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Sweet 16 Party

Surprise 16 - Candle Lighting Ceremony




young in Pam


November 2005


Honorable Mention

Last week I gave my granddaughter a sweet sixteen surprize birthday party.  It turned out great and she said it was "perfect". 

On the day before her surprize party, I took her and 3 of her closest friends for a make-over (hair, toenail, fingernails, foot message, and make-up).  We then took a lot of pictures around the classy salon.  I then took the girls to a friends house where they met their boyfriends and they watched the Alabama-Auburn football game, before getting dressed up and going out to eat.  I had a cupcake cake made in the shape of a "16".  Brooke thought that was her party. 

Her real party was scheduled for that Sunday at her church's fellowship hall, directly after church.  She found out about the party when the song director announced during the service that it was her birthday, he had the congregation sing "Happy Birthday" and then invited everyone to her party.  I had made my own invitations by buying some card stock and vellum paper.  I scanned a baby picture and present-day picture of Brooke on the card stock.  I printed out the invitation on the vellum and punched a whole, in the shape of a star, in both sheets, putting the velum on top of the cardstock and tying them together with silver ribbon. 

The theme of the party was "our shining star", so I put star stickers on the invitations.  In the invitation I put a card and asked everyone to write something, a funny story, or how they feel about Brooke, and bring it to the party.  The colors I used were silver, pink and purple with the inspiration from a Sweet Sixteen Banner I had found.  The tables were decorated with either purple, pink or silver tableclothes with a hurricane candle holder in the center with curly ribbon around them.  A pretty piece of clear black material was found that had stars of different colors on it and cut into squares and then placed in the center of each table with the candle holder on top.  Confetti was scattered on the tables.  The "sweet sixteen" banner was put on a lattice room divider. 

Four floral containers were put underneath the banner and decorated with leaves and flowers.  4 votive candle holders were put on each container to be lit during the candle lighting ceremony.  A table was decorated in the front of the room with a silver tableclothe overlayed with the rest of the clear black material with stars.  This was for the gifts and sign-in book.  The first thing we did was a candle lighting ceremony. 

Since I am very close to my granddaughter I knew who she would have picked for the sixteen most important people or groups in her life.  But I did talk to her about it before the ceremony and she agreed with my choices.  I had made a list using a couple of lines that rhymed to call up the people who would light the candles.  Like, "Thank you so much for all you've done, mom and dad, will you light candle no. 1", "I'm glad we're related, although our fusses aren't few, Brea & Tanner, please light candle no. 2" (this is her brother and sister).  "Because you've always been there and mean so much to me, Maw-Maw please light candle no. 3."  "From pre-school until now, we've been so close, I feel that our friendship was sent from heaven, Meagan will you please light candle no. 7."  And so on. 

Brooke's paw-paw had just died 3 weeks earlier and was very close to her so a candle was lit in his memory and a poem "My Dear Loved Ones" was read.  After the ceremony, everyone was asked whether they wanted to tell any stories about Brooke.  Almost everyone did, because she is such an outgoing and funny girl.  Then we cut the cake.  The cake was one where the bakery took a picture and scanned it onto the cake.  It was beautiful.  While eating the cake, a video was shown that had been made from the time Brooke was born until now.  She loved that.  Brooke then opened her presents.  It was really an unforgettable day and that was what my goal was.

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