An estimated 2,500 people showed up for the Quinceanera.com Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center, Sunday, July 21, attracted by more than 100 vendors, offering everything from party vans to dance crews to an Egyptian sarcophagus—because that’s a thing—to the gowns. Of course, the gowns.
Vendors, in turn, were attracted by the knowledge that the average quince costs anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000, though, after seeing everything offered at the expo, it’s hard to imagine keeping it on the low end, especially when a gown will probably put you out a few thousand to begin with.
Quinceanera.com, headquartered in Norwalk, has been putting on these events since 2006 and sees attendance jump every year. They started with four expos and now do eight, annually. The Long Beach event is the second largest one they do; their Ontario event attracts about 3,000.
But enough talk…
Designer Luis Melendez, of Luis Me Couture, stands with Adamaris Mendez who is modeling one of his gowns. Luis, who learned the business while working for industry superstar Mitzy, went on his own eight years ago. He said the Princess style never seems to go out of fashion but that his customers are demanding more fine detail in his gowns, which range from $1,800 to $3,000. Mitzy taught him to do detail by hand. “I do have some stuff that people can buy off the rack,” he said. “But most of the time people want something different, special because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. So, I usually start from scratch.”
The Castro family poses at the LM Treasures prop rental and photo booth.
Gown models relax backstage during Quinceanera.com fashion show.
Maria Figueroa grabs her phone after taking a photo with models wearing Moda2000 gowns.
William and Rosie Foamer with their two daughters Jasmin, 13, and Kaitlyn, 15. Though the family is from Rialto, William said Kaitlyn’s quince will be in Long Beach where most of their family lives. “Instead of making everyone come out to Fontucky where we live, we’re doing out part and coming here.”
Samantha Bernal shows off a cream gown by Moda2000.
Showing off some moves for the crowd, dancers with Royal Boys demonstrate dances that can be taught to a quinceanera party. The group, featuring both male and female dancers, is from Vista and has seen growth in its four years of existence. “Business has been good,” said Israel Rivera. “We’re there whatever is needed. If there’s a family member who doesn’t want to be a chambelan, doesn’t want to go through the whole process or learn the dance, you don’t have to worry about that whole process. We already know how to dance so we can pick up it up quick and we’re always there at practice.”
Royal Boys perform for the crowd demonstrating the dances they teach to participants of quinceaneras.
Brianna Tavares, 15, of Moreno Valley, chats with other gown models during the Quinceanera.com fashion show. Tavares recently celebrated her own quince, complete with chandelier centerpieces and a princess carriage. “It was really fun,” she said.
William Foamer talks to Emma Aguilar of Zoe Photo Booths as he searches for a setup for his daughter Kaitlyn’s upcoming quinceanera. “We’ve got the gown and the hall; we’re pretty much just looking for a photo booth at this point. I’m into it. We’re trying to save money wherever possible but we’re probably gonna spend about $15,000. Well, you either pay for this or you pay for the wedding. We’re paying for this.”
Chelsea Perez has her eyes set on which crown she wants to try on as she checks out tiaras with her mom Darlene and sister Mia.
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