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Go to the local party supply store or shop online and ask them to “sponsor the class” by donating or selling items at a discounted price. In turn, you will give them publicity by mentioning them in the school or local newspaper, and include them in your prom program.
Some online store have entire prom kits that include everything needed for your event.
Because you are purchasing for a school activity, you are entitled to “tax free status” purchases. Get the tax waiver forms from your principal’s office before making any purchases with local retailers.
Buy small clear Christmas lights or borrow them from student families. Purchase netting or tulle from a fabric shop (you’ll need yards of it) and make beautiful long swags of netting with lights running through them! Add silk ivy or flowers for a springtime romantic feeling. Drape these swags at the entrances, or along the ceiling, and use them for the backdrop for the band or D.J.
Balloons of course, are always a “fun and festive” space filler for large areas! Inexpensive helium balloons in large packages can be purchased through companies such as orientaltrading.com or helium tanks can be rented from local companies. Bunches of balloons in your prom theme colors can be set on each table! You can float balloons to the ceiling, but just remember to make the ribbons long enough so that they can be reached!
Create a special prom photo area just in case your hired photographers' setting is not up to your standards. Try to borrow a wooden trellis (a local nursery may loan this to you) to stand under. Decorate it with netting/ tulle, lights, flowers or Ivy. Add some beautiful potted plants of varying heights and place them along each side and around the back. You can also spray paint long branches (white paint works best) and add small clear lights to them! Put a bunch in a pretty pot, secure them with rocks so that they stand up, and place them in the corners! Then add low romantic lighting and you’re all set!
Go the natural, sophisticated approach and have tons of flowers! They can be wild flowers, flowers grown especially for prom via science class, or even flowers donated from families, local florists, or churches after a wedding! Just remember, there is a budget to abide by. Whatever you can afford will be the determining factor. Never forget that “less is more”! A tasteful well thought out arrangement can be more powerful than a million tossed around flowers.
Lights such as colorful disco or strobe lights can be rented at many places. A ceiling disco ball (don’t let the name fool you) is always a magical touch! It’s a big ball suspended from the ceiling. It is covered with tiny squares of individual glass mirrors and it spins. When a light is directed towards it, thousands of reflected, moving, penny size dots fill the room. It gives you a magical feeling!