Guest Blog from Shelly Shulman, Owner of Cakes by Shelly
Thanks to programmes like MTV’s ‘My Super Sweet 16’ we have seen birthday parties getting bigger and more outlandish. The Sweet 16 trend started in America and hot on the heels of that is now the ‘Sweet 13’!!
In a recent newspaper article it was revealed that cash-strapped Brits are throwing children’s birthday parties costing up to £500 because of pressure to impress other parents. Research shows nearly half (41 per cent) of parents are really too hard-up to give their children a birthday party. But more than a quarter (27 per cent) are still driven to organise one because of ‘playground peer pressure’ among parents, as well as friends and family.
I can fully sympathise with these statistics. My daughter turned 13 in June of this year and wanted to throw a ‘Prom themed’ party of the year!! After a few phone calls she had organized a video dj, light up dance floor, chair covers, balloon decorations, a professional photographer, catering, a three tier cake and even a red carpet and a top of the range Audi TT in which to make her ‘grand entrance’. Now even I can appreciate at a first glance that appears spoiled, but, (and it is a big BUT), I am fortunate enough to work in the wedding industry and everything that was listed above was given to my daughter for free because I have made some amazing friends whilst doing my job. The only cost to myself was the hall and drinks. Obviously as a parent it was lovely to be able to throw her such a bash but without access to such wonderful friends the party would have cost well in excess of the £200 spent and it simply wouldn’t have happened.
Was the party over the top for her age or is it just a sign of things to come? Should we expect Sweet 10th birthday parties to celebrate reaching double figures. Is it now a case of having your cake and eating it too? I’d love to hear your thoughts.