No matter whether your Quince is grand or small, there are a lot of little things you might not remember to think of when it comes to safety, so we’ve gathered as many as we can think of to help you out. Most of these are common sense, but in the excitement of planning the most important party of your life thus far, it’s easy to forget some of the smaller things, even if they are actually more important in a lot of ways.
Note: If you’re planning a large reception, consider doubling up on a few of these things like parking lot escorts.
Here’s our list, and happy planning!
1. Provide enough parking spaces: Before you finalize the venue, make sure all of your guests will have a place to park, especially if it’s a hotel that will have overnight guests and not just banquet facilities.
2. Provide shuttle or DIY valet parking: If your church and reception are far apart, or if your venue’s parking lot is unusually large and your guests might not get to park together, make some kind of group transportation arrangement. And, in order that your guests don’t have to pay the venue’s valet service—or if the venue doesn’t have valet service—recruit a couple of responsible young gentleman to help park the cars.
3. Assign a Key Keeper: Have you seen the movie “Say Anything…” with John Cusack? He was in charge of making sure everyone was safe to drive home before getting their car keys back. Now, obviously your adult guests will be okay, but once in a while things can get out of hand with the younger guys, so better safe than sorry, right?
4. Assign a friendly doorman: Especially is yours is an expensive party, consider having a check-off invitation list. You can make a game of it: “May I see your invitation, sir and madam?” That way you may still have a few unexpected plus-one’s like at a wedding, but you won’t have anyone “coming in off the street” as they say.
5. Double check emergency exits: How many are there? Are they clearly visible? Where do they lead? If necessary, make an attractive DIY sign or two to help people navigate your reception room.
6. Double check restroom convenience: Obviously you’ll book your reception in a place that has enough restrooms, but if they’re located down a hall or around a corner, consider DIY directional signs.
7. Double check the ventilation system: The last thing you want is some kind of airflow block at your venue, or worse, dust in the ducts that gets stirred up when the heating or air conditioning kicks on.
8. Double check electrical plugs & wiring: Make sure all cords for the musicians, sound system and microphones are taped down securely. Also before you finalize the venue, make sure all the room’s electrical outlets are in working order so you don’t have to use multiple plugs.
9. Don’t exceed the venue’s maximum safety count: Choose a venue large enough to accommodate your full guest list plus 20% to allow for those plus-one’s.
10. Double check fire codes for decorations: Some venues prohibit live flame so if you want candlelight, you’ll need to go with flameless.
11. Make sure decorations will stay upright: Tall vases of feathers and calla lilies are lovely, but unless they’re adequately weighted, they’re a disaster waiting to happen.
12. Make sure the tables and chairs are sturdy: You don’t want wobbly table legs or chairs tipping over.
13. Allow for individual needs: Consider your older guests who might have walkers or canes and allow enough navigation room for those with wheelchairs or crutches.
14. Assign a covert kid watcher: You don’t have to make it obvious, but have someone willing to keep an eye out specifically on the younger crowd and quietly step in if things start to get out of hand. This includes making sure the littlest girls make it safely to and from the restrooms.
15. Set up a small first aid station: Band-Aids, ice packs, simple stuff—nothing fancy, just enough to be thoughtful.
16. Choose shoes all of your damas can dance in: Let some of them wear flats or lower heels if they want to. Yes, in photos it matters if the skirt lengths match, but as long as the shoes are the same color, it doesn’t matter the heel height. Also, dance shoes should be Mary Jane style, or have ankle straps, or lace up, so they don’t fall off.
17. Choose shoes that you can dance in: Just because this is your “first pair of grown up high heels” doesn’t mean you should risk a sprained ankle. Use a little common sense and if you’ve really never worn heels before, or have only worn kitten heels, don’t go for platform stilettos. (Your dance shoes should also stay on securely.)
18. Assign a parking lot escort: For single ladies or pairs of women without a male escort, have one or two gents available to escort them to their cars. For an added measure, make sure the escort has a flashlight.
19. Be mindful of your shoe helper’s needs: If someone will help you change your shoes, and you’re going the traditional route of your dad or other gentleman helping you put them on, safeguard his safety by making sure he doesn’t have to bend over in a way that strains his back. Also, make sure he doesn’t have to take a position that’s embarrassing. (We’re talking half on the floor, backside in the air, trying to find your foot under all that skirt!) If need be, raise the chair you’ll sit on or give him a pillow to kneel on—whatever it takes to keep your dad or shoe helper safe and happy, make it so.
20. If your Quinceanera is a super extravaganza: Give some consideration to hiring a professional security team. Yelp.com is the perfect resource.