The sweet 16 party is an enduring tradition in the United States and Canada. It marks a girl’s coming of age, when she begins to put childhood in the rearview mirror and looks ahead to adulthood.
In the past, sweet 16 birthday parties were often formal events in which young people acted like adults (and often mingled with them). These days, they’re more likely to be casual affairs. In fact, they’re often just like typical childhood birthday parties, but with teen-friendly activities.
Creating your own sweet 16 invitations is perfectly acceptable, and quite doable with all the tools and templates available online. However, figuring out what to say on the invite isn’t always easy or obvious. That’s where the following guide to sweet 16 invitation wording could come in handy.
Note: For the sake of simplicity, this article focuses on sweet 16 parties for girls. However, if you’re throwing a sweet 16 birthday party for a boy, you can easily adapt most of the ideas and examples below.
To start, here’s some general advice on writing an invitation for a sweet 16 party.
1. Get sassy. Unless it’s a formal event, use a fun and casual style for the invitation. If you’re a parent or other adult, try to adopt the tone the soon-to-be-16-year-old uses when talking to peers. Just try not to embarrass yourself (or your teen), and don’t let important party details get lost in a lot of unnecessary words.
2. Tie in the theme of the party. Many, if not most, sweet 16 parties have some sort of theme, whether it’s black-and-white, pool party, movies, or any number of other options. The wording you use for the invite should reflect that theme. Using an awful theme-based pun at the top of the invite is a good way to grab people’s attention.
3. Include any special instructions. If it’s a formal event, masquerade party, or any other sort of gathering where the guests need to be prepared, the invite should give them a heads up. That said, if the instructions are complicated, it might be smarter to send them out in a separate communication. You don’t want to overload the invitees with information before they’ve even RSVP’d.
Save the Date
A “Save the Date” card or message isn’t strictly necessary, but may be a good idea if the birthday is close to a major holiday or during the summer when kids are out of school. Here’s some straightforward wording you could use.
- Save the Date
Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party
July 19, 2021
Invitation to Follow!
Simple Invite Wording
There’s nothing wrong with a straightforward invite. Here are some examples of no-frills sweet 16 invitation wording.
- You’re Invited to A
Sweet Sixteen Party
Saturday, August 25, 2021
at 4:00 PM
The Holton Home
16th Street NW, Austin
RSVP to Jennifer Holton (123.456.7890 / [email protected]) by August 12
Please come dressed in semi-formal attire
- Get Ready For a Sweet Party!
Please Join Us For
Amanda Tyler’s 16th Birthday Bash
Friday, November 3, 2021
at 5:00 PM
1234 16th Avenue South
RSVP to Pete Matheson ([email protected]) by September 24
- Samantha Forrester is Turning 16!
Help Her Celebrate by Coming to Her
Extra-Sweet Sweet 16 Bash
We’ll have games, music, and a giant candy buffet!
Sunday, March 27, 2021
at 5:00 PM
The Forrester Home
1234 16th Street North, Sacramento
RSVP to Mark (123.456.7890 / [email protected]) by March 20
Using rhymes is a cute way to jazz up any invite. Here are a few sweet 16 rhymes to consider.
- It’s Gonna be a Sweet Party
If You Know What We Mean
Because Jasmine Avery
Is Turning Sixteen!
You’re Invited to Help Her Celebrate!
Friday, February 22, 2021
at 7:00 PM
The Avery Home
1234 16th Avenue South, Brownsville
Regrets Only to Dawn Avery (123.456.7890) by Feb. 15
- Ashley Cruz is Turning Sixteen at Last
Won’t You Join Us For a Big Birthday Bash?
We’ll Have Games, Karaoke, and Food Galore
For a Sweet Sixteen Party, Who Could Ask For More?
When: Friday, September 26, 2021 at 5:00 PM
Where: The Cruz Home, 1234 16th Street NW, Harvey
RSVP: By Sept. 17 (123-456-7890 or [email protected])
- For the Coolest Party You’ve Ever Seen
Join Me For My Sweet Sixteen!
Saturday, January 17 is the Date
The Fun Starts at 6, so Don’t be Late!
Devers Event Center
1234 16th Street North
Please RSVP to Donna Gregerson (123.456.7890 / [email protected]) by Jan. 5
Attire is semi-formal
Here’s an example of invitation wording for a sweet 16 masquerade party.
- Please Join Us For
Gina Stewart’s “Sweet” Masquerade Ball
Help Gina celebrate her 16th birthday by wearing a mask or costume of your choice!
Saturday, October 7 at 6:00 PM
Harrisburg Event Center
1234 16th Avenue, Harrisburg
RSVP to Gina (123.456.7890 / [email protected]) by Oct. 1
A semi-fabulous prize will be awarded for the best costume (birthday girl not eligible)!
Winter Wonderland Party
“Winter Wonderland” is a popular theme for a sweet 16 birthday party. Here’s some sample invite wording for this theme.
- You Are Cordially Invited To
Amber’s Sweet Sixteen Snow Ball
Don’t be a Flake – Join Us in a Winter Wonderland For Games, Music, and Food!
Saturday, February 2, 2021
at 6:00 PM
Am-brr Huston’s Home
1234 16th Street South, Topeka
RSVP by January 24 ([email protected])
Surprise 16th birthday parties are especially sweet, if you can pull them off. Here’s an example of invitation wording that emphasizes the sensitive nature of the party information.
- This is Gonna be Sweet!
You’re Invited to Olivia Carter’s
Surprise Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party
Saturday, April 9, 2021
at 4:00 PM sharp
The Carter Home
1234 16th Street SE, Saint Paul, MN
Please RSVP to Darla Carter ([email protected]) by April 2
P.S. Did we mention this is a SURPRISE party? Don’t spill the beans!
Another way to generate interest in a sweet 16 party is to give it a catchy name. Check out this list of party name ideas for inspiration.