Sweet 16 Planning Tips
Turning sixteen calls for a huge celebration. It is the high point of every teenage girl's memories, and preparing accordingly is important for your special someone to have a day she won’t forget.
To help you out, we’ve provided some tips to make this process easier for you. If you come out looking like you know what you’re doing when it comes to planning a Sweet 16, then we did our job – even if deep down you really don’t ?.
1. Figure out the Guest List
To get things started, figuring out the guest list is where you should start. Sitting down with your daughter and going over who should be invited is something to figure out early. While she may disagree, you don’t need to have the biggest Sweet 16 in the world. Figure out the best way to balance between a good-sized party and yet not inviting more people than necessary. Have your daughter lay out all the people she might consider inviting, and cut from there.
We recommend beginning by including family, close friends, and then building from there. Getting this list figured out early allows you to have a better idea of the venue you need (something we talk about in point 3) and should be figured out way in advance as well.
2. Picking the (Right) Date
Next up is figuring out the best day for the Sweet Sixteen party. We’ll let you in on an industry secret: You actually don’t have to have the party on the day of your daughter’s 16th birthday. Pick a day that works for you, and fits with your daughter’s schedule. High schoolers are known to have busy schedules, so make sure she can make it work. Also, make sure it also fits in with your immediate family’s schedules.
Also don’t forget to look out for holidays. It’s rare, but we’ve worked a gig where the event was too close to Christmas, causing many guests to not make it. Even if the party is prior to your daughter’s birthday, there’s nothing wrong with that. All that matters is choosing a date where most guests will be able to make it.
3. Figuring Out a Budget
Before moving onto finding the right venue or the correct color schemes for the invitations, sit down and figure out your budget. How much are you aiming to spend on the entire party, and how much are you trying to spend on certain areas? Are you going to spend more on music and entertainment, or focus more on the overall aesthetic and getting that perfect venue.
Whatever your heart’s desire, figuring out what you want and how much it’s all going to cost can’t be overlooked. Be realistic with yourself, and don’t just try to wing it when it comes to your budget. You’ll want to enjoy this day as much as your daughter, and overspending is one way to sour a very fun event.
4. Selecting the Perfect Venue
Selecting a venue is important, but shouldn’t be stressed over too much. There are many good venues out there that know how to accommodate a fun and memorable event. Stressing yourself out trying to figure out the “perfect” one isn’t worth the anxiety, because *spoiler alert* one doesn’t exist.
The key is finding one that fits within your budget, and can nicely
accommodate the expected amounts of guests. Booking ahead of time is important
because venues often are booked months in advance.
Some people decide to skip the whole venue route and do an event outside at a park or at a sport’s facilities. While not common, we’ve had a blast DJing at venues such as these before.
5. Send The Invitations Out On Time
Get those RSVPs, people! Once your date is picked, your venue selected, and guest list figured out, it’s time to send out the invitations. It often helps to have the invitations looking similar to the theme of the Sweet 16 (which we will dive more into later) but what’s most important is getting the information on them right, and sending them way ahead of time.
The earlier you get them sent out, the more guests will be able to make it - it’s as simple as that. Getting them out earlier will also get you RSVPs quicker, allowing you to have a better grasp on what you need to get for your expected guests (like #7 with party favors).
6. Deciding Whether or Not to Have a Theme
Picking a theme for your party is not a necessity, but overall can help with making the aesthetic of the party come together nicely. Color schemes are good to have because they bring a unity to the party, and can make designing the decorations and invitations easier.
There are many themes to consider, from color themes to themes based around concepts and ideas. NYC themed, rock-star themed, even a theme around a particular TV show – the list goes on and on. Talk to your daughter and see what she thinks about different themes. Remember, at the end of the day it’s about her - make sure she has the party she wants!
7. Party Favors!
Ah, party favors. While not always included, we highly recommend them. They offer a little way to commemorate the big event, and who doesn't like gifts? These gift bags are great and believe it or not don’t cost that much. Each normally costs a couple of dollars each, and can even match the theme of the party - a win/win.
There are many things that can be included in party favors, and that’s part of the fun. Be creative with this, whether it be throwing in candy or other types of little treats. Online you can even find many different types of cheap ornaments and items that people enjoy, and don’t end up costing you a fortune.
8. The “Do Not Play” List
This one is a tip from us to you when it comes to music for your event. While DJs often have a good grasp on what it takes to get your guests moving, providing them with lists such as “Must Plays” or “Do No Play List” help them out even more.
Obviously your daughter’s favorite songs need to be listed here, but what about the ones she hates? She might have a particular rapper she dislikes, or an overplayed song on the radio she just doesn't want to hear again. Asking her about this and putting together a little list for the DJs is an easy way to help take the event to the next level.
10. Always Be Asking
While this day is about your sixteen year old daughter, that doesn’t mean you should get overlooked as well. After all, you’re the one putting everything together! To make your life easier, always remember to be asking questions of vendors and to make sure that you feel everything is running smoothly.
You are the one hiring us, and so we need to make sure to accommodate you and your desires. Make sure we answer your questions clearly, and can provide updates on how things are coming together and making sure everything is going according to plan.
As with planning just about any party, getting things done way in advance will ease your stress and make the party planning go smoothly. As you might have noticed when working your way through this list, many of the advice stems from getting things done early. The earlier you figure out your guest list and the date of the event, the quicker you can book your venue, etc.
Don’t stress yourself out when it comes to planning this event. Just work through these tips and get the planning done in a quick and effective manner. Remember the most important part - that this your daughter’s special day! Be sure to never lose sight of that.