Honor Escort: Generally a brother, cousin, friend,
an uncle or even the father of the quinceañera.
The Honor Escort accompanies the quinceañera
throughout the ceremony and festivities.
The Court of Honor: Although traditionally
it has been fourteen girls and fourteen boys (representing
a year of the quinceañera's life), seven
couples is more common today. The Court of Honor
supports the quinceañera by standing with
her during the ceremony. They consist of friends
and family closest to her age and dearest to her
heart. Sometimes the court includes flower girls
who sprinkle the quinceañera's path with
Sponsors (also known as Padrinos): This custom
is a blend of Mexican-American tradition. It is
designed to spread the economic burden of the party
among the extended family and close family friends.
Each sponsor donates cash or buys a specific element
of the celebration, such as drinks, cake, napkins,
flowers, etc. as a present to the quinceañera.
Religious Celebration: A church service,
mass or simple blessing. In each country it is different.
For example, in Cuba families do not have a church
service; Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Central
Americans almost always have a church service. Puerto
Rican quinceañeras traditionally have a blessing
of all the accessories (rosary, shoes, Bible, prayer
book, etc.) during the reception. After this blessing,
the mother of the quinceañera places a crown
on the her head and her father changes her shoes
from flats to heels, signifying the change from
childhood to young womanhood.
Reception: Generally following the ceremony,
this is the main party with food, drink and music.
It can be arranged around a particular theme, such
as Cinderella, Hollywood, flowers, colors, or any
favorite thing of the quinceañera. The reception
almost always includes the following:
of the Court of Honor: Each name
of the Court of Honor is announced as they enter
into the reception. This is similar to the announcement
of a bridal party at a wedding and is generally
done by the Master or Mistress of Ceremony, DJ,
of the Quinceañera: In some
cultures this is a very dramatic, almost
theatrical moment. In Puerto Rico, the girls walk
in on the arm of their Honor Escort to a white peacock
chair, where she sits and is crowned and her shoes
are changed from flats heels. One Mexican American
quinceañera made her arrival on an oversized
star which was lowered from the ceiling to the stage.
One of the highlights of the reception, this is
a very special moment, and is usually practiced
months preceding the actual day of the quinceañera.
In most cultures, the quinceañera starts
dancing (usually to a waltz) with her father. She
continues to dance with her father into the second
song as her Honor escort dances with her mother.
Halfway through the second song, they switch so
her escort is dancing with her and her mother is
dancing with her father. On the third song, the
Court of Honor joins in.
The father generally leads the toast, but it can
be done by the master or mistress of ceremony, bandleader
or Honor Escort.
The Thank You:
The parents of the quinceañera read a thank
you to the girl for turning out so beautifully and
also to God for bringing her to them and seeing
her through every day up to her quinceañera.
The girl then reads a thank you to her parents for
being there as well as for giving her the party,
the sponsors for their contributions and finally
to the guests for coming.