Putting together a Quinceanera music playlist involves much more than just making a list of your favorite songs. There’s always room for your top tracks, but keep in mind other kinds of music for different parts of the ceremony and the reception program. Here’s pretty much everything you need to know when it comes to song and music selections that will make for perfect ear candy for your Quinceanera, start to finish!
Identify Music Requirements for Each Part of the Program
Having a gazillion Taio Cruz songs on your MP3 player isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to fill four hours at your Quinceanera. The first thing you need to do is to break down the evening’s program and identify where you need songs or background music, then choose the best song for each section.
Music Suggestions from Beginning to End
1. Guests’ Arrival: You’ll want something unobtrusive, but that clearly sets the mood for the night’s festivities. A combination of classics and modern works well. Turned down low, the catchy vibe of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” followed by Prince Royce’s “Corazon Sin Cara” can set a party vibe. Just don’t ramp up into livelier music too fast. You want the music to help everyone gradually move into the serious partying that’s to come.
2. Quinceanera Entrance: Once everyone’s settled in, change the music for the emcee to introduce the star of the night: You! While you want to have something you really like, try to make it relevant to an introduction. Something catchy like “Hello” by Martin Solveig and Dragonette is bubbly and bright, while “Balada Para Adelina” adds a touch of culture.
3. Quinceanera Toast: This should be an instrumental, soft and light, so all eyes and ears can focus on those giving the toast. Frank Pourcel’s “Blue Danube” is a good choice.
4. Quinceanera Dinner: Everyone will be focused on food and socializing, so just like the arrival music, dinner music should be interesting yet unobtrusive. Play some smooth jazz, classical, and maybe a few lovely Latin American songs. Think about what would please your guests, both young and old, and hold back on the catchier tunes. You want your guests to enjoy the dinner and not have to shout over the music to be heard.
5. Quinceanera Ceremonies: This section calls for similar music as the Quinceanera toast, just not the exact same song. If you want something more contemporary, you could use Christina Aguilera’s “I Turn to You” or Boleros de Anyer’s “Mi Nina Bonita.”
6. Father-Daughter Dance: This is usually considered the most moving part of the night, so the father-daughter dance song should be something your dad can easily follow. Guaranteed tearjerkers are “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle and Luther Van Dross’ “Dance With My Father.” However, if your dad can dance—really dance—go all out and let him pick the wildest tune he wants!
7. Dance of the Court: All eyes will be on you and your damas and chambelanes as you take the floor for your choreographed song. For this part, use whatever you and your coordinator or choreographer chose. Don’t limit it to one song though, if you want to have a two-dance performance with a traditional Latin American dance then something more contemporary. You might like Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” as your modern choice, or something in the same mood.
8. Cake Cutting: There’s nothing better than the totally corny traditional “Happy Birthday” song, but put a spin on it if you want by spicing it up with a Mexican version, or something else festive and memorable.
9. Party Time: Remember that MP3 playlist? The one with Ne-Yo, Usher, and Lady Gaga? Now’s the time! Just don’t forget to throw in a slower tune every 4 or 5 songs to give everybody a breather
Most of this music will be played by a DJ, so make sure you forward the list to him weeks (yes, weeks) before your Quince day. If you’re considering a band, double check that they can play the number of sets you’ll need. Keep in mind that a live band is usually more expensive than a DJ because the rate will have to be divided across all the members of the group. Therefore, if budget is a concern, then you could still have a live band but limit them to a set or two then rely on a disco mobile to provide music for the rest of the night.
To Mariachi or Not to Mariachi
Ever popular is the Mariachi band and having one will add a distinctly Latin American touch to your Quinceanera. They can play during the different parts of the night such as the arrival, the dinner, Quinceanera ceremonies, and possibly during the first part of the dancing. Just give them time to rest in between sets—and don’t forget to feed them!
Whatever choices you make, your music should reflect your personal style and your own interpretation of what your Quinceanera means to you. Ask your friends, family members, your hired DJ and your live band for more help filling your night with the perfect Quinceanera music!