Formal tables set at The Manningham

Planning and Styling an Unforgettable School Formal in Melbourne

Whether you’re still in the early stages of planning your formal, or you’ve already secured an amazing venue and are now focused on the styling, Your Event Essentials can help. With over 20 years’ experience in the events industry, we have the expertise to make your school formal night the best it can be.

Ensuring your school formal has all the essentials for a smooth and enjoyable event, we help you make a checklist of all the necessary items including tables, chairs, decorations, and we can help you find the right venue to suit your needs. Having a clear plan and organised list, will help make a significant difference in your stress levels, and the event’s success.

Here are our top tips to ensure your event is unforgettable.

Choosing a Theme for your Formal

Many clients prefer to align their Formal with their school’s colours. This choice fosters a sense of belonging and nostalgia, creating an emotional and heartfelt end to the school year and a good feeling throughout the night. If you opt for a specific theme, popular ones we’ve styled include Masquerade Balls, Starry Night, Hollywood Glamour, and Great Gatsby. Regardless of your choice, maintaining consistency in the theme helps create a cohesive and visually appealing event and helps everything fit together and run smoothly.

white feathered mask for themed ball event
feather masked table centrepiece for themed ball

Enhancing Table Settings to suit your Formal

The entire table setting experience, from luxurious linens to elegant chair covers, sets the tone for the evening. Adding a colourful chair sash can further boost the theme colours, tying everything together beautifully. High-quality tableware settings, including plates, glasses, and cutlery, complete the look, ensuring every detail reflects the event’s style. Details like coloured napkins, table runners and charger plates can significantly impact the overall look of your tables. These elements add layers of colour and texture, enhancing the formal’s aesthetic appeal.

The Importance of Centrepiece Height at School Formals

Centrepieces add to the glamour at formals, with evening lighting sparkling off glass centrepieces creating a stunning effect. When planning centrepieces, consider their height to ensure they don’t obstruct views during speeches or performances. Low centrepieces are ideal for venues with low ceilings, while tall centrepieces can enhance the grandeur of spaces with high ceilings. Choosing the right centrepiece height ensures both elegance and practicality and can really make a difference to your tables.

tall red flower table centrepiece
glass centrepiece with fairy lights
tall glass centrepiece setup for function

Adding High School Fun with Photo Backdrops

Our photo backdrops are a big hit at formals, providing a fun and interactive element that students love. Teenagers enjoy capturing memories for their social media, and a well-designed backdrop can elevate the room’s theme, providing endless photo opportunities. Adding props for funny photos with friends enhances the experience, giving students something to take home and cherish. Props like hats, glasses, and signs can make the photo sessions more entertaining, ensuring everyone enjoys the night and has memorable keepsakes from the event. This interactive feature not only adds to the fun but also leaves students with lasting memories of their special night.

Disco themed photo backdrop hire setup for themed formal event
hollywood themed formal event

Indulge Teenage Appetites with a Snack Station and Lolly Buffet

Adding a snack station or lolly buffet can be a delightful surprise for your guests. These stations provide a variety of treats to satisfy sweet cravings throughout the event, which teenagers especially love. These treats and snacks help keep their energy up all night. Moreover, these stations add a playful and colourful element to the décor and can also tie in with the events theme colours, enhancing the overall look. Whether it’s lollies, popcorn, or other fun snacks, a well-stocked station ensures guests can enjoy tasty treats and stay energised for dancing and socialising.

Popular Event Venues for Year 12 Formals in Melbourne

The Manningham in Bulleen is a popular choice for school formals, thanks to its large room capacity of up to 250 people and ample parking. As a preferred supplier, we have styled many events at The Manningham and can vouch for a smooth setup and stunning night. Local town halls are also frequently chosen, though they often require everything to be bumped out at the end of the night, which can increase costs. If you need an even larger venue we recommend looking at the Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre which caters for functions of any size.

black table linens set with a pop of bright coloured chair bows
The Manningham
white formal tables set with a splash of coloured chair sashes
The Manningham

Budget-Friendly Event Styling Tips

For those smaller schools on a budget, focus your funds where they’ll have the most impact. If the venue’s chairs are presentable, invest in a stunning centrepiece instead of chair covers. Some venues include centrepieces in their hire packages, allowing you to allocate your budget to other decor elements like sashes and table runners. A room can be transformed with just beautiful linen placed on tables and chairs with the addition of colour incorporated with the sashes and table runners.

At Your Event Essentials, we treat every event as if it were our own. Our dedicated team of experts in Melbourne are passionate about making your high school formal a memorable and beautifully styled event. Contact us today to start planning and styling your unforgettable night.