10 Tips for Hosting the Best Birthday Party Ever for Your Teen

Tips for an Expert Party Planner

10 Tips for Hosting a Teen Birthday Party
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Hosting a birthday party for a teenager can be a little stressful. It’s important to strike a balance between throwing a party that doesn’t involve childish games, and hosting a bash that isn't too mature.

To gain insight on how to host a fun and safe party for your teenager, I caught up with Gregory Jenkins, partner and co-founder of Bravo Productions. As an event planner with more than 25-years of experience, here are his top 10 tips for hosting a birthday party for teens:

1) Limit the Number of Guests

Limit the guests list to only those teens that you and your teenager know, and provide other adults to help supervise the party.

2) Think About Noise and Security

We've all seen stories on the news where a teen party has gotten out of control with party crashers. You should think about contracting a private or off-duty security person—especially, if hosting at a residence.

3) Create a No Alcohol Policy

Lock all liquor cabinets and make sure you set ground rules with your teenager that there is to be no consumption of alcohol. The liability rests on the person who is hosting the party.

4) Pick a Theme

Decide on a theme that works for your teenager and incorporate food that works well for that particular audience. You will want simple snacks and food service.

5) No Party Crashers

Don't allow anyone in your home that you or your teenage do not know.

6) Set an End Time

Set a start and end time for the party that is reasonable for a teenager.

For example, the party should come to an end around 11:00 p.m., no later than midnight. Be sure to check the city ordinances for curfew rules and regulations, music or noise restrictions after a certain point in the evening.

7) Preview the Entertainment

Have your teenager make some recommendations for entertainment, but as the parent, you have the ultimate and final decision in contracting the entertainment.

A minor cannot enter into any contracts. In addition, check YouTube videos of that selected entertainment to ensure it's appropriate for the function.

8) Create a Party Planning Timeline

Develop a timeline to ensure that you get all tasks done. Your timeline should include all of your tasks to be undertaken assigned with a date for completion. Once you create this calendar, stick to your plan and stay on track.

9) Walk Through the Venue Beforehand

If you decide to host your party at a park, pool or venue, conduct several walk-through of your chosen site, and work through all of the details. During the walk-through, you can determine the best placement of tables, chairs, décor, food stations, etc. You’ll also become aware of the parking situation; the condition of the landscape, and the angle of the sun at the time your function will take place.

And whether hosting the party at home or at another site, safety is always foremost. In the case of a pool area, there should be someone designated as an attendant at all times.

10) Establish a Realistic Budget

Some budgetary considerations include the costs for decor, food and beverages, entertainment, equipment rentals, etc. In any respect, you must first develop a line-by-line budget for all costs, ensuring that your budget and expectations are in sync.

Review this document with your teenager as a 'teachable moment.'

Teenagers may want the sun, moon and the stars, however, there are spending limits to most household budgets. Perhaps, if your teenager wants to have something more elaborate, have her find a way to help pay for the additional costs. You also may want to include a contingency fee -- anywhere between 5 to 10 percent, allowing for error and a back-up plan.

The color scheme, decor, etc., can run the gamut, but failing to take care of these major issues can result in catastrophe. In essence, the best looking decor and entertainment can't fix an overcrowded event that turns into chaos.

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