I love to talk about this party. This will probably the best party I will throw in the first 24.99 years of my life, as it should be. The theme of my 21st birthday party was prom. I rented out the Philadelphia Senior Center. Everybody bought tickets beforehand, $15/ticket. Approximately 120 people showed up. There was a DJ, there was a photo station and it had the one thing that real prom was missing, an open bar. Never could I ever have done this alone though, there was a team of people always there to help me out. Towards the day of the party I actually had people ask me how to get invited to the party. I figured that was a good sign.
The Prom Committee: The prom committee consisted of me, Jai, Kate and Chelsea. Jai was a marketing major, with an MBA, was an RA, has a very creative flare in life and is very classy. Kate was a graphic design major, was an RA and enjoys fun do-it-yourself arts and crafts projects (like her awesome kitchen table). Chelsea was also a graphic design major, not an RA – I know her through choir – she is an awesome vocal jazz accompanyist, is also very creative with a very bubbly personality. I didn’t do any of those three girls justice, all in all, they’re awesome. They would have to be considering they agreed to be part of a Prom Committee no questions asked. We had meetings, we discussed themes and colors and costs and we made sure to take a picture together the night of the event.
from left to right: Chrystina, Chelsea, Kate & Jai
I could talk all day about this party, but instead I’m going to hit the key points of the party planning:
Make sure that you have enough food at the party to absorb all of the alcohol. My recommendation – soft pretzels. They’re cheap, they’re not sweet enough to make anybody sick, and you can buy them in large quantities.
Don’t settle for a location, search until you find the one that you want – my main goal was to find one that I could bring in my own food and alcohol so that there were no surcharges on it and one that was close to the subway so that nobody needed to drive home.
Don’t break the bank. If it’s a big party like this, consider the fact that your guests might be willing to help contribute to the party. We calculated all the costs ahead of time and came out to $15/person. After deciding that that was less than the cost of going out to dinner and I was planning on writing on the invitation, “please don’t bring gifts, but I do enjoy homemade cards” – I decided this was acceptable, especially because as a college student I didn’t have $1500 laying around to throw this party.
Read the invitation 10 times before you print it. 10. Have other people read it for you. Check your facts. I printed all of the invitations with the wrong address on them. My friends Madison and Matt spent a whole evening helping me change that. Oops.
Make sure that you have help the day of and the day before the event. Three of my friends from high school – Tory, Courtney and Kerry came up two days before the party. They helped me bake, carry things, decorate and keep me calm throughout the whole experience. I’m 100% sure I couldn’t have done this without those ladies.
from left to right: Courtney, Chrystina, Kerry, Tory
My one regret. I really wanted to send everybody their “prom picture” as a thank you note, but after the party I was so exhausted and the thought of trying to get everybody’s address and send out thank you notes seemed too great. Never will I ever make that mistake again. I really regret that – and as many times as I’ve thought about doing it now, it seems stupid to send out thank you cards a year and a half later.
Here are some (and I emphasize SOME)of my favorite pictures from the evening: (for a full gallery, click HERE)
Theme: Let the Good Times Roll
Colors: Blue/Turquoise/White (same as my 16th birthday party)
Food: Pretzels, Brownies, Cupcakes, Mini Muffins and more desserts
The Playlist of the Evening: Everything. We listed to Top 40 hits, NSYNC, 90s hits, Disney songs, Broadway Musicals, it was awesome.
Other Key People: Nancy and Joe who were the DJs of the evening, Mike who was the photographer for the evening, Jon who lent me the screen for the photographs, Austin who was the bouncer/ticket reciever, Beth and Amanda who let me use their cars to help transport things back and forth and everyone who helped carry things and decorate along the way
Amount of Alcohol we should have bought: 2 handles of rum, 2 handles of vodka, 5 boxes of franzia (hey, it’s college)
Amount of Alcohol we bought: Way. Too. Much.