How to Decorate for a Sweet 16th Party in a Big Hall

Updated March 13, 2018

Sweet 16 parties range from small family affairs to large bashes with long guest lists. The decorations help set the tone no matter where the event is held. Sweet 16 parties held in a large party hall require some extra planning. Decorating a large venue can take some creativity so the decorations don't get lost in all of the space. While there isn't one best way to decorate every hall, there are some basics that work when decorating a large venue for the Sweet 16 celebration.

Choose a theme for the sweet 16 birthday party. Keep the theme in mind as you select the decorations for the party hall. Choosing a party colour scheme also helps coordinate the decorations.

Assess the venue's natural decor. Some banquet halls are naturally attractive or fit a particular party theme and don't require a lot of additional decoration. Others are very plain and need lots of decoration to make it a festive venue for the sweet 16.

String white Christmas lights along the ceiling to create the look of a starry night. Add tulle or organza fabric draped around the ceiling for additional decoration. Choose the fabric in a colour that matches the sweet 16 colour scheme.

Hang a large sweet 16 birthday banner on a prominent wall in the hall. Most printing companies can print a large banner for you. Add images that relate to the sweet 16 party theme.

Select themed wall decorations to hang around the party hall, or make your own. To make your own, draw the shape on a large sheet of cardboard. Cut it out and paint it. Giant number "16" cutouts work as a general decoration. Shapes that relate to the theme, such as a party mask for a masquerade theme, also work. Space the wall decorations around the party hall.

Set up balloon arches or a freestanding garden arch covered in twinkling lights right inside the entrance of the hall to greet the guests and guide them into the room.

Set up a life-size cutout of the guest of honour as an additional decoration to greet the guests.

Cover the tables with cloths in the party colour scheme. Add candles or luminaries for a gentle glow. Add flower arrangements to the tables with 16 flowers in each one to match the theme.

Make 16th birthday luminaries to set up outside the party hall. Cut out the number 16 from paper lunch bags. You can use the traditional brown or purchase coloured bags from a craft store. Cover the cutout with tissue paper by taping a square of tissue paper on the inside of the bag over the opening. Place some sand in the bottom of each bag for weight. Add a battery-operated tea candle for a glow.


Get the guest of honour involved in planning the decorations so she is happy with how it turns out.

Things You'll Need

  • Christmas lights
  • Tulle
  • Organza
  • Birthday banner
  • Tablecloths
  • Candles
  • Floral arrangements
  • Paper lunch bags
  • Tissue paper
  • Battery-operated tea candles
  • Tape
  • Balloon arch
  • Wall decorations
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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.