In these tough economic times, quinceañeras, weddings, and other big parties may seem out of reach. But experts say with a realistic budget, creativity, advance planning, and a willingness to ask for help, the party can go on—with pizzazz.
- Set a budget: decide how much you can afford to spend on the party before you start making plans.
- Shorten your guest list. Make three lists: those nearest and dearest, those you really want to invite, and those you consider more remote or feel you should invite.
- Choose a casual theme to cut down on dress and decoration costs.
- Move parties to Sundays or weekdays to avoid high-priced Saturday site fees.
- Rent a function space in your church, local school, public park, or museum, or hold it in your own or a relative’s home, or the home of a padrino.
- Cut down on decorations.
- Check out dollar stores for baskets, trays, party favors, decorations, and supplies for low-cost table arrangements. Or buy decorations from online discounters for party supplies.
- Host smaller family dinners.
- Create invitations on your computer, then print them on nice paper purchased at a craft store.
- To save on postage, use e-vites or ask invitees to e-mail their RSVPs.
- Cut out luxury transportation and bands.
- Replace an expensive band with a more affordable DJ, an inexpensive band of local high school or college students, or a single guitar player or violinist.
- Invite padrinos or in-laws to get more involved and share expenses.
- Buy a fake cake for show, then serve a less-expensive sheet cake. (Warehouse store cakes serve 48 for less than $20.) Or substitute a costly cake with cupcakes, artfully arranged.
- Ask skilled relatives to make dresses.
- Instead of hiring a professional photographer, put disposable cameras on the tables and ask guests to document the event in their own creative way. Put your favorites in a photo album from a craft store.
- Buy dresses from Craigslist or eBay; budget stores that sell designer brands (such as Filene’s Basement, Loehmann’s, Stein Mart, or T.J. Maxx), shops that are going out of business; or online stores such as joyfuleventsstore.com, quinceaneramall.com, or laquinceanera.com.
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