The story of a Quinceanera

Cinthia Suarez, Journalist

Waking up to the sun hitting her face through the window, walking towards the living room with the sound of people chattering, people coming in and out the door, holding food and party accessories. Jennifer Amador had the odd feeling of being stared at, she was hugged a million times and congratulated because it was her day, the day of her quinceanera.

It’s the morning of Amador’s quinceanera and its pure chaos, the phone keeps ringing, people talking, screaming, talking over the phone and, walking everywhere. But she’s calm it’s her own special day, a day of becoming a real-life princess who’s celebrating her fifteenth birthday.

“I decided to celebrate my fifteenth birthday because I knew it was going to be on of the most special moments in my life and a tradition in my culture, I knew how fun and excited it would be to go through the experience,” Jennifer Amador (9) said.

Quinceaneras are a celebration of a girls fifteenth birthday and her transition from childhood to adulthood. The celebration begins with a mass attended by the girls and her family, followed by a reception, or party, to which friends and relatives are invited.

“Anyone can have a quinceanera but its most common in Latino families” Amador said.

Its necessary for the quinceanera to look her best it’s common to have a professional makeup artist do the quinceaneras makeup along with her mom.

“I had to get ready early in the morning, I had my own makeup and hair artist come help me get ready. My hair it self- took over an hour and half, plus makeup took an hour, so it took me almost over 3 hours to get ready and, I still had to put on my big puffy dress.” Amador said.

Traditional accessories used range from tiaras, sashes, the fifteenth ring or bracelet. The quinceanera traditionally wears a ball gown, with her Court dressed in gowns and tuxedos. Much like a wedding, the quinceanera gets to invite close friends and family to participate in her Court of Honor, it can be comprised of either girls and boys, all girls (Damas), or all boys (Chambelanes).

“Quinceaneras can be hosted at home, venue or banquet hall, the reception is a festive gathering of friends and family that includes music, food, dancing, and several ceremonial traditions,” Amador said.

Planning process for a quinceanera takes a lot of time, money and, effort. It should be planned 6 to 12 months before a fifteenth birthday, a quinceanera typically cost between $5,000-$20,000 including a quinceanera dress that typically cost $250-$1,000.

“I believe that a good budget limit to spend at a quinceanera is $3,500, but most quinceanera con cost more or less depending on the theme and the decorations.” Amador said.

“The theme of my quinceanera was pink and gold royal flower party in which my dress had a big sparkly bottom with rhinestone top. All throughout the  party was amazing I got to talk and hang with a lot of my family members, the food that was served was amazing plus the desert table, my favorite part of the quince was doing the surprise dances with my court and receiving my Lat Doll as my last childhood gift,” Amador said.

Quinceanera are a very special and emotional moment in life where a young lady transitions into womanhood. It’s a beautiful party in the Latino culture, it’s a day every little girl dreams of having for family and friends come together and celebrate this moment by making it a night they’ll never forget.