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How to Plan a Sweet 16

Jul 6, 2017

A girl only turns 16 once in her life, so whether you’re planning a party for your daughter or a friend, you’ll want to make her big day as special as can be. You don’t have to spend a lot to make this type of Sweet 16 bash a night to remember — all you need is a bit of creativity and her very best friends!

Here are some helpful tips for planning a Sweet 16 party.


  1. Pick a theme. Whether you go all out with an elaborate Mardi Gras or 1950s theme, or just stick to something simple, like a barbecue or Halloween theme, you’ll want to choose a theme that make things feel a bit more festive. This will also help you to choose all of the decorations, foods and other important details.
  2. Pick a venue. For larger parties, renting a room at a local restaurant or club is a great option. If you’re operating on a smaller budget, you can also host a party outdoors in a local park or at your home.
  3. Plan the guest list. First, think of how many people you can comfortably host, and then go from there. Once you have a general number, you can browse the guest of honor’s Facebook page or even her cell phone to find out whom to invite.
  4. Decide on refreshments. Will you serve snacks and drinks, or go for a more formal feel with a sit-down dinner? Whatever you decide on, make sure there’s plenty of refreshments for everyone invited.
  5. Plan an outfit. The best part of a party is the dressing up, so pick your perfect short cocktail dress or festive, themed frock! (
  6. Decide on the surprise. Some people like to make a Sweet 16 party a surprise, but you’ll want to consider the guest of honor’s personality first. If she’s more of a shy or laid-back type, you might want to keep her in the loop during all of the planning.
  7. Send out invitations. You’ll want to send out invites with all of the essential information about the party, but there’s no need for invitations in the mail; simply send out a mass message on social media or an email invitation with all of the details.
  8. Make it fun. Create a dance-worthy playlist, add some festive decorations and keep the mood light to encourage guests to have a good time!

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