Sweet Sixteen Party

Sweet Sixteen Party Tips

Sweet Sixteen Party Tips

Sweet 16 is a very important birthday in a teen’s life and they will certainly want to celebrate it with a bang! The amount of preparation and planning for such an event can feel overwhelming. For one, there are countless different venues to choose from: bowling, horseback riding, batting cages, ice rinks, and more. And once the venue is chosen, there’s still so much more to decide! Here are a few tips to minimize the worry and maximize the wow factor for your teen’s sweet 16.

Location, Location, Location

Picking a venue for a party can be difficult. Picking out a venue for your teen’s sweet sixteen can be even harder. If you’re not interested in hosting one at your home or your teen doesn’t want to celebrate at a dance hall, consider one of these locations instead: go-karting, miniature golf, paintball, laser tag, or bowling alleys. Sometimes, even just a movie night and a nice dinner with friends could be the party of a lifetime depending on your teen’s preferences.

The most important part is picking something that you know the guest of honor will love. If you’re conflicted, don’t guess! Sit down with them in the beginning stages of planning to figure out exactly what they want. Trust me, a party they’re sure to love is far more memorable than a surprise party they might not be wild about.


Spend some time picking out and creating the invites. Find creative ways to get your date out there. If you’re hosting a carnival theme party, consider using balloons with the invites printed on them. This interactive idea allows the guests to read the information only once they’ve inflated the balloon. There are many different possibilities for every kind of theme. Just make sure the invitations go out with plenty of time for RSVPs. Getting an accurate guest count early is critical for planning and budgeting!


Themes for your teens sweet 16 can vary just like any other party. First, ask your teen about their ideas, preferences, hobbies, and special interests. If they’d like to opt for a tried and true party format, consider common themes like luaus, black and white, Hollywood, or a glow party. Unfamiliar with glow parties? This theme is remarkably trendy and simple! Guests wear white shirts and decorate them with highlighter markers. Then, simply install a few blacklights at your venue to make the color pop! Be sure to collaborate with your teen to figure out the theme that they and their friends are sure to enjoy.  


Usually, the decorations follow the theme. However, if you’re hosting a party at a public venue like laser tag, paintball, horseback riding, or arcades, you might be restricted in the types of decorations you can use. Common, typically permissible decorations include streamers, confetti, and a whole lot of balloons. If you’re hosting the party at a nice venue, aim for decorations that will complement the setting.

For an upscale banquet hall, for example, some elegant centerpieces are sure to add a classy touch. If you’re considering flower arrangements, reach out to the local experts! Call up a resident florist to discuss which flowers are in season and would be most appropriate for the occasion. These talented specialists have undoubtedly arranged flowers for a number of different events and are sure to know what has been in high demand.


When making your food selections, be mindful of the time you are hosting your party.  If the party is at noon or in the evening, the guests will most likely expect you to provide lunch or dinner.  Many restaurants provide catering or party platters for such an occasion.  On the other hand, if the party starts in the middle of the afternoon, you can get away with providing light refreshments.

Drinks, typically soda, will be expected no matter the time. Depending on your theme, you can also work to make your food match the theme. Ensure that there’s something for everyone and be willing to work around certain dietary restrictions. The RSVPs are a great way to ascertain which foods need to be clearly marked and substitutions offered. Being flexible and aware hosts will guarantee a safe and fun day for all!


These tips can help things run a bit more smoothly as planning can be a bit stressful. We hope you enjoyed these tips to make your Sweet Sixteen Party a memorable night you will never forget.

  1. The Party Favors

The best favors often have something to do with the theme. You can send your guests home with special candy bars decked out in wrappings you and your teen have designed. Or you could arrange for decorated cupcakes to be sent home with your guests in small boxes. For an even more individualized touch, guests are sure to love personalized jewelry, such as necklaces with their initials on them or bracelets with a quote specific to each one engraved in the band. Get as creative as you want! That being said, if creativity is not a strong suit, candy or cupcakes will always do the trick no matter the theme.

  1. The Music
    No party is complete without good music! Teenagers jump at any chance to let loose on the dance floor with their friends, whether it’s to the latest TikTok dance, or a classic like the Cha-Cha Slide. Typically, the most successful playlists have current songs that guests can dance to while singing along to the lyrics. Throwing in a few iconic classics won’t go amiss, either! Don’t forget to converse with the birthday teen to discover their favorite tunes and music genres.

There is no clear-cut guide to planning the perfect sweet 16. Every teenager is different, with their own ideas about what’s most important to them. One teen might want a huge venue with assigned tables, a DJ, catering, and a grand entrance with an even grander dress. Another teen might prefer to take his friends to the latest sports game. No matter their preference, the ultimate key to the best sweet 16 party is keeping your child involved in the planning and working within your budget to create the best experience possible.

Written by Chelsea Muzar on April 9, 2013 / Co Written by Kathleen Perrier 2020

Edited by Chris Legere, June 5th

Leave a Comment