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Here’s Exactly How to Plan a Sweet 16 Party

New to party planning? Peerspace will be the ace up your sleeve. It’s like having a personal party planner on your phone. Not only can you book an exciting venue, you can also find all of the resources and amenities you need to make your next party a blast. No matter the party theme, size of the guest list, or agenda, Peerspace has a venue that will fit your party needs. So when it comes time to plan your teen’s Sweet 16, make Peerspace your first stop.

A Sweet 16 is a huge milestone in your teen’s life. They’re halfway through their teenage years, ready to get a driver’s license, and old enough to land their very first job. Make the most of this special occasion! Here’s your step-by-step guide to hosting the best sweet 16 bash ever.

Disclaimer: In order to use Peerspace’s site and services, you must be 18 years or older.


Select a theme

Pick a theme to follow, and the rest of your party planning will be simple. Get inspiration from your teen’s favorite movies, books, or TV shows. A theme could even be as simple as a color scheme featuring a few of their favorite hues. Use this theme or color palette to inform your choices for the venue, invitations, tableware, decorations, music, food, and activities.

Book a venue

After you’ve chosen a theme, you’ll need to know where you are hosting the big shindig. Find a place your teen will love on Peerspace. A historic estate, outdoor garden, hip loft, or a theater — the possibilities are endless. You can even narrow your search based on the number of guests and amenities you need, such as projectors, fire pits, a swimming pool, and more.

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Send out the invites

Once you’ve locked down a venue, you’re ready to send out invitations. Design and order your own from scratch all on Canva. If graphic design isn’t your forte, Minted can help. On the site, you’ll find an array of customizable invitations to suit any style. Send the invites by snail mail or have them hand-delivered to guests by your teen. Include the time, date, venue, dress code, RSVP contact information, and any other relevant details you would like the party guests to know.

Turn up the music

Every party needs a soundtrack. Hire a DJ; book a band on Gigsalad or The Bash; or simply curate a killer playlist by perusing your teen’s public Spotify playlists. If you’re booking a Peerspace venue, find a place with all of the audio equipment and dance floor space you need to complete your epic Sweet 16 party. 

Add a photobooth

Set up a photobooth so your teen can make lasting memories. You can rent photobooths complete with photo-printing capabilities or gather PVC pipes and pretty fabric for a do-it-yourself option. For some added fun, purchase foil number balloons so guests can hold a “16” in their photos. Throw in props like hats, signs, and silly glasses. Share the photos with everyone digitally or print them out as favors. Come up with a unique hashtag just for the party — something like #MySweet16Soiree — so that everyone can tag their photos with it.

Hang up decorations

Find decorations that fit the theme you chose. Use tissue paper; rent props and furniture; go thrift shopping for unique pieces; order flower walls and neon signs; or keep it simple and minimalistic with balloons and centerpieces for every table. Many of the venues on Peerspace are already Instagram-worthy, so you may not even need to decorate!

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Choose the catering

The food makes the party, so plan to serve an extra-special meal for this birthday. Order from your teen’s favorite restaurant, set up a taco bar, or make a series of appetizers and light bites for guests to munch on. Since this is an extra-special milestone birthday, consider also setting up a mocktail bar. You can hire a beverage service that specializes in making creative mocktails, or you can mix your own by following these recipes

For a simpler drink option, set up coolers filled with sparkling water and old-fashioned sodas, or fill drink dispensers with lemonade, infused water, and punch. Peerspace can help streamline this step in the planning process. Many hosts on the platform offer catering options you can add on when you book the venue, so you won’t have to think twice about getting food and drinks covered for the party. Alternatively, you can call up the Concierge service for vendor recommendations and assistance arranging catering services.

Plan fun activities

Set out board games; turn on Jackbox or video games; rent a karaoke machine; pop in a few movies; set up a game of cornhole or bocce ball; or even rent a bounce house for the sake of nostalgia. Many of the venues on Peerspace come with built-in entertainment like pool tables, a swimming pool, and more, so you won’t have to worry about keeping everyone busy. Your teen should take the lead on planning this part because they know what their friends love to do best.

Sweeten the soiree  

It’s not a birthday party without cake! (Or whatever dessert your teen loves most.) To make the special day extra-sweet, set up a dessert station with small sweets like colorful candies, custom cookies, macarons, cakesicles, cake pops, whoopie pies, and cupcakes.

Display everything in colorful jars and on cake stands, platters, and trays. Then decorate with a tablecloth, banners, and centerpieces. Donut walls are also an adorable and trendy alternative to cake that double as party decorations. You can order a pre-made peg board on Etsy, or do it yourself with some supplies from your local hardware and craft stores. 

Your teen’s Sweet 16 is a big deal. It may be the last big party before their high school graduation party, so it should be over the top. No matter what your party budget or theme is, you can make every last detail amazing by following this guide. Here are more Sweet 16 party ideas to get you started.

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