How to Plan an Unforgettable Sweet 16 Party for Your Child

Jan 30, 2015

Being the parent of a teenager can be an interesting experience, but it certainly has its perks — especially if you love to throw a good party. One celebration you may find yourself in charge of is a Sweet 16 birthday party for your child. Sweet 16 parties have become popular in recent years thanks in part to MTV and the growing party planning industry. Despite how common they are becoming, though, they can require months of planning in order to get the details right.

Although this list is dedicated to Sweet 16 parties, you can apply this advice to several other wonderful coming of age events, as well, such as a Quinceañera, a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, or any other milestone birthday in your child’s life. Here’s what you should add to your checklist as you and your child plan a wonderful birthday celebration:

1. Select a venue. In order to get started with your Sweet 16 planning, you’ll want to plan ahead at least two to three months in advance to make sure you can book a venue for the date you have chosen. The budget for a Sweet 16 or other birthday party should be at the forefront of your mind, especially as a Sweet 16 can run anywhere from $300 to $25,000 — even for a backyard party. Above all, choose a venue that will let you customize your event as you see fit.

2. Contact catering and other suppliers. Much of your budget will also be dedicated to the costs for food, party event rentals, and more. You’ll want to make catering arrangements as soon as possible. As for other party supplies, you’ll know what you need based on what your venue does or does not offer. For instance, if your venue isn’t equipped with one, you may find yourself obtaining indoor or outdoor dance floor rentals to give your child’s guests a place to let loose. In addition to indoor/outdoor dance floor rentals, stage rentals, and other supplies, you might also need chairs, tables, and tents, depending upon where you’re holding your party.

3. Host live entertainment. To go off that last point, entertainment is big for Sweet 16 parties and other related celebrations. See if you can book a band or DJ as soon as possible, depending on what your child would like. If hiring a DJ, discuss playlists (and do-not-play lists) ahead of time. Having the right entertainment will make it worth have indoor or outdoor dance floor rentals for your party.

4. Choose a theme. Finally, there’s the fun part: organizing the party’s details around a unique theme. Some teens just choose a color for the decorations. Others may host a party with a specific theme, such as one centered around a favorite film or book. Being host or hostess also gives you and your child the chance to create fun party favors that are sure to wow guests. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

In addition to the above party planning tips, you’ll also want to find dresses, shoes, and accessories as soon as possible. Make sure that invites are sent and RSVPs are collected quickly to get accurate numbers for who will be there. Above all, be prepared for anything, and you and your child should have an excellent and memorable time!