Party Ideas

Planning a Debutante Ball

By GigSalad

Making your debut is one of the most significant events in a young woman’s life, and planning the party to celebrate this long standing tradition is no small task. From personalized invitations to honoring the debutante herself, planning a successful ball requires more than just a little hard work, so we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help!


Getting Started

Since this is such a major event in your debutante’s life, you’ll want to start planning ahead…way ahead. We suggest starting anywhere between 6 months to a year in advance. The first step is setting the date for your event so pull out those calendars and pick a date that works best for the debutante’s family and close friends to ensure those most important to her will be in attendance.

After you’ve chosen a date of the ball it’s time to create the guest list. Decide whether your ball will be honoring multiple debutantes or focusing on just one, as this will determine how you go about the rest of your planning. Be sure to fill the guest list with family members and close friends of the debutante(s) and consult the guest(s) of honor themselves to ensure everyone they want is included.



Choosing the location is crucial to your event’s success as this will be where your debutante will make her official debut into society. Consider the event’s formal atmosphere and make sure the venue can accommodate your full guest list. As this is a ball, you’ll want to find a location with an elegant ballroom or space that can be easily transformed into one. Your debutante may also want to think about renting a tent and dance floor to host her ball outside!

To decorate your venue, first decide on the theme or atmosphere of your ball. A traditional debutante ball is a black-tie event, serving a 3-course dinner, with simple but elegant decorations. Alternatively, your debutante may want to go a less traditional route with a general theme such as a costume ball or an evening in Paris. Many balls choose to use floral arrangements as an integral part of their decorations, so consider hiring an event florist if flower arrangements aren’t your thing (not everyone has a green thumb!). Make sure to ask the debutante(s) about their tastes and preferences before making any major decisions! (Seriously, ask.)



No matter the budget, there are plenty of great ways to get fantastic personalized invitations for your ball! Designing your own can be a fun project, and it’s easy on the wallet. If you know you want to outsource this task, come up with a design with your debutante and have custom invitations printed so you can send them out at least 4 weeks in advance. Remember to have the event’s information and RSVP contact information on the invitation for your guests. Whatever your method, have fun with it and make it your own!


Food & Drink

Making your debut into society can really work up an appetite! Traditionally, debutante balls include a 3 course meal during the evening so consider having your event catered with your debutante’s favorite meal or restaurant. Draw up your menu and call local caterers to compare prices and ask if they can provide your desired menu. Take your refreshments into account when looking for a venue since you’ll need tables and seating for your guests. If your venue does not provide them, never fear! You can always rent tables and chairs for the evening.

Your debutante and friends may only be 18 but don’t forget about all the parents and older relatives that will be attending! Having a cash or open bar for everyone in the 21-and-up club is a fun way to get your party started and you can often hire a bartender from the same company you choose to cater! Plus, they can serve the younger guests fun virgin cocktails and provide drinks for everyone dancing the night away.



Music is a must for your debutante’s ball so decide whether you want to hire a band or DJ to get your guests dancing. Make sure you get exactly what you want (and sound like you really know what you’re talking about!) by asking these 15 questions before booking professional entertainment. This will be a night to remember for everyone so consider hiring a photographer to capture all the wonderful memories that will be made with the amazing event you’re planning!


If all of this sounds a little daunting, hire an event planner to help out or even do it all for you. Whether you go it alone or have some professional help, GigSalad will be here to give you that extra boost to make your party plans a reality!


Looking for the perfect entertainment for your Debutante Ball? Book the best at GigSalad.


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