How To Plan A Farewell Party

Now that our little ones are about a month into the new school year, it’s time to say good bye to the older kids—the ones embarking on a new adult journey in college. We’ve attended a few farewell parties in the past couple of weeks and there are a couple more left on the schedule. These bright adults are getting prepared to move across the nation to pursue their dreams. So far, we’ve said farewell to a new students at Stanford University, Chapman University, and a new graduate student at University of Pennsylvania. I can’t wait to see them grow into responsible adults or grow in their chosen career path. Continue reading

Sweet 16

Every birthday is a special milestone, a way to mark the end of one year and the promise of another.  Turning sixteen for a girl, though, seems to be a rite of passage.

Sixteenth birthdays are celebrated in a variety of ways, from simple get-togethers of close family and friends to elaborate gala events, complete with valet parking and live music.  If fronted with the task of preparing for a special sixteenth celebration, keep several points in mind:

1.  MAKE A BUDGET!  The amount of money available to spend will determine most of the climate of the event.  Renting a location and providing a full meal along with music and dancing probably is not going to happen on a $200 budget.  The honoree is old enough to be involved in this part of the process, so sit down with her and discuss options based on the budget.  Allocate a portion for food, decorating, and perhaps location, music and attire if necessary.

2.  COMMUNICATION  Make sure the honoree is an active part of all decisions made.  She will know if one weekend is better over another, or if a day party on a Sunday would be better than a Friday night celebration.  Closely work on a guest list (keeping in mind that budget) and a menu.

3.  PICK AN APPROPRIATE THEME.  A pink pony theme might not be the best choice for a special sixteenth birthday party, but nor is a poker night party.  Choose a theme based on the honoree’s likes and preferences. Go with a favorite color, a favorite flower, or something in line with the honoree’s hobbies.

4.  FOOD TO FEED THE MASSES.  However much food you think you’ll need, make plans for at least 25% more.  Kids LOVE to eat, and at a party, there will be plenty of it!  Make sure it is easy to prepare and easy to handle.  While hand-piped petit-fours would be lovely, a gaggle of teenagers would probably be just as happy with some chocolate chip cookies and some chips and dip.

5.  MAKE THE MOMENT LAST FOREVER.  As part of the party, give each guest a disposable camera.  The host is then free of any photography duties, and the kids will have a blast shooting pictures of their friends having fun.  And, the honoree will have plenty of reminders of the fantastic party.