Prom Committee Tips: Planning and Budgeting for Prom
So you signed up for the prom committee? What a great first step to helping create the best prom ever! Whether you just wanted the inside scoop or love to plan parties, follow this prom committee advice to help make your big night one for the yearbook. In this portion of the Prom Guide, you'll find important information about to how to plan a prom. From choosing a theme, venue, and decorations to picking music and activities to do at prom, you'll find expert advice on how to effortlessly pull off the best prom ever, all while staying within budget. There is even a printable copy of the prom promise, so your prom committee can encourage the student body to have a safe and fun prom night.
How Do I Plan the Best Prom?
Organization and delegation are key when it comes to successful prom planning. For most teenagers, prom is a "once in a lifetime" event that you'll look back on for years to come, so you want to ensure that it is a flawless experience for everyone involved. From choosing the date, location, and theme of the prom to what to do after prom, it is best to break the prom committee volunteers into sub-committees to focus on completing specific tasks in a timely fashion. This will also allow your prom committee members the chance to shine and highlight their passion or talents. For instance, do you have super-talented artists on the prom committee? You may want to consider placing them on decoration duty, as their love of art could be very beneficial. Follow these easy steps on how to plan a prom, and you'll be well on your way to an evening of fun in no time!
- Recruit classmates - Stir up the excitement and get as many classmates to join the prom committee as possible. This should be pretty simple to do, as many people will want to help with such an important occasion. Spread the word at school with posters, banners, and social media. The more the merrier, as there will be plenty of prom related things to consider and numerous tasks to accomplish before the big night. Remember, creating a memorable experience is best done as a team.
- Choose Date & Time - If not already decided by your school, poll classmates, consider sporting schedules, and try to pick a date and time that will work for everyone. (Also find out if your school plans to hold a "grand march" the day of prom, as that may factor into the date and time selected.)
- Choose Your Prom Theme - With the beauty of technology, you have countless options for inspiration when it comes to choosing your prom theme. From romantic foreign cities to carnival-themed events and everything in between, the possibilities are endless.
Divide into Sub-Committees - Delegating the workload is essential to pulling off a successful prom. Everyone wants to help and feel involved, and, if you are the chairman, you can't handle it all by yourself. It is best to break big sections of planning for prom down into manageable tasks and assign to the best-suited committee members. Suggested prom sub-committees include:
- Budget/Fundraising Committee - Responsible for creating revenue for prom and ensuring that all sub-committee members are staying within the agreed upon budget.
- Decoration Committee - Responsible for decorating the venue for the big night. This group selects prom supplies and works within the allotted budget to create the agreed upon prom vision.
- Entertainment Committee - Responsibilities include researching and securing the DJ or band for the dance, as well as a photographer and any other vendors that may be needed for the activities planned at prom.
- Favor/Prize Committee - Researches and purchases the favors and souvenirs that will be handed out at prom.
- Tickets/Invitations Committee - This committee is in charge of all things related to prom tickets, from deciding the information that will be printed on the prom ticket to keeping track of all the sales.
- Publicity Committee - Think of this committee as a marketing department for the prom. They are in charge of spreading the word and creating interest for the big night via posters, ads in the school paper, or on the school website.
- Royalty Committee - This group is in charge of all things related to the prom court. From determining the voting method and tallying the votes to crowning the actual king and queen the night of prom, this committee has a royally important duty.
- Venue & Food Committee - Responsibilities include researching and securing the venue for the prom, keeping in mind costs and available assets. Once this committee has narrowed the selections down to a few options, they should present them to the whole prom committee for a vote so that everyone can again feel included and have a say in where the prom is being held. Also if food is not provided at the venue, this group will locate and work with the catering company to finalize the menu for prom night.
- Volunteer/Staffing Committee - Responsibilities include planning, recruiting, and creating schedules for volunteers and chaperones for prom night.
- Final Touches - Prom committee advisors should work closely with all sub-committee members to ensure that everyone is on track when it comes to deciding, ordering, organizing, and building things in timely fashion for prom.
Themes & Decor
Choosing a theme for prom is one of the most important responsibilities of the prom committee. Not sure where to start? It's best to start by polling your classmates to see what their vision of the perfect prom includes and, if necessary, take a vote to determine your prom theme. Here you can explore some of the most popular prom themes for inspiration.
A Night in Paris - Did someone say romance? This alluring theme could be beautifully amplified with a cardboard Eiffel Tower cut out for selfies and strands of twinkling lights to complete the Parisian vibe.
Alice in Wonderland - Pretty and peculiar, this theme for prom is truly one-of-a-kind. Recreate the Mad Hatter tea party with a garden wall of flowers, crazy signs, twinkling lights, and maybe even large cardboard cut outs of your favorite characters for photo ops.
Candyland - Channel your childhood memories and take a nostalgic trip through the Gum Drop Forest for prom. Bright colored candy wrappers, lollipops, and sweet treats for days will work as decorations and centerpieces.
Carnival - Laid back with bright colorful decorations, this theme lends itself well to extra activities and fun prizes. You could even set up carnival games for the anti-dancers, and don't forget the best part of a carnival: all the yummy treats! Consider renting a popcorn or cotton candy machine.
Casino - From the glitz of Vegas to the intrigue of Monte Carlo, there is no gamble involved when you plan a casino themed prom. You could incorporate a Russian roulette arch for entrance, and decks of playing cards, dice, and poker chips can all be used in decorations. You can also set up mock table games for the non-dancers to pass the time.
Disney Movie - From a Frozen-inspired ice palace to classic climbing roses and castles, channel the allure of your favorite Disney movie for your prom theme. Bonus: You can now shamelessly dress up like your favorite Disney princess and enjoy the night with your prince charming.
Great Gatsby - Channel the vintage style of the Roaring 20's with this flapper's delight theme. When it comes to decorations, gold accents and feather boas are a must.
Haunted House - Bring the fun and frights of Halloween to prom with this spooky theme. Completely black out the room, add creepy candles, black mirrors, fog machines, and giant spider webs to complete the eerie vibe.
Hollywood - Who doesn't dream of walking the red carpet? Here's your chance! Think star-worthy decorations, a red entrance walkway, spotlights, glittery gold stars against a black backdrop, and a faux Hollywood sign would make the perfect prop for those “paparazzi” photos.
Neon Lights - Create an epic, rave-inspired dance floor and upbeat prom with lots of bright, vibrant colors. Use black lights and leave glow necklaces and bracelets on all of the tables for attendees.
Mardi Gras - Bring the French Quarter to your prom with a gold, green, and purple Mardi Gras themed event. Colorful beads, balloons, confetti, noisemakers, and drama masks are staple prom supplies for this theme.
Masquerade Ball - Classy and mysterious, this theme is a classic for a reason. Think castle decorations, elegant chandeliers, and ornate masks.
Under the Sea - There's a reason this is one of the most popular timeless prom themes, because it works! Create a gorgeous backdrop for the memorable night with a balloon arch entrance. Simply add faux starfish, sand dollars, tropical fish shells, sea turtles, nautical ropes, and anchors to the decorations and centerpieces to complete the aquatic vibe.
Yule Ball - A wonderful wintery white setting is ideal for such a special formal event. When decorating, think ice sculptures, fake snow, and lots of twinkling lights.
What are Some Fun Prom Activities?
The most popular activities at prom are typically dancing and posing for selfies with your date and friends. But let's face it, not everyone knows the latest dance craze, or is comfortable trying to learn while dressed to the nines in formal prom attire. You'll want to be sure there are plenty of fun and safe alternative activities to keep everyone entertained and engaged if you want the title of “best prom ever!” For a cohesive look and experience, it's best to let your prom theme dictate the prom activities. For instance, if you've selected a casino-style prom theme, have some fun table games. Think poker or blackjack, but without the high stakes! If you went with a Hollywood theme, think about setting up a little corner area for showing some prom-themed movies! With a Candyland theme, have some throwback board games available for everyone to play. Whatever the prom theme, the most important activity is to have fun, so do what makes your class happy!
What is the Prom Promise Pledge?
The prom promise pledge is a campaign to inform students of the very real dangers associated with making destructive decisions. The goal of the prom promise is to compel prom goers to pledge to use their best judgement, as sobering statistics show that many teenagers are lost daily from drug and alcohol related accidents. Prior to the big night, the prom committee will organize and hold a presentation, sometimes partnering with locate law enforcement or chapters of organizations such as SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), to visually show the devastating effects that driving under the influence can have, not only on the driver, but also on loved ones that could potentially be left behind. To take part in the prom promise, students make the commitment by pledging to have a fun and safe prom night free of drugs and alcohol. Print a copy of the downloadable PDF Prom Promise contract available here for your ease and convenience and spread the word among classmates. Be safe, sober, and arrive alive so that you can have the time of your life at prom, and beyond!
How Can We Fundraise for Prom?
There are infinite options when it comes to fun and creative ways to raise money for prom expenses. Start by recruiting classmates and committee members to participate. Then brainstorm ideas on which types of fundraisers attract the most interest in your area. To increase the fundraising potential leading up to the big event, try a variety of different types of prom fundraisers. Don't forget to pull from past fundraising history! If your band group raised a ton of money selling frozen pizza, then it may be worth offering again. From selling discount cards specific to your school and local businesses to selling cookie dough, candy, popcorn, or candles, it's easy to find prom fundraisers specializing in just about anything you can imagine. Still unsure? You can hit up Pinterest and other social media outlets for inspiration, but remember, delicious bake sales or tried-and-true car washes are super-effective, classic fundraising events.