How to Plan a 16th Birthday Party

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Planning a 16th birthday party can be overwhelming, particularly if you plan to invite a lot of guests. Start planning your party well in advance so you don’t find yourself stressing about details on the day of the party. Be flexible and open to slight changes in the plans, and don’t worry if everything doesn’t happen exactly as you expected. On the day of the party, simply relax and enjoy your 16th birthday.

Select a location for the party. Having the party at your home will probably be the cheapest and most convenient option, but if your budget allows, you can consider having the party at a restaurant or party room. If your birthday falls in the summer or late spring, consider having the party outdoors.

Select a theme that reflects your interests and personality. Possible themes include Hawaiian Luau, Hollywood, Broadway or Mardi Gras.

Compile a guest list. For a smaller, more intimate and less stressful party, keep the guest list short, to fewer than 10 people. If you want an all-out bash, and your budget allows, compile a longer list of guests. Some invited guests will probably be unable to attend.

Choose a date and time for the party and make invitations. You can make the invitations by hand, order custom invitations online or download free invitation templates to edit in a word processor. Indicate the party’s location, date, time and theme on the invitations, and include an RSVP phone number or e-mail address. If you don’t have a color printer but want to print your own color invitations, save your invitation to a CD and take it to a copy center for printing.

Prepare a list of activities and games to play at the party. Depending on your theme, you might want to include a dance contest, karaoke, charades, limbo, a scavenger hunt or your favorite board games. Have a variety of activities prepared so you can switch between activities according to the guests’ interests.

Prepare music to play at the party. You might want to gather your favorite CDs to play, or burn a few CDs with your own carefully selected party play lists.

Decorate your home or party location on the day of the party. Choose streamers, tablecloths and other decorations that reflect your party’s theme. If you’re having the party outside, drape twinkle lights in the trees and hang lanterns for a festive atmosphere. If you’re having the party indoors, put twinkle lights on the mantle and place votive candles on tables.