How to Choose the Perfect Quinceañera Cake

Your quinceañera party should feature the perfect quinceañera cake or the cake of your dreams! To create this masterpiece think about the meaning of the cake:  A single item that represents your style, brings friends and family together to celebrate and provides the best taste of sweetness.

Beautiful and delicious, quinceañera cakes come in many shapes, styles, and of course flavors.  I can just imagine you trying to figure out what style, color, type of ingredients, shape, etc., for your pastel de quince.

How to Choose Your Quinceañera Cake?

Start from the basic function of the cake: The cake serves as the focal point of the food area and plays a big role in the overall decor of your party. Remember it will obviously be featured in the cake cutting ceremony.

When thinking about your cake sure that you infuse it with your style and personality, and make it match your dress, decor, and party theme.

What You Must know Between Traditional & Modern Quinceañera Cakes

Traditional Cake

quinceañera cake

How to Choose Your Quinceañera Cake?

Often, the bizcocho de quince is a black cake in Colombia or actually a group of separate cakes arranged together on cake stands and connected by miniature staircases.

The staircases hold little dolls representing the honor court of the quince party. A larger doll representing the quinceañera stands atop the tallest cake.

In some cases, this doll doubles as the última muñeca or last doll, which is another important quinces tradition.

Another common style of quinceañera cakes looks very similar to a tiered wedding cake. Typically, these quince cakes have three round tiers and are decorated to match the quinceañera’s dress.

For example, the cake might be light pink or white with frosting pearls, flowers, ribbons, or ruffles for decoration.

Cakes also feature a quinceañera cake topper such as a glittery “15,” a tiara, or a small quince doll. A slightly more modern take on this cake style is to use square layers or even asymmetrical layers.

Modern Quinceañera Cake

Nowadays, more and more quinceañeras are opting for elaborate sculptural cakes that match the theme of their party. For example, the cake might look just like a designer purse, a castle, or a huge butterfly. These kinds of cakes are truly works of art!

When it comes to flavors, just about anything goes. Yellow cake is pretty common, because it is a good neutral base that just about all guests will eat. It complements just about any flavor of frosting or filling.

Another popular cake flavor is tres leches. pasteles de tres leches are light, moist cakes soaked in milk syrup and flavored with vanilla and rum. They work well for quince parties because they will not dry out during the party.

Essentials to Find the Perfect Quinces Cake

Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect quince cake for your special day.

  • Plan ahead because many bakeries take orders up to 6 months in advance, so you will need to finalize your order early.
  • Choose your bakery carefully by:
    • Requesting the bakery’s portfolio to have an idea of what kind of cakes they are good at making.
    • Asking if personalization is an option, if so how much does the price change?
    • Asking if they use pre-made mixes or are all cakes made from scratch.
    • Requesting samples to make sure you choose the right one.
    • Asking if they deliver the cake to the party place and also, if they place and decorate the cake on the food table.  Does it have an extra cost?
    • Tasting the icings too.  Fondant icing (the smooth, flat icing often used in theme cakes) looks great but many people don’t like the taste.
    • Setting up the cake table. Buy cake stands, mini staircases, dolls, and quinceañera cake toppers to complement your cake.

What is Quinceañera

History and Traditions from Hispanic American Families

Every Latina girl dreams of celebrating her 15th birthday, or quinceañera, with a lavish party, wearing a stunning princess dress and dancing with her loving family and friends.

A traditional quinceañera party can take years of preparation and planning to pull off, and it may seem easy for all the details and material trappings to overwhelm you.

But what is quinceañera about, really? At its heart, quinceañera is not about the dress, the venue, or the choreographed dances. It’s about celebrating a girl’s transition into womanhood.

What is Quinceanera

This is why families from all walks of life in nearly every country in Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, love to celebrate the quinceañera.

Whether the party takes place in an opulent downtown ballroom or in a simple grassy field, whether the dress is store bought or homemade, whether the guests share an elaborate cake or a simple one, the special meaning of the celebration is the same: to recognize that a young girl has become a woman.

Parts of a Quinceañera Celebration

Traditionally the quinceañera consists of two parts: a thanksgiving mass and a reception and party afterwards.

The mass serves to strengthen the girl’s faith and remind her that as she enters womanhood, God and the church should be a source of strength in times of need.

In keeping with quinceañera traditions, the girl will typically receive some sort of religious memento on her special day, such as a cross, a medal, a rosary, or a Bible.

The party or reception serves as the birthday girl’s first “official” event as an adult. The quinceañera’s father changes her shoes from flats to heels, symbolizing that she is now a woman.

She will dance first with her father, and then with her escort and with the other young couples who form her “honor court”.

Traditionally, the dancing begins with waltzes and choreographed numbers and later includes pop music or whatever the quinceañera chooses.

Nowadays, the question “what is quinceañera” can be answered in many ways, as girls tend to want to break with quinceañera history and put their own unique spin on the event. For example, some girls may forgo the mass. Others may want a red or blue dress, rather than the traditional pink dress.

In the United States, some girls even opt to celebrate at age 16 instead of 15, so that they can have a sweet sixteen party.

What remains constant in all versions of the quinceañera is the focus on family that forms the core of Hispanic culture. Aunts, uncles, parents, godparents, and other relatives share the responsibility of paying for the quinceañera, and young men gallantly practice ballroom dancing to please their little sisters and cousins. The whole family comes together in this beautiful coming of age celebration.

Vestidos de Quinceañera

Choosing the Perfect Quinces Dress

Choosing the perfect quince dress can be hard! With so many beautiful vestidos de quinceañera available, your head may be spinning at all the options.

I understand because I felt the same way when I had to choose my dress many years ago back in Colombia.

Should you go traditional or modern? Splurge on a designer gown or try to find something on sale? Here are a few aspects of the quinceañera dress to consider as you make your decision.

Choosing Your Quinceañera Dress

Quinces Gown Budget

Quinceañera gowns can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Set a budget before you go shopping, so you can avoid falling in love with a dress that is out of your price range.

You should also consider using a tailor or seamstress to customize an off the rack dress or even duplicate a designer look for a fraction of the cost.

What Color Should You Wear?



The traditional color for sweet 15 dresses is pale pink. White dresses are also quite common, even though originally this color was reserved for brides. Both white and pale pink represent a girl’s innocence and purity.

Nowadays, there is much more freedom to choose whatever color dresses you would like. I recommend bright colors and jewel tones mostly for darker skins or to make a strong contrast. Today patterned dresses are rare.

When choosing a quinces dress think about who you are. This is very important because the dress reflects your personality.  Are you bold, risky, calm, or a dreamer?

Style

If you want to fully appreciate the quinceñera “princess for a day” feeling, you have to get a ball gown style dress. This type of dress has a long, full skirt and a tailored top.

The princess style reflects a romantic personality and goes well in pastel and soft colors. The top can be strapless or even corset style, so there is no danger of looking frumpy.

The quinces princess style dress is actually very elegant and refined, as well as reminiscent of the sort of formal quince gowns worn at the first quinceañera parties in colonial Mexico.

A variation can be to wear a formal ball gown for the mass and the grand entrance to their party, then change into something more modern and “sexy” for the rest of the party.

Before choosing a style identify your body shape and try choosing from the dress styles that flatter each shape best.  Ask yourself: What body shape am I? Based on your body type choose a style that enhances your figure.

quinceanera-dress

Straight type: Enhance shoulders and bottom to make your figure more prominent and curvy. You can also enhance your waist with darker colors or a belt.

Apple or oval type: De-emphasize your waist area. Show more legs and use a style that adds curves to your lower body.

Pear type: Enhance and give more volume to your upper body. The bottom is your body is more full therefore make it even by bringing more volume to your sleeves or shoulders.

Hourglass type: You are very fortunate if you have this body type. Enhance it by adding more to top and bottom of your dress or simply by emphasizing your middle section.

Embellishments

Because the quinceañera party is such a big event in a girl’s life, vestidos de quinceañera can get quite elaborate.

Skirts can be covered in ruffles or wound with ribbons and lace, and bodices can be embellished with rhinestones, seed pearls, and embroidery.

Embellishments are a great way to add color, interest and style to an otherwise simple white or pale pink dress. They make the dress more rich and playful.

On the other hand, going overboard with embellishments can completely ruin your dress making it look loud or unrefined.

Comfort and Fit

At your quinceañera party, it’s important to look and feel your best. You should choose a dress that flatters your body shape and makes you feel confident and comfortable.

The dress should not restrict your movement or threaten to slip out of place while you are dancing. If you choose a strapless style, make sure you have the right bra to go with it!

Remember, today’s quince parties are based on tradition but not bound to it. Choose among several vestidos de quinceañera that suit your personality to select the one that is perfect for you, whether or not it fits the traditional model.

 

Strapless Quinceañera Dress

Top Choices to Show Your Shoulders Bear!

Why is a strapless quinceañera dress so special? Because it is a versatile type of dress. This design is one of the top choices for quinceñeras because it allows you to wear the same dress at the mass and at the party. Simply pair it with a shawl for the mass and take the shawl off at the party.


 

Pink Quinceañera Dresses -Strapless

Pink has always been a favorite also because it can remind you of your tender years and your place as a lady to be entering society. Pink also flatters many of your beautiful skin tones you probably have as Latina, that bronze that is so special and looks unique with a salmon or pink dress like the ones below.  


Strapless White Quinceañanera Dresses

Many consider white to be only for weddings. Until recently -about a decade or so, that was the case.  Today many quinceañeras are wearing white at their parties and do so with no regrets or reservations.



The best way to wear a white quinceañera dress without appearing to be going to be the bride is to simply use a splash of color around your waist. A wide color lace with some embroidery may do the trick.

You can also pair the dress with gloves in the same color as the white lace. For sure you will not look as a bride and you will retain the
uniqueness of a quinceañera.

If you would like to know more about how to choose the right dress for your figure head to Vestidos de Quinceañera where you can, according to your figure and other characteristics, find how to make the best choice.

Top Quinceañera Traditions

Trying to plan a quinceañera party but unsure where to start or which quinceañera traditions to include?

Top 5 Quinceañera Traditions

These five Mexican quinceañera traditions form the heart and soul of any quinceañera party. Integrate them into your own celebration however you see fit.  As long as you get the spirit behind these traditions right, your party will be a success!

Quinceañera Mass

quinceanera-traditions-1

Attending a Catholic mass is one of the most traditional parts of the quinceañera celebration.  The young lady kneels in a special place at the foot of the altar during this special mass of thanksgiving.

At the close of the mass, her mother typically gives her a crown and a scepter, representing the fact that while she will always be a princess in the eyes of God and of her family, she now bears adult responsibility.

The young lady’s godparents will typically give her a rosary or a trinket representing the Virgin of Guadalupe to mark the occasion.  She may also receive a ring or a bracelet representing the circle of life.

Honor Court

Quinceanera traditions dictate that an honor court made up of the quinceañera’s young friends and relatives accompany her during the celebration.

The court can contain either 14 couples or 14 individuals -either way the total including the quinceañera reaches 15.  The young ladies of the court are known as “damas” and their escorts are the “chambelanes”.

The honor court will participate in choreographed dancing with the quinceañera and reinforce the idea of her as a princess for the day.

The First Dance

According to quinceañera history, Mexican girls could not dance in public until they turned 15.  By sharing a dance with his daughter at the beginning of the quinceañera party, the girl’s father shows the community that he is ready to let his little girl enter society as a woman.

Changing Shoes

This charming ritual usually takes place after the first dance, though some families perform it at the church.  The quinceañera’s father slips off her childish flat shoes or slippers and replaces them with high heels more befitting a young lady. Read more about choosing the perfect quinceañera shoes. Tips and ideas on how to do so perfectly.

The Last Doll

The last doll serves as yet another reminder that the young girl has become a woman.  When offered the doll, the girl should reject it as a plaything and keep it only as a memento of her special day.

Sometimes small “capias” or ribbons with the quinceañera’s name and party date on them are pinned to the doll. The quinceañera circulates with the doll, giving each guest their capia and thanking them for coming to her party.

These ceremonial quinceañera traditions are really just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more traditional aspects of the event, including what color and style of dress to wear, how much makeup to use, and what kinds of trinkets or favors to give the guests.

Remember, a quinceañera party should reflect the personality of the birthday girl, so don’t be afraid to let her customize it!

Your Quinceañera Dress

Ready to choose your quinceañera dress? Even if you are not, visiting the sections vestidos de quinceañera, the strapless quinceañera dress, and the princess quinceañera dress are a logical start. Choose the style and design to suit your skin tone, budget and style.

Start planning now! Take advantage of time and make sure you blend your Hispanic traditions to make this day memorable.

Choosing the Perfect Quinceañera Shoes

Every woman knows that shoes can make or break an outfit.

However, you might think that your quinces shoes won’t have such a big impact, since the hem of your princess style quince gown will mostly cover them up.  The truth is, shoes play a big part in the quinceañera party, thanks to the tradition of changing shoes.

At the start of the party, the quinceañera’s father swaps the girlish flats that she wore to mass for elegant, ladylike high heels. This is just one of many traditions and rituals that symbolize the quinceañera’s transition into womanhood.

So you can see that you will actually need to pick out two pairs of quinceañera shoes for the party– one pair of flats and one pair of heels.

Choosing Your Perfect Quinceañera Shoes

Quinceanera Shoes
Your shoes for this day should be representative of your personality and theme. Changing the shoes is undeniably one of the most important quinceañera traditions.

There are four main things to consider: color, style, comfort and price.  Each aspect is important and unless you have unlimited funds the other three are a must. Yes, I am not exaggerating.

Guests are going to notice your shoes and how they go along with not only your dress but also the theme of the party.

Color

Obviously, the color of your quince dress will play a huge role in determining the color of your shoes.

If you have a white dress, your shoes may be an opportunity to add an unexpected splash of color. Of course, you can also go with a traditional and elegant white shoe.

For colorful vestidos de quinceañera you should consider shoes in metallic shades. Gold, pale gold, silver, and even copper tones will complement many dress colors nicely. Plus, strappy metallic shoes can even look like jewelry for your feet!

Another option is a clear Cinderella-style shoe. This “glass slipper” will really add to the princess for a day feel of your quinceañera party, and since it is clear it goes with any dress.

Style

The main way to show your style in the flats is through embellishments. Flats can be adorned with bows, rhinestones, and embroidery.

In general, the flats should be fairly conservative, because you will wear them to the thanksgiving mass.

When choosing your heels, you have a much bigger range of styles to choose from. You might choose pumps, wedges, strappy heeled sandals, or even stilettos.

You can pretty much choose any style as long as it looks elegant. However, beware of extremely high heels, because they might make the hem of your dress hit too high on your foot.

It is also helpful if the shoe is easy to put on, since your father will have to do that at the party.

Comfort

At your quinceañera party, you will do a lot of dancing! Make sure that the quinceañera shoes you choose are comfortable enough to dance in.

You don’t want your quince party to end up looking like a school dance, with all the girls running around barefoot!

Be sure to practice your dances in your new shoes, both to break in the shoes and to make sure you have good balance and are comfortable in them.

Price

Everyone hates to think about it, but you do have to stick to a budget when shopping for quinceañera accessories.

I’d advise you to set one budget for both pairs of quinceanera shoes. That way, if you find an expensive pair of heels that you just love, you can compensate by getting a less expensive pair of flats and still stay on budget.

Our Quinceañera photographs come from Mariana Martinis a professional photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur owner of Glyph Creative Studio in NY. She is the winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 forPhotography and Videography.

Your Quinceañera Photos

Must Have Shots & Choosing Your Photographer

Photographer

Mom and Quinceañera – Special Photo

This special day will be over before you know it, so be sure to take plenty of quinceañera photos to document every detail for posterity.

After spending months and months planning and preparing for your quinceañera, the actual event will probably seem to fly past in the blink of an eye!

One little personal story here. While growing up in Colombia my parents threw a small quinceañera party in my honor. I only had 50 guests and it was at my house. Even though my quinces were quite simple and intimate, the memories stayed in my mind forever, in part because of the photographs. Best of all, I have the pictures that bring such nice memories of my family. The moral is to pay very close attention to your pictures.

You may feel tempted to save some money by having a friend or family member take the photos, but bear in mind that photography is about much more than just pushing the button on a digital camera.

Three Attributes to Look for in Your quinceañera Photographer

Many people are good aficionados, however, there are more attributes you should look for when hiring a photographer than just snapping abutton. Here are some:

  • Your photographer should help you choose the best lighting. I have seen many pictures ruined with shadows. Pictures that simply don’t capture the special feelings of the moments, yet they have all the customary pictures for this day.Make sure you familiarize yourself with overexposure (too much light) and underexposure (not enough light) to spot a good photographer after assessing her picture work.
    Make sure you see the photographer’s work at different times of the day. Does she use the light to the quinceañera’s advantage?
  • An excellent photographer helps you with the best compositions, and the best poses for your photos.The perfect photographer must be an expert as directing you to the places that would make the best works of art. Remember that composition takes into consideration objects within a frame and surroundings along with people.She should be aware of your best angle by looking at your features, height, type of body, etc.
  • The third most important characteristic in a good photographer is to check for flatness in her pictures. This is simply when the photos don’t have depth and the vitality of the picture is gone.Details go a long way to create perfect pictures and that is what a photographer who manages flatness does.

A professional photographer will bring expertise in these areas and more, making sure that your quince photos present you and your event in the most flattering and artistic way.

Unlike a guest who may neglect the picture-taking duties in order to participate in the party, a professional photographer will be 100 percent focused on photos the entire time.

When choosing a professional photographer, review his or her portfolio specifically on quinceañera photos to make sure you like the style.

You want a photographer that does event photography and portraits equally well, because you will need both types of photos done for your album.

Ask the photographer what kinds of packages are available. Most photographers work on an hourly rate and offer a combination of digital and printed photos. Some will give you a discount if you hire them for both the event and the studio shoot for your formal portrait.

Some photographers may even create a quinces album for you, although in my opinion, it’s much more fun to do this yourself. That way you can make sure the album matches the theme and decor of the party perfectly.

To make your album detailed you can include little mementos like dried flowers, invitations, or cápias in your scrapbook style album.

A lot of your quinceañera party budget will be dedicated to things that last just one night like the food, the cake, the venue rental, the musicians. But if you are willing to hire a professional photographer, you can make all these things last a lifetime through beautiful quinceañera photos. Isn’t it worth spending a little extra to do this?

Quinceañera Photo Styles

Quinceañera Dress

Quinceañera Photos

Our Quinceañera photographs come from Mariana Martinis a professional photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur owner of Glyph Creative Studio in NY. She is the winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Photography and Videography.

Quinceañera Invitations

Plan Ahead with Our Guide for Your Quince Invites

Before you even start thinking about quinceañera invitations, you need to figure out all the details of your event. Ask yourself these basic questions:

  • Where and when will the mass and the party take place?
  • How many people can you invite?
  • What are your party colors?
  • What color will your dress be?
  • Will there be a theme for the decorations (like butterflies, hearts, roses, etc)?

Once you know all of this, you can begin to compose the text and create the design of your quinceañera invitations.

Text in Your Quinceañera Invitations

There are two main ways of composing a quince invitation. The most common way is to have the parents extend the invitation, for example:

  • “José & Ana López request the honor of your presence at the quinceañera of their daughter, Elizabeth Lopez…”
  • The other option is for the quinceañera to invite the guests, for example:
  • “I, Elizabeth Lopez, request the honor of your presence at my quinceañera, hosted by my parents Jose & Ana Lopez…”

This second way of writing the quince invitations reinforces the idea of a girl becoming an adult, because she is responsible for inviting the guests herself. However, the parents’ names should still appear on the invitation as a sign of respect.

Quinceañera Invitation Styles

quinceanera-invitations-1

Quinceanera Invitations

Quinceanera Invitations

Quince Invites Design

Quinceañera invitations come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. To narrow it down, you should choose a design that matches your party theme, colors and even dress design. Believe it or not, many quinceañeras plan their party around their vestido de quinceanera.

The invites should also reflect the level of formality at your quinceañera. If your party is fun and informal, you can choose bright colors, bold designs, and fun fonts.

Many quinceañera parties are planned around tradition, and learning more about the quinceañera history can help you plan and decide what you want to incorporate in your invitations.

If your party will be more formal, you should choose a more delicate or elegant invitation with cursive script.

 

 

 

Using Your Photo in Your Quinceañera Invitations

A photo of the quinceañera is a must for all quince invites. You can use an informal snapshot or a formal studio portrait, depending on what kind of style and mood you want to create for the party.

If you are really organized, you can buy your quince dress early and have the photos for your invites taken in the dress. This will allow your quince invite to double as a beautiful keepsake for your guests.

Choosing Quinceañera Premade Invitations


You can find tons of premade invitations online. All you have to do is type in your personalized info (name, date, mass location, party venue) and upload your photos. The premade invites on the left are bold, simple and modern. The style is clean and jovial, more playful I would say. Stevie Designs invites go along very well with Quineañeras because of his fresh designs. You can change the colors of the paper and the design elements and also choose whichever font you like.

Premade invitations start at about $1.75 each. When you buy your invitations, be sure to check what is included in the package. You will want matching envelopes, as well as RVSP postcards so that it’s easy for your guests to respond. Beware of square or oversize envelopes! They actually cost more to mail than regular envelopes.

Handmade Quinceañera Invitations

If you want to add a more personalized touch to your quinceañera invitations, you can try making your own. If you want to do this, I advise getting the text printed up on nice cardstock at your local print shop. Then, you can easily insert the text sheet into your handmade card.

Remember however, that making your invites or commissioning them to an expert takes time and in many cases a good chunk of money.

Be practical, some of the best invites come from premade ones that use handmade paper like the ones from Kathys designs. These invites on the left are more romantic and elegant, still beautiful and seductive.

You can decorate your card with fancy paper, ribbon, flowers, or anything else that matches your party theme.

One popular handmade design is to fold fancy patterned paper into a sleeve around your text sheet and tie it with a wide ribbon. You can attach little charms to the ribbon too.

How About Using Magnets…

For a more bold and modern invite think about magnet invitations. Personally, I am a huge fan of magnet invitations. They are incredibly convenient for your guests. All the guest has to do is stick the magnet on the fridge and they will be reminded that your quince is coming up every time they go in the kitchen.

Where to order your magnet invites? Most print shops can make high quality magnet invitations that look every bit as good as paper ones.

Are Websites a Must?

In today’s digital world many young quinceañeras are web savvy, therefore creating a website for your celebration is becoming important.

Similar to a wedding website, a quinces website can be a great way to provide extra information such as directions to your guests.

Using a website also gives you a little more flexibility in planning the party, because it allows you to send paper invites before you’ve finalized the exact time or venue of the party. After the party, the website will come in handy for sharing photos.

As you can see there are several ways to attack the invitations portion of your quinceañera invitations. Overall a website and paper invitations are an excellent way to get the job well done however, there is more than one way.

No matter what your choice is, be sure it reflects your personality and style!

Quinceañera Invitations Styles

Quinceanera Invitations Styles

Quinceañera Invitations Styles

Quinceanera Invitations Styles

Quinceañera Invitations Styles

Quinceañera Invitations Styles

Quinceañera Invitations Styles

Our Quinceañera photographs come from Mariana Martinis a professional photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur owner of Glyph Creative Studio in NY. She is the winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Photography and Videography.