How to Plan a Sweet 16 Party
Turning sixteen is huge moment in your life, and if you decide to have a party, you'll want to make it one to remember. While throwing an epic party for your sweet sixteen is a big commitment, planning out the details can be fun and will make sure everyone has a great time.
To plan your sweet sixteen party, decide on a budget by determining how many people you want to invite and where you want to throw the party, such as at home or at a hotel or restaurant. Choose a theme that matches your personality, such as summer pool party, 1980s, or Harry Potter. If you plan on hiring a caterer or a DJ for the party, make sure you book them at least 2 months in advance. Similarly, give your guests enough notice by sending out invitations several weeks in advance.For scheduling activities and games into your sweet sixteen, read on!
Deciding on the Type of Party
Determine the size of the party you want.The amount of guests you plan to have will determine the type of party you’ll have. A large party will most likely be held at a big venue and be much more costly, and a small party can be held at your home as a much more personal event.
- Do you want to invite your entire grade level to the party?
- Would you rather do something special with a few of your best friends?
- Maybe you want to have a mid size party with close friends and family members.
Pick what activities you want to do.The activities you do at your party can indicate what type of party you want to plan. If you want to have lots of dancing at your party, you will want to have a party where there is a dance floor and music playing. You might want to go on an adventure for your party by bringing several friends to do something fun like skydiving, and then celebrate by going out for dinner.
- You could have a pool party where everyone enjoys swimming and hanging out by the pool.
- Renting out a roller rink and having a skating party is another fun option.
Consider the cost of the party.You need to keep in mind the cost of different types of parties to choose one that will fit your personal budget. Parties at a rented venue with contracted services are going to be some of the most expensive options, and having a party at home with homemade food and activities will be the least expensive.
- Some activities can be quite pricey even if you’re only inviting a few friends. Make sure you do a lot of research into the cost per person of different activities.
- Many venues will allow you to bring in your own food and do your own entertainment. Spending money on a venue and then doing your own food, decorations, and entertainment can be a budget friendly option.
Choosing a Theme
Consider what season it is.The season you have your party in can help you come up with a theme for your sweet 16. Many fun themes come from the time of year it is, and it is easier to buy seasonal decorations if you go with a seasonal theme.
- If you have a summer party, you can have a luau, summer pool party, or sunshine themed party.
- A party in the fall could have the theme of football, bonfire, camping, or just a fall colors.
- Winter parties can be themed winter wonderland, snow kingdom or holiday themed.
- If you have a spring party, you could go with a flower power theme, rainy day, farm animals, or pastel colors.
Pick a theme based on a certain time period.Time period parties are very popular because guests can dress up for the party, and they can be transported back in time for a night of fun. If you choose to have a time period party, it’s best to have everything match the time period you choose. All of your decorations, music, food and drink, and invitations should reflect the theme.
- Have a Great Gatsby themed party from the roarin’ twenties.
- A hippie themed party from the sixties is always a fun choice.
- You can have a sock hop party theme from the fifties.
- An eighties themed party is also very popular. Just decorate in neon colors, play eighties music, and tell guests to tease their hair big!
Make your theme based off your favorite book or movie.Book and movie themed parties are a great choice for a sweet sixteen party. Pick a popular book or movie to base your theme off of, or choose one of your favorites. Decorate with movie posters or recreate scenes with your decorations. You can even ask guests to come dressed as a character.
- Do a vampire themed party in honor of the Twilight series.
- Have a wizard themed party if you enjoy Harry Potter.
- You can go with a Hunger Games theme and have guests play a fun version of the Hunger Games.
Finding a Venue
Contact local hotels about their ballrooms.Most hotels have a ballroom that can be rented for parties. This is one of the more expensive options for a venue, but it also is one of the biggest. Most hotel ballrooms can accommodate a very large party, so it’s a great option if you plan on having a lot of guests.
Rent out a restaurant or an entertainment center.Some restaurants and entertainment centers will let you rent out their facility so that your guests have exclusive use of the facility during your party. This can be a fun option if you want built in entertainment. For example, you can rent out a family entertainment center to have your guests play mini golf, ride go-karts, and play amusement games.
- Many facilities also have rooms you can rent out for a smaller fee. This is a great option if you want your party at a restaurant or entertainment center, but don’t want to pay to have the place exclusively for your party.
Check into community centers.Many communities have room rentals at community centers, libraries, or parks. Most of the time you can rent these rooms for much less money than you can at other places, and you typically get the room for a much longer period of time.
- If you’re a member of, or know someone who’s a member of, a country club, check to see if you can rent the clubhouse out for your party.
- Many neighborhoods have a clubhouse at their pool that is available for rental to the neighbors. Check around to see if you know someone who lives in a neighborhood with a clubhouse who will let you rent it for your party.
Find a DJ.Most parties for teenagers include some sort of music to dance and listen to. For a big party, you’ll want to have a DJ to keep the music going throughout the entire party. Ask around for recommendations for a good local DJ, or search online for reviews.
- If you want to save some money, you can do your own music by making a long playlist, or several playlists of fun songs. You can rent a sound system from a party rental company, or just play your music on your own player.
Hire a photographer.You will definitely want someone taking pictures of your epic party for you to cherish in the years to come. Most likely, you will be too busy enjoying your party to think about taking pictures. Many photographers are available for hire, and they typically charge per hour.
Contract with a caterer to prepare the food.Having a caterer prepare and set up the food can be an easy way to make sure your guests are well fed at your party. You can contract with a catering company to prepare, set up, and serve your food during the party, or you can just have a restaurant cater the food by preparing large party trays that you pick up and set out yourself.
- Many grocery stores also make party trays of food.
- Don’t forget about the cake. Many catering companies don’t do cakes, so you might have to get one specially made from a bakery.
Planning the Timeline
Allow time for guests to arrive.At the beginning of your party timeline, you should have 10 to 15 minutes allotted for guests to arrive. This way anyone who is running late doesn’t miss any of the activities.
Plan time for activities.Make sure you plan in enough time for each activity you plan to do at your party. If you want people to have time to dance, plan in dancing/socializing time. If you are going to play a game, make sure you allow enough time to give the instructions, play the game, and relax a bit after the game.
- If you’ve hired a DJ, you can have him announce when it’s time for an activity like a game.
Give time for guests to eat.An important part of the timeline is to plan out a time for guests to eat. You might have a buffet set up for guests to snack on throughout the party, but you will still want a special time for guests to stop and sing happy birthday to you while you blow out your candles. This gives guests time to enjoy the birthday cake.
Plan time to wrap the party up.You will want another 10 to 15 minutes to wrap up the party and give guests time to gather their belongings before leaving. This is the time that the music will start to get softer, triggering that the party is wrapping up.
- Don’t forget to thank your party guests as they leave. It’s a great idea to have a small parting present to give each guest as a thank you for attending your party.
Inviting the Guests
Buy a paper invitation.You can buy paper invitations from card and party stores for an easy way to get invitations. They typically will have invitations matching many themes, but you can also get plain invitations there as well. You should buy more invitations than the amount of guests you plan to invite so you have extras in case you mess up writing the information on one.
Invite guests online.Another way to invite guests to a party is through social media, email, or an online invitation company. Many social media sites let you create an event and then invite friends to it right on their site. You can also use an online invitation company to send an email invitation to your guests. Most of these companies allow you to see if the person has read the invitation, and gives the person an easy way to R.S.V.P.
- Inviting guests online is a bit more informal, but is an acceptable option in today’s tech driven world.
Make your own invitations.One way to make sure your invitations are unique is to make them yourself. You can buy cardstock or heavy weight paper from a craft store to design your own invitations on. This is one way to easily get your invitation to match the theme of the party.
- Be creative and use your imagination to create an invitation that fit’s your party.
- Search online to find ideas for homemade invitations.
- Make sure you buy envelopes that are big enough to fit your invitations.
QuestionI have 10 best friends, and I am friends with most of the girls in my grade. Should I invite them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You should invite whoever you want to be there on your special day. Remember, it's not about the amount of people, but about how much the people mean to you and the reasons you want them there.Thanks!
QuestionHow long should a Sweet 16 party last?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHowever long you can book a space is fine. Also, consider how long each activity you plan might be. Usually, a party lasts a few hours.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I make my party unforgettable?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry inviting your best friends and booking a band you like to listen to. Invite people you really like. Having fun with your friends will make the party unforgettable.Thanks!
QuestionCan I rent a venue with a credit card?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt would depend on what venue you want to rent. Ask the owner for payment information.Thanks!
QuestionIs 40 people too big for a sweet sixteen party?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, that sounds like a great amount of people!Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I want to print shirts?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThen get someone who makes them, many places do. All you have to do is design the shirt and give it to the company that will make them.Thanks!
QuestionHow many guests should I invite? Would 100 be enough?FriendlyPersonCommunity AnswerIt depends on how much room there is, how many seats, how much food, and so on.Thanks!
QuestionIs it okay to wear a prom-like dress to a sweet 16?Top AnswererOf course! It's one of the prime examples of an opportunity to wear just such a dress. Can you find out beforehand what type of party it will be? What will the other guests be wearing? If they're all in jeans, or worse--onesies--then you may look out of place. But if you feel like wearing a prom dress - go for it, it will make you look great!Thanks!
QuestionI am having a sweet sixteen party this summer in August, and I am inviting most of my friends from school, but I don't have any of their phone numbers, so I don't know if they are coming to my party.Naz JonesCommunity AnswerDo you have anything else you can use to contact them with? Try finding their emails, or ask your mom to contact their moms to pass along the word.Thanks!
QuestionCan I rent a limo to take us to a hotel, or is that too much?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can. Limos are definitely not too much for a sweet 16 party!Thanks!
- Start planning your party 3-4 months before the day of the party.
- Send out invitations at least 2 weeks before the party to give people enough time to clear their schedule.
- To save money on decorations, make things out of recycled cardboard. You can paint it to look like anything and it will look just as great as something you buy from the store.
- Budget for your party before buying anything. Give yourself funds for a venue, decorations, food, entertainment, invitations, a party outfit, and even a ride to the party.
Video: HOW TO PLAN : A QUINCEAÑERA/SWEET 16TH!
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