Turning 16 is one of the most anticipated moments in your teen’s life and with it comes all kinds of excitement. Once they get past the drivers test (phew!), the one thing on their mind is throwing the greatest Sweet 16 Party their friends have ever seen! With such high expectations, the task of celebrating your 16-year-old’s birthday may seem a little daunting. How do you pull off a party that your teen will never forget (and might even put down their phone to experience)? Follow these 6 steps and you’ll be well on your way to throwing a spectacular Sweet 16 Party…
Step 1: Set the Date & Budget
Since this is going to be the biggest and best Sweet 16 Party your teen could ever imagine, it’s important that their closest friends and family can be there. The party doesn’t have to be on their actual birthday, just make sure to pick a date that works for as many friends and family as possible. Once you’ve set the date, establish your budget for the party to make the rest of your planning much easier!
Step 2: The Guest List
Whether your teen is their high school’s socialite or would prefer a more intimate gathering of friends, the guest list is a major part of their party. It’s time to get those invitations ready! Ask your teen to provide you with a guest list, or make one together that suits your budget. Invitations are a party’s first impression, so it’s a great idea match the party’s theme. Getting custom invitations is an easy way to ensure that your teen (and their all-important BFF’s) are excited about the party right off the bat! After creating those masterpiece party invitations, remember to send them out around 3-4 weeks in advance so your guests have time to make arrangements and buy the perfect gift!
Step 3: Venue & Decor
16 is a major milestone for your teen and we know you want to make their party unforgettable. So, the next step is to choose a theme. Have the birthday girl/boy help you decide which party themes they’d love for their special day so that you can find the perfect venue and get started on the party decor to match! If you’re planning an outside party, consider reserving tents from a Tent Rental Company in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Whether you’ll be partying outside or inside, your guests will need somewhere to sit, so remember to provide tables and chairs. Creating the perfect party atmosphere can be a pretty big undertaking, but hiring a Party Planner to handle all of the details can make things much easier for you. However, if you decide to take it on yourself, it can be a fun project for you and your teen to work toward together. Plus, GigSalad is here to supply the tools and party ideas along the way!
Step 4: Food & Drink
As you well know, teenagers always seem be hungry, so food will play a pretty big role in the success of your party. If the budget allows, book a Caterer to provide creative party eats to match your them. It will ensure that your time at the party isn’t spent replenishing the snack table, and frees up time for you to enjoy the party with your teen. Still, consider your atmosphere. A low-key party might only call for pizzas and a dessert table or, if your party’s outside, a cook out. Depending on your theme, hiring a Bartender to serve soda and custom mocktails is another creative way to make your party stand out. Of course, since this is a birthday party, we certainly can’t forget the cake (yum!). If you aren’t ready to try your hand at becoming TLC’s new “Cake Boss,” ordering a cake from a Cake Decorator is a great way to showcase your teen’s personality with a fabulous cake. Don’t forget to make the birthday official by lighting candles for the guest of honor to blow out and make a wish!
Step 5: Entertainment
One of the most important aspects of the party will most definitely be the entertainment. After all, the entertainment is what really gets the party started! Hiring entertainment may be the most costly part of the party, so keep your budget in mind while you look for the perfect DJ or Cover Band that’ll have your teen and guests dancing the night away. Be sure to ask your teen about their music preferences so you can choose a band within their favorite genre or provide the DJ with a list of your teen’s favorite songs. If a dance party isn’t your teen’s thing, consider booking a Comedian or Magician to entertain the crowd. Want to leave a lasting impression? Setting up a Photo Booth allows your guests to get silly and print out memories of the best Sweet 16 Party they’ve ever been to!
Step 6: Party Favors
Thank your guests for making your teen’s birthday so special by giving out Party Favors as they leave. Photo Booth strips make for great party favors, but if you want to go above and beyond, consider making individual goodie bags for each guest. Fill each goodie bag with party-themed keepsakes that will continue to remind your guests what a fantastic time they had at your teen’s Sweet 16!
Now that you know how to throw your teen the amazing Sweet 16 Party they deserve, remember to document all the fun. Consider hiring a Photographer to capture the memories so that you can be out there enjoying the wonderful party you put together! With a few great ideas and the right tools, party planning can be both fun and simple. If you find yourself needing an extra hand, reach out to us at GigSalad for all of your party planning needs!