Quinceañera Part 3

Quinceañeras have a standard order of events that seem to be the same in most countries. There are differences, of course, depending on the culture and wealth of the families involved. For example, in the United States, the girl is often brought to the party using a limousine service with her father. They will make a grand entrance while music plays, often live. Family and friends will present the father with flowers. However, in Argentina, the girl will often arrive by horse drawn carriage, accompanied by her father and several older relatives before making a grand entrance.

The ball is customarily divided into 12 sections, in between which various courses of food are offered to the guests. Sometimes, these are more formal courses and are offered in a dinner setting, other times, the food is offered in a buffet style setting.

The standard order of events is:

  1. Arrival and Entrance
  1. Father Daughter Waltz
  1. First course
  1. Second dance
  1. Main Meal
  1. Desserts and Sweets
  1. Video playback of the event
  1. 15-Candle ceremony
  1. Third dance
  1. Toast and Cake Cutting
  1. Charm Ribbons and gifts
  1. Last Dance


The Ceremony of 15 candles is a special ceremony in which fifteen people that the girl considers most influential, such as grandparents, parents, uncles, teachers, cousins and priests, are honored. There is almost always a speech accompanied by 15 candles that she hands to each of the individuals she has chosen to honor, starting with her mother. In the event that her mother has passed away, a close female relative is chosen to be a stand in for her mother. Each of the candles represents a special memory or moment she shares with the individual.

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