How to host your own mini prom

Tara Connick

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean students — especially seniors — have to miss out on the experience. Instead, they can plan their own mini prom and choose everything from the date to the music. If done correctly, it can be just as fun as the real deal.

Here is a guide to pulling off your own prom, pandemic-style.

Outfits

Let’s be honest — nobody wants to spend their whole paycheck on a dress or suit when they won’t be able to show it off in front of the entire graduating class. Unless you have a dress still sitting in your closet from last year, nearby thrift and consignment stores are a great option if you want to find a new outfit without breaking the bank. There are several online shops as well, such as thredUP and Depop.

Meet up with a small group of friends to look for dresses, suits, shoes and accessories. If you’re willing to sort through the racks for a while, you can find some beautiful and unique pieces that aren’t offered at department stores.

After wearing them for your make-shift prom night, wash and donate your clothes back to the thrift store or charity.

Photos

Taking prom photos is half the appeal of the night anyway, so it’s good that COVID-19 hasn’t taken that away. Decide which few friends you want to be next to you forever in your Instagram post and your mom’s scrapbook, then work together to choose an outdoor location that makes for a scenic background while also allowing social distancing. Some options include Parker Square, the Riverwalk, the Dallas Arboretum and even someone’s backyard. If you want to take your photos to the next level, you can check out the Museum of Memories in Dallas, which has different sets and photo opts to match anyone’s Instagram aesthetic.

When the day comes, mask up and meet your group to take the photos. Try to take pictures with your family before you leave your house to avoid making your group any bigger than necessary. Keeping your group small and wearing your mask when not posing for the camera is key to having a happy, healthy photoshoot.

Food

While dining in at your favorite restaurant with your friends is always an option, everything looks different this year because of the virus, so why not make your prom night dinner a unique experience as well?

Pick up food to go — whether it’s pasta from a nice Italian restaurant or burgers from a local fast food joint — and have an outdoor picnic after you take photos with your friends. You can bring dessert like cake or chocolate-covered strawberries as well for extra points. But If you’d rather avoid restaurants altogether, have each of your friends cook food for the picnic and be the judge of who is the best chef.

Dance

Although it might be disappointing to miss out on seeing the random kid who sits behind you in math class dance to TikTok songs for an hour straight, you can still have fun at your own mini dance while staying safe.

Before the big night, work together with your friends to make a prom playlist. This will get you excited for the event and guarantee that you will get to listen to all of your favorite songs without having to elbow past 30 classmates to make a request at the DJ table.

As for the dance itself, you can either host it in the same location as your photos if permitted, or you can move it somewhere else. While someone’s backyard or house is always a great option to prevent contact with others, you can even look into renting outdoor party spaces, such as a park pavilion, or banquet rooms to live out your pandemic prom dreams.

Tara Connick

Theme

Although they can be cheesy, prom themes like “a night in Paris” or “under the sea” are part of what makes the dance so charming. However, it’s even better knowing that you’ll get to choose the theme this year. And since masks are a mandatory accessory, why not embrace them and host a Masquerade-themed prom?

You can buy or make masks that match your dress or suit and deck them out in elegant beads and gems, or keep it simple with a plain one. If you want to fully commit to the theme, you can pair your face covering with an eye mask, which is a staple of Masquerade parties.

But if the Masquerade look isn’t what you’re going for, get creative and pick a theme that fits your group best.

Other options

Even when there isn’t a pandemic, many students only attend the dance for about an hour before leaving to hang out with their friends. If you’d rather not have a dance at all, take this as an opportunity to do other fun activities with your group. The options are limitless, ranging from hanging out at someone’s house to playing mini golf.

If you decide to skip the dance, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get dressed up. Just wear your prom outfit and turn heads wherever you go. Besides, how often can someone say they baked cookies or went bowling in a full dress or suit?