It’s more than possible to have an amazing quinceanera without breaking the bank, as you’ll see from this list of super simple ideas of how to plan a quinceanera on a budget.
Sure, we’ve all seen the stories of the huge quinceaneras that some people hold. But the amount of money you spend doesn’t have any impact on whether you’ll have a great party or not.
Instead, what matters is that you have a great time with the people who are there. And as you’ll see, it’s more than possible for you to plan a cheap quinceanera that’s also chic, fabulous and a ton of fun.
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How to plan a quinceanera on a budget
1. Set a strict budget
The first step when looking to plan a quinceanera on a budget is to know exactly what that budget is.
This is why it’s a really good idea to set both the total amount you wanna spend and how much you wanna spend in each category, like on things like food, decorations at the mall.
You could simply list this out on a piece of paper with a total at the bottom or create a really simple quinceanera budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets. Alternatively, this quinceañera budget template is also perfect for this.
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2. Plan in advance
The earlier you start to plan, the better deals you’ll get. So if you’re looking to save money on your quince, you should start to plan for it as far in advance as you can.
After all, not only does this give you more time to shop around, but it gives you more options. For example, certain venues that are in your budget may book out well ahead of time. This means the earlier you’re able to plan and book these, the more likely it is you’ll get a good deal.
When should you start planning your quince?
Ideally, you should start planning your quince at least six months, if not one year, in advance. Not only will that help you to organize things properly with less stress, but it can also help you to save money on your quinceanera by giving you more options.
That is, as mentioned above, if you leave things to the last minute, you’ll likely end up spending more than you would have if you’d booked things earlier. This is because the best deals will have booked out so your options will be more limited.
And for anyone looking to plan a cheap quinceanera, this could make things much more difficult than they would be otherwise.
It’s also way more stressful to organize an event like a quince with limited time, so do yourself a favor and plan it as early as you can!
Can you plan a quinceanera in 3 months?
You can plan a quinceanera in three months, but you’ll likely need some help. Ask your family and friends if they can support you with things like preparing the food and making decorations. Otherwise, you may run out of time to find vendors who you can pay to do this – not to mention that it will cost more.
We’ve got some ideas later on in this article on just how you can do this, with many of these tips being great for helping you to save both time and money.
3. Pick a reasonable venue
Venue can be a massive cost for any event, so if you’re looking to plan a quinceanera on a budget, you should really try as hard as you can to find a venue that’s reasonably priced.
You could simply search for cheap quinceanera venues near you, although basically any sort of event hall or even outdoor setting could do the job. In fact, not limiting yourself to quince-specific venues could actually save you money. This is because, like weddings, vendors often put the price up when they know that it’s for a certain event like this.
You could even simply hold it in your or a friend’s backyard if there’s enough space. There are some really beautiful backyard quinceanera ideas out there – and the best part is it will probably be free!
4. Rent a dress
It can be tempting to think that you have to buy a new quinceanera dress, but that definitely isn’t the case.
Instead, there are now tons of sites where you can actually rent your dress for a fraction of the price that it would cost to buy new. This can be a great idea when you’re on a budget, especially when the chance is pretty low that you’ll actually ever wear the dress again.
It also may allow you to afford a fancy dress then you wouldn’t have been able to get if you were buying it outright!
Check out sites like EricDress for some great, rentable dresses.
FYI… before buying anything online, have you heard of Honey? It’s a browser extension that’s able to save you money by automatically searching for discounts on shopping websites – meaning you can save money without doing any extra work at all.
5. Buy second hand
Another option (for anyone looking to live on a budget, but also when an event is coming up) instead of renting your dress is to buy it secondhand. As was just mentioned, a lot of people don’t wear their quince dresses ever again after the event, so you’ll often find people selling theirs at a heavy discount.
And given they’ve only been worn once, the quality is usually excellent. Of course, you can always buy it and take it to a tailor if it’s not quite right for you, which gives you even more options for shopping secondhand.
TBDress has some beautiful secondhand quinceanera dress options, for example.
6. DIY your decorations
Paying for decorations can really add up and it’s absolutely not necessary to buy these, especially these days when Pinterest and YouTube have so many great ideas for you to DIY.
For instance, it’s super easy to make some really beautiful looking table centerpieces. These also have the added bonus of having a really personal touch that you know you won’t see at anyone else’s quinceanera.
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7. Recruit friends to help you decorate
Following on from the idea to DIY your own decorations, it can also be a good idea to recruit your friends to help you make them. A few weekends before your quince, you could easily invite them all around for a decorating weekend where you give them pizza and they help you out.
This will also, obviously, save you a ton of time. After all, it can be fun to make the first couple of decorations, but when you have to make 50 of them, it’s easy to see that you could get sick of it. Getting to hang with your friends all doing this is a much better option.
8. Limit the number of guests
It’s pretty obvious that the more people you have at your quince, the higher the cost will be. This is why, when looking for how you can plan a cheap quinceanera, one of the easiest steps you can take is to reduce your guest list.
There can be a lot of pressure to invite every family member you’ve ever had, with this pressure often coming from family members who aren’t even paying for the quinceanera. This is why you may need to recruit your parents to help you push back against this, so that you’re only inviting people that you actually want to have there.
And then when it comes to the question of how do you plan a small quinceanera, the answer is that it’s actually much easier to do. After all, you suddenly need a lot less of everything, which definitely reduces the price. You’ll also now find yourself with a lot more time to hang out with the people you want to see at your party, which isn’t always possible with a massive guest list.
9. Pick a non-Saturday date
Saturdays are easily the most expensive day of the week to hold a major event like a quince, with vendors knowing they’re in demand and setting the process accordingly.
This is why, when looking to plan a quinceanera on a budget, holding the event on literally any other day of the week is a great way to drastically cut your expenses. Fridays and Sundays are probably going to be your most likely alternative, but you’ll save even more money if it’s possible to hold it during the week.
Either way, this can be an easy way to save money on your quince without it being a major change to your overall plans.
10. Have a buffet rather than a sit-down meal
When it comes to your quinceanera budget list, food is often one of the more expensive items.
And one way to do a quinceanera on a budget is to switch to a buffet instead of having a sit down meal. Sit down meals are always going to be more expensive at any event, but people usually don’t really care how they get their food – they just want to enjoy what they’re eating.
This is why a good way around this is to serve the food as a buffet. People can then take as much or as little as they want and the food itself is often cheaper to prepare and serve like this.
11. Send e-invites
These days, people don’t expect to get their invitations in the mail, so there’s no reason why you should spend money on this. Instead, as an easy way to save money on your quinceanera, go with an invitation that’s simply emailed out to your guests.
It also makes it much easier to track who is coming, as people are much more likely to simply click the attending button then go to the hassle of mailing back their RSVP.
And there are plenty of sites out there offering some really beautiful online invitations, so you definitely won’t lose out on any elegance by doing it this way.
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12. Go easy on the cake
One of the big costs for a quinceanera is often the cake, so it can be tempting to go all out on this to meet what you think are the required standards.
But given the amount of money that cake can cost just for people to look at it for a few moments before they start eating it, you should really reconsider whether that big, fancy (and expensive!) cake is needed.
One great way around this is becoming more popular at weddings lately and can easily be done at your quinceanera too. It involves having a fancy-looking “cutting cake” for the photos and to show guests, but having a cheaper, plainer – yet still delicious – sheet cake out the back that people can actually eat. Find out more here.
13. Serve cupcakes instead of a full cake
As another alternative to a big fancy cake, consider serving cupcakes instead of a single cake. They’re generally cheaper to buy – or you could even recruit a talented friend or family member who’s good with icing to decorate something you make yourself.
As long as it’s delicious, people won’t care that it’s being served in this way. In fact, they probably appreciate the unique spin you’re putting on your quince.
This can also be one of the best ideas for a small quinceanera, where you don’t want to pay for a full cake as it won’t be eaten.
14. Find a talented friend to do your hair and make up (or do it yourself)
It’s a big day so you want to look your best, but this doesn’t mean paying a premium for your hair and make up.
Instead, find a talented friend who can do your hair and make up for you on the big day. Alternatively, why not try to do it yourself? YouTube tutorials for hair and makeup are amazing these days, making it super simple to produce some quality work at home.
15. Crowdsource a playlist
Everyone wants to make sure the dance floor is rocking, but this doesn’t mean paying big money for a DJ.
Instead, simply preparing a playlist with your favorite songs can do just the same thing. In fact, you could even add a special spin on it by asking attendees to suggest songs to the playlist! That way, you know what being played is what people actually want.
This is also an easy way to embrace one of the quinceanera themes that are out there, by asking everyone to add songs to the playlist that match your chosen theme (if you choose to go down that route).
16. Create your own hashtag instead of paying for a photographer
You definitely want to have good photos to remember your special night, but if you’re looking to plan a quinceanera on a budget, hiring a photographer can really add a lot to your total expenses.
Instead, you can just as easily get your friends to take photos for you throughout the event. The best way to do this is to create your very own hashtag and ask people who post photos of the night to use this hashtag so you can easily find all of them, making it a great, fun way to live cheap.
17. Use in-season flowers
You don’t necessarily need to have flowers for your quinceanera, but it’s definitely a big deal for a lot of people. Unfortunately, it can also be a big cost which can really hurt if you’re trying to plan a quinceanera on a budget.
One good way to save money here is to make sure you’re only using in season flowers. They are going to be much cheaper than other types of flowers and they also often look more lush, given that you’re using them during the peak time.
To find out what types of flowers this may be, have a chat with your local florist based on the time you’re planning to hold your quince.
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.