One simday is equal to one year in the hood, so each age span is as follows:
infant-1 simday (0-1 year)
toddler-4 simdays (1-4 years)
children-5 simdays (5-10 years)
teen-7 simdays (11-18 years)
*young adult-4 simdays (19-22 years)
*if teen decides not to attend university, then they spend an additional 4 simdays as a teen*
adult-29 simdays (23-50 years)
I only celebrate the big birthdays in which the sims change life stages. These birthdays are the resident's rites of passages.
Birthdays are usually marked with cake and your family nearby (unless your family is full of workaholics who forgot your birthday causing you to grow up alone in your bedroom, but that's another story).
The 1st birthday includes cake and usually a family only event, unless your family is part of the movers and shakers crowd. The child birthday (5th) includes a guest list of local children so the birthday sim can meet new residents and start making friends. The young adult birthday has no fanfare as this is when the sim enters college, so to my sims, this isn't a big birthday celebration, though entering university is a rite of passage. The adult birthday also include cake, or in some cases a night out on the town with lots of bar hopping and drinking.
The teen birthday is a BIG rite of passage, marking when the child is on it's way to becoming an adult. Depending on the culture of the family it is similar to the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, Quinceañera, Seijin Shiki or a Sweet Sixteen party. Parents usually start having "the talk" with the teens, and the teens recieve thier own cellphone (from the hood for free-nice perk!). Of course, the financial status of the family will indicate if the celebration includes a large formal event or simply family members present when you grow up and your favorite meal.
Weddings are a BIG deal in Apple Valley. I create a custom gown created for the bride (usually I post the gowns at A.Pentragnani) to reflect thier personality and style of the wedding. Anything from African inspired gowns, to glamourous hollywood art deco gowns. Sometimes tuxedos, bridesmaids gowns and accessories like veils, flowers, hats, or purses are made.
Inspiration boards from Style Me Pretty are consulted for the theme of the wedding. These boards help give direction in terms of colors and textures for the reception, types of food, formality of the event and invitations. Yes, invitations. Since Apple Valley is a sim-to-sim hood, a lot of residents have families in other SUN hoods. They are invited to send thier sims to Apple Valley for the event and many times it's a large family reunion.
Sometimes bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties are held depending on the sim and the urgency of the wedding.
Photographers are hired to snap photos of the event. This is a fairly simple process of inviting the photographer (currently Antonio Herendez) to the event and selecting him. He then snaps photos of the event with the personal camera and larger antique camera. These photos are then given to the family and he is then paid a nice fee for his services.
Like all weddings, the formality and expense varies from a large church wedding, to a modest backyard event, to a visit to the courthouse, depending on the sim.
Funerals vary in formality from a simple mourning bewteen the family at the gravesite, to a full memorial service at the church or home with a guest list that rivals a wedding. Black and grey is worn, the mood is somber and snacks are laid out. At the memorial service, the urn of the deceased it displayed for all to mourn it, before it is moved to the cemetary. At the very least, the family has a chance to mourn the loved one.
Annivesaries, retirement parties, house warming parties, etc are held as well. This depends on the family and thier financial status. Sometimes a simple dinner out is enough, other times there is a full fledged party that is planned for years.
So, how do you celebrate life's events for your simmies?