Quinceañera On A Budget

The day has finally come, the day a young girl turns fifteen. This coming-of-age ball celebrates a young girl’s 15th birthday and dates back to ancient cultures in Mexico, Central and South America. This commemoration honors a young girl coming of age with a ceremonial mass and eventful festivity. Customarily, planning for an eventful day typically takes almost a year to prepare and can be very expensive. If you find yourself wanting to have a Quinceañera and are on a low budget, these simple tips may be of help.

Tip #1 Find the right place at the right price
Many families opt for a rental dance hall to host the event, but many alternatives exist. What about a backyard party or the local park? Check with your local parks and recreation department for a listing of parks in your area where you can rent a rec center room or park shelter.

Knowing it would be expensive, 16-year-old Vanessa Silvas of El Paso, Texas chose an alternative: “Instead we had a huge party at my house with my family and friends with lots of food and decorations,” the teen said.

Still considering a hall? Try booking for a Friday night where your costs can be cut by half as opposed to the $2,000 to $3,000 price for a Saturday or Sunday night reservation.

Tip #2 Move the Mass
Having the traditional church mass costs money, especially when it interrupts the regularly scheduled masses. Ask your church about the option to have the cleric, pastor or priest hold the ceremony in your home or at the hall. The price on this option can be significantly cheaper than reserving the chapel.

Tip #3 Be your own photographer
Photos of the memorable event don’t have to set you back with the hiring of a professional photographer. Seek out resources within your family or circle of friends who like taking photographs and whom you can trust with taking pictures of the event.

Developing and editing the images isn’t expensive either. Many photo editing websites like www.flickr.com exist that offer free or inexpensive services. Prints can be made at your local drugstore for as little as 13 cents a print.

Tip #4 Make your own steps
Typically a Quinceañera includes a court, a group of the girl’s closes friends who are often expected to perform a dance routine during the dance to entertain the guests. In order to have the perfect dance routine down, many girls decide to hire a choreographer. This, too, can cause a strain on your budget. Instead, opt for creating your own dance routine with your friends. Get ideas from your favorite music videos and artists known for their awesome choreography like Britney Spears or Beyonce.

Tip #5 Decorate with style
Your decorations should look fabulous, but should not break the bank. Check out your local craft stores for centerpiece ideas and inexpensive materials to make your own. Even your local grocery store has weekly specials on fresh flowers, so check with your grocer’s florist for tips on when to get cheap flowers and how to arrange them.

Tip #6 From one dress to another
It is customary for the Quinceañera to wear a white princess-type gown. This can often be the most expensive part of the entire event especially since it is only worn once. Ask your family and friends to see if you can get a hand-me-down from a cousin or sister. If anyone in your family has excellent sowing experience, you can buy the fabric and have a custom-made dress for less. You can also buy a cute party dress instead of an intricate and pricey gown.

By Natalie Hinojos

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