Prom letters

Leavers' Celebrations We ‘Prom-ise’ You'll Love

Published: 15/06/2021

You made it! It’s almost the end of the school year! Nothing awaits you but the long, warm summer nights, lounging in the sunshine, and best of all, prom. An American tradition that has been adopted by almost every school up and down the country, prom is the one night of the year where you, your pals, and even your teachers dress to the nines, strut your stuff in your finery, and party! Yes, this is one event that absolutely everybody in your year is invited to - and a highly anticipated one at that. 

Ever since the school year started, you’ve probably been dreaming about the dress, scoping suits, and flicking through those all-important finishing touches to find the perfect accessories to tie your ‘fit together. But, what with the world being the way it is right now, many schools have decided to tragically cancel prom once again this year. Nightmare! 

A horror story in every American High School movie, cancelling prom is an absolute catastrophe! It’s not just a way of celebrating the end of the school year; it’s a right of passage at this point! If you’re one of the many students who have unfortunately had their end-of-year celebrations cancelled by the school, we feel for you - but don’t throw away your dreams of dancing the night away just yet… After all, who said you can’t still party like it’s your birthday?

In the spirit of all things fun, festive, and oh-so fabulous, we’ve put together this handy blog to help you hold the ultimate prom party from home! From grabbing the perfect gown to perfecting the party playlist, draping the decorations to sorting the supplies, we’ve got everything you need to host the most talked about event of the year! 

Wipe away those mascara tear smears and polish those dress shoes - prom is officially back on!

The life of the party

The life of the party

The first step to throwing the best end-of-year party ever is to choose whether you want a theme or not. Picking a theme can help you choose all the decorations for your party and can really level up your event. You can choose to base your party off of a film or TV series you love, a place, or even a specific person. Whether you decide to go loud with a Great Gatsby event or prefer to go more laid back with a chilled out beach celebration, picking your theme can really help to bring everything together and make it easier to decorate. For a tropical beach theme, pick up some cool cups (ones shaped like pineapples work really well for this), and don’t forget to finish them off with some tiny umbrellas! For a 1920s theme, you’ll want to find lots of opulent accessories, such as gold balloons and corresponding bunting.

Alternatively, you could decide to pick a simple colour theme for your party instead. Colour combinations, such as rose gold with pink and white, or black and gold with accents of jewel tones (like emerald green and amethyst), are really classy and will help to give a cohesive look to your party. An added bonus: decorations you buy for themes like this can be reused later as well, so you get more bang for your buck!

What supplies will you need? Apart from the party tableware, there are so many different options for decorations. Balloons not your thing? No problem - grab some paper decorations instead! Paper plates help to reduce the dreaded pile of washing up and you can pick up some really cool themed ones to suit your chosen style. Don’t forget that no party is complete without some glittering party lights!

Finally, you don’t want your guests to go hungry or thirsty do you? Find some great inspiration for party snacks and food from a party cookbook such as Party Grub by Thug Kitchen. For those who aren’t old enough to drink, mocktails make a really classy addition to your event and there are loads of wonderful recipes to be found for these non-alcoholic cocktails - just make sure you serve them in some fancy glasses, and you’re ready to party.

What’s the dress code?

girl picking out red dress

The first thing that probably most people think of when it comes to the topic of prom is what they’ll wear. You want to choose an outfit that will make you look amazing and feel even better. Still not secured the perfect dress? Explore OnBuy’s range of prom dresses to find a gown that Cinderella herself would be proud of! If you’re more inclined though, a suit may be more up your street - and we’ve even got you covered there, too. Whatever you decide to wear, you’ll look stunning, so make sure you take lots of pics to remember (more on that later)!

When it’s time to get dressed, put on your favourite tunes with a bass-banging Bluetooth speaker. Pick your favourite playlist (prepared in advance, naturally!) and get pumped up - it’s time to get ready! Don’t forget that, if you’re so inclined, makeup can really elevate your prom outfit to the next level. Whether you go dramatic with cat eyeliner or smoky with blended out eyeshadow, no matter what you pick, you’re sure to feel like the Prom Queen. 

Looking to really make a statement with your friends? Why not grab some matching face masks? You can match them to your outfits or to each other but whatever you do, it’s the perfect finishing touch to keep you and your friends stylish and safe.

Snap a photo

girls dressed up at photo booth

Looking back through photos is the best way to remember the good times and reminisce about the fun, so don’t forget to take photos of your evening! Prom is the perfect opportunity to set up your own photo booth and take some truly memorable pics. Grab some fun props, find a good background, and get snapping. For a truly authentic photo booth experience, use an instant camera and share the snaps with your friends fresh from the print; for memories that are set to last a lifetime, use a high-quality digital camera and fill your social media feeds with photos; for a quick and cost-effective approach, simply use the camera on your mobile phone and play around with the fun filters found on apps - the choice is yours! 

If you’re planning on hosting a digital prom, why not take the opportunity to upgrade your webcam? You’ll want your friends to see every detail of your gorgeous outfit, after all. A Logitech C922x will give you a crystal clear 1080p image without any lag or stutters - perfect for games that require quick thinking or fast reactions.

The after party

disco ball

After you’re done with partying the night away, the after party is the next step to making your DIY prom the best it can possibly be. Usually, once the official prom closes its doors, teens will flood the houses of their friends to continue to party long into the night - but what do you do when you’re already at home? 

There are a couple of fun options for your own after party. First, if you’re partying it up with friends in person, one of you could host the main event, and someone else can host the after party. If your DIY prom is strictly online, you can all play games together and when it’s time to relax afterwards, put a film on that you can all watch. Programmes such as Gaze, Netflix Party, and Disney+ Group Watch allow you to enjoy your favourite films on streaming services simultaneously!

When you’re ready to ditch the dresses and strip off your tuxes, chill out together in some matching comfy clothes! There are some amazing matching pyjama or jogger sets for you to choose from, and they can really take your celebration to the next, cosier level. Kick back and relax with some snacks and a pizza or blow off some steam with an at-home karaoke party. Whatever activities your after party includes, you can’t deny that it’s the perfect way to close off the evening!

Leveling up the celebrations

friends celebrating with sparklers

In the UK, prom tends to be reserved for those graduating secondary school. But if you’re lucky enough to go to a college that holds a prom at the end of your A levels (or even if you just fancy one anyway), there are some ways to really take your celebrations to the next level. 

If you’re all aged 18 and over, now’s the perfect time to hold a garden party of grandeur! Load up your amusement arsenal with adult-only accessories (think booze and blush-inducing games), and get the fun started! To keep the party atmosphere alive, why not try out some of these hilarious house party games? Although intended for indoor shenanigans, each game can be easily adapted to suit your outdoor space, so you can all get stuck in the fun while adhering to current social distancing restrictions - bonus!

For an exciting alternative to your celebrations, why not enjoy a glamping experience in your garden? Set up a few tents (stuffed with the cosy necessities, of course) and section it off with windbreaks. The windbreaks will help to block both the wind and some noise you make, so you don’t disturb your neighbours too badly, allowing you to party it up in style. For when the balmy air lifts and the clear night sky brings a little chill, light up a fire pit, grab a bunch of skewers, and toast some marshmallows (you’re never too old for ooey, gooey treats, after all!). Don’t forget to set up your speaker and provide a platter of party food to keep your campers satisfied throughout the night!

Be the host with the most!

friends celebrating

Just because the main event is cancelled, it doesn’t mean you have to go without. With some (or all!) of these tips and tricks hidden up your sleeve, you’ll be throwing a legendary leavers’ do in no time at all! Ready to get the party started? You are now! 

So you’ve got the decorations, you’ve sorted the dress, and you’ve fine-tuned the after party delights, what’s next? The invite list, of course! One of the unfortunate (and totally unavoidable) parts of hosting a party at home is that you’re subject to current Covid restrictions. That means you can have a maximum of 30 people at an outdoor event, so choose your guest list wisely! If you’re a lover of extravagance, you could send out some physical invitations (or craft your own), or you could create an event on your favourite social media platform to inform your guests of the big event. Part of the fun is the anticipation beforehand, after all, so don’t be afraid to go big! 

For more party planning inspo and info, check out our extensive selection of garden and outdoor living blogs. From bringing Glasto to your garden to game-changing grilling tips, our range of resources are packed full of fun ideas to help you make the most of your outdoor space this summer. So, whether you’re looking for more ways to level up your makeshift prom or you’re simply after some more tips for future events, we’ve got you covered! 2021 is the year of getting creative with your celebrations and parties - and we’re here to help you enjoy every last second. 

Congratulations Class of 2021 - you did it! 

The information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.