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More Than Just a Party

Welcome to an inside look at my quince!

Many cultures have a tradition or ceremony to mark the transition from childhood into adulthood. In many Hispanic cultures, a quinceañera is what marks this transition for young women. This traditionally includes a religious aspect (mass) as well as a social one (the party). The religious part of a quinceañera is for the parents to thank God for blessing their daughters life, and as a way to seek His blessing as their daughter enters adulthood. The religious aspect of this still holds deep meaning to those with a strong connection to their religion. Now, the party itself has lost some of its traditional roots, but that’s understandable since the party’s purpose used to be to introduce one’s daughter to potential suitors. Thank goodness it’s become more about having fun than marrying.

Even though I officially turned 15 in December of 2022, I was undecided as to whether I would have a party or not, so we got a late start on party planning and my party was several months after my 15th birthday. It was a stressful process but most definitely worth it.

Many things go into planning a quince, but just like with weddings, one of the biggest decisions to be made is the dress. I wanted something unique for my dress, I knew we would have to travel to find the perfect dress.

This summer we went to Mexico for vacation. My family started to look for dresses there and went to several different boutiques. I tried many different styles and really liked a few but they weren’t “the one”. It wasn’t until our second day dress shopping that my dad and I stumbled upon a really fancy boutique. That’s when I saw it and it was perfect. The color, the long train, the poof that quince dresses are known for, this was it, this was MY dress and it was on display. I asked about the dress and was told it was the last one, this was meant to be.

My quince was held on September 16th, 2023. We had family fly in from Mexico, family came in from out of state, and many more family and friends from the area that came to celebrate with us. Street-style tacos were served including al pastor. Along with aguas frescas, a traditional Mexican candy table, and berry desserts. It has become the norm for families to have “madrinas and padrinos” for their parties, also known as “sponsors”. Each sponsor would be in charge of something different whether it be the DJ, decorations, food, entertainment, etc. and their contribution is usually monetary.

The party also encourages community, because everyone pitches in in some way shape or form to make it happen.

Fortunately for my party, we did not need sponsors in that sense, and instead we had family and friends that made the food, helped with setting up and cleaning up after, and honestly their presence was what we valued the most.

My quinceañera dress that I bought at a boutique in Mexico City, Mexico in June 2023 while visiting family near the city.

I danced to vals with my chambelanes. After my chambelanes’ introduction and our first vals we did the traditional family dance. Each male member of my family was called forward to dance with me. During each dance they would offer advice, let me know how proud they were of me, and how loved I was. It truly is such a special moment and I will cherish those moments with my family forever. The second vals was our “vals sorpresa”. This called for an outfit change and a more upbeat dance. At the end of this dance we each went out into the crowd and grabbed someone to join us on the dance floor and the dance was officially on.

All in all my quince was very special to me. Needless to say it changed me as a person. I feel like most girls who had a quince would definitely agree that it shapes you into your womanhood. I am so grateful for my family and friends who made it possible for me.

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Vanessa Garcia
Vanessa Garcia, Writer
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  • J

    Josefina GarciaOct 25, 2023 at 8:35 am

    I love your description about your Quinceañera party, the details and everything. I’m glad that you enjoyed and appreciate the effort your family did. Very good job. Keep writing, you have talent.

  • M

    Mrs. KeitelOct 16, 2023 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for telling us about all that goes into planning a quinceañera (dress, food, traditions, etc.). It was a well-written article. Glad you had a memorable experience with yours.