The church, where the main ceremony takes place, is at the heart of the quinceañera celebration. The decorations are similar to those of a wedding; in fact, feel free to steal wedding decoration ideas for your quinceañera. Make sure all your decorations are consistent with your theme (whether it be a color, a season or a place), and check out the church before you decorate to guarantee that your decorations don't clash.
Decorating the Church
The first thing your guests will see is the church entrance. Hang a beautiful wreath (or two) on the outside of the door, accentuated with the colors you've chosen as a theme. If there are stairs outside, place potted flowers or bouquets (in durable but pretty containers) on either side. Or, if the ceremony is taking place when it's dark, line the stairs with candles.
The foyer is where your guests will mingle before and after the service. Put ribbons over the mirrors, place bouquets on the tables, and make sure everything is spotless. Alternately, if the church doesn't mind, remove the furniture and line the walls with low flower arrangements, to make the foyer look like a garden. Surround the entrance to the sanctuary with soft lights, sheer fabric or curling ribbons.
The aisle, down which the Quinceañera and her chosen friends (damas y chambelanes) will walk, can be lightly strewn with flower petals, real or fake. You can also buy an aisle runner to cover the Quinceañera's path. If you can't find the perfect quinceañera runner, try looking at runners designed for weddings.
Decorate the pews with flowers or candles. Tie wire ribbons in your theme colors around the ends of the pew, and fluff out the ribbon to create gorgeous, stiff bows. Loop gauzy fabric down the pews to create an appealing visual line that will bring the guests' focus to the altar.
Depending on what the church allows, try surrounding the area with tea light candles, flower arrangements or tall, leafy potted plants. You may also want to place a trellis or an arch at the altar. Make sure that what is already there (Bibles, candles, the altar itself) doesn't crowd or clash with your own decorations.
If the church is already beautiful, keep your decorations simple. It's a great way to save money.
Check with the church before planning your decorations. You don't want to order 500 candles only to find out that the church has a strict no-candle policy.