If you’re thinking about making a Sweet 16 party, the realization is setting in that your little girl is approaching her mid teens, marking a passage from childhood to young adulthood. Where did the years go?
The Sweet 16 has definitely evolved from having friends to the house for cake to an event that requires plenty of preparation and planning to make it a day the birthday girl will long remember.
Your daughter has probably let you know that this is no ordinary birthday. There’s a pretty good chance she’s even equipped with a To-Do list for Mom. Planning the perfect Sweet 16 can take a bit of time depending on what you and your daughter wants it to look like.
As you get underway, select a date carefully being very aware of the schedules of your immediate family and the impending holidays. When you go about choosing a location, keep in mind how many guests you’ll be having and, most important, your budget. You can consider a party hall, restaurant, backyard, a local park (with a permit) or a community center. Determine what is most important to your daughter and family; some prefer to splurge on the venue and flowers, others on live music and some would rather have lavish décor.
Don’t be shy about asking for help. Family and friends that have gone down this road with their daughters can offer good suggestions. If you are going all out, a party planner can make it all stress free and seamless.
Send out your save-the-date notices 5-6 weeks in advance. You can announce the date with printed magnets or electronically via email. Websites like Punchbowl.com and Smilbox.com provide the opportunity to send clever save-the-dates and invitations as well.
Check List: The fun really begins when you start shopping for the dress. Define the budget and style restrictions before you head out to shop.
Theme: Your daughter will choose a theme to make it unique and special for her. That theme can be translated through decorations, favors, invites, tablescapes, and color choices.
Food: This is where most of your budget should be allocated. You can have the event catered or if it is in a restaurant be sure to taste their food in advance and work with them on creating the preferred menu.
Music: You can hire a DJ or work with an iPod and speakers with the birthday girl’s favorite selections.
Candles: This is the time when the birthday girl calls up 16 the most important and special people in her life to light a candle. It’s nice for her to say a few words about each of the people she has chosen. The candles can be placed on the birthday cake or in a decorated candle holder.
Favors: You may want to choose edible treats like candy hearts packaged in a cute jar or container, one that’s useful like a mini purse for the wrist, or something that relates to the party theme.
When the party is a month away, be sure to book hair and manicure appointments. Purchase a sign-in book or have a favorite photo enlarged and mounted so all of her guests can write special messages to your daughter. Ask a few close friends or family members to be in charge of photos, because this special day of growing up will be one to treasure.