Quinceañera is one of the most important milestones in the life of Latinas. It denotes transitioning into womanhood. And here’s what’s happening in Utah.
April 28th, 2009 @ 4:11pm
By Candice Madsen
In the Hispanic community, when a girl turns 15 the celebration is almost as big, sometimes even bigger, than a wedding. The Multicultural Celebration Center in West Valley recently hosted Utah’s first Hispanic Bridal and Quinceañera show.
The Quinceañera is a coming of an age ceremony when a girl is welcomed into society. Much like a wedding, everything from a dress to a DJ is needed.
The show had elegant wedding dresses, vibrant gowns and everything else a bride-to-be or the soon-to-turn 15-year-old needs for her big day.
Jessica Garcia Fillmore not only played host, she helped organize Utah’s first Hispanic Bridal and Quinceañera show.
“I had never been to one before. They weren’t very common when I turned 15. Mine was more adapted to the Utah culture,” she said.
But with Utah’s growing Hispanic population, the Quinceañera is becoming increasingly popular and the celebrations bigger.
“People spend a lot of money on their Quinceañera and their wedding, and it’s an untapped market here in Utah,” Garcia Fillmore said.
Unlike typical bridal fairs that cater mainly to women, this event brought out entire families.
Ryan Winterton, with BrideAccess.com said, “With the Hispanic Latino population, the whole family is a part of this. This is a family decision because it’s a huge family and cultural decision.”
He says local vendors are just beginning to recognize business opportunities. “Hispanic, Latino weddings will spend around $28,000 on their wedding compared to other markets where they spend $12,000.”
Turn out at the fair exceeded expectations with more than 1,500 people. Garcia Fillmore says they appreciated all the attention given to important traditions within their community.
“The Latino community, I think they enjoyed the event because it made them feel welcomed. It made them feel acknowledged,” she said.
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