My niece’s 15th birthday was an occasion the whole family was looking forward to. Conversations and plans had been thought about for years. So when the big day finally arrived, I was thrilled to be a part of it. Eva is very much a girly girl, and the party theme was a reflection of her age and what’s important to her right now. Her Quinceañera celebration was a “Cover Girl” extravaganza.
The invitation I received in the mail was printed on 5 ½ x 9 inch white cardstock. My niece’s name was printed at the top of the paper, a pretty pink flower below that, and then the event particulars. Vellum lay atop the stationary. It was half pink and half pink polka-dotted, with a square cut out so the flower on the invite stood out. My nieces name and the other printing was clearly visible through the vellum. It was a gorgeous party announcement. Also included was a small white card with pink polka dots that explained the celebration would continue at the local country club.
The religious service was heartfelt and honorable with scripture readings, renewal of baptismal vows, and a special prayer. There was also the presentation of 15 red roses and blessings given by the family. Eva wore a simple dress for the service and looked adorable.
The best part of the day arrived when guests started arriving at the country club for the birthday party. Partygoers congregated in a large hall until it was time to enter the grand ballroom. Bartenders were set up at each end of the hallway and servers with trays of stuffed mushrooms, mini cheeseburgers, chicken kabobs, and small spareribs, made their way around the area. Large posters of Eva on the cover of popular teen magazines sat on easels. There were also posters with pictures of Eva as a baby, child, and teenager on tables draped with white linens. On one of the tables were the place cards/party favors- tiny pink bags with handles that had a label with the guest’s name and table “name.” Instead of numbers, tables were assigned with different magazines such as McCall's, Cosmo, Seventeen, Vogue, Cosmo Girl, you get the idea. Inside each bag was a pink foil wrapped chocolate lipstick and nail polish bottle. On the other table were program books – the front announced Eva’s Quinceañera, the date, the name of the church and country club, and the names of Eva’s parents and religious officials. Inside was a welcome page with short letters to family and friends from Eva and her mom and dad; a page with a list of honors, including Eva’s “court”, her escort, her sponsors, and important family members; a page with a poem to Eva from her parents; and a page with a rundown of the evening’s festivities.
When the double doors to the ballroom were opened, the room inside was dimly lit and pink lights flickered from every table. Upon closer inspection, we found it was the water goblets glowing with an “ice cube” that was actually a small Lucite box with a tiny battery and glowing light inside. Tiny crystal-like pieces were inside the box to make it look more like an ice cube. Walking in with the whole room aglow was really something.
Everyone took their seats and the lights were raised. In the center of every table was a tall Lucite post with a frame at the top. Inside the frame was the magazine for which the table was named (Seventeen, Cosmo, etc.) but instead of a cover model on the front, it was Eva’s face transposed onto the cover girl. With everyone seated, the band started to play and Eva made a formal entrance, escorted by her father, onto the dance floor. She was wearing a beautiful pink ball gown that made her look like Cinderella. After she danced with her dad, her date took her hand and continued the dance. Afterwards, a speech of thanks was given by Eva to her family and then general dancing began with the traditional Quinceañera waltz.
The rest of the evening went beautifully with a delicious sit down dinner that included “surf and turf” (salmon and filet mignon) for the grown-ups and a buffet for the kids that offered Eva’s favorite foods – chicken quesadillas, shrimp scampi, garlic bread, and a salad bar. Partygoers kept the dance floor full and the band did a great job keeping the teenagers attention with games that included musical chairs and freeze dance.
Eva took time to visit every table and thanked guests for coming and helping her celebrate this milestone. A photographer followed her around, snapping candid and posed pictures by which to remember the occasion. And there was a booth set up at one end of the ballroom, taking pictures of kids and putting them on their own magazine cover – everything from glamour magazines to sporting publications (while this was very much a girly affair, there had to be something for the boys).
An exquisitely decorated multi-tiered cake was wheeled out for dessert. Everyone indulged and then it was time to call it a night. It was one of the best times I’d ever had and I could tell by the smile on Eva’s face, it was the highlight of her 15 years.