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Your 2016 Quinceanera Reception Guide: 5 Steps to Fabulous Music

You’ve booked the best caterer, hired the most talented Quinceanera event planner, and your favorite Padrino will make the perfect MC. For sure, yours will be the party of the year! Except there’s still one thing missing: The music. You can nail down every other detail to perfection, but if your music doesn’t rock, your Quinceanera reception will fall flat. But not to worry. We’ve got you covered because, in only 5 little steps, you can line up the best of the best performers—from your entrance to the exit of your very last guest—and turn your “nice little party” into one memorable bash.

So let’s get going! Here’s our easy to follow guide to help you plan the best music for the best Quinceanera of 2016:

  • Choose the Mood of Your Celebration

What’s your reception theme? Other than dance music for the big party—which should consist of popular numbers that entice your guests onto the dance floor—what “flavor” do you want to have for the other music? For instance, if you’re having a Beauty & the Beast theme, maybe you’ll want to play different songs from the movie for your entrance and cake cutting.

For the dance music, though, you can choose whichever artist you like best and play those tunes to get people dancing. Maybe there’s a popular local band or a great DJ, or you want to book that awesome mariachi band you heard at a friend’s Quinceanera last year.

And while it’s polite to consider other people’s suggestions—and to respect the wishes of your family—always remember that, at the end of the day, it’s your Quinceanera, so the music you choose should say something about you personally.

  • Match the Music to the Program

Not all Quinceaneras are the same, but unless you’re gong totally against tradition, there will be some program elements that live performers won’t be able to play. Also, different parts of the evening call for different music. For instance, you’ll want quiet background music for dinner and probably a particular song or two for Quinceanera rituals like the toasts, cake cutting, changing of the shoes, etc. Whether you choose a band or a DJ, or something else entirely, always remember to factor in the other music that’ll be needed at various times that evening.

Tip: Check out this link for the timeline of a traditional Quinceanera so you can get an idea of what should happen and when. http://www.Quinceanera.com/traditions/traditional-Quinceanera-reception-timeline-events/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article-122615-traditions-traditional-Quinceanera-reception-timeline-events

  • Narrow Down Your Choices

There are, of course, distinct advantages and disadvantages to each of the different types of music people you can hire for your Quinceanera, so let’s look at the 4 most common choices:

  • DJ

DJs are great because they can provide literally all styles of music due to the nearly limitless number of songs available on the computer. From jazz to Justin Bieber, hip-hop to ballroom, as long as the DJ can find it, he can play it. However, DJs don’t have as much “star power” as compared to a live act, unless they’re unusually gifted. They also may be limited when it comes to variations on popular songs unless they either do a pre-mixed set or can mix it up right then and there.

But the biggest plus to a really good DJ is that he or she will make one terrific MC and will know how to get your crowd dancing and will know when to play slow songs to give them a break. The other perk to a DJ is that the equipment doesn’t take up much space, so if you have a smaller guest list and therefore a smaller venue, a DJ may be a better option than a band.

  • Band

Bands bring a unique flavor to the festivities because they’re live. There’s nothing quite like watching musicians perform, and the music itself has a much different quality, even if the band plays the song exactly like on the recording. Some groups have an extensive repertoire and can take requests which will be a real treat for your guests. Others may need to stick to the genre they specialize in and might not have enough up their sleeve song-wise to accommodate much in the way of requests. Don’t let that deter you, though. If you can afford a good live band, even for a set or two, it’ll add a lot to your party. Just make sure your venue has enough room for the musicians.

  • Mariachi

There’s nothing that will add an extra flavor to the festivities of a Quinceanera quite like a mariachi band. They’ll perform Latin American music like nobody else can, and will add a spin to contemporary music that’s like nothing you’ve heard before. Just the sight of the band in its traditional costumes makes your entire Quinceanera look like it was professionally planned!

Do keep in mind, though, that if the majority of your guests are younger, the novelty of a mariachi band might wear off unless they find that type of music to be particularly appealing. You might need to provide something else for people to dance to, and you’ll definitely need to give the players a break. So if you’re seriously considering mariachi, also plan for either a DJ or a good sound system so you can play popular dance tunes from your iPod.

  • Acoustic or a Capella (unaccompanied)

Acoustic groups—also referred to as “unplugged”—can be ideal for the opening of your reception as guests are gathering and then also during dinnertime when you want a little background music as everyone enjoys their meal and conversation. A capella groups are singers who use no accompaniment—good examples being barbershop quartets and unaccompanied high school glee clubs. Both types of groups are usually crowd pleasers for the older set, but a glee club-type group can keep the attention of younger guests.

These two groups are much like mariachi bands when it comes to planning: Make sure you have a mix. Just as you would supplement a mariachi band with a DJ or iPod tunes, plan to do the same for acoustic and a capella musicians. And do note that there is an exception to the rule of always supplementing mariachi or acoustic or a capella with recorded music: If you’re planning to have a simple cake and punch reception and no dancing, you can use these types of musicians exclusively.

Tip: It’s super easy to find entertainers near you. Go to https://www.gigsalad.com/ and enter your location, then type in the kind of entertainment you want by name—DJ, band, mariachi, acoustic, a capella, etc. Gigsalad will call up links for you, so all you have to do is just click on which entertainer you want to check out!

  • Calculate the Cost

Rates for Quinceanera entertainment vary wildly depending on the type of music and the popularity of the group or DJ. This is where Gigsalad comes in handy because you can browse to your heart’s content and ask for quotes from every group that interests you.

If you’re looking for an average, though, consider somewhere around $100 to $150 per hour for a DJ. For live bands, according to weddings.costhelper.com, you’ll pay anywhere from $1,100 to $2,200 for a 4-hour set, and that cost is based on the number of players.

For a mariachi group, plan on $250 to $600 per hour (depending on the number of players) and there’s usually a 2-hour minimum. This is a good link for more information: www.mariachi4u.com

And as always, if you need to watch your budget, but you want a touch of something special, choose one of these live groups to play for the minimum time, then supplement with a DJ. And you can supplement a DJ with your own iPod music! Trust us: With careful planning, you can use an iPod very effectively for everything including your dance music! It just takes time and creativity to gather the playlists.

  • How to Find & Hire Quinceanera DJs & Live Musicians

If you don’t have a particular band or DJ in mind, it pays to ask for recommendations from your sister Quinceaneras who have celebrated before you. Ask friends and family if they know of any reliable contacts, and then see if you can get to their Soundcloud or Youtube accounts so you can hear the music yourself. Don’t get excited about a band that claims “we can play anything and everything” until you hear them and trust that they can play everything, and play it well. Have a list of specific songs ready so you can ask right away if that music is either already in their repertoire, or if they think they can confidently master it in time for your party.

One last tip:

Finalizing the music for your Quinceanera does come with some pretty serious considerations, but don’t let that take the fun out of planning your big day. Trust us when we say that, even if you end up with just your trusty iPod, you’ll have a lot of fun checking everybody out!