In addition to the Cotillion Dance that I talked about last week, there are a couple other traditions surrounding the Debut that I want to share with you.
First is the 18 candles ceremony. In this tradition, the celebrant chooses 18 female friends and/or family members to prepare a short one to two minute speech talking about their speech for the debutante. So when I sent out my invitations, I sent a special note to 18 of my closest girlfriends, aunts, and female cousins asking that they take part in this tradition. There aren’t really any rules or guidelines for what the speeches have to be like, so the girls can be as creative as they want to be. One of my friends even decided to write me a little poem about our friendship; which was very cute. When it came time for the ceremony during the actual Debut celebration, the 18 ladies lined up, each holding a lit candle. One by one they gave their speech and then handed me the candle. Each time I received a candle, I would add it to my cake so that by the end of the ceremony, there would be 18 candles on my cake for me to blow out and make a wish. Their speeches meant a lot to me and it showed how much they really cared and reminded me that I am blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people.
The other tradition, called the 18 roses ceremony, is somewhat like the 18 candles, except that it’s for boys. Instead of girls, I chose 18 of my closest guy friends and male cousins and instead of candles, they each gave me a single rose. During this ceremony, the 18 gentleman lined up and took their turn to waltz with me for about 20 seconds. Each time one of them came up to me, they would hand me their rose and I could collect them in my hand. By the end of the ceremony, I had a bouquet of 18 roses. It was a sweet ceremony, but the thing that made it really special for me was that the 18th rose was my boyfriend of 2 ½ years. This may sound cheesy, but it was a magical moment – definitely one of the highlights of the night.
Yay! More pictures!