Forget prom dresses — Quinceañera dresses are the ultimate wedding dress

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House of Wu purple dress -- I call this dress "Complete Overkill"
House of Wu purple dress — I call this dress “Complete Overkill”

A couple years ago I wrote a post about how prom dresses make daring wedding gowns, and it's still true: they do. But if you're into some KUHRAZY colorful froof, it's really Quinceañera dresses that you should be stalking. Because, UH. MAH. GAH. Those 15 year old Latinas know their colorful froof, let me tell you!

For those of you unversed in American Latina culture, Quinceañera is a girl's 15th birthday party and coming of age celebration. These parties are often a super big deal and not unlike a mini-wedding, complete with religious traditions, flowers, a reception, big dress, etc.

And those big dresses? HOLY SHIT those big dresses… If you're thinking of a sleek modern gown or something eco-friendly and simple, Quinceañera dresses are your worst nightmare. We're talking massive hoop skirts, bright colors, rhinestones, layers upon layers of ruffles, and fancy silver embroidery, and sometimes even glitter. Understated these things are NOT.

I've never been a fan of froof, but these dresses have helped me realize that it's not that I don't like froof — it's the WHITE froof has never really done it for me. Rainbow froof, meanwhile? Mm. Kinda love. I've seen Quinceañera dresses that would be perfect for fantasy weddings, goth weddings, fairy weddings, and just plain ol' crazy colorful weddings.


Like, wouldn't this be the CUTEST lesbian wedding photo ever?

lesbian wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

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Comments on Forget prom dresses — Quinceañera dresses are the ultimate wedding dress

  1. The other great part about the Quinceanera dresses is that they’re much cheaper than wedding dresses, but often made of the exact same material! A friend of mine found a big, poofy (and white!) Quinceanera dress that she wanted to use as her bridal gown, and it was priced at like $470, whereas if she’d bought a similar dress at David’s Bridal, it would have cost her around a thousand dollars.

    • that is a gorgeous dress. I’m not the big ballgown kind of girl, but that gold and white is awfully nice.

        • The other great thing about Quinceanera dresses is that, more often than not, the corset bodice separates from the dress skirt, and you can wear it separately after the wedding!

          We all know how much OBBs love re-wearing their dresess…

  2. If it wasn’t for the fact ‘Not Huge’ was right up there with ‘Not White’ as the primary requirements for my dress I’d seriously consider one of these, they look fantastic.

    Although I’m not sure how easy they are to get in the UK, we don’t have much of a latino population over here.

  3. I have been trying on Quinceañera dresses and they are perfect for my body type, but I want something shorter to dance in. I just don’t think I’ll be able to dance (FH and I do swing) in a 20lb dress esp in Texas heat.

  4. OMG I would have loved to wear something like this! Thanks for introducing me to a new love!

  5. I agree with Cortney, Prom/Quinceañera dresses are way more cheaper and are made of the same material as wedding dresses. There are only more expensive because they slap the label of a wedding dress in it. My wedding dress is a prom dress and bought it for $100CND at a place called Le Chateau. It is Black with a little bit of white. These dresses that you have posted Ariel are super aweseome colors 🙂

    • haha I keep saying that if I can’t finish my dress on time I’ll just grab something cheap from Le Chateau. Go you!!!!!

  6. My wedding gown (which is a black lace mermaid style) is actually an “informal” Quinceañera gown that I got for such a bargain (around $400). It was also a great find since I am short (only 5’3″).

  7. I think Ive seen a few wedding dresses that must be Quinceañera inspired. I’m in Australia, so not really familiar with Latin culture, so thank you!

  8. OMG! I was so happy to see this post, I’m going to have two pink poofy flower girls (they are 25 and 26 years old) and they are both wearing Quinceañera dresses 🙂

    It’s gonna be amazing!

  9. OMG… at my Quinceanera Everyone thought it was a wedding. LOL! But my dress did rock.

  10. You know what that reminds me of? I live in Japan, and the wedding industry here is ridiculous–in all senses of the word, positive and negative. Japanese brides often go through three ensembles when getting married. First, the wedding kimono (often rented, as they cost a mint); second, a Western wedding gown; and third, another gown for the reception. The reception gowns are where it gets froofy. They like them big and fluffy with all the bells and whistles. The quinceanera gown at the top of this page would be a contender. There’s one in a little bridal shop near my apartment that’s black and pink with silver thread, fabric flowers, ribbons, bows and miles of tulle ruffles. Overkill, indeed!

  11. What perfect timing! I just started planning my wedding, and quickly realized that finding the kind of unique dress I was looking for was going to be a bigger challenge than I originally thought. I found a google image of a STUNNING black and white dress that I couldn’t get out of my head. I did some research and found that the dress is unattainable…it’s veeeery expensive and from a discontinued line. I ended up finding a quinceanera dress that looks very similar for $500, and am having it altered to match my dream dress. I too, found that traditional bridal gowns were very over priced, and that the quinceanera dresses were actually more beautiful.
    It really is amazing (and sad), that for an industry as large, profitable, and competitive as the bridal market is, that there is little selection all across the board.

  12. You’re right; it’s not my cup of tea, haha.
    But if I went to a wedding and the bride came down in one of these, I would just have to cheer at the top of my lungs.

  13. Similar dresses like these are sold in local dress shops like Debs but only at prom seasons. You probably will find them online in other stores besides marysbridal. I was thinking of wearing something like this but it would not look good on me being plus size gal. But yes I agree it would make a killer wedding dress….

    • I actually have a warning as far as using Deb. I’ve used Deb for a few semiformal dresses and their quality is terrible. For the quality they provide their dresses are terribly overpriced. I suggest going to a more specialized prom dress shop in advance (or wait till right after prom season to get good deals). Especially if you want something with sparkle – I got a dress witb a little sparkle for a dance one time, and at the end of the night I looked like a disco ball threw up all over my skin.

  14. Haha, you’ve just taken me back to Junior high. I never had a Quinces but I danced in one in years ago lol. (The girl having the Quinces had about 10 couples dancing, and they announce her and she comes in ect.) It was so bad it was awesome. Full banquet hall and all. It’s a big thing here in Miami, or was. I do think her dress was a soft pink though.


  15. !!! Just when I’d managed to convince myself that my dress wasn’t too OTT, I came across MY DRESS in the Quinceanera Store… and for 1/4 the price!! (Although I’m sure it’s a cheap knock-off)

  16. If you like the Quinceanera but find it a little too out there, try Allure Quinceanera – still ball-gowny but not as big and froofy. Living in Australia I couldn’t get one butI have a dressmaker modelling my dress on a couple of them. Fingers crossed! 🙂

  17. See, I don’t know if a skinny white girl can pull that dress off. Those dresses almost demand a certain busty Latina attitude. I love it, but I think I would definitely be posing! How I used to love gazing at those outrageous dresses in the shop windows when I lived in San Francisco.

    • I’m a skinny white chick and I totally wore a Quince dress for my wedding last week. I loved it for it’s layers, original look, and it’s kick-butt pale blue color. And the price tag wasn’t half-bad either!

  18. I love Quinceanera dresses! I’ve been looking at them for a fairy costume since I’m already married just to have an excuse to wear one! I’m such a dork. 😉

  19. I considered one of these for my wedding dress. Still not 100% sure what I am doing yet, but I am super glad I am not the only one who looked at these. Heck yes!

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