UPDATED January 12th, 2018
Having a Quinceañera is a special time, as it commemorates the transition from girl to young woman. The event is usually filled with beautiful gowns, flowers, food, loved ones, and stress about how to pay for it all. No worries. I’ve compiled a list of ways to help you trim the quince budget, from saving money on specific items to alternatives to having a Quinceañera.
According to Wendy Ramos of Just Wenderful Event Planning and Design in Los Angeles, “The usual ballpark figure spent on quinces in Los Angeles varies from $10,000 to $30,000.” But don’t fret, as there are some very simple ways to trim that budget.
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Save money on the location—By limiting your number of guests you’ll need a smaller space, which will save money. You’ll also need fewer tables, fewer chairs and less food.
Save money on photography—Have family and friends bring their cameras and send you the photos. Not only will you end up with many more photos than a photographer would have provided, but you’ll also get a variety of candid photos of all your guests.
Save money on flowers—Use flowers to decorate a small part of the room and use balloons to decorate the rest. Balloons are cheaper and add wonderful color to the room.
Save money on the cake—Have one beautiful, but small, cake made. Have a sheet cake in the back to cut and serve. You’ll have a beautiful cake to take photos of but you’ll save money by not having to pay for a larger decorated cake.
Save money on food—Make sure to fill guests up by having comfort foods that stick to the ribs. You can even ask specific relatives to make their signature dish as their contribution to the special day.
Save money on everything—Ask loved ones to “sponsor” specific necessary items. The loved one that sponsors each item will get to brag about how much time, energy, and love they put into the item and it will help bring the community together as they strive towards one common goal.
Save money on invitations—Order a few paper invitations to keep for mementos and to send to people that will appreciate them. Send everyone else a free Internet evite from a site such as PunchBowl.
If you’re looking to celebrate this special time with a non-traditional fest, have a smaller, more informal party for close loved ones and provide a financial “nest egg” or a trip for the young woman. When Marcela Landres was growing up in Brooklyn, New York, her father made a special offer to each of his three girls: “When we approached 15 years of age, my father offered each of us $1,000 cash and a regular Carvel-ice-cream-cake-with-your-friends kind of party in lieu of a traditional quince,” Marcela recalls. “For me, a quince represents a dress and pair of shoes you never wear again; $1,000 represents a world of possibilities.” Without exception, the Landres girls took him up on the cash offer.
Ramos has also seen parents suggest other alternatives. “Some parents are now offering their girls a trip somewhere, rather than spending $10,000 on a party.” Taking your daughter on a trip, especially to learn more about her cultural roots, makes sense to many parents. The family will get a special vacation to celebrate this time and the young woman will learn more about her heritage.
Marlyn Valdovinos of Baldwin Park, California, went the traditional route, having a quince complete with the beautiful dress, jewelry and limo earlier this year. The 15-year-old’s ceremony cost $8,000.
Of course you want your daughter’s transition into young womanhood to be everything she, and you, have dreamed of. Whether you celebrate in a large hall or with a family trip, the important thing is that your little girl’s transition is acknowledged in some way.
After all, as Marlyn puts it, a quince “is like, the best thing a girl could have.”