The Sweetest of Sweet 16's
"Hold on to sixteen as long as you can
Changes come around real soon
Make us women and men"
-John Cougar Mellencamp "Jack and Diane"
“May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young”
– Bob Dylan "Forever Young"
Celebratory events thrill me. A sweet sixteen is an American tradition; a party thrown in honor of a girl's sixteenth birthday to commemorate her rite of passage into young adulthood. When I had the opportunity to put on my event planning hat for this special event honoring this young woman I have had the the pleasure of knowing for ten years, I jumped at it! What an honor and privilege to help plan such a wonderful occasion.
We began by setting the color theme: Turquoise and Gold and everything glitter. Of no surprise to anyone, I became even more excited when these choices were made. We decided that handing out invitations would feel more personal than the more common e-vite, so we began designing. The best part was the gold shimmer envelopes that we found on Amazon and the addition of the gold glitter to the invites.
Next up in planning was the cake. Ali preferred a less traditional method and decided on a cupcake bar. The options for cake were basic: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Guests had a wide array of choices for frosting and toppings ranging from blue, pink, and white icing to red hots, sprinkles, gummy bears, and more to top them off. Alison had her own special cupcakes made just for her. The icing matched her beautiful dress she had chosen for the event. She was picturesque.
In keeping with theme of "Sweet" sixteen, we decided to have a candy bar with all of Ali's favorite candies. She prefers sour and sweet to chocolate, so we went wild with Airheads, gummy bears, sour straws, Skittles, and Blow pops. We had scoopers and goodie bags to keep the germ sharing to a minimum. Catering for sustenance was ordered since we had planned an evening soiree. The guests chowed down with pleasure. Mexican food pleases many and was a hit for this party as well.
For entertainment, we employed an amazing DJ. He just happened to be Alison's best friend's brother, Jonathan Davila. His DJ skills were amazing. She had invited her dance teammates, and they all lived on the dance floor that night. From line dances to the wobble to just plain ol' getting' down, they had a blast. The younger kids that were invited burned their sugar rushes from the candy and cupcake bars off here. Their parents were pleased to have this outlet.
To commemorate the occasion, we decided to make a guest book for Alison. We left a variety of glitter pens and pages for them to write notes to her. The event's photographer Michelle Marie Photography took Photo Booth pictures to add to the book later. I loved the idea that Ali could look back and remember her sweet sixteen party: all of the friends that adore her vibrant and loving personality, the family that attended, and the details of the party with this book. We also scheduled a photo session with Michelle prior to the party. She used glitter as her main prop, so that we could capture Ali's beautiful self and for use in our decorations and for Thank You cards. These pictures proved very useful. Alison can forever remember this day and her special party through these keepsakes.
Towards the end of the party, we dropped the lights and projected a slide show of Alison's past and present. It was fun to see her transformation into the ever so gorgeous woman she has become. Friends oohed and awed, mamas watched with tears, and everyone sang along to the tunes that accompanied. Between the selfies and the dancing, the shenanigans during this party were amazing. We all left feeling exhilarated and happy to have shared such a wonderful time with our friends.
After the party, we made these Thank You cards so that Alison could show her gratitude and appreciate for the gifts she had received during the party. The envelopes that accompanied matched those of the invitations. The perfect touch to her add her style and flare.
At the end of the day, and the party, we high-fived at the success of this event. What a wonderful celebration of Alison's 16th year in our lives. What a blessing she is and how lucky are we to experience her and watch her grow and mature.