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How to Have a Fabulous Quinceanera on a Budget

Not all Quinceaneras are the same. Some parents can afford to give their daughters an over-the-top Quinceanera while others cannot. Money does not necessarily make for the best Quince because there are lots of alternatives that can make even a low-budget Quince exceptionally memorable. Professional Quinceanera planners aren’t always an assurance that your party will be amazing, either, because it all depends on what you make of it.

So—how can you have a super chic budget conscious Quinceanera without breaking the bank? Here are our top 11 money saving tips:

  • Is there a chef in the house?

There will always be one or two people in the family who knows how to cook—and we mean really knows how to cook! If not in the immediate family, then for sure everybody can cook one thing really well. Food is one of the most important elements in a Quinceanera, but it also takes up a large part of the budget. If you plan to have your reception in your house or backyard, ask some relatives to help you out with potluck or catering.

Do make sure that, even with a potluck, you have a balance of protein, starch, and veggies. For the cake, if your Padrino is a baker, you’re definitely in luck. Quince cakes today can cost hundreds of dollars so having a relative bake and decorate yours is a big help! For another great budget tip, cupcakes are less expensive when ordered in bulk. They can also be personalized and baked in different flavors to suit your guests’ taste.

  • Decorating time is family time

Ready-made centerpieces cost a fortune, so if you want to save a bundle, get your friends and family on board to help you DIY your decorations. That way, you get to spend more time bonding with them and get the centerpieces and other decorations put together. In addition, not only will you save money, but every piece will be put together with tender loving care. If you have no plans of re-using the decorations but want something a little fancier, consider looking for vendors who offer rentals. There are also some websites that trade or rent out decorations.

  • Sponsors are Priceless

Quinceaneras will always have Padrinos and Padrinas to shoulder some costs. Be willing and stay open to accepting sponsors to keep the budget low as possible. Relatives and close friends will help out with food, transportation, and even venue rental costs, but sponsors can contribute to the expense of some of the smaller things. Think about the money your parents can save. Always remember to accept gratefully any gift in any form from your sponsors.

Hint: You’re not limited to only asking other Catholics to be your sponsors. You can invite a favorite teacher, a coach, a mentor, or anyone else who cares deeply for you and might want to help with your Quince.

  • Borrow Your Padrino’s VW Beetle

Transportation is one of the things you need to include in the budget, and limos are very expensive rentals. So if you have relatives who have nice vintage cars, with their permission, of course, borrowing transportation can significantly help out with your finances. Or ask one of your chambelanes who has a driver’s license to chauffeur you to and from the church and reception. This way, you won’t be as conscious of the time because remember, limos are rented by the hour. (Ouch!)

  • DIY Hair and Makeup

Salons and professional makeup artists can cost a fortune. If you’re lucky, you might score a coupon or two, but you’ll still pay. If you want to look good without spending so much, have a friend or relative do your makeup. Quinceaneras are family affairs, so wouldn’t it be fun to have someone close to you make you beautiful for your special day?

If you opt to do your makeup yourself, there are tons of instructional videos online. Just be sure to practice months before and have a goodly number of trial sessions before the big day.

  • Trim the Guest List

Not many girls need to invite upwards of 300 people to attend her sweet fifteen. (If you were one of those, you probably wouldn’t be reading this “budget” article!) You only need to invite those people who mean the most to you. Close relatives and best friends are usually part of your court anyway, so that’s not an issue.

For the rest, give serious consideration to using the “Guest List Manager” link above. (Even though it was designed for weddings, it applies to any large, expensive party.) Remember, each person must eat, drink, receive an invitation, go home with a party favor, and receive a thank you note. Trimming the guest list can astronomically reduce your budget!

  • Alert: Off-Season Dress Sales!

Although some girls think that a Quince is like a wedding—and there are certain similarities—they’re not the same. Your dress doesn’t have to be made by a well-known fashion designer. If you do want a fancy name on your gown, though, check out your Quinceanera retailer’s designer gowns during the off-season sales. You just have to stay sharp because almost everybody flocks to sales. Another option would be to have a relative make your dress.

A third option is to rent your gown, especially if there’s no reason for you to wear the dress ever again. Keyword: Stay practical!

  • Mp3 + Friends = Bye Bye DJ!

A party DJ—let alone a band—will cost a lot. So if one of your chambelanes has a small band, why not give them some exposure and let them play at your event? One day—when they’re famous!—they’ll thank you for it.

If you want to stick with the really thrifty option, then play your favorite tunes via your Mp3 or iPad. Music will always be music, plus you and your court can choose precisely which songs you want to play!

Tip: Did you know you can get free Quinceanera playlist downloads? http://8tracks.com/explore/quincea%C3%B1era

  • Stick with In-Season Flowers

Flowers are one of the most important Quinceanera decorations. To save some big bucks, buy only flowers that are in season. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay extra for delivery if the blooms you want are either not in season or aren’t available locally.

Note: The above list is only a sample. Do a little surfing and you’ll find a lot more information! We just wanted to give you a starter.

  • DIY Favors

Ordering favors online—and in bulk—helps cut costs. But to really save, make them yourself! Homemade treats baked by family and friends, or sweet trinkets put together with love, are always a big hit among guests. Let those creative juices come into play!

  • Any Day But Saturday

Aside from the venue, the date of your Quince has a dramatic impact on the budget. Obviously, people are usually free on Saturdays. But many other events fall on this day, too, making it pricey pretty much across the board. Costs for rentals and services are far less expensive on a Sunday or Friday. You’ll also probably run into fewer problems trying to book your Quinceanera Mass around your church’s schedule.

So, there you have it. Our very best guide to have a fabulous Quinceanera on a shoestring budget. Happy planning!