"Unsweet" 16 Birthday Bash for a Boy

Last month I threw a 16th Birthday party for a friend's son.  Girls I have millions of ideas for, even little boys are not that hard - but teenage boys - a whole different ballgame!  How to be cool and not embarrass him but still fun for the friends and family as well.  Here are some ideas I came up with for the Birthday Boy!  {All photos are credited to Emily Scimeca - photographer in training!}

For the invitation, I went online and googled images for Connecticut license plates.  I took a photo of the Birthday boy and incorporated that along with the information of the party.

I figured a safe choice of decor was themed around the fact that he is now 16 and will be driving soon.  So to continue with that theme, I used license plates in all the decorating we did.  Luckily my husband collects license plates so we had plenty on hand to use - we did go to an antique store to find a few more as well.  I took some license plates and bent them in half and used them as place holders for the food.  I added a little burlap and some chalkboard paper for a vintage look.

I took other license plates and strung some jute through them then added photos of the Birthday boy throughout the years.  These were hung in windows, on tables and throughout the room.

We took a bunch of photos of Eric from all stages of his 16 years and made a big 16 collage.  Family members loved looking back on fond memories and his friends had a kick out of the funny baby photos!

For the table centerpiece, I made a bouquet out of candy.  I tried to incorporate sour candy into this piece as being a boy he couldn't have a Sweet 16 so instead it was an "Unsweet" 16.  I then added a license plate as well to stick with our driving theme.

For food - as we had both teenagers and adult family members - we did a Wing bar - wings and various different dipping sauces.  We also had some salads and other finger foods that were easy for all.  Like always, I love to find serving dishes in different heights so it gives depth to the table.  I also like to use things that may typically be used for something else - case in point the gravy dish below to hold the celery sticks.

As I didn't feel goodie bags were appropriate for teenage boys - I did my other favorite alternative - a candy bar.  I again tried to incorporate sour candies in the candy bar to play on the "Unsweet" theme.

For the gift, we put together a first time driver kit.  I bought things that I knew someone having a car for the first time would need - car freshener, cell phone holder, key chain, first aid kit, cleaning rags, etc.

The party was just the right mix of adults and teenagers and the simple yet clever decor was just the right added touch!