dress16 No Money, No Problem

My Cousin's Dress

Although most of us feel the effects of the recession, many girls turning 15 and 16 are still continuing to uphold the tradition of celebrating this milestone birthday. Perhaps today the festivities are more modest than before but the joy and fun of the girls’ parties cannot be diminished by monetary concerns.

I thought I would share some “budget” alternatives to the preparations and expenditures of the quinceaneras or sweet sixteen parties.

1. Share the festivities with other girls turning 15 or 16 around the same date.

 2. Instead of using professional caterers, musicians, decorators, and photographers, find peers amongst your daughter’s friends and amongst your friends who can provide the expertise for you. Then, you offer to do something for them when they have a party.

3. With regard to food served at the parties, create a party to make all the food with your daughter, her friends and your friends. Plan the menu with the celebrant, invite everyone over after the shopping is done, and divide up the tasks involved.

4. Now that it is spring, flowers are blooming outdoors and can be placed indoors in vases and scattered over the table to decorate with nature, not money.

5. Finally, see if someone, perhaps a relative, has the outfit or part of the outfit that your daughter dreams of wearing. If she has her heart set on a long, formal dress, perhaps “shopping in someone’s closet” can make her just as happy as an expensive garment from a store. Begin a family tradition of wearing the same outfit or gown. Remember, “vintage” is always chic.

The most important part of the milestone events of quinceaneras and sweet sixteen is dialoguing and working with your daughter to create an unforgettable celebration. No matter how much or how little money is spent, the shared moments of planning and preparation will be cherished forever.

Let’s hear your ideas! Please share!

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