I’m super excited to share something a little different today on Little B – the beautiful Erica’s Quinceañera. A colourful, tropical-inspired celebration for her 15th birthday, it’s all palm leaves, pineapples and pink and gold spray paint – SO MUCH FUN!!! Held at the Double Tree Hilton in London’s Docklands, the pretty colours were a fab contrast against the grey cityscape of Canary Wharf. The action was captured by photographer Sarah Hannam, and Mum, Ana, explains below why this is such an important part of any Latina girl’s childhood….
A Quinceañera party – pronounced ‘kinse-anera’- is a traditional event in most Latin American countries and is a very important event in a Latina girls life. Her 15th birthday is celebrated with a coming of age party, a little like a debutante ball, sweet sixteen and prom rolled into one. Historically, this was the age when a girl transitioned into womanhood and they were shown to be of marrying age.
The Quinceañera traditionally started with a religious mass, followed by a party in the birthday girl’s honour. Of course now the girls are no longer married off, but the tradition of a party to celebrate the 15th continues and is usually when a young girl can maybe start wearing a little make up and start to go out on dates so for them it is a Big Deal! Known as her ‘Quince’ for short, she gets to be a Princess for the day with hair, make up and a beautiful big dress!
The birthday birl, her chosen lead partner and her court – which usually consists of a further 6 couples – see her into her party to be greeted by all her guests and do a traditional waltz. This is followed by the father of the birthday girl changing her shoes from her flats to her first pair of heels, and this is then followed by a father/daughter dance. Then the party gets going and the birthday girl and her court get to show off the dance moves they’ve been practicing in the the lead up to the party, with some then doing a surprise dance later in the evening for extra entertainment for the guests. Usually this is a salsa, bachata or merengue to show off their dance skills, because as we all know Latinos love to move on the dance floor!
- Photography: Sarah Hannam
- Styling (Dessert Table): Styled by Louise
- Coral Prom Dress: Prom Royalty
- Short Prom Dress: Mori Lee
- Bow Ties & Grey Suspenders: Sweet & Swag
- Girls Dresses: Boohoo
- Makeup: Ana Ospina
- Hair: Ana Ospina & Emily Ospina
- Venue & Catering: Doubletree by Hilton Docklands Riverside
- Ombre Cakes: Harrods Food Hall
- Cupcakes: Rebecca's Cakes
- Cake Toppers: Miss Cake
- Table Plan: Emily Ospina
- Linens, Sweet Jars and Scoops: The Sweet Hostess
- Instagram Frame: InstaFrame