It’s the biggest night of the year for most high school students, so your Prom has to be amazing! It’s time to think outside the box with our 10 Prom themes. You don’t have to have the same old boring thing that every other school has. While we do have some classics, get creative and add your own twist!
1. Smoke and Mirrors
In the vein of mysterious Prom themes, try taking a page out of the magician’s book. Think dark magic like the movie “The Prestige” or imagine you’re decorating the set for the next Harry Potter installment. Use darker drapery colors in rich tones like burgundy or deep blue, and maybe incorporate a fog machine. Put small mirrors on the tables as the base for your centerpieces, and incorporate soft glowing light (try fake candles). A masquerade ball also lends itself well to this theme!
To get everyone into the spirit, book a strolling Magician to work the crowd and get them involved. Whether it’s card tricks, mind reading, coin tricks, or other illusions, magicians are always a crowd-pleaser. This can help the “mingling” issue because who doesn’t love magic?
2. Arabian Nights
Culturally rich prom themes are becoming more popular and are visually stunning. You can’t go wrong with Arabian Nights. Bright and beautiful colors will punch up your space, and it’s easy to decorate with multiple fabrics, glassware, and lights. Colorful paper lanterns can be strung across the dance floor or dining area, and multicolored or multi-patterned tablecloths add even more dimension.
Add even more excitement with Belly Dancers or Bollywood Dancers! The music is energetic and the dancers are amazing! Nothing better for entertaining people who usually have their noses in a cell phone. Bring a little culture to your student body with this theme.
3. Under the Big Top
Becoming a classic amidst other Prom themes, we couldn’t leave out the circus! Besides awesome entertainment options, it also allows for amazing decorations. Red and white sheets hung across the gym walls and across the ceiling can transform your space into a 3-ring circus tent. String up clear lights, bring in a Cotton Candy or Popcorn Machine, and you’ve got a great start!
Does your venue have room for some entertainment from above? Why not bring in some authentic Circus Entertainment like an Aerialist? There’s really no place that an aerialist can’t do their thing. For a truly unique show that will get your guests talking, this is the way to go. Aerialists are beautiful and artistic, so they fit right into most events. Prom included! Other circus acts like Stiltwalkers, Jugglers, or Fire Eaters (if allowed) will transport you back to the time that Barnum and Bailey ruled.
4. Comedy Hour
Stand-Up Comedy may not come to mind when you’re thinking about Prom themes. But who doesn’t love Aziz Ansari or John Mulaney? Prom can be a bit stuffy, so loosen up and bring some laughs to your classmates! Make your guests feel like they’ve arrived at a comedy club with low lighting, candles on the tables, and a set up a mocktail bar with themed drinks like “Schumer On the Beach”!
Stand-Up Comedians can tailor their material to your school, or even roast your principal, student body president, or favorite teachers (all in good fun, of course). They can also act as emcee for announcing the candidates and winners of the evening. Laughter is a universal language, so even the wallflowers will like this!
5. Welcome to Hollywood
Break out the paparazzi for your attendees in a Hollywood or Red Carpet theme! Of course, you’ll need a red carpet with a backdrop for everyone to stop and get their pictures taken as they arrive. Keep the decor glamorous and chic with all white tables, topped with tall vases filled with black and white feathers. White drapery on the walls will help the girls’ dresses pop (and we all know it’s all about the dress!). Serve punch in tall stemmed champagne glasses, and use clear plates and cloth napkins. It’s all about class with this theme.
A Celebrity Impersonator can make the night even more exciting! Invite Adele, Katy Perry, Johnny Depp, or even Leonardo DiCaprio to your party. For Old Hollywood themes, hire classic stars like Marilyn Monroe or Frank Sinatra. Impersonators will stay in character and make your guests feel like they met the real person! Oh, and they rock photo ops. How’s that for an awesome prom picture?
6. Bright Lights, Big City
New York…who hasn’t dreamed of going there? Bring the big city to your school with a New York theme. Mimic the New York city lights by using black drapery with white twinkle lights along the walls. Draw inspiration from the subway system and use old prints for decoration on the tables. Think about New York landmarks like Central Park, Broadway, or Times Square for more inspiration. Maybe have the space sectioned off into these different areas and have a different feel for each. Enter Broadway, enjoy refreshments in Central Park, and dance the night away in Times Square.
New York City is known for street performers, or buskers. One of the most popular street performers are Caricaturists. Prom photos are an old standby, but having a hand-drawn version of your cartoon self? Priceless! Caricaturists bring out your best (?) features and can usually crank out the drawings quickly to keep the line moving. You may want to hire two of them if you’re expecting a really large crowd. Send the student body home with an unforgettable souvenir of their senior year.
7. Bohemian Paradise
To embrace your free spirit without filling the room with peace signs, a Bohemian theme can be perfect. There’s no limit to this look if you’ve got a great imagination. Embrace mismatched chairs, printed tablecloths, and colorful dishware. Thrift shops are perfect for this theme because you can find funky vases, art, and more to help fill out the space. Flowers or other greenery, candles, old books, and eclectic frames are great for the tables. Just think “gypsy” and you can’t go wrong!
8. Springtime in Paris
There is nothing more beautiful than Spring in Paris, or so they say. For this or other romantic Prom themes, incorporate archways with fresh flowers, baskets of fresh bread, old bicycles, and cobblestone streets. You can create a runner down the main aisle painted with “cobblestones” that lead the way to the dance floor. Stick to fresh pastels like sage green or sky blues on the drapery and tablecloths. If you have the budget, add fresh flowers to each table, or create large paper flowers for the walls. Keep the dance floor romantic; after all, it’s the city of love.
Paris is another city known for its street performances. Mimes, Human Statues, and Jugglers are all entertainers that you’ll find working the city streets. Have them make their way through the refreshment area so even those who aren’t dancing can enjoy the evening!
9. Jungle Boogie
Take your prom into the tropics with a Jungle theme! While this theme could get tacky fast, you can keep it sophisticated by sticking with natural elements. Use large elephant ear leaves, ferns, or other greenery to build the feeling of being lost in the jungle. Faded animal prints for place mats, tablecloths, or throw pillows will break up all the green. Using tropical flowers like hibiscus can add pops of color. To create trees, wrap pillars in burlap or crinkled brown butcher paper and add green paper leaves at the top. Or, hang bunches of orange balloons (coconuts) with paper leaves and long brown streamers (trunks) to create a jungle from above. Leaf garland hanging from the ceilings or down the walls can also create a rich jungle vibe. Set up mini tiki torches (with fake candles if needed) on the tables to create ambiance.
For jungle entertainment, try a Drum Show or Dance Troupe. Most groups have versatile costumes that can fit your theme and can tailor their performance to your needs. To break up the night when a lull hits, or to kill time during vote counting, having some unexpected entertainment can be a great way to keep the energy up!
10. What Happens in Vegas
For a true party vibe, a Vegas theme is perfect. Neon is the main staple of the Las Vegas strip, so it’s a perfect base for your decorations. Neon dance floors, neon furniture rentals, and lighting techs can help set the stage for dancing the night away! Vegas is all about the glitz and glam, and of course, casino games. Use dice, cards, poker chips, martini glasses, and all things sparkly to decorate the tables. Put your school or class year in lights with a DIY sign (or a few) for wall decor.
A Club DJ is perfect for a night in Vegas. They can read the crowd and know what to play to get people moving. If your school allows, you could even set up some Casino Games like roulette or blackjack to add some real Vegas authenticity!