The Sweet Sixteen Birthday party is a way to celebrate a young girl’s journey into becoming a young adult. This party can be very low-key or in some places extremely formal. This “coming out” celebration is given to the young girl who is entering a new stage of her life.
Similar to the Quinceañera in Hispanic cultures, turning sixteen years old is a really important part of an American girl’s journey into adulthood, and in many cases is considered to be only a close second behind her wedding day. This is why planning that Sweet 16 party should be considered so much more than just another one of her birthdays.
Tips to Planning The Perfect Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party
Mom’s To Do List: 2-3 Months Out
You should begin planning the Sweet Sixteen party between two and three months before the event date. Depending on how detailed you plan on making the party, the more time you have in advance of the event the better.
1. Choose a date. The day of the party can be a day or two before or after the actual birthday if need be. Schedule the party so it does not conflict with holidays or you could have a less than stellar showing at her birthday party.
2. Select the venue. While choosing a place to hold the Sweet Sixteen party can be a challenge, the easy way to reduce the choices is by determining how many guests will be attending. This way if the list is small to medium, you will not need to rent the larger facilities on your list. If you want a more personal feel to the event consider a park, backyard, or outdoor location. If you need to rent a banquet hall consider the local community center or the Wesley Center here in Clermont FL.
3. Plan the guest list. Be sure that you plan out for the guest list well in advance of the party so that you get commitments from those people that she will most definitely want at her party. Decide now if you are going with a small and intimate group of close family and friends or a full-blown elaborate event with family and friends that extends much further.
4. Start by saving the date. Remind your guests by sending them an email, photo, or small save-the-date magnets. This way they can easily be reminded of the big event in case other commitments were to surface in between now and the party.
5. Send the invitations. Order Sweet Sixteen party invitations that are appropriate for the type of party you are hosting. If you are having a formal party, let the invitations reflect that theme.
Finalizing Details: 2-8 Weeks Before the Event
During the final planning phase, you need to be sure to take care of the fine details of the Sweet Sixteen party. This might be the time to ask a family member or friend for some help getting these tasks accomplished.
Be sure to pick a theme that the birthday girl is on board with. She is going to want this day to be truly unforgettable, so make sure the theme is a reflection of her personality and her desires too. Her opinion should be consulted often with regards to the theme. If you are looking for ideas check out the list of Top 30 Themes For Quinceañera Parties.
The majority of your budget is going to be spent on the food. Whether you decide to have everyone chip in and cook meals or have the entire event catered, allow your birthday girl to have input as to the types of food that she would most like to have at her party. If you decide to have the party at a local restaurant, you may have to bring your own cake if not supplied by the establishment.
The birthday girl is going to need to be showered with song this special day, and the entertainment should know well in advance all the songs that she simply must have at the event. The entertainment will be responsible for the music as well as any games you may have planned for all her friends to participate in.
The Party Favors
The guests who attend the Sweet Sixteen party need to leave with a special gift that reminds them for years to come what a special day this was. Let the birthday girl come up with unique gift ideas like mini purses, candy jars, or engraved glasses, that remind her guests and thank them at the same time.
Sweet 16 Birthday Party Etiquette Questions
How can I ensure all the guests are safe at the party?
The majority of attendees will be minors, so it is always a good idea that adults supervise the party from start to finish.
How can I keep under budget?
Money tends to be no object when it comes to making that little girl happy, but that is how you can go well over budget if not careful. Plan your expenses in advance and try to make as many payments before the day of the party so you are not short and embarrassed at the party when it comes time to pay.
How can I stay on track?
Keep a small date journal handy with telephone numbers, appointments, and all the monies that go out. Keep all your receipts in the journal too.