Creating your day-of timeline can be a daunting task! The goal is to make sure you have time carved out for every part of the event that is important to you, and to make sure that everything flows together. You want to make sure that you don’t forget anything, but you also don’t want to be so busy that there’s no time left to enjoy yourself. Your quinceañera reception is the time to celebrate you! While there are many things expected at the reception, remember that it is up to you to make it uniquely your own. You can really get creative here! Take a look at the typical quinceanera reception order of events below.
Cocktail Hour: This will take place before you arrive at the reception. The idea here is that your guests can have some hor d’oeuvres, drinks and they can socialize while you finish taking photos with your court. You’ll want to determine when the cocktail hour starts and what food and drinks will be served.
Introduction of Court of Honor: When you arrive at your reception, your court will enter first. You can decide what order they enter and what they do when they come in. Some decide to have their court do something fun, like wear sunglasses or dance as they come in. You can also decide what order they will walk in. To get prepared for this, you’ll want to give a list to your DJ of the names of all your damas and chambelañes in the order that they will walk in. You might even want to go over name pronunciations with your DJ before the event. You can also choose a song to have played at this time.
Presentation of the Quinceañera: After your court enters, it’s your turn! Choose a special song to walk into your party to. You can also decide if you want to walk in on the arm of your escort, with your parents, or by yourself.
Crowning of the Quinceanera: When you are crowned, the headpiece you are wearing will be replaced by a crown or tiara. This is traditionally done by the mother, so you can choose a song that is special to the two of you to be played at this time. Some Quinceaneras choose to have a scepter which would be presented at this time as well.
Presentation of the Last Doll: Now this is a special moment for you and your father, as he is the one who would traditionally present you with your last doll. You can choose a song that is special to you and your father to be played at this time as well.
Changing of the Shoes: This is traditionally done by the father as well. For that reason, some Quinceaneras choose to do the Last Doll during the ceremony portion and perform the Changing of the Shoes at the reception. Your father will change your shoes from flats to heels, then you will be ready to dance your waltz!
The Quinceanera Waltz: You will likely spend months practicing your waltz to prepare for this big moment! Typically, this starts with a special song and dance between your father and yourself. Then, a dance with your escort. Finally, your court of honor will join you on the dance floor. The waltz is a very customizable part of your evening, so don’t be afraid to make it your own!
The Quinceañera Toast: The toast is often done by the father of the Quinceanera and usually given right before or after dinner is served. If you choose to do the toast before, you can also ask someone to say a prayer before dinner is served. Another way to change this up is to have a padrino give a toast.
The Dinner: This is pretty self-explanatory! Make sure you let your DJ know what order you would like the tables dismissed if you are having a buffet style dinner.
Dancing Time: Provide a list of “Must Play Songs” and “Do Not Play Songs” for your DJ or band.
The Surprise Dance: This is a totally optional part of your event. Many Quinceaneras choose to perform a surprise dance with their court. This is a prepared and well-rehearsed dance performance. The Quinceanera and her damas typically change into matching outfits for this as well. Because it means everyone has to change, it is usually done towards the end of the evening. However, some choose to do it at the end of the Quinceanera waltz.
Cake Cutting: The cake is usually cut about 1 hour before the party ends. Have your parents and padrinos join you while you cut the first piece of your cake. The servers will cut up the rest of the cake while you re-join the dance floor.
The Thank You: This is often the way to wrap up the quince años. The thank you usually begins with your parents, who will thank all your guests for attending, and will thank you for the wonderful person you have grown up to become. Be prepared to shed some tears here! Next, it will be your turn. You will want to thank your parents, all your padrinos, and all your guests. You can also say good night at this time, or invite everyone to join you on the dance floor for one last song.
The Last Song and Exit: This is completely optional, but some Quinceañeras choose to have a last song and dance to wrap up the evening. If you are planning a special exit, such as sparklers, this is the time to have someone get it all set up. You’ll want to have your DJ announce exit as well so your guest will know where to go and what to do.
There are a lot of different things to consider when planning a quinceañera reception. Try mapping out your evening by writing down each event, and how long it will take. Keep in mind that any of the events that have songs corresponding with them will likely last as long as the song. You’ll want to jot down the times so you can make sure you have room for every part of the day.
If you don’t have enough time, consider cutting out the last song or exit, or combining the cake cutting and the thank you. You’ll also be deciding on what songs to use during a lot of these events throughout your day. To keep track of these song choices, use our Quinceañera Music Checklist! Don’t forget to plan out your ceremony order and plan out your entire day with Our Quinceañera Day-Of Organizer!