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30 Is the New 15: Inside the Burgeoning World of Doble Quinceañeras

Refinery29 Somos continues our preservation of customs that serve us and our retiring of those that don't this Latine Heritage Month. In 2023, we’re exploring how Latines are pushing back on assimilation by resurrecting and remixing traditions to serve us today.
For Latines in the United States, early adulthood is full of self-imposed expectations. The older we get, the more pressure we feel to attain what was denied to our elders, be it a college degree, generational wealth, or a positive sense of self in an imperialist country. We’re so focused on improving the lives of those around us, we often forget to appreciate our personal growth. The doble quinceañera trend hopes to turn that narrative on its head, encouraging adults to celebrate their 30th birthdays with quince-caliber festivities. It's one of the many ways Latines are reclaiming and remixing tradition to ensure it serves us today.
We spoke with four Latinas who recently threw doble quinceañeras. Their stories prove that the celebrations don’t require tradition to be powerful — they’re about honoring the person you’ve become in any way you see fit. Below, they discuss the planning process, memorable moments, and advice they’d give others hoping to have a doble quince.

Vanity Duran, Dominican-American

Vanity Duran didn’t have a quinceañera growing up, which is partly why she chose to celebrate her doble quince with a bang. “It was in the works when I was 15, but I got in trouble and my mom was like, ‘You’re not having anything — at least to that extent,’” she tells Refinery29 Somos. 
Fifteen years later, she teamed up with her mom and cousin to host her doble quinceañera in the Dominican Republic, where her extended family still lives. Duran, her parents, and her 4-year old son booked their flights in March 2022, with the party slated for June. “My cousin said, ‘There’s a DJ who’s always at this Airbnb in DR, you should check that place out,” she says. She booked the Airbnb, which ended up being the largest expense for the party. Other family members helped transform it into the venue of her dreams, complete with buffet-style food, a tiered cake, and even a balloon arch. “My uncle does balloons, and he made an arch as my gift,” she says with a laugh. “It was super clutch.”

"It reminded me of my value: I am an important person, my day does matter, people do want to celebrate me, and they are fine celebrating me."

Vanity Duran
Duran eschewed the typical quince rituals in favor of a carefree night of eating and dancing with family. When she arrived at the party, she cried tears of joy. “Seeing how many people were there, who was there, just the sacrifices it took for people to get a ride,” she recalls. “It reminded me of my value: I am an important person, my day does matter, people do want to celebrate me and they are fine celebrating me. We get older, and especially with kids, we think it’s not OK to celebrate ourselves.”
Whether you want to go all out or host something small and intimate, Duran stresses the importance of leaning on others when planning a doble quinceañera. “I was reluctant to ask [for help]. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I have to do this all myself,’ but then my mom was like, ‘No, we have this taken care of and this taken care of,’” she explains.

Amy Hernandez Turcios, Guatemalan-American

Amy Hernandez Turcios didn’t know she could have a doble quinceañera until her family surprised her with one in April 2021. “They saw how excited I was about the concept of turning my doble quince, and they actually threw me a surprise birthday party,” she explains. “They told me to leave my apartment from this time to this time.” When she returned, she found her apartment fully decorated, with her mom, dad, and brother waiting for her. “It was the most special thing they could’ve done to celebrate this momentous occasion.” 
As a teen, Hernandez Turcios had a combined quinceañera and sweet 16, but her small-scale doble quince was just as memorable. “The fact that my parents were such detallistas that they came together and did this was really special,” she says. “With Covid-19, everyone was scared because there was a lot of unknown. I was very thankful, in that moment, to be with my parents. I’m going to remember that forever.”

“It’s important to do it at 30 because it’s such a pivotal time in one’s life. You go from figuring it out to having a stronger sense of self.”

Amy Hernandez Turcios
She even fished her quince dress out from her closet for the occasion. When she put it on, Hernandez Turcios says it felt symbolic of all she’d experienced in the last 15 years. “I was in that dress thinking about how I was feeling when I was 15, and it was a really scary time because I didn’t know what was going to happen in the future,” she reminisces. “But even though I was scared about the future at 15, I figured out how to make it to college and now the corporate world as a first-generation, low-income Latina.” 
Some people might prefer their doble quince in a ballroom or event space, but for Hernandez Turcios, being in her apartment made it perfect. “[My family] took a step back and was like, ‘Wow. We’re in your apartment. You pay for this place,’” she says. “It was a very emotional time to reflect on the past, and we also started to think about the future.”
Even if you had a quinceañera, Hernandez Turcios says you won’t regret celebrating your doble. “It’s important to do it at 30 because it’s such a pivotal time in one’s life,” she explains. “You go from figuring it out to having a stronger sense of self.”

Kayla Zapata Fory, Colombian-American 

Kayla Zapata Fory didn’t have a quinceañera, but in June 2022, she commemorated her doble quince by honoring her passion. “My brother, a bestie from high school, college, and work wife from my former employer all joined me in Banff, Canada, where I ran my first half-marathon,” she says. Afterwards, they had a small party at her Airbnb, which she describes as “low-key with cake and loud music.” To stay true to her roots, she wore an elegant chiffon dress from a Colombian-owned brand.
Zapata Fory’s planning process was as unique as her celebration: It required rigorous physical training and learning to bridge friendships. “Many of my friends didn't know each other, so as the host I had to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves,” she explains. “Every aspect of the celebration was intentional and took months of planning and training that all paid off in the end. It was so memorable to be surrounded by friends in the crowd, cheering me on in such a beautiful place.”

“There are no rules to follow when it comes to planning a doble quince.”

Kayla Zapata Fory
Most of her family may not have been present, but Zapata Fory still felt their love. “My parents and my tías called to send bendiciones and reminisce over the years while sharing advice on the decade ahead,” she says. She also had her brother’s support at every step, in a literal sense — he ran the half-marathon alongside her. “I was so grateful that my brother could be there and run the race, too. It was an emotional experience to cross the finish line and recognize the people supporting me.” 
Zapata Fory’s doble quince reunited her with one of her first loves: fitness. “I journaled the highs and lows of training and made a playlist with all my favorite music to keep me motivated on race day,” she says. “There's nothing quite like turning a corner on mile 10 to ‘Vivir Mi Vida’ with a snow capped mountain and glacial lake in front of me.”
What’s one thing she wishes others knew about doble quinceañeras? “It’s your day to reinvent and define yourself,” Zapata Fory says. “There are no rules to follow when it comes to planning a doble quince.”

Mayra Tellez Diaz, Mexican-American

Mayra Tellez Diaz never imagined she’d actually have a doble quinceañera. “It started off as a joke, just because I didn’t have a quinceañera,” she says. By the time she decided to host her party, she only had a month left to plan. “For me, I wanted to make it as simple as possible. I didn’t do a valz or la última muñeca. It was more of having a party and having family there.”
To make it happen in such a short time, Tellez Diaz asked her family for help in a way that felt right to her: “Instead of me telling them what I wanted them to help me with, I asked them if they were able to help [and, if so, then] with what?” In the end, most were happy to contribute in some way. “This whole pride thing that we have, I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to ask for help,’” she reflects. “I had to set it aside for a bit and think, do I really want this? The answer was yes. I think asking my family in a way where it didn’t make them feel like they had to help, it really helped me, too.”
The week of the big day, Tellez Diaz met with a family friend to select decorations. Her cousin, a DJ, agreed to play at her party for free, and her dad and uncles handled setting up the venue.  “It was really nice to see all the support from my family, the role they played in making all of that possible for me,” she says. 

“I don’t see my dad get vulnerable, so I really enjoyed those couple moments when we were there in the center of the dance floor. For me to share that with him as an adult, it felt like the little girl in me was having a moment with her dad.”

Mayra Tellez Diaz
When it finally came time to celebrate, Tellez Diaz says she felt a mix of gratitude and something heavier. “That day, August 12, was the two-year anniversary of one of my cousins passing away unexpectedly,” she explains. Her doble quince marked the first time her extended family reunited over something hopeful. “When I gave my toast, I mentioned that the day felt heavy. My aunt, who’s actually the mom of my cousin who passed away, was there. I wanted to share that space with her and let her know that I really appreciated her being there. After the toast, she gave me a hug.”
Planning a doble quince may seem daunting, but Tellez Diaz promises it’s worth it. She recommends budgeting for expenses as far ahead as possible — but don’t forget to embrace your inner child. In her case, that meant sharing an unexpected dance with her dad. “My dad asked my cousin to play a song for him to dance with me,” she says. “I don’t see my dad get vulnerable, so I really enjoyed those couple moments when we were there in the center of the dance floor. For me to share that with him as an adult, it felt like the little girl in me was having a moment with her dad.”

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