Turning 16 is a big deal for a teenager, it’s two years to total freedom when he turns 18 and it’s closer to getting out of the oppressive halls of high school and into the independent spirit of college. Speaking of college, here’s where it will help to be prudent and reserved about throwing a grand Sweet 16 party. Not everyone can have Sean “Diddy” Combs as a father. Yes, he gave his son a $360,000 Maybach luxury sedan when the kid turned Sweet 16. Well you may not be able to go grand but you can still throw a great Sweet 16 party for your teenager in style without experiencing a financial meltdown.
- This not the time for a birthday surprise. This is a big deal for her so let her know that you want to throw her a Sweet 16 party and ask for her inputs. Tell her that you want her active participation every step of the way. The only thing that you will keep a secret is her birthday gift.
- Ask her to list down her top 5 wish list. Speaking of your birthday gift, to make sure she gets what he truly wants for her birthday, ask her to make a list of her top 5 must haves for her birthday. Set a budget for her so she doesn’t go over the moon. You can take your pick or picks from that list.
- Set a budget for the party. With college looming on the horizon, you must tell the birthday girl that this is what you have set aside for her birthday so that her college funds are left intact. Do not worry about putting a damper on things. If you raised a responsible human being, he will catch your drift.
- Ask her to limit her guest list to her closest friends. This way you can accommodate a lot of her “wants” for her birthday because you won’t have to stretch the buck around for say 50 guests.
- Let the season dictate the theme of her Sweet 16. Summer calls for a luau, a beach or a pool party. Winter time is the perfect time to head off to Utah for a ski outing and staying at a chalet for the weekend. Needless to say, if you match the season with the birthday party it will mean more expense saved than when you have to re-create a theme.
- Give her the final word about the dress code. On the condition that no one shows up in skimpy minis or in super low-slung-boxers-exposing-denims, you may give your teenager vested authority to call the shots when it comes to the dress code for her guests.
- Let her plan the menu. He knows what her guests would like. This is her day so give her free rein. Besides if you think about it, teenagers are so easy to please when it comes to food so unless he was brought up with a silver spoon in her mouth, it is doubtful that he will ask for Dom Perignon and caviar. By the way, make it crystal clear that there won’t be alcohol in the party.
- Hire a DJ. This is probably the coolest thing you can do for her. You can ask her to get a DJ that he knows from school or from her favorite radio station. A DJ will know which tunes to play that will surely bring the house down.
- Make a video presentation of her well wishers. Your family, grandpa, grandma, and close relatives should be first on the list of well wishers to include in the video. Next would be people from her guest list. You can play this over and over again in mute while the party is going on.
- Take lots of photos. On top of all the gifts that he will be receiving on her birthday, a scrapbook of the photos taken at the party and given a week after her Sweet 16 is truly a beautiful and great way of capping her birthday.
When all the planning’s done and the party’s starting to take shape, you will be so happy to see that big grin on the face of your teenager who not so long ago was in nappies and being taken around in a baby pram. This will be an emotional time for you so stock up on a box of environment-friendly tissue because you can bet that fat tears are going to flow.