What are Padrinos?

Everyone has heard the term, but what are padrinos exactly? Well, in english, it directly translates to two things, either “godparents” or “sponsors”, and both definitions play an important role in the latino community.  Padrinos and madrinas are ultimately the fairy godparents that are there for you throughout your life and especially during your big life events. Traditionally, during big events like quinceaneras, weddings, and baptisms, padrinos are chosen to accompany the person (or persons) being celebrated during the church ceremony and throughout the reception. Traditionally, they also help pay for the religious items used in the ceremony, like the bible, cross, rings, etc.

Nowadays, padrinos contribute in many more ways too. Some offer monetary gifts to help the person(s) being celebrated and their family pay for the party. Others choose to help by donating their time and effort to help make things like food or decorations, or who help with the tiny-but-important details, like buying the party favors and drinks.

Maria with her Padrino

Here is a quick break down of all the potential padrinos and madrinas that you could have at your quinceanera or wedding:

  • Padrinos and Madrinas

Padrinos and Madrinas are there to help you with whatever you may need, but they aren’t only there to help you financially. They are also there to be your mentors, someone to go to when help is needed. They can help guide the quinceañera through their next steps in life. This wedding and quinceanera tradition is still widely used, especially within the Mexican community. Your padrinos can be any of the following:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Neighbors

It can be anyone close to the quinceanera/novios or someone who just wants to help!

  • Padrinos de Honor

The Padrinos de honor are the main padrinos of your quinceanera or wedding. This is not to say that the others are not as important, but these, in particular, will accompany you throughout your whole event. In most cases, the Padrinos de Honor are typically the same ones from your baptism.

They will play a huge part in the ceremony, especially for a quinceanera. They will sit or stand near the quinceañera at certain times and present her with some of the important ceremonial items (see below). They are also traditionally supposed to help pay for most of the party, but, in today’s day, you can have as many people help out as you want!

  • Padrinos (Godparents)

Some quinceañeras and couples also have actual padrinos (godparents) from baptism, communion, or confirmation. They are typically involved throughout your entire life,  including presenting you to one of the Catholic sacraments. They often help out with big life events in one way or another, since they have already been around for so many of them in the past.

 

Padrinos can be chosen by the person and family holding the event, but many padrinos usually offer themselves to be a padrino. Padrinos are some of the most important people that will participate in your event. If you have padrinos already in place or have yet to choose them, accept every bit of help — it goes a long way in planning your party! When accepting, always keep in mind that their help comes from a place of love and excitement for the person(s) being celebrated.

If you are celebrating a quinceanera, make sure to check out our planning guide on quinceanera traditions here.

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