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I planned this party for a year. The theme, Crime Scene: Sweet 16, was perfect for Brittany for two reasons. First, she loves forensics. Second... we're a police family. So what better theme??
I am a strong believer of unique invites. I think the invitation sets the theme for the party -- and if your invitations are awesome, guests won't want to miss your party!
The invites were 6x9 black quilted boxes. Inside was a custom made "dead body cookie" with the chalk outline on a greaseproof liner. There were fondant road dashes to give the appearance of the body in the road. Included was a small bag with a blacklight flashlight in it, and instructions to search for the clues. The inside of the top of the box had a ribbon that said Crime Scene: Sweet 16 and a bloody handprint. The rest was just "white space". When the guest shined the black light onto the white space, an invisible message appears with a poem about finding the "evidence". It said that the most important clues are found behind the crime scene line. So if you removed that panel with the crime scene ribbon, the pocketfold invitation was there.
At the party, the place cards had the tables printed in invisible ink. Each table was an iconic image: badge, crime scene tape, DNA, thumb print, etc. Guests had to use a black light to find what table they were assigned to.
The signature drink for the kids was the DNA... "Don't Need Alcohol" and was a glowing green slushy.
We had a photo booth company come in and I designed a back-drop for the booth that looked like a police line-up (with the height hash marks). They had police props and some other fun party props.
I hired a caricaturist who pre-drew a crime scene, and the guests' faces were drawn on police officer bodies.
The cake was three tiers -- a black bottom tier, then a blood splattered tier, then a black top tier. We made a white chocolate high heel shoe (which was another detail carried throughout the invite/decor) splattered with edible dye, added a #16 evidence marker on top, and fondant crime scene tape. The dessert table had a tablecloth that resembled the invitation, and the cupcakes were placed in the outline.
At each place setting, there was a numbered evidence marker. At the dessert table, guests had to bring their evidence marker to the table. Four markers were marked with an invisible code only visible under blacklight. Guests with those markers won a black hoodie with the street/body outline on the back and a #16 evidence marker on the front.
The party favors were "evidence bags" for the candy buffet, and wrapped around the evidence bags were yellow rubber bracelets that said "Police Line: Do Not Cross". These bracelets were actually 2GB USB flash drives. Almost every student needs a flash drive -- so they LOVED this favor!
My daughter came to the party in a police car, and was escorted in by her little cousin handcuffed to her with a pair of rhinestone handcuffs.
Her party was amazing. The guests loved the uniqueness of the theme and the details that were incorporated.
Her heartfelt speeches during her candle ceremony
Most Touching Moment
Being told it was the best party they've ever been to by most of her friends... and having her say her party was perfect.
Watching everyone - young and old - have a blast in the photo booth
The birthday girl, of course
What People Ate
A buffet fit for a princess! In addition to the hot/cold buffet, there was a taco bar and a Coney Island station.
What People Drank
The signature drink from the party was the DNA: "Don't Need Alcohol", which was a lime green slushy drink for the kids
A three tier Crime Scene-themed cake, a make your own sundae bar, peanut butter chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, and a HUGE candy buffet
Activities / Games
Caricaturist A four-hour photo booth that held up to 10 guests at once, complete with props
Police Line: Do Not Cross USB Flash Drive Bracelets, and paper evidence bags to hold the candy from the buffet