Planning a prom and post prom party can seem like an overwhelming task even if you’re part of a large planning committee. No matter how large your committee is, using a checklist and staying organized through the prom planning process is essential to a successful dance. So take a deep breath, and start your prom planning with our prom (and post prom) planning checklist:
- Date. If your school does not have a confirmed date, choose several possible dates that work, and contact your deejay and venue to see which date is available. Or contact the venue for available dates within the time frame you need. If you want to save money, hold your party on an “off day”—a Friday when events are typically not held—when venues offer discounted rates.
- Venue & location. Choose a venue that fits your prom theme and budget, and has ample space for your guests and a large dance floor with space for your DJ.
- Theme. A party without a theme is an event without direction. Decide on a theme, and use it to plan your refreshments, decorations and entertainment, even if you use it in subtle ways.
- Food. If your prom includes a dinner, find a venue or caterer that can provide a meal before the dance. If your school normally provides refreshments throughout the dance, contact a caterer about appetizers. If you normally provide refreshments at your post prom party, book a caterer that can make food for both prom and post prom. If you are hosting your prom at a venue, make sure that your preferred caterer is allowed to come in, and check with the venue to see if you need to show proof of your caterer’s insurance.
- Decorations. Choose decorations that fit the theme. Make sure you check with the venue if you want to put up decorations that attach to the wall or ceiling. Many venues have specific guidelines for decorations. If you can’t hang decorations, consider décor like table centerpieces and lighting. If it’s lighting you wish, check with your deejay about dance party packages with lighting that sets the mood of your party.
- Entertainment. Want a rockin’ party? Hire a deejay to set the mood. Deejays also have a few more benefits for a party, and can also provide lighting and glow sticks for a fun, entertaining night. Remember, anybody can play music, but selecting the right DJ that has the rockin’ play list that keeps your school dancing for the whole dance (because we’ve all seen those dances where kids fade early) is important. Contact your DJ right away, because the best school dance DJ’s calendars fill up fast.
- School Dance Packages. Now is also the time to find out what school dance & prom packages are offered, and how they fit in with your budget. You want a package that fits the size of your dance, and the gym or venue that you’re using. Selecting the right package also means making sure you have enough money in your budget for refreshments and decorations. If you set a ticket price for your prom, research your dance expenses ahead of time so you set a price that doesn’t leave your budget in the red.
- Budget. Want to save some money? Check to see if your DJ service has a referral discount. Often, DJ services will charge you less if you refer other clients that book their services. For example, Post Prom DJ offers a 50% discount for your party when two other schools, corporations, family members of friends confirm their party. So think BIG within your network. Save money for your school dance by asking your company to book with the same DJ for their corporate Christmas party, and ask one of the previous school classes to book with that same DJ for their 20th Class Reunion.
- Post Prom Party. Looking for a rocking party with dance music for your post prom party with a monster laser light show? Or are you looking for an outdoor movie inside (think huge screens in a gym)? How about an LED light up dance floor? Or a party with gaming systems that keeps everyone’s feet moving even after prom? Don’t make the post prom party your second thought. Assign a committee or volunteer specifically to plan the post prom party.
Don’t procrastinate your prom planning. Get started by setting a date (if needed) and booking a quality DJ (remember the best DJ’s are booked quickly!). An experienced DJ can also make recommendations that can help during your party planning. If you are working as part of a committee, make sure you stay in contact with fellow committee members to make sure your planning goes smoothly, and the result—a rocking prom!—is a night you and your classmates never forget.