Although the coronavirus pandemic pressed pause on large gatherings, E! News found a few families who found creative and special ways to celebrate a Quinceañera.
A birthday milestone is always worth celebrating.
After the coronavirus pandemic put an end to large gatherings, many special events like weddings, graduations and vacations were dramatically changed. But time and time again, people across the country found ways to celebrate major milestones with a whole lot of heart and creativity.
It certainly was the case for many who wanted to mark their Quinceañera amid COVID-19. While a huge party filled with hundreds of guests wasn't possible, families stepped up to create unforgettable experiences.
"We've had to come up with new ideas and ways to celebrate safely," celebrity event planner Michelle Yang shared with E! News. "Throughout these past few months, drive-by celebrations have been on the rise. But recently, we've been able to expand to in-person events that entail safety precautions. We've designed custom face masks, included fun and creative sanitizing stations. Caterers have implemented creative ways to display, present and distribute food in cautious manner. We've also been able to offer group COVID testing prior to events, which allow for all guests to feel safe."
Before National Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, E! News wanted to celebrate 10 teens who turned their Quinceañeras into a day they will cherish long after COVID-19 is over.
While the guest list, venue and photo shoot may have been different from what they first imagined, each of these young adults and their families proved that all you need is love.
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"Since the pandemic placed a halt on her already planned Quinceañera event, which was going to be held in a large dance hall in Laredo, Texas on Sept. 19, 2020 with over 350 guests, her family didn't want her special day to be another pandemic postponed victim. We quickly planned a not so traditional-traditional Quinceañera drive-by parade in a local parking lot. After waving, honking and shouting well wishes, over 40 cars circled around Jesabel and her father as they danced their very special father daughter dance and they looked on as she received her ultima muneca. Small favors were handed out to our guests so they could always remember this special day." —Jesabel's family
"A Quinceañera is a celebration of a girl's 15th birthday. Amanda is our only daughter and we waited so long for this day. Since she was a little girl, like any young girl she dreamed of the day when she would put on a poofy dress and wear a tiara and be celebrated and showered with love with all of our family and friends.
Unfortunately this pandemic took that away from us. Dad and I wanted to make sure we gave her a photoshoot so she can still experience the dress, makeup and hair, and so we had photos of this milestone to cherish forever." —Amanda's mom Maria D. Ortega
"In my opinion, it was important to celebrate [my Quinceañera] even with everything going on because this is exactly the time I turn 15 so it just wouldn't be the same to do it until after everything going on because it probably wouldn't be a 15 anymore." —Anlle
"The reason I enjoy capturing these special memories for my clients is because over time, I have realized how special an image is. It might not seem too important at the beginning, but I know how much they mean when it's all you have left. It's also always so great being able to remember such an important part of your life by reliving them through the images that were captured." —Daisy's photographer Emmanuel Alaniz
"What made my Quinceañera so special was having my favorite people surround and celebrate me. I loved all the decorations and we made the most of it having my party home. I was really surprised when my Big Brothers Big Sister Mentor Angie Guidry gifted me with a custom Quinceañera banner and Sassy Sash with my name on it. Pushing all the furniture out of the living room and dancing with everyone was my highlight of the night." —Ximena
"A Quinceañera is a very special tradition in our culture. But since the pandemic happened, we unfortunately had to cancel mine. On May 30th I had a surprise drive-by party! Family members and friends drove by dropping gifts and birthday wishes. Every car was decorated and had sweet birthday wishes written on the windows! This made me feel very special because it reminded me of how blessed I am to have friends and family that truly love and care for me!" —Suzy
"My Quinceañera has always been something I looked forward to since I was a little girl in my princess heels. When my '15' was postponed, it was devastating, but things always happen for a reason! I still got to celebrate with my loved ones and I got to get some pictures! Everyone showered me with special messages throughout the day! They still made the day special considering the factors. I am looking forward to hopefully celebrating the way I dreamed of soon!" —Giselle
"Even though it wasn't the 15th birthday i planned, it was still great because i spent it with my best friend and family and that's all that matters." —Mia
"Happy 15th Birthday Susie. You have grown to a smart, beautiful and kind hearted young lady. This year means a lot for you because it is when you stop being a little girl and begin your journey as a young lady but in tios and I eyes, you still that little girl. Know that we love and are proud of you." —Susie's aunt Barbara Ponce
"We usually have her birthday parties with her group of friends and extended family but she couldn't this year with the pandemic going on. Her dad and I wanted her to feel extra special for her quinceañera and celebrate this important milestone in her life. Even though she couldn't have her friends and extended family in person to celebrate with her, we wanted her to have a memorable birthday with extra decor, a tiara and a dress for her special day." —Ciara's mom Christy K
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