So I am dying to gush about my Sweet Sixteen party. It was a masterpiece, if I do say so myself. It was a joint party with my friend Lis, who turned 16 at the end of February, and is also an over-planner/perfectionist like myself. Here’s how it went down. Feel free to steal ideas, as long as you tell everyone who asks that all the credit goes to Kay and her dear friend Lis!
1) The Concept:
Lis and I wanted to have a fancy, somewhat grown up party. Originally we wanted to rent a hall or something and have a dance, but we realized that we didn’t have enough close friends to fill a hall, and we hardly wanted strangers there. But Lis started brainstorming fancy ideas, and she came up with something perfect: limos. We could each have our own limo, with 7 of our closest friends in each. We insisted on everyone dressing to the nines; the girls were told to wear heels, the boys, ties. As to what we were going to spend 3 hours in limos doing? I had that covered. My church youth group had once had a night where we drove around the city taking pictures with various things on a master list: a photo-scavenger hunt. So we went with it. My dad came up with a giant list of items that we needed to get pictures with, everything from a shopping cart to Christmas lights to a guy in a red shirt. It was perfect. Just fancy enough to feel grown up, but still childish and fun.
Lis plans on becoming an interior designer, so this was her department. She wanted it to feel fancy and grown up, but also dreamy and surreal. We bought white paper lanterns that light up on the inside and filled her whole house with them. Then we got purple, silver, and black streamers and balloons, but the balloons with a pearlized finish for a fancier look. Black tablecloths went over all the surfaces, and we used purple and white polished glass stones instead of confetti to add a little shine.
Lis and I wanted a two teired cake with professional piping, but we didn’t want to spend $100+ on a cake, which is the usual price range for such things. Not to be put off, Lis and I asked around and it turned out that a friend of Lis’ mother decorates cakes as a hobby. She volunteered to make us a professional looking cake with real fondant and piping, only charging us for the cost of the materials. The “icing on the cake” (not to mix metaphors) was the shiny plastic crown that topped it. It only cost us $60, but it looked like a million bucks.
I had fun with this one. We bought plastic dress-up crowns for all the girls and hilarious paper ones for all the guys. We bought different coloured ones so the girls could choose a style that suited them, and/or matched their dress (I decided on a multicoloured light-up doozie of a crown to jazz up my black dress). To make sure that everyone ended up wearing them, we made it a rule that everyone had to be wearing their crowns in all the pictures in order for the photo to count in the scavenger hunt.
Food: We might have overdone it with the food. The invitations (hand made using supplies from Lis’ scrapbook-crazy mother) specifically said that guests should eat before , but we had enough food to feed an army and an Olympic village for a week. Everyone appreciated that there was food before the limos, in the limos, and afterwards when we came back to Lis’ house. A tip about limos: most models come with champagne glasses, so you just have to bring your own drinks and you’re set. Ginger ale or sparkling apple juice is a great “champagne”.
The party was amazing. Everything flowed flawlessly from one activity to the next. Everyone arrived an hour before the limos so that we had time to drink punch, gossip, ooh and ahh over everyone’s outfits, and take a ton of pictures. It was so amazing seeing the looks on my friends’ faces when the limos pulled up! The surprise was half the fun! Our limo drivers were really great about driving us around to various photo op destinations. We had the limos for 2 hours, and then returned to Lis’ house and got to relive the ride by watching slideshows of both sets of pictures. Lis’ team won of course, because my team was easily distracted, but I’d like to think we had just as much, if not more, fun. After photos everybody flowed towards the cake without much prompting, and then to another room to open gifts. I had asked that everyone get me a picture frame with a picture of them and me in it so that I could fill a wall in my room with them. It turned out to be better than any other present I could have asked for!
The whole night sparkles in my memory, like a visit to an alternate universe. It took sooo much planning, but I couldn’t believe how flawlessly everything went! It was definitely a party of a lifetime and a night to remember!