Monday, August 12, 2013

Tips for a Stress-free Quince

By Rachel Jackson

Adding “plan my quinceañera” to a to-do list as a 15-year-old right along with “study for chemistry” and “get a driving permit” might be a little overwhelming.  From the months of planning to day-of details, here are some tips to make your day a stress-free and spectacular affair.

Time flies: start planning early

Across the board, the number one piece of advice to future Quinceañeras is to start planning early. According to Isabella Wall, the self-proclaimed “Fairy Godmother to Quinceañeras,” planning should start up to a year before the big event.  “Booking the venue a year in advanced really helped reduce our stress” says Carmen Valles, a mom who helped her daughter, Crystal Valles, plan her quinceañera back in 2006. Giving yourself at least six months in advance to get invitations, food, decorations, and choreography ready will do wonders to reduce your stress level.

Help is here! Involve family and friends in planning

"I delegated the tasks," says Carmen on ways she asked for help. “My sister did the decorations, my sister-in-law did the centerpieces, and I made the cake." Getting family and friends involved in the planning is a great way to make memories, save money, and have the most important people in your life put their fingerprints on your quinceañera.

Go green to save green: make easy, do-it-yourself decorations

Some families hire event planners to handle all the dirty details from food to decorations. For economical Quinceañeras interested in a fantastic day without breaking the bank, DIY is for you! Websites like have imaginative decoration ideas that can easily be adapted to your quince theme. Carmen and Crystal, one dynamic mother-daughter quince planning team, handmade their centerpieces out of clay.  Though Carmen said it took some time, the decorations looked great and their family saved money.

Just ask: give people the opportunity to help you

Crystal advises future Quinceañeras to practice their choreography and grand entrance in the venue the night before the reception to calm nerves and get the court comfortable in the space. Though this might be hard to do, don’t be afraid to ask the venue managers if you can use the space to practice for an hour anytime the week before the party. The same goes for invitations, food, and cakes – don’t be afraid to ask for discounts, special offers, and specific designs. The worst they can say is no, so ask away!

Honesty is the best policy: speak your mind

The best way to keep stress under control is to be honest about what you want.  Of any day, this is the day to wear what you want, eat what you want, and look the way you want.  Be clear and kind when you give your opinion and don’t forget to remind the people helping you, from the baker to the florist, how thankful you are for their time and help!

Hasta luego ego: don’t let pride ruin your big day!

Even though your quinceañera is all about celebrating you, don’t let your ego cause unneeded stress. Sometimes little things, like whether the appetizers should be salmon or shrimp, don’t matter in the long run. Choose your battles and embrace flexibility.

Paparazzi, paparazzi: take more pictures than you think you should

Quince fun never has to end thanks to pictures and video, but not taking enough can cause after-quince stress.  “I regret not asking more people to take pictures at my quinceañera,” says Crystal.  Often Quinceañeras take professional photos before the event and hire photographers to take candid shots during the reception.  Crystal advises Quinceañeras to enlist friends and family to take pictures throughout the night in addition to the professional shots. Crystal says, the more pictures the better.

Family first: make time for the people you care about most

The most stressful part of a quinceañera can be the reception, when every cousin is trying to hug you and every aunt wants ten pictures with you. Crystal says that the most exhausting part of her quince was going back and forth saying hi to every guest and every family member. Remember that family, and the friends that are basically family, are the people that make this celebration possible and memorable, so expect to spend a big chunk of time with them.

Keep calm and quince on – even if everything seems like its going wrong

Whenever you find yourself stressed and with too many things on your 15-year-old plate, take a deep breath and ask for help.  Remember that what makes a quinceañera perfect are not the flowers or the chair decorations but spending time with people that have watched you grow-up and want to celebrate 15 beautiful years with you. It might be cheesy, but if you remember to be thankful and to enjoy the process, you will have a stress-free quinceañera fit for the history books.

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