top of page

The Crystal Ballroom Clearwater

Planning a Sweet-Sixteen Party

Sweet-Sixteen Party

Your princess is turning sweet-sixteen and it is time to plan the celebration of her life. This day only happens once. The pressure is on to make it unforgettable. Planning a birthday party of this magnitude requires careful attention to the details. You need to absorb your daughter’s vision, synthesize the ideas and create the fairy tale. The challenges of planning a sweet-sixteen party require compromise, creativity and some tips from professional planners.

Create a Budget for the Experience

Before you begin planning the details, think about the size of the event and the type of experience you envision. This will require some conversations with your financial contributors and your daughter. Think about the total guest count. The total number will affect the size of the venue and the cost of catering. The budget almost always wins when it comes to planning, but doesn’t need to create sacrifice. Measuring the experience is about calculating the details and creating a budget that makes it work. You might have some family members helping fund the celebration. You might be able to enlist family to bake a cake or prepare the food. Planners usually advise against delegating event-altering details of such magnitude to amateurs; however, if you are confident about the outcome, it can be a significant money-saving idea. After you determine who is paying for what, it is time to get creative and make the budget work with some money-saving tips.

Sweet-Sixteen Party

Sweet-Sixteen Party Venue

In a world that exists on social media, there is no shortage of inspiration. Before you plan the theme and other details, you should always book your venue. The venue will determine the location, size, date, time and tone of the entire event. Location is an important factor, especially with a younger guest list. You should book a venue that is accessible and in close proximity to the 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 sweet-sixteen venue will affect all the other decisions to follow. Planners recommend finding 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

Not every sweet-sixteen party has a theme, but themes make the experience memorable. Planners recommend that you develop a theme with your princess that represents her personality and vision. You might envision the ballgown and the princess theme, but a teenager usually has her own ideas about her fashion. She might want a different silhouette that fits her personality. There needs to be a compromise between her vision and yours. You should always support her vision, while guiding her to make the right choices about her fashion statement. It can be challenging to convince a teenager of this fact, but the best fashion will be in good taste and will be appropriate. Do not forget to plan all the games and important events. Choosing a theme for her sweet-sixteen party is a fun process, and a meaningful one. Take the time to enjoy the bonding experience.

Sweet-Sixteen Party

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 fits 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. There is so much energy in live music that is appreciated by many. The DJ provides an energized party experience with non-stop music that a younger generation enjoys. Regardless of whether you hire a DJ or live band, make sure you have a master of ceremonies to announce and lead all the special sweet-sixteen party events and games. Cost is a huge factor to consider. 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 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. Think about the dining experience you want to create and consult with your budget to see what fits.

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.

Sweet-Sixteen Party

Planning Your 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.

Sweet-Sixteen Party

Crystal Ballroom Clearwater

Crystal Ballroom Clearwater 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. 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.


bottom of page