Your prom committee has been tasked with planning the ball on a budget. So how do you organize and decorate a dance in a way that’s affordable yet has that "wow factor"? Prom doesn’t have to cost big dollars. Follow these 10 tips to cut cost, not class.
1. Create a spreadsheet to track purchases
You know that girl who’s killin’ it in your accounting class, or that guy who knows everything about Excel? Ask ‘em to join the prom planning committee to help manage the budget! Track receipts and always know how much money is left. You could also look at last year’s numbers to compare as you go.
2. Plan a fundraiser or ask for sponsors
Your school does fundraisers for athletics, trips and clubs, so why not for prom? Sell spirit gear, candy bars or baked goods. Host an event to score some cash, like a car wash, auction or spaghetti dinner. Advertise with a banner. Another option could be asking for sponsors and then giving the donating companies ad space in your gym or stadium using a banner.
3. Host prom in your school gym
This saves big time on event rental costs. Don’t worry--decorations can make all the difference. Use fabric to cover ceilings and walls; embellish with affordable paper lanterns and string lights; finish with large props such as columns, lamp posts and arches. For a fast way to bring in your theme, purchase a complete kit!
7. Ask a fellow student to DJ
Is there a kid in class who’s never without a set of headphones? Or, is there someone who volunteers to help with sound and lights at the school play? Ask if they’d like to DJ! You’d be surprised what can be done with a phone/laptop and some borrowed speakers!
9. Look around for independent photographers
Schools often use a photography company for prom photos, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still find quality photography for a fraction of the cost. Check Facebook for shutterbugs in your area, or see if an underclassman would be interested.
10. Check to see what items are included with the venue, or what items you may already have at school
If you decide to host prom off site at a banquet hall or event center, ask what is covered in the cost. You may be surprised! Many places will include tables and chairs, linens, sound equipment, and more. If you’re having the event at school, check with the theater department for backdrops, lights, sound equipment, etc.