Why have a “Sweet Sixteen?”

This is a very special time in every teenager’s life but more specifically for the girls. Before young girls start dreaming of their wedding day, they first dream of their sixteenth birthday. The sixteenth birthday is an important one here on Long Island and many girls and parents seek the perfect L.I. catering hall to have a fabulous celebration.   

What is the main purpose of a sweet sixteen?

The main purpose of a sweet sixteen party is to celebrate that a child is maturing into a young adult. It is to celebrate all of their past accomplishments and give them warm wishes as they turn the page to a new chapter of their life. This is a special time for both the teenager their parents.  In New York once a child turns sixteen they acquire a very important new legal right… the right to drive! This is a very exciting time for a teenager and a nerve wracking time for every parent. It is truly a time when parents begin to lose some control over their child’s every waking move. Once sixteen, these now young adults take on more responsibility for themselves and their actions.

A sweet sixteen celebration helps parents, families, and friends show their love and support for this blossoming young adult. It gives the sixteen year old encouragement to go forth and conquer whatever obstacles lie ahead.

Long Island catering halls serve as beautiful backdrops for perfect sweet sixteen celebrations. But why have a party on an island if you don’t have a water view? Here, at Windows on the Lake, your daughter will sparkle on her special day with a gorgeous up close view of Lake Ronkonkoma. Windows on the Lake is one of the best venues for your Long Island Sweet 16 not only because our ballroom has a clear and wide view of the water, but also because of its size. Our spacious main ballroom that can hold anywhere from 80-300 guests. This is perfect to accommodate any size party! The room features an elaborate high ceiling right above our beautifully refinished dance floor.  We also have professional surround sound speakers that deliver impeccable sound to every seat in the room. Our amazing inhouse entertainment will have your guests on the dance floor and help to ensure smooth direction of this special night.

Today, there are many different sweet 16 themes. At our Long Island Catering hall, the room can be easily transformed to fit any theme imaginable. We have a wide array of linen colors allowing you to pick the perfect color  to make your tables look just how you want. With colored lighting and your choice of decor, anything is possible.

Are you stressed about planning the perfect sweet sixteen? Don’t be! At Windows on the Lake you will have an expert consultant helping you along every step of the way. You will be guided through everything from invitations to your choice of  cuisine. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that your sweet 16 party is everything you dreamed and much more!

What about the food? Every great party needs great food. Our Long Island catering hall has some of the most amazing culinary experts around. These professionals are trained in both continental and international cuisines. Our chefs can create foods from all around the world. This means they can easily meet any special cultural, ethnic or dietary request, including Glatt kosher and halal dishes. With over 30 years of catering experience, our talented chefs can create spectacular food carvings and displays.

Throughout our many years of experience, we have hosted many wonderful sweet 16 parties from which we have come across many different customs or traditions performed during the event. At Windows on the Lake we love to see these different cultural traditions, we welcome your traditions and culture with open arms and continue to learn and adapt to any needs or wants you may have.

Here are a few traditions that we have encountered at our sweet 16 events.

Candle lighting Ceremony- This is one of the most common sweet sixteen traditions, although it can be performed in many different ways. There are typically 16 candles, each of which are given to special family members and friends by the birthday girl. Usually when the recipient of the candle is named, a few words are said by the birthday girl in regards to why this person (or people) is special to them, they may tell a short story or fun memory they have shared with that person. Although the birthday girl can decide to give her candles to whomever she chooses, in whichever order she wants, here is the traditional order of candles:

  • 1st candle: is for the girls parents.
  • 2nd candle: is for the Godparents or Grandparents.
  • 3rd candle: is for the siblings .
  • 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th candles: are for other special family members.
  • 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th candles: are for friends.
  • 15th candle: is for the best friend or friends.
  • 16th candle: is for a boyfriend or very close male friend.


This is just the traditional order, of course many girls change this around to make it special to them. Some choose to add a 17th candle for the birthday girl herself.


Shoe Ceremony This another tradition for the female birthday girl. Typically, the birthday girl would start off the party in flat shoes or slippers. Then, she is sat in a chair and an important male figure in her life; typically her father, grandfather, Godfather, Uncle, or brother, will approach her with a pair of high heels placed on a pillow. He will then help the birthday girl change into the high heels. This is symbolic of her transformation into a young woman. It also shows her fathers or male figures acknowledgement of her transformation and the letting go of the little girl she once was.


Tiara Ceremony The tiara ceremony is very similar to the shoe ceremony except the mother or a strong female figure approaches the girls and places a tiara in her hair. This symbolizes the mothers recognition of her daughter becoming a women. The tiara ceremony is sometimes combined with the shoe ceremony having both people approach at once.

There are many other traditions that can be performed at a sweet sixteen party, such as a father- daughter dance or mother- daughter dance. At Windows on the Lake you can pick and choose traditions to make your special day just what you want.  

So whatever you are dreaming of for your perfect Long Island sweet sixteen, Windows on the Lake can help make your dreams a reality! Although your party will only last one night, you and your guests will be left with beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

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