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HELP!!!! Planning a Sweet 16 for My Daughter

Someone please help me. I have got to come up with an idea for my daughter's 16th birthday and I have no clue. Apparently it can't be a typical family birthday because this is a "big" deal birthday and she wants to invite her friends. I have no idea where to start or what to do! Please help I need some ideas. Thanks

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It is real cool thing for kids that age, rent a Movie Theater for her and her friends, family can seat in the back...LOL.. Or what I did for my daughters 16th. B-day, was got her and her a Limo for her and her Firneds ONLY and the hung out on the Srtip till 9pm and then we went Cosmic Bowling. It is kinda fun for them to hang out alone then met up with the rest of the Family later. Hope this will help...

Good Luck,

Well I have a niece that is having a sweet sixteen and she is having a "Fergalicious Party" What we did was we actually are copying the music video from a singer called "FERGIE" from the group "Black Eyed Peas" She made this really cool video for one of her sonds so we are going with that theme. I am a cater so I will be handling all of the food. If you would like, we could chat on the phone. ###-###-#### I could help you with some ideas. Take Care....N.

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UGH! i had a nice long detailed etter and somehow lost it!
as many already said, not knowing how big or what type budget makes it harder to make suggestions that will be most helpful, so i will tell you about my neices recent sweet 16 and offer alternate ideas, places things etc!
i agree have your daughter help, get suggestions ideas etc from her!
does she want a theme? (hawaiian,pirate, princess, etc,) or just sweet 16 Is the theme, then if going SWEET16 Is the theme, just go with a color theme, what ever her favorite color is (my neices was pink and lavendar but maybe your daughter loves RED or GREEN?)
location? this also needs to know size....you can use your home, your yard, maybe a relative has a nice big home or yard? or rent a hall, country club, association hall/house, some churhes rent their banquet rooms, etc
my neice had hers at sunnymead ranch lake house, nice view big place, security included in cost.
food: whats daughter like? make it easy. you can get premade or catered food, many local resturants have large cater menus, she had chicken and mashed potatoes from like juan pollo, green onion does take out/catered mexican food, joes does take out/catered italian and you can decide what items you want. or if you are a cook or some one in family/friends can do it, make your own food, or make stuff to go with it. my neice also had home made deviled eggs, brownies, green salad, pasta salad, someone made great things, it was salami with garlic creamcheese spread on it and folded in half, very popular, very easy! also chips, veggie tray, little candies (m&m s etc)
you can get veggie trays, meat trays cheese trays etc from costco, sams club and some grocery stores. or make your own.
maybe a bread bowl with dip ( spinach artichoke etc)
or maybe a fondue set up would be a hit!
we had 2 containers of soda and waters, you can also do a fruit punch or lemonade bowl!

for decorations, truthfully the teens dont care so much about them, you can use crepe paper streamers and get a helium tank and baloons and put balloons all over, they have the box with tank and balloons at walmart and target i think also at costco for like 20 dollars!
a nice touch is to bring pictures of the birthday girl at various ages, and place them for all to see, this was a big big thing, all the teens loved seeing!
also be sure to get a lot of pictures taken at the party, a nice thing is to get an individual picture of the birthday girl with each guest alone, then a group picture of everyone and the birthday girl....then of course random pictures through out the night. then when she sends thank yous, if possible she can put a copy of the picture of herself individually with the guest in their note! makes a nice touch!
for table decorations,my neice went with easy fun silly! she got plastic light up "bling" rings, multi colored bead necklaces, cheap colored lens sunlasses (like the round john lennon style) feather boas, and sequinned silly hats and fuzzy silly hats, you can also get glow necklaces and bracelets that light up in the dark (target usually has these for under a dollar) cute or colorful pens and pencils (these are all students right,) mini lip gloss, mini plastic tins of breathmints, silly string, etc, check party stores and dollar stores or big lots for cute little stuff.
you can also get cute plastic glasses (martini,margerita, champagne,daquiri, or GOBLET types and either hand them out as guest arrives or use as place setting at able, and have some pens (gliter pens, permanent markers, puffy gel pens etc) and let guests decorate their own keepsake glass/cup!!
you can do a dj, or a stereo or ipod hooked up to stereo depending on budget!
a small table decorated with table cloth and balloons is good for gifts, and maybe use birthday wrpping paper and wrap an old box, maybe shoe box and put a slit in it for birthday cards since they are easily lost (or stolen)
and we had medium sized posterboards and colorful markers for guests to sign and leave mesages, or a guest book works too!
for invitations you canbuy decorated paper for your printer a nd make your own, maybe print a picture of your dughter on the invites ( a baby picture is cute on this) it is cheaper than buying invite cards, or having a store print them for you. but ALiN paper co can print them for you also reasonably in store!
you can specify semi formal or CASUAL FORMAL so they know to be dressed nice but that it isnt suit and prom dress formal!

feel free to email me for more info or ideas or help at

some good stores to check out and use :
ALIN paper company in riverside, great prices comparedto regular party stores! lots of themed, colored, etc items, not just paper, they have soooo much!
there are places like
party plus, party suplly etc but they will cost a lot more.
michaels craft store
joanas crafts, material etc
busy bee
use your resources, goooooogle online!
i have used
they have great themed stuff, from table clothes, invites, toys, trinkets, pens pencils, notepads, clothing, purses, table decorations etc...check it out, even of you dont buy there, it has many IDEAS !!!

unique idea, different hershey candy bars, full or mini sized with personalized wrappers example the birthday giels name and birthdate!

party items and ideas

party items and ideas

some other ideas:
glen ivy hot springs spa
let her take a specific amount of friends and enjoythe day, we have great weather fo r it here in so ca!

rent a suite at a local casino and have a sleep over (suites good size but can also do a double room with double beds at local motel)
either do a nice nite at resturan, or utilize the hotels resturant oget pizza or kfc etc for in room, let them jump on bed s and be silly, do in room facials and nail painting etc, or watch girlygirl dvds
or a day at castlepark with wristbands for rides is reasonable right now!
or orange county has medival times and the new pirate show! let her take a group of friends there!

sounds silly but u can always make a day of it at chuck e cheese...funny how teens get so silly when you let them loose in chuck e cheese

a barbque whether t home or a park or if u know some one who lives and has access to a lake setting (such as sunnymead ranch and moreno valley ranch have special areas to use for outdoor barbque and party
i hope this helped and feel free to contact me with questions or for more help etc
and of course
we will want details!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm brand new to MamaSource and still learning how this all works, so I hope it's OK to post here. But if you are interested, Mineral Girlz offers some really fun teen girl party kits. My website is http://www.InnerBeautyGirlz.com and then click on "parties" to see how this works. There are makeover parties and ones where girls can make their own custom cented body wash, shampoo or bubble bath.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.,
My name is J.... I saw your post and thought I could offer some suggestions. First off you need to come up with a budget so you know what your limits are and then you can plan the best party. Depending on what your daughter is into and how many friends she wants to invite, you could do something like a limo ride to dinner and a movie, or with a few friends a day trip to San Francisco. I am working on starting an event planning business and have been doing some research in different events and things, I will email you if you would like with some of the things I have found. Hope this helps. J. ____@____.com

do the best to save money and do something yourself as a pizza time with her friends or give her some money so she can spent in any of her ideas, clothes, cd's or else
BUT if you still want to do a big party
we can help you we do decorations for tables as a napking holders and more
contact to us and we can send you pictures of my work

PS also you can see our store

Iam a event coordinator and i could help plan your event. If you would like you can contact me my email is ____@____.com and you can check my website at www.divinedesign2010.weebly.com


Why don't you let her plan the party. On the Super Sweet 16 show on MTV (which of course features parties with outlandish budgets) the kids seem to derive the greatest satisfaction in planning a party that they know their friends would really enjoy.

It might be a great time to also allow your daughter to work on budgeting skills. You might give her a budget and have her make the plans. Then you could go over the plan to see places where you might fill-in with different cost effective options such as baking the cake versus a bakery or whatever.

A great idea is to do a fashion show. I am not sure what kind of budget you have. Smashbox studio is a place where you can have a party. That's were they have fashion shows. Have a birthday cake and design it with shopping bags from her favorite stores. The tables can have shopping bags. One could be gucci, coach, dior...etc. Good luck

Perhaps you could talk her into taking just one or two friends to go get pedicures and manicures. If she's never done this before it could be alot of fun for her, then out to lunch or high tea? I love going to tea it's such a treat and so relaxing. Something like that would I think be more memorable.

Hey R.--- Don't know what your budget is like but I remember when I was 16 and my mom didn't have a lot of money for the party so she let me have a few girls over and she did our hair and make up (she was a beautician) and then we painted each other's nails (I'm a nail tech now---so I guess I was training) but the greatest thing now is you can take some play glamour shots and print them from your printer---I would go one more step and get some cute frames and some glue and some blinging glitter and studs so they could make thier own fames to remember the night----It'd be inexpensive and fun---Plus, what girl doesn't like to take some "glamour shots"???

I work in a restaurant that does a lot of different types of parties. One idea I've seen has been "girls day out". The parents rented a limo brought the girls to lunch to my place, and than took them all to get manicures and pedicures and than a sleepover in a hotel with mini facials and room service. With Mom and Dad next door.

What girl doesn't like to get her nails done? Not sure about your financial situation but you can always figure a way to do this more affordablely. ;o) Good Luck.

R. ~ A sweet 16 is a wonderful idea and I do remember mine (and I'm almost 43). You should get some ideas from your daughter as to what she is thinking about for her party and how many friends she wants to invite and then, depending on your budget, take it from there. Both of my girls' 16 party was different because they wanted different things. My oldest wanted to go with 6 friends to Magic Mountain for the day (without me) So I rented them a limo, sent them with money to pay and money to spend while they were there. I told all the girls' parents that the day was on me as far as food, drink, entrance fee but if they wanted to buy something other than that, it was up to the parents to send them with x-tra $$. My youngest, however, wanted to take 6 friends out to Mr Chow's (I think that's the name) in Beverly Hills for dinner. Now, honestly, 9 dinners at a swanky restaurant was too much for my budget, (She wanted my husband and I to attend as well) so I asked her to cut it down to 4 girls and we went. It was a blast, we saw Robbin Williams there for dinner, one of the girls asked if he would take a picture with the birthday girl and he said Yes!!! How cool was that? So both girls had a sweet 16 but it was taylored to what they wanted. Had they wanted an actual "party", I would have done that too, but more designed to their personalities. Ask your daughter what she wants. If you have a budget, let her know that you want her to have an amazing party that she'll remember, but it has to be within a reasonable limit. Take the ideas she gives you, and you'll have a memorable party. Once you have more ideas from her, let us know and we can give you better suggestions.
Good luck to you. L. M

if she is a girly girl, and has girly friends... olivia's dollhouse tearoom. look online. they are in carmichael.

My daughter just turned 18. Her favorite party she attended was when her friend Alyssa turned 16. Alyssa's Mom rented a Limo for a few hours. The Limo picked up the kids at school.My daughter who is Alyssa's best friend went to a different school so when Alyssa and her friends from school went to get into the Limo Melissa was already waiting in the Limo. They did this on a friday and just went for pizza and the mall. The hard part is the guests are limited and you will have to choose her closest freinds.
This may leave out the rest of the family however you can have another party at your home for the family.

It wasn't too too long ago that I turned 16. I had a cult film festival where everyone had to dress up as their favorite cult film character and we watched our favorite cult films at my house. We also had a dance off contest... compliments on Pulp Fiction (my favorite cult film). What is your daughter into? You should ask her, because I think once they turn 16, girls want to plan their own parties....

I just have just a comment to begin-when did this sweet 16 thing start? after MTV started airing that sweet sixteen show? I'm 28. I vaguely remember my 16th birthday, it was nothing special. none of my friends or anyone I knew for that matter had sweet 16 parties. I know this is a big deal for her, she wants to fit in and have a great time with her friends. So she must have some ideas and expectations. She tells you she wants a sweet 16 party, well ask her to help with it! Ask her to come up with a theme. does she want to stay at home or have it at another venue? what things is she in to? I hope it turns out wonderful! you are a great Mom for doing all this for her, I'm sure she will love whatever you come up with!


Hello R.,
My name is M. L and I never had a sweet sixteen birthday but my sister did andmy mom allowed the girls to pick who she invited like her closet friends and then let them deside what it is they wanted to do. As long as you approve it. They love that Idea. But for her to be surprised invite the girls first and be prepared for whatever they come up with. Let it happen and she will love u for it.

I do not have a 16 year old but I was one once before. It is so hard to figure what to do for a 16 year old now adays because of that show on MTV "Super Sweet 16". I had a wonderful Sweet 16, it was a backyard pool party, no Decor, but it was so much fun for all of us. I know this probably didn't help, but it was a idea. Sorry and good luck. Happy Sweet 16 to your Daughter!

Don't stress! Google 'sweet 16 party ideas', that should give you something to go on, then you both can see what others have done.
We've done two opposite parties, one for my sister and now my daughter. For my sister, we did an inflatable jumpy and bbq, she invited her closest friends, about 20 girls and guys. They had lots of fun, we just laid low and kept the food and sodas flowing.
For my daughter, we're doing a pirate themed dance party. Rented the local community hall, preset music, pirate/beach decorations and we're doing the catering ourselves. A bit more dressy, but she wanted it that way...and we're including a food drive. Trying to keep the cost reasonable because we have another one to do in 2 years.
Good Luck!

Have you asked her if she has anything in mind? You can do any type of themed party such as a Hawaiin Luau or a Black and White ball where everyone has to where black and white (it can be formal or non formal )Disco, 80's, Arabian nights ,Princess , or even the original sweet sixteen back in the fifties etc. etc . the list can go on and on . Does she want a few friends like 25 or 30 and can you fit that many in your home ? or is this a much bigger party like 100 ? Then you'll have to think about where to have it , you also have to think about a budjet for this party and think about whether you are going to hire a caterer or decorator or if you plan on doing most of the work yourself. what kind of food and drinks , etc etc. Then there is the added options of a DJ or a live band .I'm not trying to stress you out by any means I'm just trying to give you some options and ideas to think about and somewhere to start so you can formulate a plan of action to help you not stress out so everything goes off without a hitch. I really hope this helps if you need anymore help just email me at ____@____.com GOOD LUCK !

Well I have a niece that is having a sweet sixteen and she is having a "Fergalicious Party" What we did was we actually are copying the music video from a singer called "FERGIE" from the group "Black Eyed Peas" She made this really cool video for one of her sonds so we are going with that theme. I am a cater so I will be handling all of the food. If you would like, we could chat on the phone. ###-###-#### I could help you with some ideas. Take Care....N.

The first thing you should do is stop watching mtv's sweet 16 show or you'll probably have a heart attach!! =) but really--
When I turned 16 many yrs ago My mother rented a hall and hired a dj and we had a sweet 16 "prom" so that all my friends and I could dress up and do the girly thing. My mother put me in charge of the decoration commitee it was tons of fun picking out colors and theme ect. Then off to costco for the snacks and refreshments. If you are trying to keep the cost down think about finding one of the high school students to dj they usually have minimal fees and you can rent hellium tanks and blow up tons of balloons and attach them together to make a giant "16" or some other shape that fits the theme rent a fog machine for the dance floor you can even use plastic cups that are the colored transparent type and stratigicly place them on high window seals and put dry ice in them so they have a cascading effect and stay far far away from the strobe lights. Then you as a parent get to invite a few of your friends and there you have your responsible chaperons. Well thats one idea it may be a little old fashioned but I am sure no matter what you do Samanthat will never forget it. =)
ps all the work that my mother and I did for my party was wonderful practice for planning my wedding ( five yrs later) we put that together in less then five months with 250 guest and she made my dress!! Good Luck and have FUN always....elle

I got her a gown(her style) and had the party in a restaurant that had a private room - we brought our magic mic and had a dance after the dinner - it was like a royal ball - had the family and friends all together - and she loved it - she felt very special and everyone enjoyed her big day with her...

Hi R.,
For my daughter's "sweet" sixteen, I had a live band play in our backyard! One of my good friends is a musician, so booking the band was easy. It was a hit...still talked about in the old neighborhood! If a live band is too much, maybe a D.J. and a dance party. I always threw the fun party...for her 18th birthday we had a bounce house :)
Good luck!

Hello R.,
I am a photographer in Las Vegas and find that todays sweet 15/16 are much like weddings, but a smaller scale. Generally, there is a DJ, Food, Dancing, and a Photogapher, all in a banquet hall or garden side etc. Much like a wedding, it is the party girls day, so she is the highlight of the party. A dance with her dad is customary, along with a special party dress. The budget is your choice. You will also need invitations. You can purchase them or make them. I did headshots of my niece and am making her invitations. We are also doing a DVD slideshow of her photos as she grew up. We will make it short and sweet because you can lose the guests attention pretty easy with these type slides.

Good luck.

Hello R.

My sweet 16, was over 15 years ago, but I remember it vividly. It wasnt anything extravagant. We had a back yard party, lots of food, music, a place to dance, and a huge cake. Half my cake ended up on me during a cake fight. I have also planned/helped plan, a few sweet 16 parties. I have learned that teens just want to hang out, listen to music, dance and eat. For my ex bf's daughters sweet 16 we had a luau theme in Dec. The kids thought it was fun. All the boys were running around in grass skirts and coconut bras.

I would have your daughter pick a theme. Have her and a copule of her best friends help you plan it. The teens know best on what other teens will like. If you dont have the space, I suggest looking into community centers, churches, or a someone elses house to save money. Otherwise a ballroom works. As for decorating, keep it simple. The kids dont really care much about how pretty everything is. Have props for them to play with. Ive found 16 year olds revert back to 6 when they get the chance. As for music, if you have access to a band or a dj thats always fun. Otherwise set up a stereo with a couple speakers and let the kids choose the music. Other than that just provide good munchies and let them have fun.

I hope this helps. Planning parties can be overwhelming if you let it. The main thing is to just have fun with it.

Well I'm in the same boat,(next month) ,What does your daughter like ? how many friends does she want to invite ? does she want girls & boys ? you must take all that into consideration, what about a " nice formal party, the girls could get all dressed in "fancy dresses" or a themed party, Hawaiin style, hula skirts, lies,palm trees & etc. any of your party stores would have all the things you need to do a themed party, other themes "Movie Premier, Pool,Pirate, or maybe a Beauty Day, ( getting their nails done, manicures & or Pedicures), theres always the back ups Bowling , Boomers, Mini Golf, a Theme Park, and sleep overs for the girls. I hope this has helped.

Hi R.,

If your daughters B-Day is this summer. What about a beach party? That is if you live in the bay area. OR a poolparty. Kids young and old always have fun in the water. You can organize a party at Wet and Wiled Slides. I wish you much luck in your party planning.

Hi R. - Teens love tattoos. I do airbrush body art (temporary tattoos) and just opened my own beauty salon. Not trying go sell you my service but from my experience it is a hit! Good luck


Hi R.,

My name is Liz. I too am planning a sweet sixteen birthday party for my daughter. My daughter turns 16 next February, so I'm starting to do the planning now. She also wants to invite friends. Some of her friend's parents are our friends, so I was thinking of inviting the parents too. (This way they can keep an eye on their own kids.

Not sure was "kind" of party she wants. I know she doesn't want a corney themed party (Hawaiian or Mardi Gras).'

Let me know what kind of ideas you have or you receive.



It is real cool thing for kids that age, rent a Movie Theater for her and her friends, family can seat in the back...LOL.. Or what I did for my daughters 16th. B-day, was got her and her a Limo for her and her Firneds ONLY and the hung out on the Srtip till 9pm and then we went Cosmic Bowling. It is kinda fun for them to hang out alone then met up with the rest of the Family later. Hope this will help...

Good Luck,

Hi R.,
Please DO NOT watch MTV's 'Sweet 16' as some of the moms have said. They put way too much emphasis on throwing your children an 'over-the-top' sweet 16 party. When I turned 16, my parents didn't even have the luxury to throw me a party. If you can afford to give what your daughter wants, then do it within reason. You can't go broke on this and then expect to have a beautiful wedding in the future =)

Well, if it's an 'all girl' party, why not go and get manicures/pedicures done and then have 'glamour shots' taken at a photography place. And if there are guys that want to go this party, then why not go to an amusement park for the day. Or have 'black and white' party, where everyone dresses up only in black and white, hire a DJ, and get food. Another fun idea for them would be to rent a limo for the day so they can ride in style around town to the restuarant, movies, shopping, etc.

Hope your daughter has a fun birthday!

Hi R.,

I've always had great success with themes. How about making her "Princess for a day". Complete with tiara (walmart); lots of rhinestone jewels; hair done professionally, make-up too. Fancy dress and request that guests dress formally. Make up sophisticated invitations; if it's co-ed hire a dj or band and have dancing. Just make her feel very important and beautiful! Good luck!


omg i am going through the same thing. my daughters bday is in march and i have rented a community center and dj but that is it. i am really struggling on what kind of food to serve and favors and such. i am a single mom and have to pay stuff off little by little or i wont be able to do it.my older daughter didnt want one but my younger one does.. any ideas would be greatly appreciated

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