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Event Inspiration/Articles/Inspiration/Sweet 16 Party Ideas and Trends for 2021

Sweet 16 Party Ideas and Trends for 2021

Trust the pros! If you have a teen turning 16, you'll want to incorporate these trends.
Brittany Anderson

Brittany Anderson


This special celebration is a milestone moment in your teen’s life, and these sweet 16 party ideas will ensure that it’s a night they’ll never forget. If you’re looking for some help with party planning, these 2021 sweet 16 party trends are from real event planners and professionals from the event industry.  

With these sweet 16 party trends for 2021, they key and main themes include customization and individuality for your teen and their guests. 

While you incorporate some new party inspiration, you can’t forget the classic sweet sixteen party trends and entertainment ideas like a sweet 16 party DJ and photo booth, a caterer or food truck (or both), and of course, an amazing sweet sixteen cake.

Here are 7 trends you can expect to see at sweet sixteen parties in 2021.


Custom Moments

Though this seems like a more obvious party trend, due to COVID-19 restrictions impacting some sweet 16 celebrations, these custom moments will make your teen feel as special as they should on their big day.  

“A Sweet 16 is a huge deal! We recommend customized moments that showcase who you really are—you can do that through tailored experiences and a personalized design scheme!” says HoneyFitz Events. As the star of the show, the guest of honor will love all of the small details customized to showcase their individual personality.  

Whether it’s something like an over-the-top birthday cake design or something stylistic like a beach theme or highlighter party—the moments throughout the party will allow the birthday girl or guy to shine.


Special Extras

When you think of special extras, naturally you think of party favors, but this season, these extras will be even more special and personalized. The Handkerchief Shop recommends, “handkerchiefs embroidered with your handwriting that your 16-year-old can tuck away as a remembrance of their milestone.”  

As for the rest of the party guests, things like party favors with their own name, customized cups, mini hand sanitizers, and portable phone chargers will be special extras they love to take home with them—and will appreciate having with them throughout the night.


Fine Dining

According to Nora Sheils, Founder at Bridal Bliss ,“16 today is very different than 16 ten or twenty years ago! Teenagers are much savvier and more sophisticated now than ever! Many are old souls and appreciate a fine affair.” 

Unlike a typical sweet sixteen theme party, there’s “no need for a huge over-the-top rager. Instead, a fine dining meal, mocktails and dancing with their nearest and dearest is on trend!” says Sheils.  

Sweet 16 party guests will appreciate a sit-down dinner, fancy decor, and a delicious meal. From hors d'oeuvres through dinner and dessert, seated fine dining will be loved by all party goers and shared on social media by the teens.


Mocktail Hour

“In the coming year, teens will be celebrating at cocktail-style parties without adults! In an effort to lower the guest count, teen-parties will be focused on the honoree and their friends. Of course, there will be an appropriate amount of adult supervision; however, parents will be encouraged to stay home and let the kids party!” says Avishay. 

Hiring a bartender will be a great addition to this event. A bartender will be able to design the signature mocktail while crafting them on demand throughout the night. Your teen and their friends will love an instagram-worthy mocktail that they can showcase to their followers.


Creative Experiences

Brooke Avishay of Orange Blossom Special Events anticipates creative experiences like custom mask making, as well as amped up decor and of course, anything that can inspire a TikTok masterpiece.  

“The more creative options for kids, the better! A giant canvas where kids can express themselves and a photo booth operated by a super-safe attendant keeping things sanitized between groups would both be great,” says Avishay.  

The guest of honor and party guests will love creative experiences like a popcorn bar or taco bar, and entertainment ideas like a henna tattoos or tarot card and psychic readings.   


Outdoor Venues

Following on the trend of increased safety measures, comes the new trend of choosing an outdoor venue for sweet 16 parties in 2021. Luckily, there’s more options than ever when it comes to an outdoor venue—from rooftops to gardens, patios to outdoor lounges, and even your own backyard.  

With this type of venue, you can keep guests at safe distances, and depending on your local government’s guidelines, be able to invite more party guests while outdoors. 

Pro Tip: Find the perfect venue for a sweet 16 party on The Bash. 

Increased Safety Measures

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events in 2021 will continue to look a little different to ensure the safety of all party hosts and guests. 

“Typically, at teen parties, a buffet for food is expected; however, you can expect more service staff managing the stations to ensure safe food consumption. To keep things as safe as possible, there will be temperature checks at the door to ensure everyone entering the party is healthy, “ says Avishay. 

To make somes safety measures seem a bit more fun and connected with this special occasion, you can order custom masks that match the themed birthday party. These can double as a party favor too.  

Pro Tip: Read these tips for hosting events and social distancing.

When you incorporate fun themes, party favors, the ultimate sweet sixteen playlist, sweet 16 cakes, and some of these 2021 trends, party planning for this teen party will be easier than ever.  

Find more party ideas and inspiration on The Bash.

Production: Be Inspired PR ❘ Event Design: HoneyFitz Events ❘ Event Design: Bridal Bliss ❘ Event Design: Orange Blossom Special Events ❘ Photography: Anna Delores Photography ❘ Photography: Love Me Do Photography ❘ Photography: Deyla Huss Photography ❘ Floral Design: Blum ❘ Linens: La Tavola ❘ Rentals: Bridgewood Rentals ❘ Stationery: Copper Willow Paper Studio ❘ Cake: Beverly’s Bakery ❘ Venue: Ironlight ❘ Venue: Monarch Rooftop

Published on 8/24/2020