Where to Start Planning Your Quinceanera

Yay! You’re now officially starting to plan the quinceañera of your dreams! Like many others in your shoes, you may need some help with how to get started.

Everyone who is planning a quince should think about six main things to start:

  • Budget
  • Event Date
  • Guest List
  • Potential Vendors
  • XV Theme/Style
  • Mi Padrino Account

That may be enough for you to get started, but if not, here are some more details on each of those pieces!


Blush Quinceanera Dress
Citlali’s portraits in Dallas, TX.

One of the first steps in how to start planning a quinceañera is setting a realistic budget. The budget is going to help determine everything else during the quince planning process.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much money do you think you’ll have to spend?
    • Whether you’re working with $500 or $500,000 (Bad Bunny or Banda MS better be playing), start to a get a ballpark idea of how much you might have to spend!
  • Where is the money going to come from?
    • Parents? Friends? Family? Start to get an idea of how much they’ll each be willing to contribute.
  • Will you have padrinos? 
    • If you answered yes:

After answering these questions, make sure to download our budgeting checklist for free, and you can also purchase our quinceañera planning book to do some planning on paper!

Event Date

Blush Pink Quinceanera Dress
Credit: Vacilon Photography

The moment you set an event date is the moment things will finally be set in motion. Not only that, but it will be the first question everyone is going to ask you.

There are a couple factors you want to consider when picking your date:

  • Timeline
    • Give yourself enough time to plan. Typically, quinceañeras are planned around 12-18 months in advance, but we’ve also seen people plan them in as little as four months.
  • Season or Weather
    • Depending on where you live, there might be a huge difference between having a quince in June vs January. Start thinking if there’s a month or time of year that you’d ideally like to have your quince.
  • Venue Availability
    • The venue is the main vendor that you need to work with to get your date locked down. Start contacting your top choices with potential date ideas and see who’s available when.
  • Other Top Vendors
    • There may be other specific vendors you’ll want for your quince too. If so, reach out and make sure they’re not already booked before solidifying your date.
  • Friends and Family
    • Your quince is nothing without all your favorite people. Call your closest friends and family and run date ideas by them to make sure they don’t have conflicts.


Guest List

Credit: Jersson Luna Photography

Your guest list is another huge factor when planning your quinceañera.

Here are some things to consider when you start creating your potential quinceanera guest list:

  • Budget
    • Many expenses may come down to a cost per person, so keep your budget in mind when thinking about how many people you want to have.
  • Venue Capacity
    • All venues have a maximum capacity, so make sure you know that number if you already have a venue in mind.
  • Catering Cost
    • Traditional catering charges a cost per plate, which could be anywhere from $15 to $150, so make sure the size of your guest list aligns with your budget.
  • A-List vs B-List
    • Making cuts is super hard, but everyone has to do it. From the start, it can be helpful to create an A-list and a B-list of people you absolutely must have vs those can get cut if needed.

Here are some additional tips to help you figure out who to invite to your quince.


Credit: Dejoria Center on High Star Ranch – Utah

If you’re thinking you’ll have a lot of different vendors, this will be a big factor in your overall cost too, but there is at least some flexibility in your options.

Here are the main type of vendors to start thinking about:

  • Venue
    • Some venues offer all-inclusive packages with catering, music, a photo booth, and more, which can be super convenient, but potentially more expensive.
    • Start thinking about going all-inclusive vs finding vendors on your own. You can price out how those overall costs would differ.
  • Catering
    • If you know you want a specific place or cuisine to be catered at your event, make sure you research them ahead of time and book early!
    • If you’re trying to stay on a lower budget, you may want to start thinking about who can cook in the family!
  • Music
    • There are so many options to choose from when it comes to the music for your event. Choose any one or combination from:
      • DJs
      • Live Banda
      • Mariachis
      • Norteño Groups
      • Tamborazo
  • Photographer
    • If there’s a photographer you know you want to have, make sure they’re available for your date! Otherwise, start thinking if you’ll want photo and video or just photo, as video may add an additional expense.
    • Decide if you want to have a pre-quince photoshoot too, as they can be perfect for:
      • Save the date cards
      • RSVPs
      • Invitations
    • You may also want to book the same photographer for a pre-quince shoot, so make sure they’re available and see if there’s an extra cost. There may be discounts for the bundle!

Check out Mi Padrino for a list of quinceanera vendors in your area to start to find some that you might want to hire!

XV Style

Credit: Vacilon Photography

Picking your quince style is the best part of planning! Do you want to be a princess? Do you have a favorite color? Do you love a certain place or era? The possibilities are endless.

Picking your quince style will help define other elements of your quince, including:

Not all quinces have themes, but there’s usually at least a color scheme. Start looking for ideas and inspiration to get an idea of how you want yours to look and feel. Follow us on Pinterest for tons of different theme boards, including Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast, and much more. 

Mi Padrino Account

We have all the tools you need to manage everything with planning online and on the go!

Download our mobile app or sign up online to access these tools:

  • Guest List – Add your guests, send out invitations, and collect RSVPs all online. 
  • Budget – Create your budget and track all your expenses and payments. 
  • Checklist – Stay on a good timeline and never forget a task while planning. 
  • Vendors – Find local venues, photographers, caterers, DJs, and more. 
  • Products – Shop XV dresses, invitations, decor, and much, much more!
  • Inspiration – Get ideas and inspiration on decor, dresses, vendors, and more!

Create your free account and event page today! Download the app or use online!


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