Sweet 16 is a MAJOR milestone- and should be treated as such! However, planning
the PERFECT party is no easy feat- and can often leave you wondering where to
even begin. Our easy-to-follow party planning guide will help you get a jump
start on planning a Sweet 16 that will be remembered forever.
1. Talk to the
birthday girl. It is her special day, after all, so you should find out first
and foremost what she has in mind! Is she hoping for a fancy birthday dinner
with her closest girlfriends, a fun sleepover with a bunch of pals, or maybe
even a splashy co-ed birthday bash? Maybe she isn’t sure what kind of party she
wants yet, but she’s been dreaming of a certain theme or color scheme! No
matter what your soon-to-be sixteen year old is picturing, be sure to talk to
her before you begin the planning process. Communication is key!
2. Pick a theme.
Once you and the birthday girl decide what sort of party you’ll be throwing,
the next step is deciding on the perfect theme. While it can be as simple as
her favorite color, having a central idea will make selecting décor and
choosing activities SO much easier! A theme also creates the appearance of a
well-organized event, and will help you to focus your energy! Use the The Sweet 16 Party Store Theme to get inspired!
3. Create a
budget. Without a budget, you might be tempted to buy more than you should!
When making your budget, be sure to take into consideration things like venue
and transportation (if necessary), decorations, cake, refreshments, food,
games, and party favors. Naturally, the more elaborate the party and the more
guests attending, the larger the budget. It is possible to throw a fabulous
birthday bash without breaking the bank, though! Be sure to leave some cushion
in the budget for unexpected expenses that might arise- you’ll thank yourself!
4. Create a
timeline. The sooner you begin the party planning process, the more smoothly it
will go and the less stressed out you’ll be when the big day finally arrives!
We recommend starting the planning process around 3 months before the date of
your party. It may seem like a lot of time, but this way you’ll avoid
scrambling to put everything together the night before! The Sweet 16 Party Planning Checklist will walk you through the creation of an initial timeline of what needs to be
done before the party. Print the checklist and put the tasks into your calendar
for the best results!
reservations. As soon as you have a plan for the party’s activities, make your
reservations ASAP! Whether you’re renting a venue, staying at a hotel, going to
a concert, or just doing dinner, the sooner you reserve your space the better!
Don’t forget to mention that the event is a Sweet 16 when booking, because some
places have special packages or VIP treatment for the birthday girl and her
invitations. Around one month before the event, send out the invitations to
everyone on the birthday girl’s list! Giving the guests some advance notice
ensures the best turnout! Make sure to use an invitation that matches the
party’s theme or décor. Include the theme, date, time, location, special
instructions (if guests are supposed to bring something with them or wear a
specific outfit) and RSVP information!
7. Create a
menu. Work with the birthday girl to decide on what kind of food you’ll be
serving to your guests. Whether you’re having snacks, dessert, or even hiring a
caterer, deciding on a menu will make the whole process run much more smoothly!
Inform the caterer as soon as possible on your plans for the menu so that they’re
well informed of your expectations. If you’re making the food yourself, be sure
to write the menu down so that you don’t forget anything! Don’t wait until the
last minute to purchase food; it helps to get a jump start with the
nonperishable items! Asking a friend or family member to help you with cooking
that needs to be done the day of the event will reduce stress!
8. Purchase décor.
Consider the theme, budget, and venue when planning and purchasing decorations.
If the party will be held at a rented venue, make sure that you’ve visited the
location and taken pictures and measurements for the easiest planning. If the
party will be held at your home, envisioning the space while purchasing
decorations will obviously be much easier! You should have all of the
decorations necessary to make the party perfect at least two weeks before the party!
9. Prep for the
big day. Prepare your décor, food, and supplies necessary for games and
activities. Fill the party favor bags, wrap the birthday girl’s gift, and
double check that you have everything you need in order to make this a 16th
to remember! Even if you think you have a great memory, keeping lists during
the planning process will keep you organizes and ensure that you don’t forget
anything. Once you complete a task or item on your list, check it off so that
you can remain focused on the things that still need to be done. If you are
renting space or purchasing any services, keep a written list of contact
information on hand in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to keep track of the
Finally, after months of planning, the time has come! Your birthday girl is so
excited for her special day! All of your hard work has paid off, and the party
is sure to be perfect. Don’t forget to spend some time celebrating with your 16