Figuring out what to write in a quinceañera card can be intimidating—especially if you’re unfamiliar with the meaningful fifteenth birthday celebration. It’s important to give a card that feels worthy of the milestone and the amazing quinceañera/o themselves.
If you feel like you don’t know enough about quinceañeras—often shortened to “quinces”—and you want the right words to tell the guest of honor you see them and they’re important to you, we’ve got some background and ideas to get you started.
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Quinceañeras originated from the Aztec, Mayan, Incan and Toltec peoples, indigenous groups of Central and South America, and were later adapted by the Spanish who added the element of a Catholic mass. Quinces have been celebrated for a long time—since the 1500s—and have traditionally been held to celebrate a girl’s fifteenth birthday. Though American culture may consider 15 a ways from adulthood, a quince is considered by many to be a celebration of a girl becoming a woman. In Mexican, Latinx and Hispanic cultures, they are a big deal (which is why you’re here).
Traditional quinces, in a nutshell, look like this:
- The birthday human, called the quinceañera, wears a gorgeous gown.
- Everyone attends a religious mass before the fiesta.
- There’s a Court of Honor, made up of the quinceañera’s friends and/or extended family members.
- At the party, the quinceañera dances with her family, eats delicious food and participates in some symbolic rituals that represent the transition from girlhood to womanhood.
- The decorations, food and dress are elaborate, so quinces can cost more than weddings.
- In the U.S., quinceañera celebrations are often catered toward friends, while in Latin America, quinces are often more focused on family.
- For many quinceañeras, the party is considered secondary to the religious ceremony.
Many modern quinces have blended religious and cultural tradition with more modern ideas. For instance, today’s celebrations are less about “becoming a woman” and more about how much a girl has grown. They’re also considerably more celebratory of the girl’s identity and individuality, which has changed quinceañera dress, dance, food, décor and court traditions.
Some ways quinces have changed in recent years:
- With their increased focus on individuality, quinceañeras have been opportunities for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to celebrate coming out or just celebrate their identity.
- Teens of mixed-racial identity are opting to combine cultural influences and traditions.
- Many women are deciding to hold double quinces when they turn 30, sometimes in groups.
- Boys and nonbinary folks are deciding to hold quinces, too.
- Many young people opt for a different gift, like a car or vacation, over a quince—and many don’t celebrate their 15th with extravagance at all.
No matter the kind of quince you’re attending, the ultimate goal of letting the quinceañera know you appreciate and love them stays the same.
Find more information about traditional quinceañeras.
Make it a blend of “happy birthday” with messages about growing up and loving God.
- “Feliz Cumpleaños! Your quince is such a blessed day, make sure to take this moment and thank God for your wonderful fifteen years of life!”
- “Blessed and happy to have you in my life, Amiga! You deserve the best quince!”
- “I’m so proud of the woman you’re becoming, and the girl you’ve been. I know God is, too! Feliz Cumpleaños, amazing Quinceañera!”
- “Today, Quinceañera, you reaffirmed your promises to God. You’ve honored yourself, your family and your religion—and that’s something to be proud of on this special day. Feliz Cumpleaños.”
- “Fifteen years ago, God blessed us with a wonderful daughter. Today, He blesses you with a wonderful birthday. Love you mucho, Cariño!”
- “Your quince is finally here, and I hope it’s all you wished it to be! I feel so blessed to be your sister/friend/cousin.”
- “I’m blessed to be in your life and proud to be on your court! I hope your quince is as awesome as you!”
- “Que la presencia y el amor de Dios te acompañen hoy y cada día de tu vida. ¡Felicidades, Quinceañera!”
Celebrate the awesome person they are as much as you’re celebrating the day.
- “Hija/o, it’s exciting to be celebrating your quince—but it’s beyond exciting just to be celebrating you. Love you lots.”
- “Hermana/o, you’ve been a pretty freakin’ amazing sister/brother/cousin/friend. I hope your quince’s just as awesome as you are.”
- “You’re going places. I’m so happy I get to see it. Feliz Cumpleaños!”
- “Quinceañera, you rule, and I’m so thankful to be on your court. Make sure to eat some cake before you run the world!”
- “On your quince, you’re that much closer to your dreams coming true! So excited for you, and so happy to be celebrating with you, amiga/o!”
- “You’ve got one lucky family, Nena! So proud of you. Feliz Cumpleaños!”
- “Hoy que cumples Quince Años, celebra tu juventud, tus ilusiones y tus sueños. ¡Muchas felicidades!”
Celebrate their identity and put your support into words.
- “You already know so much about who you are at fifteen, and we’re so happy you’re sharing yourself with us. We love you and we’re proud of you. Happy Quince!”
- “It’s awesome to see you celebrate who you are, and I know the family and I are so pumped to be included. I hope you feel the love on your quince!”
- “I feel so lucky to be in your life. You’re coming into your own faster than many people do. Be proud of that! Happy Fifteenth!”
- “There’s a lotta pride in this quince—and not just because of you! I’m proud to be on your court and so proud to know a person as great as you. Feliz Cumpleaños!”
- “As your friend, I already know how awesome you are. It’s good to see everyone else celebrating it on your quince! Proud of you!”
- “I’m so happy to see the confidence you’ve found as you grow into an awesome 15-year-old. You bring so much color into the lives of those around you! Happy Quince!”
- “En este día tan especial, celebramos tu vida y te festejamos con mucho orgullo. Nunca olvides que eres una persona muy querida. ¡Felices Quince Años!”
Celebrate the quinceañera’s beautiful combination of cultures while still focusing the message on the guest of honor.
- “We’re so happy to be celebrating you, your unique heritage and your own special story. And we’re so proud of the young adult you’re becoming.”
- “Just like our family, your quince’s an awesome mix of totally awesome things. I hope you have an amazing day and enjoy celebrating all the things that make you you.”
- “The way you bring all the sides of our family together is so beautiful. I’m so happy to be a part of it and so happy to be celebrating you and your amazingness on this special quince!”
- “It’s so exciting to be part of a quince this awesome and even more exciting to be part of a quince that’s yours! Muchas Felicidades!”
- “You’re the kind of person who’s all things wonderful! I’m so happy you’re my friend, and I hope your quince is everything!”
- “This quince is like no other, and it’s so lovely to be a part of it! Proud of you, and happy for you and your family!”
- “Tus Quince Años son muy especiales, y es maravilloso ser parte de ellos. Estoy muy feliz por ti y tu familia. Que disfrutes este día al máximo.”
Tie the theme in to your birthday wish. As examples, here are some messages that would work well for the popular princess-themed quince:
- “You’ve always been a princess to us, and now you’re becoming a queen. We love you so much, Hija.”
- “On your quince, you wear the crown. Feliz Cumpleaños, Hermana, but don’t get too comfortable in the throne. ;)”
- “I wish someone like you ruled the world. So proud of you, Quinceañera, and so happy that you’re getting the royal treatment you deserve!”
- “Feliz Cumpleaños to a quince princess I’m happy to bow down to! So happy for you, and so happy to be on your court.”
- “Nena, you deserve a quince as royally awesome as you. You’re an amazing friend and person, and I’m so happy to be celebrating you.”
- “You rule, Quinceañera! Hope your quince feels fit for the queen you are!”
- “Quinceañera, es tu hora de brillar como una princesa. Disfruta cada momento de esta celebración tan única. ¡Felicidades!”
Double quinces really are for GROWN adults, so you can celebrate what they’ve achieved already.
- “We’re so excited we get this chance to celebrate what an awesome person you are! We’re so proud to call you our daughter/son. Feliz Cumpleaños!”
- “You’re a force to be reckoned with, Hermana/o, and I love you! Celebrate big today—you deserve it! Feliz Cumpleaños!”
- “Being part of your amazing life has been such a blessing. I’m so proud of the person you’ve become, and I know your younger self would be, too!”
- “Celebrating you and all the awesome stuff you’ve done as a real-life adult is such a treat. Feliz Cumpleaños and thank you for including me in your court!”
- “I’m so happy to be celebrating the amazing human you are, Amiga/o! You deserve a double quince that’s just as wonderful as you are.”
- “I hope your double quince is double the fun! Muchas Felicidades!”
- “Qué felicidad tener la oportunidad de celebrar la increíble persona que eres. Que esta nueva etapa sea doblemente maravillosa. ¡Feliz Cumpleaños!”
If you want to let the card itself do most of the talking, you can still add a meaningful closing:
- Proud of you, Nena!
- God loves you, and I do, too!
- So much love for you!
- Excited for you, Quinceañera/o!
- Can’t wait to see what you do next!
- I’m so proud of all you’ve done.
- Cherish your day, Quinceañera/o!
- ¡Te mereces lo mejor!