How to Plan a Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party

A “Sweet Sixteen” celebrates a teenage girl’s sixteenth birthday and, for some, is a highly anticipated and important event. Other girls view it like they do all their other birthdays. Whether you’ve been dreaming of your Sweet Sixteen since you were little or never thought twice about it, this post will help you plan every detail needed to throw an unforgettable Sweet Sixteen birthday party

Step 1: Set a Budget

Before even thinking about the details involved in the party, determine a budget. Ask your parents how much they’re willing to spend and whether or not they feel comfortable if you paid for a few small things. Don’t forget to also include them in all decisions you make about the party as most will likely concern them (and their bank accounts).

Step 2: Determine a Date

The next step is deciding on a date for your Sweet Sixteen party. Will it be before, after or on your sixteenth birthday? By deciding on a date for the party, the guests can be aware and make sure not to plan anything on that day. Of course, when choosing a date, remember to consider holidays and special events that could interfere. No one wants to end up with an empty birthday party because none of the guests could come.

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Step 3: Choose a Venue

The decision of what venue to use for your birthday party can sometimes be difficult. It all depends on how many guests there will be, the date and the budget. Make sure to book the location well ahead of time. Ideas for venues include: local parks, barns, community centres, garages, dance clubs, restaurants, sports facilities and—of course—your backyard.


Step 4: Guest List & Invitations

Planning who should be invited to your special birthday party can be a daunting task. Some girls will only want an intimate party with a few guests, while others will want a huge and elaborate ‘this-is-a-big-deal’ kind of party. Both options are perfectly fine, so don’t feel pressured into having a big party or a small one; the choice is yours (and maybe your parents’).

Once the guest list has been decided on and finalised, order or make your sweet sixteen invitations. It’s a good idea to send out all invitations around three to five weeks in advance, giving guests time to check their schedules.

For Sweet Sixteen birthday parties, the tradition is to hand-deliver the invitations to the guests. Whether you follow this tradition is up to you. You could deliver them yourself, enlist the help of friends and family or simply mail them.

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Step 5: Pick a Theme

Of course, picking a theme for your party isn’t necessary, but it sure is fun! It’s the chance to highlight and show off your personal interests, making the event even more memorable for you and your guests. The theme can be based off of anything—hobbies, novels, favourite colours, songs, movies or sports.

If you choose a certain theme you can ask guests to come dressed up in something relevant to the chosen theme. It is also a good idea to make the invitations reflect the party’s theme. Ideas for Sweet Sixteen themes include colours (blue & silver, black & gold, for example), countries and/or cities (Paris, New York City, Australia), royalty (queen, princesses), Hollywood, rock star, masquerade, famous actors and actresses, etc. The list goes on: anything is possible!

Step 6: Write the Menu

Depending on your budget and party location, you can choose to have either a catered or home-cooked menu. If the venue is a restaurant, then the party will be catered for (but make sure to check out the menu of the restaurant beforehand!) but if the venue is your house, it might be easier to have a home-cooked menu.

For the menu, choose foods that can be eaten with hands and fingers. As the guests will most likely be mingling with each other around the venue instead of sitting, make sure the foods are also easy to eat standing up. Lastly, don’t forget the cake (or cupcakes)!

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Step 7: Make the Schedule

No party is complete without entertainment and activities for you guests, and a Sweet Sixteen is no exception! To stay organised, it is useful to write a rough schedule of what will happen during your party. Plan out a few games to play with your guests and hire a DJ (or be your own DJ) to play some music. Having games and music gives your guests the chance to dance with each other and have good time in honour of you, the birthday girl—the whole point of the party!

Step 8: Party Favours

Party favours—also known as lolly or gift bags! This step is optional—a little thank you for your guests to collect when they leave. Whether it’s edible or not is up to you, there are so many options. The Sweet Sixteen party favour could match the theme of your birthday party or your personality, which ever you feel like.

And that’s it! Keep in mind that sometimes things don’t always go the way you want them to, but you can make the best out of these unexpected changes. Hopefully by using this eight step guide you can be more prepared for anything unplanned, and have the most unforgettable birthday party yet! You’re only sixteen once, so what are you waiting for? Time to get planning!

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