Last night we attended a "cotilion". I think this type of cotillion has a different meaning than the traditional definition of the word. This is a Phillipino custom that is similar to the Latino "Quincinera", except with the cotillion, the girl is 18 instead of 15. This was the first time I had ever attended one, and it was an unusual experience for me.
First of all, the girl picks a "court" of 18 girls and 18 boys. In this case, all of the girls wore matching dresses, similar to bridesmaids. They wore full white dresses with lavender, embroidered sashes. The boys all wore black pants, white shirts, and lavender colored ties. The debutante also wore a white dress, similar to a wedding dress, with a crown in her hair. The parents also wore lavender.
We didn't stay for the whole event, but it included a dinner, complete with roast pig and Phillipino food, a slideshow of pictures of the girl, a candle and rose ceremony (we didn't stay for that) native phillipino dancing by a children's group, and a dance which included a father/daughter dance.
The room was decorated like a wedding reception. There is a woman in our stake who does decorating for free, if the family buys the materials. She does stage decoration as a living, so has alot of props and decorating items. She let them borrow white cloth coverings for all of the chairs. They tied a large lavender ribbon around each chair. There were vases with flowers in the middle of the table, and other vases of flowers around the room, including a tiered flower stand. They had arches decorated with flowers and lights. They had used plastic tablecloths like fabric to hang like curtains on the walls, and had icicle lights lined at the top.
It was all very nice. If it were part of my culture, I suppose I would view it differently, but I don't know how people afford to do these cotillions. I think they probably spent as much as on a wedding. It was nice to go, especially for the food! But I'm sure glad I don't have to do one for my daughter!