Planning the Perfect Sweet 16
What makes the perfect Sweet 16? Besides a great DJ and a smooth MC, which should be an obvious starting point when planning, what else can you do to take your party to the next level? In this blog, we're not going to dive into the physical enhancements that can elevate your party, but rather discuss a few important things both parents and daughter's should keep in mind while trying to plan their special night.
Create a Theme
One thing we do at Enjay Entertainment during the planning process, if you don't have one already, is create a theme for your Sweet 16. Pop Culture consumes a crazy amount of kid's lives. Trendy designer's, movies, and viral trends/moments are always good ideas to keep in mind when deciding on themes. Whether you have the same initials as famous brand logos (Louis Vuitton, Yves St Laurent, Coco Chanel, etc. all use initials as their logos) or have us edit brand's designs to fit your name, there are a number of simple but cool ideas to use as decor. These designs can be displayed on TVs, centerpieces, or monograms throughout the venue. If your daughter is an athlete maybe consider doing something creative with her favorite team, and if she has her dress picked out already, try to think of ideas that tie into the color scheme. Wordplay is also another great way to make your theme unique. Incorporating your name into a phrase definitely ensures that this is YOUR party. I've seen our friends over at Xplosive Entertainment host a party for a birthday girl Ella, which they flipped into the phrase "CELLABRATE THE NIGHT". They had the phrase all over their LED Screens, custom tee shirts and hats, as well as a digital monogram. It was super clever and all the matching decor looked amazing.
We added some images below of some past clients. Olivia stayed true to her "Gatsby Theme" with Black, White, and Gold decor throughout the room. It was a black tie affair and almost everyone came in theme, it was awesome. Grace loved to bake and everything at her party had color. She wore a multi colored dress, so we went with multi color room lighting and LED stages. To incorporate her passion into the party, not only did she bake her own cake, we came up with the idea to use artificial cakes as centerpieces for each table. The room looked so cool and different than what you're used to seeing at Sweet 16s.
Parents, Know Your Daughter
Every girl dreams of having the best Sweet 16. Depending on the budget, entertainment, and enhancements, her sometimes lucrative vision will become a reality. Every girl imagines dancing the night away with her friends and family, where the spotlight is always on her, and the kids at school are talking about the party for weeks and months to come. Parents, this is where planning around your daughter's personality, and choosing the correct Sweet 16 DJ comes into play. Sometimes kids feel awkward being themselves around family and adults. If your daughter is a little shy, and you know her friends are the same way, your entertainment company will literally make or break the night.
To start, you're going to want an interactive Emcee. Someone who's charismatic, funny, and comfortable on the microphone. Building a relationship with you and your daughter beforehand goes a long way to breaking the ice and allowing her to have as much fun as possible. You should also consider adding professional Party Motivators to your package. I emphasized professional because I've seen, and in my earlier days in the industry, even made the mistake of hiring younger kids who were just good at dancing as my party motivators. Let me tell you there is a HUGE difference when your DJ company brings professional motivators. As shallow as it sounds, you want dancers who are good looking but who also have the personalities to match it. At Enjay Entertainment, all of our dancers must interact, and talk with guests as they walk in before we get the party started. Again, this is used as an ice breaker, as the kids will feel a lot more comfortable listening to the crew if they've gotten a chance to meet each other. It also helps to use a staff that's a little older than the kids. If this comes as a shock to you I'm sorry, but a 17 year old entertainer, given the opportunity, will definitely focus more on getting girl's numbers than making sure the dance floor is packed. Our dancers are mature, experienced, and have done this long enough to know how to make light of any flirtatious behavior thrown their way. If you expect to have a lot of male friends in attendance, you may want to think about having a female motivator there as well. The boys will always respond better to a female dancer, and we tell this to our clients all the time; the best Sweet 16s are the ones where ALL the friends, especially the guys, don't feel too cool to dance.
If you know that your daughter and her friends will have no problem going wild on the dance floor at her party, that's awesome, I love that. But make sure you know the music that kids listen to. Rap and Hip-Hop has taken over as the mainstream genre once again. Believe me, I feel just as awkward playing some of today’s Hip-Hop as parents do listening to it. And as much as you may not want to hear it that night, restricting your daughter's playlist is a hugeee mistake. As DJs, playing those songs gives kids the thought of "hey this guy knows what he's doing". Just like the Emcee and Motivators have their ice breakers, playing the popular songs are my ice breakers. Trust me, we only play the clean versions (even though they'll sing the lyrics anyway) and we won't be playing them all night to the point where the adults are sitting at their tables in disgust. That's what separates good Sweet 16 DJs from bad ones. My dance sets are structured in ways geared towards the kids but fun for adults. I've found that playing some Top 40 early will keep parents on the dance floor for a while until I gradually start playing the stuff that kids want to hear. Once I build that trust with the kids, I'm able to control the room. If everyone doesn't have fun at my parties, I didn't do my job.
We’ll be posting more about Sweet 16’s and how to elevate your party on a weekly basis with new topics. If you or someone you know is looking for a Sweet 16 DJ click the link here. Mention this post and receive 10 percent off your entire Entertainment Package.