Her sweet-sixteen deserves a special celebration. Making this occasion unforgettable is all in the details. When it comes to the details of this day, you will not want to get them wrong. Planning a sweet-sixteen party requires compromise, creativity and some tips from professional planners.
Budget for a Sweet-Sixteen Party
Every great plan begins with a daydream, but before you go too far, there are a few things to consider. Think about the experience, calculate the details and create a budget that makes it work. While the budget should never control the plan, everything from the location to the cake requires a budget to make it all possible. You might consider recruiting some financial contributors within the circle of family. There are also money-saving tips to make the budget work and create the dream without breaking the bank. The venue, catering and photography are essential vendors that consume the largest percentage of the budget. Planners usually recommend an all-inclusive venue that avoids renting décor, furnishings and services piecemeal. Planners advise against delegating event-altering details such as the cake, photography and catering to amateurs; instead, it is recommended that you build your venue team at an all-inclusive venue where vendor rates are more affordable and services are trusted. An all-inclusive event venue with in-house designers, planners and vendors are a creative solution to creating the sweet-sixteen party on a budget.
Choosing the Sweet-Sixteen Party Venue
Before you plan the theme and fine details, you should always book your sweet-sixteen party venue. The venue will determine the location, size, date, time and tone of everything you are planning. Location is an important factor, especially with a younger guest list. You should book a venue that is accessible and conveniently located for guests. The time of the event and transportation might take part in making the decision about the location of the venue. The decisions you make about the venue will affect every other decision that follows. Planners recommend an all-inclusive venue that bundles the décor, flowers, furnishings, linens, chinaware and banquet staff in one affordable package. This is one of the largest money-saving tips, and provides many advantages for planning.
Choosing a Theme
There is no shortage of inspiration on social media, which is why it is always a good place to begin. Not every sweet-sixteen party has a theme, but if yours does, it will make the experience more memorable. Planners recommend that you develop a theme with the birthday girl to keep the tone in tune with her personality and vision. You might envision a ballgown, but her ideas about fashion might differ. There needs to be a compromise between her vision and yours. You should always support her vision, while guiding her decisions. The color palette and décor will be the most influential for the theme. The cake is an opportunity to get creative with sculptured cake art. Games and events should match the theme. Creating a theme is a fun and meaningful process.
Sweet-Sixteen Party Entertainment
Every sweet-sixteen party has entertainment. The most common forms of entertainment are a DJ and photobooth. You might consider a magician or a caricature artist. The entertainment is usually one of the most memorable experiences. Choose the entertainment that matches the vibe. A live band can provide a completely different experience than a DJ. They both might play the same music, but the delivery is not comparable. The decision will come down to the type of experience you want to create and the cost of creating it. Talent, popularity and time can drive the cost up or down for both. The average DJ costs between $800 and $2,000. In contrast, the average cost of a live band is between $3,000 and $7,000. Keep in mind that you can pay more or less for your talent.
Planning the Catering
It is never recommended that you risk the catering to a decision that is based only upon cost, but cost will be a factor. If you are lucky to have a chef in the family, it could save you a couple thousand dollars. If not, a professional caterer with a reputation will cost between $20 and $35 per plate on average. Catering can cost less or much more, depending on quality, talent and reputation. If you are shopping for your catering, negotiate and customize your packages to receive the most savings. Haggling can go far. Drop-off catering is less expensive. This type of catering works with the banquet staff at your venue to deliver a buffet-style event. If you desire full-service catering with plated meals and table service, it will cost more. Most sweet-sixteen parties serve a buffet.
Sweet-Sixteen Party Cake
The sweet-sixteen party cake should be an epic masterpiece on display. It should convey the theme and create the wow in the room. Baking a cake is a labor-intensive project. Count on spending in this area of planning. Effort, time, materials, size and embellishments are part of the cost formula. A larger cake will be a more expensive one. The cost of the cake is commonly calculated by the slice. The average cost is about $8 to $10 per slice. Some planners recommend using dummy tiers for the illusion of a larger cake that is kinder to the budget, but it does not always result in more savings. Since the cake is such a central piece to the entire sweet-sixteen party, skimping on the cake is not recommended. This masterpiece will be confectionery perfection on a pedestal.
Planning the Photography
Photography is one of the most important investments you can make in her sweet-sixteen party. Flowers wither and cake crumbles, but the photography is a keepsake that lasts. Every planner recommends that you think about the investment in your photography. Expect to spend between $1,500 and $3,500 on the investment. Choose a photographer that has a balance of talent and personality, rather than basing the decision solely on the cost. Style is probably the number one determining factor when it comes to choosing a photographer. You will want a photographer that produces the art you absolutely love.
The Crystal Ballroom
The Crystal Ballroom is an all-inclusive event venue with an in-house design team and relationships with local vendors to make planning her sweet-sixteen party easy and affordable. This luxurious venue includes all of the furnishings, décor, floral arrangements and staff services to make her birthday wishes come true. Bring imagination to the designers at Crystal Ballroom and begin planning.