BEST PLACE TO FIND A QUINCEA?ERA DRESS (2006)

Azteca Wedding Plaza

The quinceaera was originally a religious coming-of-age ceremony that declared a young virgin eligible for marriage. Today, it's more like a Hispanic teenager's excuse to party. Yes, it's supposed to be about God, but what would a celebration of womanhood be without the perfect dress? Azteca Wedding Plaza specializes in quinceaera supplies, from frilly white dresses to wax-covered floral headpieces and bouquets. It's not exactly the place you go to be waited on. The staff is largely bilingual and will assist madre with a special-occasion dress, but the quinceaera is usually stuck hefting a pile of gowns to the dressing room herself. Still, we think the massive selection of formal gowns is well worth the extra effort. There are elegant silk sheaths for the damas (think bridesmaids), colorful ruffled A-lines for the modern quinceaera, and rows of white princess ball gowns that symbolize purity and virtue. As for that aforementioned virgin requirement, let's just say the staff at Azteca is smart enough to have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

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