Planning a Quinceanera for your daughter is a tough job! To be honest, planning a Quinceanera is a lot like planning a wedding. Depending on the time of the year you could find yourself in Wedding and Prom season. During this time, it’s more difficult to find availability for venues, DJ’s and limos. After being involved with 100s of Quinceanera’s in Raleigh over the past few years, Lifestyle Limo has put together a guide to planning a Quinceanera in Raleigh. This guide is intended to help you plan this special day as stress-free as possible. We recommend getting started 1-2 years before the planned Quinceanera date. But if you don’t have time on your side, this guide can still help – we have tried to include trusted vendors to help speed things up.
NOTE: We’ve also made an easy-to-follow chronological timeline of tasks you can download here to keep you on track!
Getting Started: There are a few preliminary things that need to happen before you start planning a Quinceanera such as determining your budget and picking a date. These will be factors in nearly every decision you make, so it is important to start here. This is also a great time to choose a party theme as well as the main color scheme & style. Once you’ve decided on these details, you can begin looking at event spaces for the Quinceanera.
Choose Event Spaces
One of the first things you need to do to begin planning a Quinceneara is book event spaces such as the church, the reception site. The sooner you start this, the more availability and options you will have at your disposal.
Booking A Church
It is common for many people to book the church they belong to for the Quinceneara. When booking the church, don’t forget to book a rehearsal! The rehearsal serves as a walk-through for the Quinceanera, her court and family to ensure the special day goes perfect.
Booking A Quinceanera Reception Venue
In Raleigh, we are blessed with many great options for reception sites. Whether you’re looking for an elegant hall, a charming outdoor venue, or a smaller, more cost-effective space – we have it all! Here are some of our favorites:
- Chandelier Event Venue: a luxurious, elegant indoor venue in Cary, NC.
- Morris Peaceland Farm: a rustic 13-acre outdoor venue nestled in Raleigh, NC.
- Grand Marquise Ballroom: an elegant, vintage-style wedding venue located in Garner, North Carolina.
- Durham Convention Center: The Durham Convention Center provides a wide range of options to accommodate any event.
- Prestonwood Country Club: with 6,000 square feet of indoor space split between a large Grand Ballroom, and the more intimate Main Clubhouse – the Prestonwood Country Club is a great location for hosting a Quinceanera! Click the link above to take a virtual tour of both facilities!
- Bay 7: Formerly a tobacco warehouse, Bay 7 is an urban-chic venue with up to 10,000 square feet of space!
If it is a smaller event, other popular choices include Lions Club, BFW, and the Wake County Shrine Club. Once you have your event space booked, ensure you cover any rental services needed for the reception. This includes things like a tent, chairs, tables, etc. (if they are not provided by the event space you’ve booked.)
Select A Quinceanera Dress
Selecting the dress is one of the most exciting parts of the planning process. You want to make sure your girl feels like a princess, so it’s important to start early. This will give you time to find the perfect dress. After all, you need to strike a balance between color, style, cost, and of course, the fit! That’s no easy task!
Don’t forget, once you choose a quinceanera dress, you also need to choose and order the damas dresses and accessories as well as the chambelanes formal wear.
Choose Quinceanera Vendors
Selecting experienced vendors will ensure that the event goes smoothly, and minimizes the chance for last-minute problems. Luckily, Raleigh is blessed with a TON of fantastic Quinceanera vendors to choose from!
Event Catering/Bakery: If the venue you select does not have in-house catering it’s your responsibility to find a suitable vendor for the event. One of our favorite catering companies in Raleigh is Fluent N’ Food Catering. You can see how amazing their food looks by visiting their Instagram page!
In addition to the main food selection, it is customary to have a cake at the Quinceanera. If your caterer is not arranging the cake for you, you will need to find a local bakery to make it for you.
Photographers: This day goes by in a flash, so you want to make sure someone is there to capture every special moment! Some experienced Quinceanera photographers we work with regularly are Robelo Photography and September Photos Photography.
PRO-TIP: We also recommend giving your photographer a list of specific shots you’d like taken to ensure nothing gets missed!
Transportation: On the big day, you need to ensure the Quinceanera, her court of honor and family, have transportation from the church to the reception. Choosing the right limo, and limousine company is important to ensure a stylish, on-time arrival. Lifestyle Limo and Raleigh Dream Limos are the top-rated Quinceanera limo service in Raleigh, and have many limos like the Cadillac Escalade and Yukon Denali plus party buses to choose from to fit any style and budget!
Florists: Dressing up the venue to add a touch of your Quinceanera’s personal style is a must! One way to do this is with the flower selection. Let your florist know the color, and style choices you’ve made so they can customize some options for you to review that match your theme! The most experienced quinceanera florist we’ve worked with is Genesis Eventos Florales.
Balloons: Balloons are another great way to decorate your quinceanera. They can be used to dress up an entranceway, line a dance floor and/or act as a backdrop for photos. Our favorite spot for unique balloons & decorations in Raleigh is Amazing Balloons.
Entertainment: Whether you’re booking a mariachi, DJ or band you want to choose this in advance – the good ones book up early!
Hair & Make-Up: Last but certainly not least is booking your hair and make-up appointments to ensure your daughter feels like a star at her Quince! Three great stylists in the Raleigh area are Perfectly Posh, Stylin with Maria, Jessia Hairmua
Planner: If all this planning is already making your head spin, you can also look into hiring a planner to help assist you in the process. I work with Yanett Salinas regularly, and as an added bonus she is also available to MC events!
PRO-TIP: Touch base with all vendors around the 3-month mark to go over any details.
The Guest List
We recommend starting to make the preliminary guest list at least 1 year in advance. Once you have a rough idea of the number of guests you will be inviting, follow up with choosing and ordering your Quinceneara invitations. Finalize the guest list around the 4-month mark so when you arrive at the 3-month mark you will be prepared to begin addressing invitations to be sent out around 60 days before the Quinceanera.
One to two weeks before the Quinceanera` set a reminder to check in with any guests who have not responded. Once you have a final count, confirm your guest total with the caterer and review final food & beverage selections. Then you can prepare a reception seating chart and/or place cards.
Special Guests: On top of your general guests, you also need to narrow down a list of potential escort, damas and chambelanes as well as decide on sponsors/padrinos!
The ceremony is one of the most important parts of the Quinceanera. We recommend meeting with the officiant roughly 6-9 months in advance to discuss the Quinceanera ceremony and your preferences.
PRO-TIP: We recommend drafting a ceremony and reception outline to ensure everyone involved has a clear vision for how the special day will go.
You’re almost there! The final steps happen in the last month before the Quinceanera. This part will seem easy after everything else you’ve accomplished! The only things left to do at this point should be:
- purchasing gifts for the court of honor
- Ensuring any last-minute alterations to dress are complete.
- Make sure any of the out of town guests have travel arrangements made
And that’s it! If you’ve made it through this Quinceanera planning guide, you now have a list of vendors, as well as a checklist to everything that needs to get done! Last but not least, remember to have fun! This is your little girl’s big day, don’t let any small hiccups in the day get in the way of you enjoying it.