Turning sixteen is a big deal! In the United States, it has become customary for parents to throw their daughters (and sometimes sons) a Sweet Sixteen party. These coming of age gatherings celebrate the beginning of adulthood, and range from extremely casual events with food, friends, and family to formal galas that features DJs, ball gowns, and an extensive number of guests.
Regardless of the size of the party, there are a few traditions that ring true at every Sweet Sixteen:
- Candle Lighting Ceremony: No birthday party is complete without a cake! At a Sweet Sixteen, each of the candles that top the cake hold a different meaning: the first candle symbolizes the parents. The second candle symbolizes any siblings the guest-of-honor may have. If there are no siblings, this candle can be symbolic of their grandparents. Candles three through six are representative of other important family members, like aunts, uncles and cousins. The seventh through fourteenth candles represent friends, reserving the fifteenth and sixteenth candle for the best friend and significant other, respectively. On occasion, an additional candle is placed on the cake for good luck.
- Shoe Ceremony: This is a common tradition for girls, who begin the event in flats or slippers and are later presented with a pair of high heels that symbolize her transition into adulthood. In some families, it is customary for the mother to crown her daughter with a tiara, but the symbolism remains the same.
- Father-Daughter Dance: This is another tradition for females. Typically, a girl dances with her father to a slow song, but many members of the millennial era come up with elaborate dance numbers that their fathers take part in.
If you’re looking to host a Sweet Sixteen, let Celebrations help! We have indoor and outdoor facilities available that are perfect for the most laid back, casual gatherings to the most elaborate and luxurious blowouts! No matter what style party you’re looking to throw, you’ll find gourmet presentations, exceptional menu items, and of course, award-winning service at Celebrations.