Quinceañera Cost: How to Pay for a Quinceañera

how to pay for a quinceanera

Quinceañera as we know it today, celebrated by thousands of girls around Central America and the estimated 400,000 Hispanic girls who turn 15 every year in the U.S. The quinceañera industry now tops $400 million in the United States. And their families often wonder how to pay for a quinceañera.

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How much does a quinceañera cost?

The cost of this fiesta ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. How much a family spends depends on the style of celebration and number of guests.

Here is a breakdown of typical costs, courtesy of mipadrino.com.

Elements of a quinceañera

The quinceañera begins as a religious ceremony at the family Catholic church. The honoree, or “quince girl,” attends a special Mass in which she ceremonially reaffirms her dedication to God and receives a blessing from the priest. She often carries a book of prayer. During the ceremony, the quince girl commits herself to protecting her virginity and spiritual devotion.

before exiting the church, she leaves a bouquet of flowers at the altar or near a statue of the Virgin Mary. And as she transitions from childhood to woman, she symbolically gives away a porcelain doll to a younger girl.

She wears a fairy tale gown — floor length, with satin, lace, sparkles, and a tiara. The gown alone can cost hundreds or even thousands. But the finery doesn’t stop with the quince girl. She must also have 14 damas, or girl attendants, to symbolize the past 14 years of her life. And 15 chambelans (male attendants in tuxedos) to accompany the girls.

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The fiesta

Afterward, the Sweet 15 reception gets underway, and it can get very fancy and very expensive. The fiesta typically, like many weddings, involves some traditional, choreographed dance sequences. And there maybe various rituals celebrating the girls’ heritage as well as their birthdays.

The Quinceañera is similar to traditional debutante dances and “coming out’ ceremonies common in some parts of the US and Europe. They  serve as young Hispanic girls’ official entrance into society and womanhood. The family may spend a great deal of money to solidify the quince girl’s position in society and eventual marriage.

Quinceañera cost

If you’re wondering how much a quinceañera costs, consider that it involves many of the same elements you’d see at a wedding:

  • Gowns and tuxedos
  • Flowers
  • Gifts
  • Music and entertainment
  • Food and drink
  • Photography
  • Venues
  • Limousines and other transport

To defray costs, some churches host ceremonies for multiple girls at once, and some families may also combine fiestas. So a quinceañera doesn’t have to cost the earth. But for families who want to make a strong statement, there are few limits on what a party can cost.

Related: How to Plan and Pay for Your Wedding

How to pay for a quinceañera

The best way to pay for a quinceañera depends on the family’s resources and the size of the fiesta. You may be able to charge the costs on a credit card and pay it off quickly. Your extended family, as is the tradition for many, may contribute substantially.

Credit cards are certainly the most convenient and fast way to deal with the cost of a quinceañera. But far from the cheapest. You may be able to charge your costs to a rewards card, or open a zero interest card to get an interest free period.

But unless you can clear that balance quickly, a personal loan may be the best way to pay for a quinceañera. And if your expenses are going to run into thousands or even tens of thousands, a personal loan for a quinceañera may be the best payment option.

If you are planning a very, very expensive fiesta, pulling out all the stops and going into tens of thousands of debt or even more, home equity might be your best bet. A home equity loan takes longer to set up, there are mortgage-related costs, and your repayment can take decades. And if you fail to repay as agreed, you put your home at risk of foreclosure.

But a loan secured by your home does usually offer the lowest interest rates. Few financial experts recommend taking on that level of debt for a party that lasts one day. But if it’s important to your culture, you’re set in spending that kind of money and don’t mind financing it — and you have home equity to borrow against — that can be your best option.

Personal loan for quinceañera

For a quinceañera with costs falling i the average range ($5,000 to $20,000), a personal loan may well be the best way to pay. You can get a fixed interest rate and payment, and choose the term that makes your repayment affordable for you. Generally one to five years, but they do run as long as ten years for some programs.

personal loan interest rates vary between providers, and your costs will also depend on your credit rating, loan amount and term.

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