Planning a Quinceañera


Quinceañera Planning Tools for Families


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Planning a quince años party in Houston can be very difficult if you don't know where to start.  But don't worry!  We are here to help you with everything!  Our quinceanera checklist helps you and your mom put everything together for the perfect 15th!  We make it easy to find the right quinceanera dresses in Houston, party halls, Houston photographers, invitations, limos, and more!

***Moms***:  Before we begin, the most important thing for a mother to know is to start planning EARLY.  By starting the quince planning process at least 12-18 months in advance, you can assure that you and your daughter will get things done right and not be so hurried at the last second.  But don’t worry if you start late!  Everything will come together if you stay patient and organized!  Look over this web page to gain a better understanding of the planning process!  Use a notebook to keep track of your planning.  Notebooks are the best way to stay organized and they also help the creative process!  Always be sure to take good notes on conversations with all potential quinceanera vendors so you remember who you talked with and what tasks you have completed!  And moms, remember to have fun with this!  This is your little girl's special day!  If you put your heart and soul into planning it, your daughter is sure to have the celebration of a lifetime!

Houston Quinceanera Planning Timeline

Here is a quick checklist.  Scroll down for details and money-saving tips for each individual step!







1.  Budget (12-18 months Before)



Take an evening to sit down with immediate family members (or anyone close to you that will be involved in the planning process) and discuss a budget.  You should also discuss padriños, sponsorship, party planning, and how everyone in the room will fit into the quinceañera planning process.  It is a always a good idea to try and involve others in the planning process!  Never try and do everything yourself if you don't have to.  Ask yourselves questions like:  How many guests will you be inviting?  Will you pay for everything yourselves or will you have the help of sponsors/padrinos?  Will you stay in town or go on a cruise?   

*Mom-  Don't be afraid to hire quinceanera planners in Houston.  They take the stress of planning a large party off of you!  But planning everything on your own can also be very rewarding.  Imagine sitting back with a margarita during the reception and thinking, "I did this!  I planned all this for my little girl."  I bet another margarita will never taste as good as that one!  





2.  Choosing the Date (12-18 Months Before)


Houston Quinceanera Calendar


Quinceaneras usually celebrate their birthday on a Saturday.  Most weddings are on Saturdays too.  Plan ahead so you don't have to worry about your reception hall or photographer being booked by someone else.  Look on your calendar and find the Saturday closest to your daughter’s birthday or the one that best fits the family's schedule. 

*Now is a good time to discuss different quinceanera themes with your daughter.  Make a list of 4 or 5 themes and have her choose 2 favorites.  Some ageless themes are Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, 80's, Snow White, Grease, Mardi Gras, and Alice in Wonderland.  Some of the more modern themes are Gangsters and Dolls, Rock Star, Caribbean, and New York.  Mention these popular themes to your daughter (or any others you think she might like).  Then give her some time to talk about it with her friends.  *Beware of buying pre-packaged quinceanera themes over the internet.  I have found that they are very cheap and are always smaller than you think.  They will not fill out a quinceanera hall!  Browse some of the quinceanera stores in Houston to get a better feel of what is out there.  Or get creative!  Do the decorating yourself, mom!  This can be lots of fun for you and your friends.  And you can save lots of money!


***Important!  Now is the right time to contact all potential sponsors/padrinos/padrinas.  Find out how involved they want to be in the planning process.  Do they want to pay for all of the party or just part of it?  Do they want to plan on their own or do they just want to cut you or the vendor a check?  Once you get a feel of your padrinos levels of commitment, you will have a better feel of your overall budget.  Then you can start reserving the more important components of a quince such as the party hall, the photographer, and the limo rental.





3.  Reserving Party Halls in Houston TX (12-18 Months Before)

Once you know the date, you should research quinceanera halls in Houston TX.  Quince halls can be a banquet hall, a hotel ballroom, party hall, civic center, or any other location suitable for the amount of guests you plan to invite.  You should know that these facilities book fast, especially in spring and fall due to Houston weddings.  Reserve early!  By reserving the reception hall a year in advance, you are assured of having the perfect banquet facility for your daughter’s quince.  Also, you should know that some Houston reception halls offer discounts for advance booking. 

Click here for tips on reserving a quinceanera hall...





Note:  When planning a quince años in Houston, many banquet halls will try to offer you a package deal.  This is ok sometimes, but you will often find that the 'house vendors' (DJ, photographer, videographer, cakes, chocolate fountains, decorations, etc) are not as professional or experienced as many of the outside vendors who perform these services for a living.  Yes, quinceañera packages do make it easier to plan, but beware that you might not get the quality of service you should expect for the amount of money you will be spending.  I always recommend that moms/padriños choose their own photographers, videographers, DJs, cakes, etc.  These are very important parts of the party and should be hired from a pool of professionals who always take pride in their work.





4.  Reserve Your Church For The Ceremony (10 Months Before)


Houston Quinceanera Church


Check the date with your pastor/priest for the ceremony to ensure his (and your church’s) availability.  The ceremony usually lasts around 30-40 minutes.  Once you have a church and a reception hall booked, you can focus on fun stuff like decorations, cakes, and quince dresses!














5.  Choose a Quinceanera Photograher and Videographer  (10+ Months Before)


Quinceanera Photography



*Houston photographers and videographers should be reserved well in advance.  If you truly want to remember your daughter's quince as the best day in her young life, I suggest you carefully choose your quinceanera photographer because, in the many years to come, you will want to look back and remember everything about this special day.  The best way to remember all those priceless details is to have a great photographer who knows how to take fantastic, professional pictures. 

*I strongly recommend hiring a photographer instead of taking your own pictures.  Professional quinceanera photographers in Houston know how to turn the smallest moments into magical dreams.  Just look at their portfolios!  Family members armed with their personal cameras do not.  After the quinceanera is over, you and your daughter deserve to look back on her special day and say, “I’m so glad we used a professional.  These pictures make everyone look so good.”









6.  Choosing a Court of Honor (Damas y Chambelan/Escorte) (7-8 Months Before)


Houston Tuxedo Rental


Deciding on the Court of Honor is the next step.  Your daughter will need an escort and a court of girls and guys to dance with her.  *Important:  Picking out boyfriends as partners can be risky.  What if they break up before the big day?  (This happens all the time!)  It leaves someone without a partner to dance with.  If you do choose to include boyfriends, make sure you have a backup plan if they break up.  Cousins, brothers, etc. 

The safest bet is to pick out really good friends who can commit to the court of honor.  Be aware that damas should be able to purchase a Houston damas dress package ranging from $100-$150 in price.  For the guys, a tuxedo rental normally ranges from $100-125 depending on Houston tuxedo rental locations.  There are plenty of reasonably priced tuxedo stores in and around Houston TX. 

Choosing the court of honor colors mostly depends upon what the girls and guys decide they can afford according to the colors matching the quinceanera dress.  For damas and chambelanes, you will probably want a color different than your daughter’s dress because she is the princess for that special day and needs to stand out more than anyone else!  Click here for tips on selecting damas dresses




Remember that hiring chambelanes is a smart option if you are unsure if your daughter's friends/boyfriends will be able to fulfill the responsibilities of a chambelan. 




7.  Quinceanera Dresses in Houston TX  (6-7 Months Before)

Quinceanera Dresses


The quinceanera dress is the biggest decision you and your daughter will make throughout the planning process.  (Be sure to start this process early, as there will be alterations).  Houston quinceanera dresses come in many different colors and styles.  Picking the right color will set the tone for your decoration colors.  Visit different dressmakers and have your daughter try on different types to see what looks best on her (and what design she feels most comfortable in).  Once you find the right dress, order it or put down a deposit if they offer payments or layaway.

Note:  Most vendors will work with you on financing so don’t be afraid to ask!  Also, beware of ordering a dress online.  You don't know what you are getting.  Dress stores in Houston TX are the best way to buy a quinceanera dress because you get to try so many different styles on!







Quinceanera Djs in Houston TX


DJ/Music/Entertainment will be another big decision. The Master of Ceremonies (MC) plays a large part in the overall success of a Quinceanera.  Be sure you hire one that can keep the energy flowing.  Does your daughter want both a DJ and a mariachi band?  Both have benefits.   Just remember, you will want a dj and a band that can offer several different types of music so that all guests can have the chance to get up and dance.   Nowadays, many girls choose to have both a DJ and a band.  Padrinos and the older crowd love the live, traditional music.  The younger groups prefer a DJ.







9.  Invitations and Guest Book (6-7 Months)


Houston Quince Invitations


Purchase/order your quinceanera invitations and contact a calligrapher if needed.  Be sure to order plenty of extra envelopes for RSVP.  Send out invitations as soon as possible.  (Catering and decorations/favors depend on the final number.)  A nice guest book and a nice pen are always good ideas.  Guests appreciate this.  Plus, this is another way for you and your daughter to remember everyone that came to her Quinceanera.  (It is also neat to keep the guest book and look at it years later.  The memories will come flooding back!)










10.  Houston Limo Rentals (6-7 Months Before)


Houston Limo RentalsIf your daughter wants to rent an extra-special limousine for her quinceanera, they should be booked at least 5-6 months in advance because the big limousines and party buses book fast.  There are plenty of limos, but the super-stretch Hummer limos in Houston book especially fast so I recommend doing this at least 6 months before the date.  Remember, you will be competing with other quinceaneras and weddings for the best limo rentals in Houston TX.  If you start planning early, it might be wise to call and book a limo as soon as you know what your daughter's theme will be and how many will be in her court.  This is another area where it pays to book early!  Some Houston Limo Rentals offer discounts if you book far in advance.  


Click Here for Houston Limo Rentals





11.  Quinceanera Cakes in Houston  (3-4 Months Before)

Quinceanera CakesQuinceanera CakesQuinceanera Cakes

Yummy!  This is one of my favorite parts!  Choosing quinceanera cakes in Houston is always fun because you get to visit different bakeries and sample all of their cakes.  So be ready to eat!  Choosing a cake can also be a great bonding experience with your daughter so be sure to make enough time to get around to at least three bakeries. Also, be sure to know how many guests you are going to have, as this will determine your cake size.  Check with your favorite Houston bakeries to find more out about costs and flavors.  Click here for tips on selecting quinceanera cakes in Houston.







12.  Food/Catering  (3-4 Months Before)


Houston Caterers


Food is one of the most important parts of a Houston Quinceanera.  If you have good food, your guests will be sure to have a great time.  Do you want to be known as the quinceanera with the bad food?  Neither would I!  The best thing to do for food is to cater (Padrinos like to help with this).  And trust me, Houston catering companies will save you from potential disaster and allow you to enjoy the quinceanera without always having to worry about the food.  Some caterers may give discounts for ordering in advance.  Also, chocolate fountain rentals in Houston should be reserved at this time.









13. Decorations/Party Favors/Candies (2-3 Months Before)


Quince decorations and Favors Houston


Decorations and party favors define a successful quince anos party.  Whether your daughter chooses a traditional or modern theme, the details are what guests remember most.  Special chocolates, floral arrangements, and personalized candies are always a nice touch.  Plus, they make the quinceanera herself feel extra-special!  Take a Saturday afternoon and go to several Houston quince stores for new ideas.   And remember, you want to make your daughter's Quinceanera different from everyone else’s!  Be original.  Don’t be afraid to have fun with the decorations and candies!










14.  Hire a Houston Choreographer (2-4 Months Before)

Quinceanera Choreography Houston


Hiring a Quinceañera choreographer is always a good idea!  Well-choreographed dances and waltzes add class and sophistication to a quince.  Plus, they are usually the highlight of any quince.  By hiring a quince choreographer 2-3 months in advance, you assure your daughter and her court (or her hired dancers) enough time to practice difficult steps.  Check out the video below to see professional examples...











15.  Florists (2 Months Before)


Quinceanera Flowers Houston


In Houston, floral arrangements are becoming an important part of a quince anos party.  A fresh, colorful floral arrangement right above the guestbook is always a good idea (it leaves a good impression on guests.)  Tables should also have small arangements on each of them along with personalized candies.  Fresh flowers are a great way to make guests feel festive and appreciated.  Talk with a Houston florist for some original ideas! 









16.  Checklist of Ceremonial Gifts Given to the Quinceanera (2 Months Before)


Quince Doll Houston


Make a checklist of items such as the Bible, ring, necklace, earrings, watch or bracelet, tiara, satin pillow (to kneel on when getting her crown), and doll. Make a short checklist of these traditional gifts and ask the most important family and friends to your daughter to see if they want to buy and present them to her during the quinceanera ceremony. 








17.  Make appointments for hair and makeup (2 Months Before)



*Important  Be sure your hair stylists and nail stylists are available on that Saturday morning.  Nothing looks better than a professional hair and make-up job.  Hair is one of the most important parts of your daughter’s look.  Make sure her chosen style complements her dress.







Quinceanera In Houston


OK.  Below is a quick planning checklist.  Use this as a reference tool so you don't have to scroll through everything above.  Also remember that the 6-month point is an important milestone. If you complete all the major tasks at least 6 months before, you are way ahead of schedule.  The rest of the planning should be fairly straight-forward. 






OK.  Now that we have covered the bigger parts, let’s go into a little more detail.  As the date approaches you will want to be sure the following have been done...


2 Months Before


  • Make sure there is enough parking.  Will additional limo rentals or transportation service be needed?
  • Confirm the reservations of out-of-town guests.
  • Order additional liquor/wine/champagne if they're not included in your catering contract.


1 Month Before


  • Make sure all quinceanera dress alterations have been taken care of.  This includes any possible alterations for damas dresses, damitas, and chambelanes.  All final fittings should be done at least two weeks in advance in case something is wrong.
  • Call or meet with your church official to go over Quinceanera timing and final details.
  • Schedule your family portrait.  This day is very important for all of you!

2 Weeks Before


  • Call the reception hall manager to make sure vendors have access when they need it.
  • Give the final head count to the caterer and re-confirm set-up instructions and menu items.
  • Do the same with the baker or schedule a pick-up time for your quinceanera cake and pastries.
  • Call all the guests who haven't RSVP'd for the Quinceanera.  Don’t be afraid to do this!  You need a final head count!
  • Finalize your seating chart. Buy all the materials for and make place cards or give typed names to the calligrapher to avoid misspellings.
  • Confirm delivery locations, times, and final arrangement count with florist.
  • Prepare your toasts or thanks to friends, family, and padrinos.
  • Give your Houston limo company a schedule and exact addresses for pickups on the Quinceanera day.
  • Confirm final payment amounts with all your vendors.
  • Confirm location, date, and time with quinceanera photographer and videographer.  Re-confirm everything you would like done, including special, must-have pictures and poses.
  • Make sure the chambelanes have picked up their tuxedos and formalwear and had their final fittings.
  • Call your choreographer (if you have one) and have a final dance practice to make sure everyone's got their moves down pat.

The Day Before


The Special Day


  • Confirm with those family/friends/padrinos who you expect to give toasts at the event.
  • Take a deep breath and sit your daughter down to tell her daughter how much you love her.
  • Relax, smile, and enjoy the day!  It only happens once!  Your baby girl is becoming a woman!