Pinspirational: Sweet 16 Party

I'm sure you remember that my girl turned 16 some time ago.

I say it that way because I seem to have lost all track of time. I guess it's been almost two weeks now.

She told me very early on that she wanted to go back to our former town to celebrate her birthday, which didn't surprise me. Sixteen is kind of a big deal to a girl, you know, and you don't celebrate it with people you only have casually known for 4 months. Nope. You go all out with life-long buds. And we did.

A table loaded with candy. And the cake. Awesome.
I think I've mentioned that I'm generally not very good at the party planning. I tried not to break out in hives about a long distance party. I think, overall, I succeeded, but I may or may not have already offered Ashley $5,000 to elope (NOT ANYTIME SOON, MIND YOU).

Since it was a) Sweet 16 and b) Ashley we settled on a theme of CANDY!! Who doesn't love candy? That way, it was a great party for all ages -- Ashley wanted to invite several entire families that have been important to her throughout her life.

Gift table. Faux candy made with plates and cellophane.

 Of course, Pinterest was my best friend and worst enemy throughout all of this.

I found things that I neither a)could afford to do or b) had the time or gumption to do. Remember how I slog through the winter? Remember how this was the week after New Year's?  I just kept telling myself that these kids had never seen my pins on Pinterest, and even if they had, they were too blinded by sugar to know any different.

More candy on the tables. Also, pics of Ashley throughout the years.
 As I was looking for pictures of Ashley to put on the tables, I came across a few pictures of when I was teaching her class Sunday School -- the summer after they finished first grade. About 7 or 8 of the kids that would be at the party were in the pictures, so I brought those, too. I love history with people.

The CandyLand path is simply scrapbook card stock.
Ashley did a great job of figuring out things to do for people of all ages. As you can tell, we had to have it at our former church building. And in January, who knows what the weather would be (it was awesome that day -- but chilly!) so we couldn't count on doing anything outside. So... how about a game of flashlight tag! Flashlight tag is basically hide and seek in the dark where 'it' uses the flashlight to tag someone.
The balloons next to the CandyLand path look JUST like suckers, right? They would if you had time to wrap each of them in cellophane. Which we did not. But it's a great idea if you have time.

Since there were people there who were familiar with the building and people who were not, people could hide in teams of 2 or 3, being sure to partner with someone who knew the building.

The cake is from one I found on Pinterest. Can't find the original link.
 The cake was supposed to have big swirly suckers sticking out of it -- but the lady that made it was nervous about how heavy the suckers were. And I didn't have time to go buy the smaller, spiral suckers which probably would have worked. It didn't originally have the Skittles stuck to each dot on top, but Ashley's former youth minister felt that it was lacking something. Perhaps he had a bit too much sugar, too. The cake tasted great and was precious, to boot.

Besides flashlight tag (who knew the kid in the motorized wheelchair would be so good at hide and seek??) the biggest hit of the evening (that was absolutely not my idea) was the photobooth and the props. Because it was a last minute station/ decision, I didn't have anyone standing there with a camera like I would have liked. So I don't have everyone that was in attendance at the party from the photobooth. However, the kids that were there had a great time with it by themselves, using their cameras on their phones.

The party was so much fun and a grand time was had by all.

I told someone the next day that I honestly can't imagine what a wedding is like -- when people that love your child all gather to honor him/ her AND so many people help and work to pull it off (it took a village to make this happen). I was truly humbled and overwhelmed. You can't say "thank you" enough or  in enough ways to express what it truly means for other people to put forth so much effort to make an event special for your child. I can only pay it forward, I suppose.


Karen Koonce said...

Sounds like a very special Sweet 16... I've got 3 more years till my youngest daughter hits 16 (the oldest is 20, and she just wanted a day shopping with her best girlfriends at the time, so no big party). She is all about parties, so I will definitely keep your theme in mind. I *love* the photo booth idea, and think it would be a huge hit no matter what the theme.

Sarah S. said...

The photo booth was definitely a hit. I think what made it really great for the age (especially since we had so many adults at the party) was that it was in the entry hallway of the church (follow the CandyLand path out those doors). So they could be silly without us watching. Something to consider when setting it up. Please be sure and follow that link to make those props. Your daughter could make them! But they are SO fun!

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