Birmingham Venue: How to Plan a Sweet 16 Party

The Sweet 16 party is a celebration of a major step in the growth of a young adult. Unlike a wedding it is not a difficult party to plan for but there are specific steps that must be followed. They include:

Set a Budget
This is probably the most important step as it will set the stage for many other decisions. Given the tight economic times, the budget may be rather modest. That forces you to ensure you are getting the most value for each and every dollar you spend. Woodrow Hall can help you with this aspect. Our two ballrooms offer two different price points for your party. We can host a party for as little as $350 for up to 100 people!

Set a Date
The date should be as close to the actual birthday as possible. All of the similar aged friends will expect the birthday to be very near to the date of the birthday, certainly with in a week or so. Being a little flexible allows you to find bargains on the venue.

Choose a Venue
This is actually a rather difficult step. It is virtually certain that there are no two venues that offer the exact same size, style, location, price, amenities, and service… and that is available on your chosen date! You can find a venue that is perfect but is not available or is too expensive or have some other barrier.
One of the most important issues is the ease of working with the management. I can almost guarantee that Woodrow Hall’s main ballroom or the second ballroom, The Magnolia Room, will be perfect in most of the categories above. But I can absolutely guarantee that you will not find a better management team!

Select a Guest List
Remember that many of individual costs for a party are directly related to the number of people you invite. The food, drink, favors, are usually based on a per-person cost. There are a few line items that are not. They include the venue rental, the entertainment and decorations.
If you can control the cost of the food, which is usually one of the most expensive of the line items, the rest will come into control. Choosing “finger foods” such as pizza, wings, chips, fresh fruit and vegetables, perhaps a potato bar or other hot food choice will keep the cost per person very affordable and lets face it… most teens expect these types of foods!

Purchase a Birthday Cake
This can be as simple as a sheet cake or a highly decorated cake. In fact, there is a growing trend to use a Cup-Cake-Tree. By using the local grocery store or even a Cosco or Sam’s Club, you can save a bundle! Don’t forget to have a dessert on hand for those who have food allergies or intolerances.

Plan for Decorations
Let me give you some advice on this one… Keep-It-Simple! Woodrow Hall and The Magnolia Room are already decorated! We have special lighting that you can program for a number of colors, centerpieces, great ambience and historic charm. You can go minimalistic at Woodrow Hall. You can also use slide shows and our Plasma screen TV as part of the decorations! A few candles, some crepe paper is all you need!

Sent Invitations
Consider having the birthday gal or guy pick these out. Again, simple is good. You can print your own or even create them with supplies from a craft store. But if funds and time permit, don’t forget that you can be really creative with invitations! One person we know used a blow up balloon with the date, time and place forcing the guest to inflate the balloon to be able to read it! We also have seen invitations being placed in a bottle like a “message in a bottle” approach!

A DJ is perfect for a Sweet 16 party. A DJ will play the music you want and act as the announcer for the toasts, announcements and games. Woodrow Hall can provide you with a DJ for a remarkably low price!

Enjoy Yourself!
Remember to enjoy the day. This is really a special time of life for a teen. It should be memorable and fun!

For a memorable and AFFORDABLE Sweet 16 party, choose Woodrow Hall. Call 205-243-4243 now to set up a visit in this remarkable restored century old building that houses a large banquet hall that can host seat 200 guests or our smaller ballroom that can seat 100 in Chiavari chairs at hand-made tables. Both have the same type of theme lighting and great dance floor and vintage historic atmosphere!

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