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Sweet Sixteen

During your teenage years, throwing a "sweet sixteen" party is one of the most anticipated events you will experience.

From movies to books, celebrating your sixteenth birthday with a party is a fun custom that has a strong presence in teen culture. Some children fantasize about their ideal party in the same way that others plan their dream wedding.

However, if you’re like me and tend to plan things last minute, here is my guide to planning your perfect sixteenth birthday party.

First, decide how many people you want to celebrate with. The size of your guest list will directly impact the rest of your plans. If you have a small group, you may decide to have a sleepover and celebrate at home. Alternatively, if you have a large group, you may want to celebrate at a local venue during the day. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to invite everyone you know and that a smaller group may be more enjoyable, especially if everyone in the group already knows each other.

Next, after selecting your desired guest list, it’s time to pick a theme! Themes will help you plan a color scheme, venue, and tone. You can base this on the time of year or time of day that your party will be. Fun themes include winter wonderland, under the stars, and movie night. Picking something that resonates with you and making it your own will help make your party more memorable.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you’re ready to decide on the three pillars of any party: the food, the activities, and the entertainment. If you are having your party at a location away from home, most of these choices will have already been made. If you are at home, however, putting together the perfect ensemble may be more difficult. Pizza is always a crowd pleaser, but setting out a variety of appetizers allows your guests to pick whatever they want. After you’ve figured out how to keep your guests fed, it is time to select entertainment and activities. Finding a music playlist is easy to do, but finding games/activities to entertain teenagers is not so easy. Finding karaoke songs, setting up a photo booth, and having a foosball or pool table are good ideas to get started, but knowing your crowd and theme will help you determine the best ways to spend your time.

The last step in your party-planning process is to set a date and send out invitations online or through the mail. It is important to send out your invitations a few weeks early so that people can clear their schedule and plan to come.

After completing all of the prep work, it will be time to celebrate! Even though planning an event like a sweet sixteen requires a lot of prep work, it is important to remember that everyone is there to celebrate you and have a good time.