Pre-prom dinner at your house? Why not! The prom-goers do all the work, including the housecleaning! You get to sit back, keep tabs on what goes on, take pictures and enjoy the memories for years to come! Who knows? There may even be dinner leftovers to enjoy!
While the prom-goers can save money, play their favorite music, have more time and space than they'd have at a restaurant and be able to customize the fun and decorations, it's up to you to set the rules. The work is all theirs and their friends', right down to the cleanup!
Make It Special!
As parent, schedule a planning meeting with the prom-goers. Decide what your role will be, if other parents will be involved and how much the teens realistically can take on. Dad can dress and play the part of waiter. Younger siblings can be paid or bartered with for waiting tables or cleanup. Write a master plan for when each teen will help, from pre-party cleaning, grocery shopping and food preparation to after-dinner cleanup. Have the teens make a budget for food and decorations.
Center activities of this pre-prom event around creating memories.
- Buy standard photo mats (one for each prom-goer) that can be used for prom photos (or ask everyone to bring one); have prom-goers sign the mat or offer a message, as well.
- Create simple memory/autograph books with folded 8 1/2x11-inch paper. Punch holes in the fold, and tie pages together with school-colored ribbons. Fill the books with autographs at the pre-prom party as well as the larger prom event.
- Place disposable cameras on tables to record the event. With a one-hour photo stop, you can have photos to place in memory books or photo mats before evening's end. An instant camera works well, too.
- Record dinner and pre-prom party activities with a video camera.
- Play CDs of favorites during the event. Have a "techy" in your group burn CDs of favorite music for each prom-goer. Label and date the CD mementos with the prom party details.
For the party room:
- School colors rule! White tablecloths created from bargain white sheets make a great background for school pom-poms and colored curly ribbons. School yearbooks, trophies and special-event photos can be grouped on tables for centerpieces.
- Create a special area for taking couple and group posed photos.
For the dining area:
- Make Chocolate Truffles Topiary for a centerpiece. It also doubles for a sweet ending to the meal. Use school colors for the ribbons. Fill the base with school-colored candies for a colorful alternative to the fresh fruit.
- Deck dining tables with white or solid-colored bargain sheets. Roll napkins around silverware, and tie with ribbons in school colors.
- Light the dining area with twinkle lights and candles.
- Place a tuxedo bib at each place setting. Make them out of lobster bibs or inexpensive cloth, and decorate with markers or stickers. The idea is that everyone gets a goofy bib to ensure the prom clothes are spotless when the teens leave for the bigger event.
Time-Savers for Teen Hosts
Short on time? Check out these purchase-power options. The meal still will be less expensive than dining out.
- Skip the mushroom appetizer, and serve just deli veggies with purchased dip.
- Pick up bread from a bakery, bread store or supermarket.
- Buy a dessert from a deli or supermarket. Dress up dessert plates by sprinkling with baking cocoa or drizzling with caramel sauce or raspberry syrup. Or skip the formal plated dessert, and nibble on the Chocolate Truffles Topiary centerpiece with its chocolate and fruit treats.