It’s easy to remember to make backup plans for the major things involved in a well-planned Quinceanera—things like an alternative venue if you plan an outdoor reception and having that iPod handy in case your band or DJ is a last minute no-show. There are also plenty of articles about typical mistakes, but there are also some little things that you might not think of that are specifically linked to your reception and can either make things go smoothly or really short-circuit your night, so read on!
Not printing up a timeline of events
So that your guests can relax and enjoy the party, and also make it easier for you and your family to keep track of what comes next, write up a formal timeline. This is one key way to make your reception stress-free.
Here’s a timeline for a typical Quince reception:
- Formal Quinceanera Entry
- Parent’s Toast to the Quinceanera
- Quinceanera’s Speech
- Changing of the Shoes
- Last Doll Ritual
- Father-Daughter Dance
- Quince Waltz & Baile Sopresa
- Cake Cutting
Tip: Place a 4×6 or 5×7 printed timeline in a double-sided self-standing plastic photo frame on each table as part of your centerpiece. Put the schedule of events on one side, and then either the menu, a thank you note or poem, or a photo from your pre-Quinceanera shoot on the other side.
Check out this link for an attractive and affordable frame: http://www.displays2go.com/P-35306/5×7-Plastic-Tent-T-Style-Design?st=Category&sid=4219
Not taste-testing your Quinceanera reception menu
Unless you’re having a potluck cooked by your friends and family—hence you already know for sure everything will be fantastic—how will you tell if your guests will enjoy your reception menu if you didn’t take the time to taste it ahead of time? It’s also important to sample at least two different caterers if at all possible before making your final venue decision. Then you’ll really know what you’re getting because you’ll have had a chance to compare.
Not offering snacks during your makeup & hair session
Just the same as a bride should provide drinks and a little snack to her attendants while they’re all getting ready, you should do the same. It’s easy to remember to put out a little something for your damas if they’re all grouped at your house, but don’t forget the guys. Make arrangements to have mini pizzas or chips and soda available wherever your chambelanes are getting ready. Also have some “manly snacks” when they all come over for the group photos.
Not making your Quince toast thorough enough
It’s still important for your speech to not go on too long. No more than 5 minutes is the recommended length. But in that time, it’s crucial for you to thank everyone who helped you, even if it’s a brief sentence. You also must name names. For instance, you should say, “Thank you Aunt Vera and Uncle Don, my coach Mr. Evans, my damas parents Mr. & Mrs. Rodriguez, and my friend Maria for helping me with the lovely dinner.” Just saying “thank you to everyone who helped with the dinner,” doesn’t give proper recognition, so just make a list of everyone who helped you with each facet of planning, then read it at the beginning of your speech.
And while you should really try to give the personal part of your speech from memory, it’s much better to start by reading the list than to forget to thank someone. (Think of it as an Academy Awards speech where people very often get upset if the star forgets to thank them from the podium!)
Letting your baile sopresa run on too long
Absolutely, you want to work hard and show your guests what you’ve learned for this occasion. But if you go on too long, you’ll lose their interest. Most songs run about 2 ½ to 3 ½ minutes or so, which is the perfect length. So the easy solution is to only pick the regular recorded version of your song, not the live concert or extended play.
Not packing supplies for a “monthly surprise”
By the time you reach your 15th birthday, you may—or may not—already have some experience with a monthly cycle. (And if you haven’t, for heavens sakes, don’t feel guilty, or worse, feel like you’re “less of a Quinceanera”! Everybody’s different, so no worries.) Even if you have had a few monthly experiences, do not count on being able to predict the timing. If you haven’t yet, you still want to be prepared. So make sure to put feminine hygiene products and a mild painkiller like ibuprofen or Tylenol in your emergency kit.
Thoughtful tip: For sure, one or more of your damas may have a need, so pack a few extra of everything for them as well.
Not taking all the table pictures
This is another one of those “little things that count for a lot.” The easiest way to make sure you’ve taken a photo at each table is to number your tables, then have a list so you can check them off as you go. And don’t try to do table photos in numerical order—just check off that you’ve done table 1, then table 6, then table 3, etc.
Not taking solo portraits of your court members
Your Quince is the perfect time for each of your damas and chambelanes to have a truly beautiful portrait done while they’re all dressed up. Their parents will really appreciate these pictures, too. So give your photographer a list of names and ask him or her to take those portraits early on before everyone gets too comfortable at the reception.
Forgetting a 3rd pair of shoes
You’ve worn your flats for the ceremony, changed into your heels for the waltz, and have something to dance in for the baile sopresa. But unless those dance shoes are super comfortable, you’ll want something padded to walk around in and enjoy the rest of your evening. And if your dance shoes are very casual, you might want something dressier like a cute pair of sandals to dress up your look. So think through your shoe wardrobe and make sure you’re covered on all fronts.
Remember: Not only does it not take that much room for one more pair of comfortable shoes, you’re worth it!