Updated: Aug 23, 2022
Planning your teen’s Sweet 16 can be an exciting time, but it’s easy for things to feel stressful without proper preparation. We’re sharing 8 tips to help you plan the Sweet 16 of your teen’s dreams with less stress and more fun for an unforgettable event both you and your teen will enjoy.
1. Start planning early
Good things take time, and your teen’s Sweet 16 is no different. Start planning anywhere from 10 to 12 months before the event date.
As a parent, you should find out how your teen wants to celebrate. After all, it’s your daughter’s special day, and her Sweet 16 should reflect her unique personality. Does she want something glamourous, laid-back, funky or chic? Learning what’s important to your teen can help you start looking at venues, themes, activities and more to help you plan with the guest of honor in mind.
2. Don’t wait to make the guest list
Your guest list informs many key decisions, like the type of party you’ll throw and your budget. Create yours early to know how many people you’ll need to accommodate. Once you have yours, you can begin evaluating venues, menus, invites, activities, favors and other enhancements.
3. Decide what type of party to throw
With your guest list in mind, an idea of what your teen wants, and the budget, you can start to plan the type of Sweet 16 you’ll be hosting. Will it be a big or small party? What’s the theme? Having the answers to these questions will help you find the right venue.
Need some inspiration? Take a look at trending Sweet 16 themes.
4. Find the best venue for your needs
Looking for a venue that can accommodate your guests and fits your budget is a no-brainer. But there are other factors to consider that make planning easier. Here are some questions to ask as you look around:
Can the venue be personalized to your teen’s Sweet 16 theme? If you know your theme, ask the venue staff how they might bring it to life.
Is the venue easy to reach for your guests? Keep in mind that teen guests will likely need to be dropped off and picked up by their parents.
Does the venue provide catering, and is the menu teen-friendly? Think bite-sized apps, fries, donut walls and mocktails to keep your young guests happy.
Is there an event planning team? Event planners can help you coordinate vendors, like DJs, florists, photographers and other entertainment to make party prep easier.
5. Look at calendars closely to pick a date
It’s common to book your teen’s Sweet 16 on or around their 16th birthday, but you should look carefully at the calendar. Be conscious of holidays and avoid booking on those dates. It’s also wise to look at your school district’s calendar to schedule around events like dances, art shows and concerts.
Doing so ensures that your guests and your teen’s friends from school will be able to attend with minimal conflicts.
6. Book vendors quickly after your venue
Once you book your venue on your preferred date, it’s wise to book vendors shortly afterward. Not only is it one more thing off your to-do list, but it guarantees you’ll have the services you want for your daughter’s special day. Some venues can even help you book vendors directly.
At Crest Hollow Country Club, our event planning team works with you and our exclusive vendors to plan your Sweet 16 from start to finish with photographers, florists, DJs, and all the extra touches that’ll make your party extraordinary.
7. Allow time to find the perfect dress
While you may be eager to buy your teen’s Sweet 16 dress, you should have your venue, theme and budget decided beforehand. Use this timeline to find the perfect dress without the stress:
9 to 11 months out: Research your teen’s favorite styles and colors. Make a Pinterest board or other collection to help you save your favorite dresses.
6 to 8 months out: Narrow down your favorites. Are there specific colors, styles or details your teen loves? Make a list with them and narrow it down to your top 5 favorite dresses before hitting the stores.
3 to 5 months out: Shop for and buy your dress. Shopping with an idea of what your teen wants makes it easier to enjoy the experience and find the dress. Be sure to purchase your teen’s gown 3 months before the event, so you’ll have time for alterations.
8. Create a Sweet 16 schedule
Making an itinerary for any party is a good idea, but it’s especially helpful for a Sweet 16. Prepare your schedule by outlining each activity and how long it’ll take. Note which events are most important, like your teen’s candle-lighting ceremony, so you can prioritize them and cut other activities if needed.
Share your Sweet 16 schedule with your venue’s event team, maître d’ or DJ, who can help keep your teen’s party on track so you can relax, enjoy the evening and cherish the memories.
At Crest Hollow Country Club, our dedicated event planning team is here to help you plan the perfect Sweet 16 with less stress and more fun. It’s just one of the reasons why we’re Long Island’s favorite Sweet 16 destination. Learn more about hosting your Sweet 16 at Crest Hollow, or contact us to take a tour and see how we can help you get the party started.