The element of mystery always makes a good party, and a sweet sixteen party is no exception. Many sweet sixteen parties are made up of modernized glitz and glam, however, there’s something special about a mystical ball that makes a sweet sixteen party feel more like a page out of a medieval storybook.
More synonymous with 16th century Rennaisance, the masquerade ball is an elaborate dance that involves the tradition of wearing masks and beautiful costumes to hide identity. However, the element of mystery was not always as simple as who was behind a costume. One 17th century masquerade ball actually ended fatally by the hand of a displeased nobleman, from which we now have the opera, Gustave III written by Daniel Auber. Nevertheless, a sweet sixteen masquerade party can be the perfect setting for glitz, glam, mystery, and maybe even a murder mystery game all intertwined.
Notify your guests by invitation that your sweet sixteen party will require formal attire. Give your guests at least six weeks notice to give them enough time to shop if they need to. A formal sweet sixteen masquerade party will require that gentlemen wear tuxedos or their best suits with a black bow tie. Ladies should present themselves in formal, floor length gowns or dresses. Also make sure that you tell your guests that you’re having a masquerade party, and that they will need a mask. Provide options where they may be able to get one. Appropriate formal shoes should also be worn in accordance with the formal attire of the occasion. If you’re planning to add the murder mystery element, you will also want to inform your guests of this in the invitation, since they will need to play the part once they arrive at the party.
Masks are essential for your sweet sixteen masquerade party. A wide array of handmade masks can be found on Etsy, but if you’re crafty, you can also look up „DIY Masquerade Masks“ on YouTube for tutorial videos on how to create your own mask. Your mask should be as extravagant as possible, but should not cover your entire face.
The murder mystery element will require that each guest have a script that they read prior to the day of the party. The script will simply give them an idea of what to expect during the party, and what part of the story line they will have. Generally, there are no speaking parts to remember with these scripts, but the guests will understand the story behind the events that will unfold at your sweet sixteen masquerade (mystery) party. If you don’t feel comfortable writing scripts, pre-written mystery scripts can be found at Mystery Crime Scene online.
To decorate for your party, use elaborately designed fabrics that can be draped from the ceiling to the floor or, if budget is not permitting, try purchasing only a few and creating valances across the room. Textures such as velvets, satins, and tapestries will work well with as decor for your masquerade party. Place fresh-cut flowers, in rich colors, in vases on tables, and be sure that your lighting is dimmed and romantically mysterious. To create this mood, try using candles, yellow lighting, or fairy lights. As an added touch, you can also use topiaries the room.
Food at a sweet sixteen masquerade party should be bite size, since masks will be worn. Some suggestions for food include finger sandwiches or pinwheels, shrimp cocktail or bacon wrapped scallops, spanikopita or parmesan spinach balls, cocktail weenies or meatballs, and plenty of vegetable crudites. For a more elaborate menu, try adding things like mushroom canapes in truffle oil, smoked salmon pinwheels, crostini topped with prosciutto, fresh mint and peas. It’s usually not necessary to get really elaborate with food for a sweet sixteen, since many teens may prefer a more straightforward menu.
A live band is a perfect option for a sweet sixteen masquerade party, but could be a costly expense. If this expense is prohibitive, a simple sound system playing music will also work nicely. If you’d like to keep with the theme of the era, classical music will set a mood of elegance for a party themed around the 16th or 17 centuries. However, music is a personal preference and should be chosen according to the events of the party. For example, if you will have ballroom dancing, you will want to choose appropriate music for that form of entertainment. Other options for entertainment that leave music choices open include party dance games, such as musical squares where your guests are required to step on a musical square when the music stops or they find themselves ‚out.‘
A sweet sixteen masquerade party could be the talk of the town with a bit of planning, great food, and some creativity. Whether you choose to follow tradition and go with a medieval theme or you want more of a modern twist, every sweet sixteen masquerade should have some element of mystery and a great deal of fun.