Friday, January 21, 2011

But my Quince isn't until August!

Six snow days in two weeks. Ah, yes, the beauty of living (and surviving) a Kansas City winter. With snow-covered hills and sledding abound, summer time swimming is far from the minds of many teenagers. Also far from their minds it summer time quinceañeras. Sure, thoughts of being MTV's next "Quiero Mis Quince" superstar are forever in the thoughts of young ladies on the brink of celebrating their quinceañera, but have they taken a break from sledding to think of their summertime fun? In many cases the answer is no.

As many know, planning a quinceañera can be the equivalent of planning a wedding. It's a once in a lifetime event. And let's face it, the money being spent is no drop in the bucket. While most families have padrinos, it doesn't mean the family should, or will, get off penniless. The best way to make sure families don't end up selling kidneys on the black market to pay for the quinceañera is smart planning.

Smart planning - what a new concept, right? Well, quite honestly for some it is. You'd be surprised at the number of people calling me for a cake for 300 people less than a month before the quinceañera. Once I had someone call me, wait for it, TWO DAYS before the quinceañera. Sadly, I saw her at a wholesale club the next day in the bakery department. All signs of poor planning. Smart planning doesn't just mean going the cheapest route, it means making the smartest decision. For example, some dresses can take up to six months to order. This means that if your quinceañera is in June and you haven't ordered it yet, you may have to settle for something less than was initially envisioned. It would also mean more money. Ever heard of a rush charge? Yup, they exist and they are high.

Smart planning will not only save you money, to a certain extend of course, it will also alleviate major headache and stress. No one wants to wiggle into their dress while lamenting whether or not all the damas and chambelanes know the choreography they rehearsed for the first time two days prior.

While planning a quinceañera for 150 people or 500 people is no direct path, the concept is the same.
  1. Get you priorities straight Is it critical that you have the ceremony at a particular parish? Book it now. The the devastating dismay of all those girls out there who thing they have the only quinceañera of the year, I have news for you - you are not. Others will plan and BOOK vendors without your consultation. Sorry to break your heart.
  2. Start early Again, sorry to break your heart, but others will plan and book without any consideration for you. The earlier you start, the more time you have to research what you want and what you can afford.
  3. Shop around Remember, just because one vendor is financially cheaper doesn't  mean they are automatically the one to chose. Pick a vendor that offers you what you want. What's the point of picking the cheapest DJ if all he plays is country and all you listen to is hip-hop?
  4. Be honest, you don't have $100,000 to spend If you do, don't listen to me and listen to that high priced party planner you hired. For the rest of you, the notion of have an individual cake for every table, stretch limos, a mariachi, DJ and live band, are great, but they come with a price. A big price. Oh, but you have padrinos? Well, that makes it okay then, right? Yeah, not so much. Any money being spent or time being occupied, is someone's hard-working time and money. Don't take advantage of that or be greedy.
  5. Don't lose sight of what a quinceañera really means. The puffy dress, a day of feeling like a superstar model, having the 'one' guy ask you to dance. You'll be hard pressed to find a girl that has not thought of these things. Yet, the quinceañera is centered around this girl becoming a young lady. It's about her parents celebrating their daughter and saying, "This is our daughter. Our young lady." Honor that. Honor and respect what this moment truly means.
Does your head hurt just to think of everything entailed? It's okay. It happens to the best of people. The key is not to sweat the little things. Do and accept what can be done. Enjoy the process as much as the quinceañera and that special day will be as carefree as sledding down these piles of snow.

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