You sweet little girl isn't so little anymore, and her 16th birthday party is just around the corner! Having a Sweet 16 is an important rite of passage, and chances are you daughter's already been counting down the days. (Can you believe she'll be driving soon?) To plan a party that's as special as your daughter, you'll need six important things:
1. A theme
While the theme for the party may seem fairly obvious, we're betting you can get a little more creative than simply "Sweet 16." Your daughter should play a big role in the planning process, so sit down with her and talk about potential themes. Her interests can be a helpful springboard for brainstorming. For example, is she constantly playing her guitar? Try a rock 'n' roll theme. Or does she love all things French? A Parisian Sweet 16 is surely one she will remember for the rest of her life.
2. A guest list
Now that you have a theme in place, it's time to form the guest list! Your daughter may want to invite the entire sophomore class, but you know better. Encourage your teen to only invite her closest friends to make the day extra special. Of course, this may still result in a large guest list. (We all know how political high school can be!) Just remind her that the number of people she invites will have an influence on the types of activities you can do – paying for 50 mani/pedis may not be within your price range.
Once the guest list is finalized, you can begin to send out invitations. The Sweet 16 invitations should be put in the mail about a month before the party, and the design you choose should match the party's theme. Remember that rock 'n' roll party we talked about? These Rock On invites from Pear Tree Greetings are the perfect choice. Or, if you're going with the chic Parisian theme, these Curled Up in Elegant invitations are ideal.
4. An activity
No Sweet 16 party is complete without a memorable activity. You should choose something special that your daughter will always remember. If you're dealing with a large group of teens, you could have a bonfire, project a movie on a sheet outdoors, or hire a DJ or local band so they can have an epic dance party. Is your daughter simply having a small gathering with her favorite girls? Create an at-home spa experience with manis, pedis and facials.
To set the mood for the perfect Sweet 16 celebration, you'll need the proper decorations. Pick a few colors to represent your theme and make sure they are present throughout. There's no such thing as going overboard! The plates, utensils, balloons, crepe paper, birthday signs and favor bags should all coordinate. Consider using the birthday girl's photo on various decorations as well. Remember: It's all about her today!
What's a Sweet 16 party without sweets? A traditional tiered cake is always an option, and it definitely lends itself well to being decorated in accordance with the party's theme. However, cupcakes are super trendy right now, and you can get even more creative by offering things like an ice cream or s'more bar. As with every other aspect of the party, the dessert you choose should ultimately be tied to the theme. For example, if you're having a camping-themed party, make a station where everyone can create their own trail mix!