You’re probably going to start reading this and think “why on earth did I decide to plan a quinceanera?!”, but don’t worry! It’s really not as hard as it seems.
This is our go-to list of how to plan a quinceanera, which should help you stay on top of everything before, during, and even after your quince planning process!
Believe it or not, planning is actually part of what makes the quince journey such a once in a lifetime experience, so use our quinceanera checklist and timeline to make sure you have the least stressful time possible!
And if you’re planning in less than 12 months — don’t worry! — just make sure you read through all the first steps and start getting them done asap!
12+ Months Before
One thing is for sure — it’s never too early to start planning your quince!
As a general rule of thumb, we think 12 months is a good amount of time to get everything in order without feeling too stressed, but plenty of people have started 2 and even 3 years in advance (and others have done it in as little as 4 months)!
No matter how far in advance you are, here are the main steps for where to start planning your quinceanera:
- Set your budget
- Before you start thinking of potential vendors, make sure you know how much you’ll be willing to spend.
- The budget is going to help determine pretty much everything else during the quince planning process.
- We’ve got an awesome tool to help you keep track of your budget and expenses. Sign up for your free account today!
- Pick an event date
- Once you set an event date, things will really start to get set in motion.
- Not only that, but it will be the first thing vendors and guests will ask about.
- If you have your eyes on a specific venue, this might affect the date you choose, since some dates may not be available.
- Create a guest list
- Your guest list will help you consider budget and certain aspects regarding vendors (e.g. venue capacity).
- Start creating your guest list in your Mi Padrino account today, but don’t worry — nothing is set in stone until you send out invitations or save the dates.
- Begin to look for venue and other main vendors
- If you’re thinking you’ll have a lot of different vendors, this will be a big factor in your overall cost too, but there is at least some flexibility in your options.
- Here are the main type of vendors to start thinking about:
- Reception Venue – make sure this is the FIRST vendor you book.
- Ceremony Venue – check out these quinceanera ceremony venue questions!
- Catering – word of mouth will be your best friend!
- Music – do you want a mariachi? Banda? Grupo?
- Photographer/Videographer – book save the date/invitation photos.
- Event Planners – they will make planning so much easier!
- Gather information from your guests
- Start gathering guest emails and mailing addresses.
- Think about padrinos
- If you decide to have padrinos for your event, make a list of your possible padrinos & padrinos de honor.
- Think about your quince court
- Make a list of potential people you want on your court (damas, chambelanes, or both).
- Start getting ideas and inspiration
- Think about colors, styles, quinceanera themes, if you know what kind of look and feel you want.
- Check out our many Pinterest boards for ideas on everything!
- Let’s be honest — you’ve probably already started looking through quinceanera dresses…
- You can also check out some real quinceaneras to see what they did.
- This is definitely the best part of the planning!
Make sure to download our mobile app or sign up online to access ALL of our tools that will help you with all planning.
If you prefer writing everything down on paper, check out Mi Padrino’s planning guide.
9-12 Months Before
These next couple months may be a bit stressful, but it’ll all be worth it!
- Save the dates
- Set up a Save the Date photoshoot with your photographer. (optional)
- Order/Send Save the Dates so all your friends and family can mark off your big day on their calendars!
- Dress shopping!
- Believe it or not, it’s actually best to really start shopping for quinceanera dresses 9+ months in advance.
- Getting it shipped, delivered, and altered can take a long time, so it’s always best to start early!
- Get tips on how to choose a quinceanera dress — trying them on is the best part.
- Feel free to download our quinceanera dress shopping checklist before you head to the store!
- Choose your court
- Book other vendors
- Caterers – if you haven’t already!
- Entertainment – Mariachi Bands, DJs
- Choreographers – start looking at choreography ideas online!
- Decorators – create a board on Pinterest and show potential decorators some ideas.
- Cake – here are some good questions for your quinceanera cake baker!
- You can find all your the quinceanera vendors you need on Mi Padrino!
- Research hotels for out of town guests!
- Start scheduling out rehearsals with your court (up to your quince date!)
- Start thinking about dance routines
6-9 Months Before
It still seems like a long way away, but 6 months can go really quickly!
- Confirm guest info
- Double check with anyone who you don’t have addresses for.
- Order quinceanera invitations
- Choose/Order damas dresses
- Make sure to also figure out shoes and accessories!
- Start court rehearsals
- Make sure to practice with your petticoat on if you’re going to have one!
- Choose/Order your quinceanera cake
- Here are some tips if you’re looking to cut costs!
- Buy your quinceañera dress, if you haven’t already!
We’re almost halfway done with planning!
Finalize anything from before, if you haven’t done it already — it’s okay, everyone can get behind with planning.
Don’t worry if you don’t have everything done yet. Take this time to outline and finalize anything outstanding!
3-6 Months Before
We’re getting closerrrr!!!
- Choose your chambelan attire
- Send out your invitations
- It’s official, official!
- Follow up with padrinos
- You can organize your padrinos on the Mi Padrino App!
- Design/Order/Make decor
- The earlier you start, the more time you have to make everything.
- Decide if you’re going to DIY or start finalizing ideas if you’re going to buy!
- Book more vendors
- Things to buy
- Attend confirmation classes if necessary
1-3 Months Before
It’s like seriously coming up so soon!
- Share final details with all vendors
- Create a Quinceanera Day of Organizer
- Schedule your final dress fitting
- Meet with religious leader
- Create a quinceanera ceremony outline, so you know what to expect!
- Attend your first hair and makeup trial
- This will be so much fun!
- Buy, DIY, or confirm with padrinos about…
- Create your playlist
- Think through quinceanera songs and everything you’ll want to hear play on your big day!
- You can even make “Must Play” and “Do Not Play” lists for the band or DJ.
2-4 Weeks Before
Only two more weeks!!
- Final confirmation with all vendors
- Write down times they will arrive and other important information.
- Make sure everyone will be ready to go!
- Send your music list to the DJ/Band
- Check out our different quinceanera playlists on Spotify!
- Finalize and practice your quince dance
- You and your court should have it down by now!
- Make sure you keep practicing up until your big day!
- Make final payments to vendors
- Write out a timeline/order of events for your big day!
1-7 Days Before
- Purchase last minute items
- Finish any DIY projects
- Get manicure/pedicure
- Double check checklist/vendors
- Schedule a nail appointment for 1-3 days before your big day
- Get your eyebrows waxed or threaded
- Put together an emergency kit for the day of!
The Day Before/Day Of
- Relax on the day before — don’t stress!
- ENJOY YOUR QUINCE!!!
1-30 Days After
That. Was. A blast.
After 12 months of planning, I’m sure you just want to be done with it, but there are a few final loose ends to tie up!
- Return any rental equipment
- Return any rented formalwear
- Have your gown cleaned or preserved
- Or have a trash-the-dress photoshoot!
- Leave reviews for all vendors and venues
- They will really appreciate it!
- Send thank you notes to your parents, padrinos, court, and guests
- They helped make your quinceanera memorable <3
- Send us your photos and videos to be featured on Mi Padrino!