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Sweet 16 parties are bigger productions than weddings

The trend is not over and kids go for bigger parties every year. Whilst the number of sweet 16 celebrations rises to equal the same number of weddings, some sweet 16 parties are even more expensive than some weddings, costing no less than $15,000 USD.

Two live shows, lasers, several outfit changes, photoshoots at the beach, giant screens, banners and billboards, amongst many other extravagant bits are not uncommon during sweet 16 celebrations these days. The kicker is that this opulent celebrations are not even from people who belong to the high society circle or live in a fancy country club, these well maybe the sweet 16 celebration of a small town girl from an average income household.


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A couple of years ago, when it was easier going to Disneyland, the sweet 16 party fad seemed to enter its final hours but now the trend has come back with force. Right now, sweet 16 parties are the biggest in the market in terms of production, display, development and technology. They have widely outmatched weddings and Bar / Bat Mitzvah celebrations. Sweet 16 celebrations have become the most important party of any social event calendar. Although there are no statistics, it is estimated that the number of sweet 16 celebrations is equal to the number of weddings.

At some venues there might be even five sweet 16 parties in one month and just one wedding.  Venue suppliers and event planners agree that there’s almost no weddings and they estimate an 80% of sweet 16 parties against 20% of weddings.

Whilst a “Standard party” can be around 15.000 USD, a more detailed affair with all its implications may reach up to 50.000 USD. Every addition has an extra cost, and as items and special requirements pile up so do the figures on the bill.

Unlike the weddings – where is normal to give your bank account details, in this parties trendy clothes are usually the standard gift, so there’s no refunds. When it comes to calculating the investment, all kind of suppliers are included, from the venue cost to the hair and makeup

These young girls next door are transformed into models for their sweet 16 parties, whilst originally the go-to style was more of a coming of age romantic yet innocent look and party theme, nowadays, the trend is bold themed parties, whether they feature a casual bowling style, or a Tomorrowland-inspired electronic party. Further, parties today have a big element of technology playing a starring role through light shows or light dresses, mapping, holograms with the birthday girl’s image who welcomes you to the salon, and even water curtains with video projections.

In many cases, the investment is bigger for a sweet 16 party than for a wedding, not to mention, sweet 16 parties are far more common than weddings nowadays.