How to Organise a Prom

How to Organise a Prom

A prom party should be fantastic climax for students at the end of their final school year. Good organisation will make it a night to remember. Here’s how to do it:

The Organizers

A good leader is most important for the organizing committee, he/she will be the Chairman who delegates all the tasks to suitable team members and is the main contact for suppliers. The Treasurer should keep a strict eye on the budget the Secretary should deal with the administration and meetings for the team.

Breaking down each task and allocating a member of the team to each one will ensure that nothing is missed.

Here are the main tasks to cover for the evening to be a success:

Choosing a theme

A theme can be a simple way to give a wow factor to the evening.  Some ideas for a special look and feel are:

1920’s, Parisian Nights, James bond, Masquerade. All these themes only require black tie and cocktail dresses from the guests or masks and make up. Colours and decorations at the venue can finish off the theme.


Work out how the evening is to be funded. Is it subsidised for students or are you relying on ticket sales, in which case you need to set the price according to the type of party you want to throw.

If you are relying mainly on ticket sales then a basic event with buffet and two drinks will run to £20- £30 pp while a more lavish affair will be £30- 45 pp.

Fundraising for a prom should be up and running at least six months before the event.

Choosing the prom venue

Venues can include sport grounds, hotels, restaurants, boats or stately homes. Research what’s available in the area but don’t rule out keeping costs down by holding the party at the school gym, hall or a marquee in the grounds. It’s easy to decorate and transform any space.

If you hire a venue these are the questions to ask and make sure you book it two to three months in advance having checked their cancellation policy:

  • What is the hire cost and what does it include (i.e. food and drink)?
  • How many people can the venue hold to eat and dance and check this is realistic?
  • Does the venue allow you to decorate or will they theme it for you?
  • What is the curfew and start time for venue?
  • How does the bar operate and does it have a good selection of drinks, including non-alcoholic?
  • What are the noise restrictions?
  • Prom parties depend on good music so check the space will work acoustically for the type of music you choose.

Choosing the prom band or DJ

Music sets the mood for the whole evening. Choosing a band and DJ combination works well if your budget allows it.

Ask both for demo tapes and check you can cover more chillout music for the meal and a good selection of covers and dance party classics for the rest of the evening. A Dj and band will usually alternate 30/40-minute sets throughout the evening.

Prom menu

What you choose to eat will be shaped by the venue or if you are having it on school grounds, by the caterers you choose.

A buffet is a cheaper option and can be useful if you have fussy eaters but a sit down dinner is special and adds a little more style to the evening.

When you choose a menu, stick to popular foods with general appeal. For main dishes, chicken and steak options work well accompanied by well known side dishes and deserts. A novelty way to end the meal could be a chocolate fondue that will get people on their feet ready for dancing.


Champagne or Prosecco is always a good start. Beers and wines and soft drinks can follow on from that. Spirits and cocktails will raise the budget and possibly also any unwanted overindulgence. Check the budget and make it clear to guests what is included.


Photos are essential to mark the evening and usually expected. Pick a photographer who will rise to the occasion and likes the exuberance of prom parties.

Table plans

Display this up at the school or college at least a month in advance so guests can mark where they want to sit for the dinner. It can be finalised with the venue and can also serve as an indicator of any food requirements.


If you are supplying this then a final idea of numbers is essential at least two weeks before. It is often easier to get students to sort this out between them.

Limousines or Hummer hire are a fun option and if the budget allows, you could prebook several on a first come first served basis.

Typical timing for a Prom party

7-7.30pm – arrival and drinks.

8.30pm – Dinner with background music

9.30-10pm – end of dinner and Band starts.

10-12/1am- alternate sets from Band and DJ

12/1am- Carriages home and break down. Final guests leave.

With good organisation from a committed team of organisers your Prom will be a success. Enjoy the evening; it’s a once in a lifetime event for the guests.


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