair/Makeup - watch Youtube vids and start practicing on yourself if you’re going DIY.
• Hotels/Airbnbs - just in case you have out of town guests!

Decor Rentals - Things to buy
• Last Doll
• Guest Book
• Natural Bouquet
• Artificial Bouquet

Don't forget - Attend confirmation classes if necessary. For this significant ritual, you want to make sure it is conducted smoothly and elegantly.

1-3 Months Before

It's like seriously coming up so soon!

Share final details with all vendors - Create a Quinceanera Day of Organizer:
• Schedule your final dress fitting
• Meet with religious leader(s)
• Create a quinceanera ceremony outline so you know what to expect!
• Attend your first hair and makeup trial

Buy, DIY, or confirm with padrinos about...
• Shoes/Heels
• Crown
• Quince Knife Set
• Rosary
• Bible
• Brindis Set/Copas
• Kneeling Pillow
• Bracelets
• Favors
• Earrings
• Candles for Candle Lighting
• Thank You Gifts: for Padrinos, your Parent, and your Court

Create your playlist - Think through quinceanera songs and everything you'll want to hear play on your big day! You can even make "Must Play" and "Do Not Play" lists for the band or DJ.

2-4 Weeks Before

Only two more weeks!!

Final confirmation with all vendors - Write down times they will arrive and other important information. Make sure everyone will be ready to go!

Music - Send your music list to the DJ/Band. Check out different quinceanera playlists on Spotify!

Finalize and practice your quince dance - You and your court should have it down by now! Make sure you keep practicing up until your big day!

Make final payments to vendors - Make sure every caterer, DJ, photographer, and organizer is paid to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Timeline - Write out an order of events for your big day! Here's a helpful timeline organizer to ensure you remember every event in order.

1-7 Days Before

• Purchase last minute items
• Finish any DIY projects
• Get manicure/pedicure
• Double check checklist/vendors
• Schedule a nail appointment for 1-3 days before your big day
• If planning to: get your eyebrows waxed or threaded
• Put together an emergency kit

The Day Before/Day Of

Relax on the day before -- don't stress! For one of the most important moments in your life, whatever happens will happen. Just be present and active in the moment. ENJOY YOUR QUINCE!!!

1-30 Days After

That. Was. A blast. After 12 months of planning your quinceanera, I'm sure you just want to be done with it, but there are a few final loose ends to tie up!

• Return any rental equipment
• Return any rented formalwear
• Have your gown cleaned or preserved
• Or have a trash-the-dress photoshoot!
Leave reviews for all vendors and venues. They will really appreciate it!
Send thank you notes to your parents, padrinos, court, and guests. They helped make your quinceanera memorable.

Mi Padrino is excited to have been acquired by Queenly

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