“Wow, it’s just like planning a wedding,” is the first thought you’ll have when you sit down with pen and paper to begin your checklist. “What am I getting myself into?,” will be your next thought. Don’t panic; it’s normal and happens to the best of us. Stay calm and everything will fall into place on its own.
In the normal scheme of things, your daughter has probably been talking about this with you constantly. It’s a big transitional marker in her life and the buzz is certainly going on daily with the girls in her inner circle of friends, all probably months apart in age, and all with heads on their pillows at night dreaming of how they want to celebrate their special day.
So let’s say you first agree on a date for the event and where you want to have it held. That’s the easy part; but at least you have something to write on your list. Even that should be under the question mark heading, because who knows if that day is free at the location you select. So let’s put that on the back burner for now while you sit down with your daughter to learn her creative vision for the upcoming festivities and see if you’re up to the task of putting it all together.
Along with a theme, you’ll have to learn if she has a specific color decor in mind as it relates to what she’s going to wear and what the primary hue for the decorations will be. It’s the general trend of late for girls to set a color that signifies their event, and she probably isn’t going to go against this new tradition. You’ll have to discuss what kind of music she’d like to play throughout the party, and create a party songs playlist for the DJ. Yes DJ, you didn’t think you were going to play CDs on your own, did you?
A professional DJ would also pass out favors, make announcements, and hold “special” dances that make things extra interesting and keep the party festive. Work with her on who she’s going to honor with the traditional lighting of the 16 candles, and what she’ll say when lighting each candle. Where she’s holding the lighting ceremony and how that spot will be decorated is also another consideration. Additionally, the issue of centerpieces for each table will surface, and whether or not she’s going to have party favor bags to present to her guests as mementos.
Another concern is whether or not you’re planning on transporting everyone to the event in a hired car or limo. It’s certainly not necessary, but it might be part of her “vision” and something you’ll have to deal with upfront. And what’s a Sweet 16 without food. Remember, you’re going to have boys at this celebration as well, so try to plan a menu of items that are teenage appropriate. Usually a buffet will do, considering all the dancing that will be taking place, but who knows if you’re willing to go the extra mile with a sit down dinner.
At dessert time, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring out the cake, and another opportunity to make a spectacular statement that further wows her guests. Since we’re making a list here, let’s go back and add to it with things we forgot along the way. Right from the start, there’s the design, printing and mailing of your invitations.
That has to be done early on and cements down your commitment to making it all happen. Are you going to get a professional photographer to take pictures as a keepsake, or are you going to have a family member assume the task? There are decorations that keep the party interesting, such as balloons that are assembled into an archway for all guests to pass through as they make their grand entrance. Will her favorite flowers be in vases everywhere?
Will she offer her guests a chocolate fountain, an ice cream bar, or “mock-tail” drinks to give the festivities an adult feel? Let both of your imaginations run wild, but make certain you keep close scrutiny on your costs to stay on budget. Be mindful that it’s easy to make fun, but also easy to go well over what you planned on spending.
If the party is successful, it will be a sad moment all around when it comes to an end and it’s time to call it a night, but it will be much sadder if the tear in your eye is because you’re reflecting on just how much more it has all cost.
Gina DeMaio knows how to throw fun parties for your girls. She has combined her 20 years experience as a mother, her career as a beauty professional with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, and created a popular business that you can learn all about at http://www.mirrormirror-onthewall.com.
Here you’ll discover her signature menu of pre-planned party packages that include the Princess Dress-up Party, (this is perfect for 3-6 year olds), her Mad Hatter Garden Tea Party, the Off-To-The-Ball Diva Party, her Once Upon A Time Spa-Jama Party, and the exciting Glamourazzi Photo Shoot Party, all explained fully on her site. Gina is also an experienced party planner for a wide variety of social and family events. If you’d prefer calling her directly, you can reach her at 631-796-1443.