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Your complete sweet 16 planning checklist

Sweet sixteen party

Planning a sweet 16 birthday party can be fun if you stay organized. How early you get started with your party planning can depend on many things such as dates, the scale, and formality of the event, whether you’re inviting guests from out of town, etc. We recommend getting started 4 months before to avoid stress and have more choices when it comes to venues, entertainment, and suppliers. The sooner you start, the more free time you’ll have to enjoy the fabulous party you’ve put together. This checklist and timeline will help you organize and plan a successful sweet 16th party.

4 – 8 months before the event

  • Set the event date
  • Start your guest list
  • Figure out your budget
  • Research and hire an event planner
  • Choose a party theme
  • Research and book a party venue
  • Research and hire a photographer/videographer

3 – 4 months before

  • Research food and beverage ideas
  • Hire a caterer (if required)
  • Research musicians, DJs, and entertainment
  • Start collecting guest list information
  • Order party invitations 

2 – 3 months before

  • Contract suppliers
  • Book entertainment
  • Research decor ideas
  • Address and send your invitations
  • Book a hairstylist and makeup artist
  • Reserve hotel rooms for out-of-town guests

1 month before

  • Finalize food menu (be aware of any dietary needs or food allergies)
  • Order cake
  • Order party favors
  • Buy attire/dress
  • Book transportation and plan parking
  • Finalize guest list and call guests that haven’t RSVP’d

1 week before

  • Finalize itinerary
  • Confirm details with all your vendors
  • Buy last-minute essentials

1 day before – event day

  • Check how the venue is decorated and setup
  • Make sure all final preparations have been made
  • Smile. You’re finished!

Be ready to greet your guests. Take a deep breath, have fun and enjoy all the final results of the planning, organizing, and deciding.